NOW, MORE THAN EVER - PRAY FOR OUR COUNTRY
hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That
to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving
their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any
Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right
of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new
Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its
powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their
Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments
long established should not be changed for light and transient causes;
and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more
disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right
themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But
when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the
same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism,
it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and
to provide new Guards for their future security.
After one year as a student coach and one year as a graduate assistant coach I was ready for my first full time coaching job at Findlay College in 1958. My title was Assistant Professor of Physical Education. I was hired to be the second full time coach at Findlay. My assignments were: assistant football coach, head wrestling coach, head track coach, and physical education teacher. I was paid $4200 per year and was one of two coaches at Findlay College. Jim Houdeshell was athletic director, head football coach, head basketball coach, and head baseball coach.
I was promised the head football job after I had been at Findlay one year, by then President Fox. Findlay College consisted of three buildings in 1958, the gym, the dormitory, and the administration building. All the classes were taught in the administration building.
My first introduction to Findlay College was not very impressive. I went over in May to a golf outing for the former Findlay athletes. On the first tee, I swung and missed the ball three straight times, not exactly an impressive debut for the new coach. Golf and golf outings were to continue to plague me throughout my coaching career.
Jane and I moved to Findlay early in the summer after she graduated from Bowling Green. We rented an upstairs apartment at 709 ½ Franklin Ave. about three blocks from the college. Jane was pregnant with Laura at that time. We purchased our first furniture and were proud of it. It was certainly not high class, although we thought our blonde furniture was first class at that time. Joan still has one of our first chests in her home.
Mrs. Mitchell was our landlord and lived below us. Part of our agreement was that I would mow the yard for her. She was very nice to us and later after Laura was born, babysat for us. One of my many stupid moves occurred that winter. Findlay had a big flood and water was standing in the basement of our house. I waded through the water to unplug the washer and dryer. I felt the current in the water as I went through, but it was not strong enough to electrocute me, thank heavens.
Football was a very interesting challenge for me. Jim Houdeshell was the head coach but was more into basketball and as a result let me do many of the head coaching duties. I did the recruiting, devised the offense and defense, made the notebooks, called the plays, organized the practices, taught the student coach helpers, did all the film work, and gave the pep talks. Our recruiting was not exactly first class, as I took the prospects to McDonald’s and paid for the meal myself. I used Bowling Green’s reject list to try to get some players to come to Findlay. One player that came to Findlay, Dave Lantz, later coached for me at Lima Shawnee.
We played our games at the local high school stadium and finished with four wins, four losses, and a tie. This was an improvement over the previous few years. Muskingum College was a real power in football at that time and had a great fullback, Cannonball Cooper, who was leading the nation in scoring. After our game and five TD’s, he was still leading the nation. He went on to play with the San Francisco 49’ers.
In 2000 I met him in the Chicago O’Hare Airport, when we both were on our way to South Bend for our induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. Jane and I found out that he and his wife were good friends with Tom and Nan Hardin. Tom and Nan were originally from Van Wert and now live in San Diego. We visit with them each year when we go to Coronado.
Coaching football at Findlay was always a challenge in many different ways. Herm Alexander was a big offensive tackle from Cleveland and we had no helmet big enough for him. I had my old Van Wert helmet sent to me and it became Herm’s helmet, and as a result I do not have my high school helmet anymore although I still have my junior high helmet. I also loaned Herm $100 so he could play his fees. This was an NCAA violation but I felt he needed it to stay in school. He later paid me the $100 back.
That winter I attended the National Coaches Convention in Cincinnati and ran into Woody Hayes in an elevator. His only question to me was what was your record this year?
Our first child, Laura Jayne, was born on October 26th. It was early on a Sunday morning after a night game. I happened to be in the bathroom when the doctor came in to tell me about the birth. Jane had been carrying on that it had to be a boy and the doctor was apologizing to me because it was a girl. Every time Jane went under the anesthetic she started talking and talking. I can honestly say that I never pushed for either a boy or girl at anytime. I did kid Jane a lot and say that if it was a boy we would name him Doak, after Doak Walker.
We were both excited about Laura’s birth and wondering about the challenges of being parents. Jane had very unique birth announcements for Laura in the shape of a football. I remember her baptism very clearly at The Presbyterian Church by Rev. Bigalow. We had developed a friendship with a couple named Weber. I played my only bridge with them and they sold us their baby bed, which we used for every one of our five kids.
Our parents visited us quite often and we made several trips to Van Wert and Venedocia. Visiting both parents’ homes on Thanksgiving and Christmas started at this time and would continue for several years. I believe that my dad got a Thunderbird car in 1958 and was quite proud of it, as well as having Jane very envious of it.
After the football season I went in to see the president about becoming the head football coach the next year. The president that had hired me was killed in a car accident in the summer and Findlay had hired a new President Wilson. I told the new president of my agreement with President Fox. President Wilson asked me if I had it in writing and I said no. He said we would wait one more year before making me the head coach. I said that if that was the case I was resigning at the end of the school year. I was 23 years old, with a new young child, and no job.
Even though I knew I was leaving Findlay College in a few months it did not affect my coaching the wrestling and track team. Wrestling was a big sport at Findlay, with most of the wrestlers coming from Western Pennsylvania. I had wrestled a little at Ohio State, but was a rather inexperienced coach and I had a veteran team. The two wrestling captains were both army veterans and two years older than I was.
I used Bill Flanagan and Bill Shoshok to help me with the techniques and I really conditioned my wrestling team. I worked them all very hard and I wrestled myself with them. This caused me to separate my rib intercostals muscles, which resulted in a very painful injury. I could not go from a standing to sitting position, or to a laying position without great pain.
We had a great year and went 11-0; the first undefeated wrestling team in Findlay College history. We wrestled the MAC schools like Miami University but our big win was over Notre Dame. Notre Dame was not a great power in wrestling but was certainly much bigger than Findlay College. We beat the Irish 18-15 when their heavyweight could not finish his match. Jane became a real wrestling fan and told me she liked wrestling better than football. We celebrated our undefeated season with a big party in our apartment for the wrestlers and their girl friends.
The track team started to work out in February, so I had to coach both wrestling and track at the same time. I had to work very hard to keep both practices going but I enjoyed the challenge. Our track team went 8-2 and won the Mid-Ohio League for the first time. Bluffton College had a great football and track star in Elbert Dubenion and had won the track championship for nine straight years until we defeated them in 1959.
One of our meets was in Indianapolis, and we had to go through Van Wert to get to Indy. I told my mother that my track team would be stopping to eat at my parents’ house on the way to the track meet. My mother prepared a fine meal but both of my parents were surprised when fifteen black trackmen came in their front door.
Some of the players I will always remember from Findlay are Eddie Jordan, Ron Raye, Rich Lounder, Teddie Dudeck, Bob Harris, Bill Shoshok, Herm Alexander, Bill Flanagan, plus others. In 1996 I was at the Dodger Adult Baseball Camp at Vero Beach, Fla. and played in the game against the former Dodgers. I was sitting on the bench between innings when someone poked me in the back. It was Bill Flanagan and he said, “You are too old to be playing baseball.” What a surprise to see him in that setting. I had not seen him in over forty years.
One night in the spring of 1959, I got a call from Doyt Perry asking me if I would be interested in coming back to Bowling Green as a coach. You can bet that I said yes quickly. He offered me the job of head freshmen football coach and head wrestling coach at a salary of $6,200. This was a great break for me but it had one catch. It was for one year only, as the wrestling coach was taking a one-year leave of absence to get an advanced degree and would be coming back the next year.
I had many great jobs over the years but I was never happier to get a job than the Bowling Green job in 1959. I had stood by my principles in resigning from Findlay College with no prospect of a new job; and now I was excited about going to Bowling Green as a full time staff member.
La Muerte De las Cruces, a pro-women's team has rented our field for 3 games.
I'm not sure how this should be scheduled on NFHS.
In the spring of 1956 I had to make a big switch in football. I had to go from being a coach on the field back to being a competitive football player. It was a little different but not really a big deal. The fullback that I had to compete with was Jack Giroux and he was very good, as well as being a great person. He was definitely better than me and I became the second fullback in the fall. We had a very good team, went undefeated, and won the MAC Championship. I contributed to our season, playing quite a lot, and scoring a couple of touchdowns.
Our opening game of the year was a home game in a driving rainstorm. The ground crew had used the wrong type of lime to line the field. The rain made the lime very abrasive. I got tackled on one play and slid across the sidelines. The lime burned my leg and after the game I had a huge open burn on my hip. It took several days for that burn to heal and a little longer before I could practice again.
We played Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and took two very small planes to the game. On the plane flight I got sick and threw-up, ruining my clothes. Doyt gave me a pair of his pants to wear. I was six foot tall and in shape and he was much rounder then I was and 5’ 7” tall. When I got off the plane my pants were extremely short and I had to hold them up with my hands.
The only time I got really down that year was not getting in the game against Miami. I remember that night in my room feeling very disappointed and depressed. All in all I feel I contributed to BG’s 1956 season and liked being at Bowling Green.
One funny thing happened in practice one day to Floyd Lennox and me. He played right halfback and one day I went the wrong way and ran into him, I started to the right and he started to the left and we immediately hit. Later on we ran a double reverse with me faking to the right and Floyd carrying the ball to the left. I carried out my fake and than hustled downfield to get a block. Floyd made a long run to the left and I ran into him 40 yards down the field. He said, “No matter where I go you always hit me!” I have to say that he was right that time.
In 1957 I had one more year of eligibility but I decided to graduate and become a graduate assistant football coach. I only played two years of varsity college football and I got to play on two undefeated championship teams at Ohio State University and Bowling Green State University. Those two teams won 19 games and lost 0.
I helped coach the freshman team in 1957. Jim Ruehl was the head freshman coach and Bill Mallory was one of the graduate assistants. We won four games and lost one. I learned a big lesson in coaching in our game that year with the Toledo University freshmen. Jim Ruehl asked me if I thought the Toledo freshmen would use a shotgun formation like their varsity had recently shown. I said there is no way they will use the shotgun. Boy was I wrong, they used it the whole game and this was the only game we lost. This was a great lesson for me and I never assumed anything in football coaching again.
As a graduate assistant, we were totally involved in the program. We coached, we spoke at clinics, I taught a football class, and we prepared the notebooks. Doyt always treated us as an important part of his staff. I was good with writing and organizing, so I had a lot of the notebook responsibility. Bill Mallory told me last year that he really learned how to work in football that year and picked up a lot from me.
Bill and I became great friends. He was unmarried and so had a lot of his meals at our apartment. We would argue and discuss football by the hours. During spring break, Bill and I were asked if we wanted to be substitute teachers at Lima Shawnee High School. It was a chance to make a little money so we said yes. The night before we started teaching at Shawnee, Bill stayed with me at my parents’ house in Van Wert. He was upstairs practicing his class talk and pounding his feet on the upstairs floor. My parents were so impressed that anyone could be that intense about what they were doing. Anyone who ever knew Bill Mallory would know that his middle name was intensity.
We taught at Shawnee for a week and I had no idea that in three years I would be teaching and coaching there as a full time teacher. Some of the boys that I had in the sixth grade, like Bill Finch, later played for me when I starting coaching there in 1960.
My grades were all “A’s” in my graduate courses except for one B. Dr. Coffey, who is over 100 years old and still alive as I am writing this, gave Bill and I a “B” for not paying attention in class. We were working on football plays and talked football, which Dr. Coffey did not appreciate. My master’s degree thesis was titled Current Trends in Offensive Line Splits and I am sure that it sounds very exciting.
That spring we had an alumni game against the varsity. Jim Ruehl, Bill Mallory, and I were the player-coaches. We had three pro receivers, but only Don Nehlen to throw it to them and he was not a very good passer. I did score a TD in the game but came away with sore ribs. Many schools formerly had alumni games but they have disappeared because squad sizes are smaller, and insurance-contract provisions keep many pros from playing.
Bowling Green was a good choice for me when I decided to transfer from OSU. Bowling Green gave me an excellent education and has been very kind to me, electing me to the Bowling Green State University Hall of Fame in 1989. I probably was not as good an alumnus as I would have been if I had stayed at Ohio State or had been at Bowling Green for all four years. Transferring maybe divided my loyalties a little bit. I guess I do not always think of myself as a BG alumnus, as OSU also always pops into my mind. However, one thing is clear - Doyt Perry had a great influence on my life and career.
I consider him my college coach. He recruited me to OSU when he was the backfield coach and then gave me the opportunity to come to Bowling Green, when he became the head coach there. Doyt started late in college coaching, as he spent many years as a high school coach. He had a truly amazing career at Bowling Green. He coached for 10 years and had the highest winning percentage of any major college coach of all time, including Knute Rockne of Notre Dame. He won close to 90% of his games. Doyt won 77 games and lost 11 for a winning percentage of .881.
Basketball totally dominated sports at Bowling Green when Doyt became the football coach. Harold Anderson had produced many great basketball teams over the years and controlled the scholarships. It’s hard to believe but when Doyt took the job there were 60 Grants-in-Aid for basketball and only 19 for football. This was quickly changed but gives you some idea of what type of football program he took over. His first year he lost one game and in his second year he was undefeated. He truly was a great coach.
He gave me my first chance to coach on the college level. Coaching that first year as a student coach was a great break for me. I was able to find out what coaching was like and I got to know Bo Schembechler. Doyt always said that I would be a good coach but I should do something else, as I was too smart to just be a coach. He had me do a lot of his paper work and write up his football notebooks. I always thought that he would hire me as a full time coach and he might have if Bill Mallory had not been such a great coaching prospect as well.
When I quit at Findlay and had no job, Doyt hired me at BG as freshmen football coach and head wrestling coach on a one-year basis. This job meant more to me than any other job I ever got. Being out of a job and getting hired at BG was just a great feeling in 1960. He also helped me later when I had a problem with the job at Marion, Ohio. I met him in Kenton, Ohio for advice on what to do. I will describe these two situations in greater detail later in my writings.
In the early seventies, Doyt wanted me to come back to Bowling Green as athletic director when he retired. I was close to getting my own head football job at that time and was not interested.
Doyt was an outstanding coach, humorous and sarcastic at the same time. He started late in the college coaching game but there was none better and none that produced as many outstanding head coaches as Doyt did in that short period of time at Bowling Green State University. At one time in the late 1980’s nine of the top fifteen winning coaches in college football had played or coached under Doyt at Bowling Green from 1955-1964, quite a testimony to him.
The spring of 1958 I was anxious to get a coaching job. I had turned down Celina High School the year before but was now ready to be on my own. Bill and I both went after every high school job and seemed to neutralize each other. We finally decided to not compete on each job. He went after the East Palestine job and I went after the St. Mary's job. He got the East Palestine job but I lost out on the St. Mary’s job to Skip Baughman.
I was sure that I would get the St. Mary’s job as it was in the same league as Van Wert and I was well known by the St. Mary’s people. I even had my summer workout ready to go for the St. Mary’s Roughriders but it did not work out. They decided on Skip because he had three years of high school head coaching experience. It was a good choice for St. Mary’s as Skip coached there for 38 years and 300 victories.
When I became the Shawnee coach, we competed against each other, as we were in the same league. Ultimately I got a job at Findlay College but a more important event happened to me in 1957 as Alyce-Jane Waltz of Wooster College, Ashland High School, and Venedocia,Ohio came waltzing into my life.
No one wants the triple option. No one can explain why.
The first thing I heard about the Kansas football coaching search was, down to the specific words, exactly what I expected to hear:
“A lot of their influential people don’t want to run the triple option.”
The option in question belongs to Army head coach Jeff Monken, one of three names tied to the search since KU hired new athletic director Travis Goff. The other two are Tulane’s Willie Fritz and Buffalo’s Lance Leipold.
I’ve encountered this sentiment in the wilds of college football gossip before. Whenever I do, I ask a booster or A.D. or power broker to play a hypothetical game, wherein their school runs the triple, wins games, eventually wins more games, and is deemed a successful, winning program … that runs the triple.
“Nope. Still don’t want it,” is always the response.
This is my real issue with triple-option loathing: No one can explain exactly why they hate it in football terms. And when they’re unwilling to accept its success, even in a hypothetical, it means they’re preoccupied with outside perception, not with winning football games.
“In my two-plus decades of professional sports and dealing with and treating high level superstars, I have never heard such a defeatist statement come from such a dominant athlete. To be clear, I have always been in awe of James and his on-court accomplishments, and my thoughts are not meant to be critical. My observation is that this statement runs counter to how other top athletes have handled injury and aging. They typically speak in terms of achieving the impossible.”
"In my experience, it is not in the DNA of top athletes to think anyway but positive. They are wired to think about the possible, not impossible. Impossible is not even in their vocabulary.
"Perhaps the quote was taken out of context. Maybe James will clarify what he meant. Perhaps his admission is the way he drives himself to work harder. Even if the reality is that one can’t go back to being 21, James at age 36 can get back to his immediate pre-injury form. I hope and expect him to return to 100%."
In late September 1955 I arrived at Bowling Green State University knowing no one except the head football coach Doyt Perry. He had been the backfield coach at Ohio State and was the coach that recruited me to Ohio State. I had spent most of September at Ohio State going through two a days and was arriving at Bowling Green just as classes were starting. I did not have a scholarship, a place to stay, a class schedule, and was ineligible to play football.
I moved into a barrack type building which we called the “chicken coop” on Wooster Street. This was temporary housing until a permanent room opened up. My first roommate was a freshman place kicker named Chuck Perry. He later had a great career in business; headed up golfer Jack Nicklaus’s many financial ventures. Chuck was very generous to Bowling Green over the years but died fairly young.
It took a while but I was able to get a class schedule and Doyt got me a room in the athletic dorm, The Stadium Club. All of the football and basketball players lived in rooms under the stadium. I was to be a dorm counselor working under Jim Ruehl, the freshmen football coach.
Jim Ruehl had played football at Ohio State and had just graduated from there. He was someone who I had known before and I had great respect for him. He and his wife lived in the Stadium Club and I would spend some time with them in their apartment. Sometimes we would play Scrabble. In one game I spelled the word –FIN-A-COG and Ann said that there was no such word. I told her that it was a fin that was on a cog that went round and round. She did not believe me but never let me forget that word over the years. When Jane and I got married, Jim Ruehl was in our wedding.
He also got me started on something that I have been doing for over 50 years. We were out recruiting one day and he was doing neck isometrics. I watched him tighten his neck up and hold it for a few seconds. I decided to start doing neck and stomach Iso’s that day and have been doing them daily now for over 50 years. I do believe they help although at my age now, it is hard to tell; but I still do them daily.
I was too late to go on a Grant-in-Aid and so I got paid to help coach the scout team and be a dorm counselor. The President of Bowling Green wrote me a letter specifying what I would receive and what I had to do, as an assistant student coach.
You can imagine, I was quite satisfied with my financial arrangement. However, it was determined that if they paid me to coach, I would no longer be eligible to play the next year. My agreement was changed to say nothing about coaching, only about being a counselor. The money was the same and I could still coach but technically I was being paid to be a counselor. All of this probably means nothing to the reader but it was interesting to me to be paid to coach on the college level at age 20.
Getting to be a student coach the fall of 1955 was the greatest thing as far as helping my future coaching career. I did not know any of the players at first and I spent all of my time with the coaches. The football coaching office was a large former classroom and all the desks were in that one big room. The line coach was Bo Schembechler and he was the coach that I spent the most time with. He was young, aggressive, funny, and really related to the players. He smoked a football pipe at that time; the bowl of the pipe was a half football.
Bo’s job was to scout the next opponent and he always took me along with him. One time we went to scout Kent State and stayed overnight at his mother’s house in Barberton, Ohio. One trip was a trip to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan to scout Central Michigan. We scouted that afternoon game and then drove fast to get back and see Bowling Green play at night under the lights. Bo and I went up into the press box to watch the game. Bowling Green’s stadium was not real big and the windows of the press box were open. Bo started yelling at the linemen who were making mistakes during the game. His language drew the attention of all the spectators sitting below the press box. Everyone looked up to see who was using that “Bad” language. I ducked down so they would not think it was me.
The fall of 1955 was a great experience for me and proved to me that coaching was what I wanted to do. My main job on the field was to run the scout team against the varsity. The job of being a scout team player is not much fun and I tried to put some fun into it. I started giving points for whoever tagged the ball carrier first. Players started competing and joking each other as they tried to get to the ball carrier first. This did not go over well with Doyt and the other coaches. They yelled at me that the players were not out there to have fun but to be the scout team.
During the week of the Miami game we had an injury to our starting QB, Jim Bryant. One of the scout team players, Rufus Sims from Lima Shawnee, fell into Bryant’s legs and knocked him out of the game. I was in big trouble for letting it happen. The second team quarterback, Don Nehlen, had to play the whole game. Don would go on to be a head coach at BGSU and West Virginia, and is now in the College Football Hall of Fame.
That Miami game for the MAC Championship was the greatest pre-game locker room talk that I had ever heard. Miami at that time was the dominant power in the league under Ara Parseghian. Miami was undefeated and had several players on their team that would later coach with me; Bill Mallory at BG, Jerry Hanlon, and Terrell Burton at Miami and Michigan were future coaching mates. Bowling Green assistant coaches Bo Schembechler and Bill Gunlock, who were both Miami graduates, gave the pre-game talk. They were yelling, crying, and just totally into Bowling Green beating Miami that day. We lost that day 0 – 7, BG’s only loss in 1955, but I will always remember that locker room talk.
As a student coach I had several duties, which I guess most down the line assistant coaches have had over the years. After all these years the only one I remember is when Doyt asked me to clean out his locker one day. Over the course of several months he had thrown practice schedules, papers, dirty socks, etc in the bottom of his tall metal locker. I started to clean it out when I came across a mice nest and they came running out at me.
If I was not in class, I was at the football office working on football. Bo told me that when he got a head-coaching job, I would be on his staff. Doyt once said that he knew two coaches who would never get married because they were too in love with coaching football, Bo Schembechler and Jim Young.
I started to also get to know some of the players who would be my teammates the next spring and year. Ed Ferkany was my first roommate in the Stadium Club but shortly I got a single room, which went along with being a counselor. Ed was a quarterback but received an injury as a freshman and never played. He became a good friend of mine and was a student coach during his remaining time at Bowling Green. He later coached at Navy and Ohio State, he and I had a funny thing happen to us during the OSU-Michigan game in 1972. I will cover that when I write about my time at Michigan.
Two other players became my friends, Tom Kisselle and Jack Hecker. Several guys, including Jack, Tom, and me, would go around to the various high schools and scrimmage their basketball teams. Tom got me interested in the Sigma Chi Fraternity and I pledged and became pledge class president. I was a good “frat man” for about a year and then lost interest. Our chapter got kicked off campus and the treasurer took off with my dues money, and as a result I have had very little to do with Sigma Chi since that time. The fraternity has honored me by making me a “Significant Sig” but that was because of my coaching career.
I dated a little more at Bowling Green than I had dated at Ohio State. The first girl that I wanted to date was in my physical education folk dance class, Linda Teeman. She was Homecoming Queen and unfortunately, from my standpoint, going with Jack Hecker. We were to stay friends over the years, being together at Miami University and at West Point for many years. As pledge class president I had some dates but have forgotten their names except for Alice McCloud and Don Shula’s sister.
Two of my passions came into play at Bowling Green. 1955 is the year that the Brooklyn Dodgers won their only world championship and I was in a new university, knowing no one at first, and having no TV. I saw very little of the 1955 World Series except for part of one game in a downtown bar. That spring two basketball players from New York had an opening day pool to pick three hitters who would get a total of six hits on opening day. The odds were 5-1 and most guys were betting a quarter or 50 cents; I bet five dollars. I picked Roy Campanella, plus Junior Gilliam of the Dodgers and Ted Williams of the Red Sox.
On the radio news that evening it was announced that Ted Williams got three hits and Campanella and Gilliam each had a homerun. This added up to five hits but we still did not know if Campanella or Gilliam got any other hits. Late that night they called the New York Times and found out that Gilliam also had a single. They had to pay me 25 dollars and lost their shirts on that betting pool.
My music passion was still very strong at BG and I played all the big band music in my room. I listened to Glenn Miller all the time and when I saw that Ray Eberle, Miller’s male singer, was coming to BG for a dance, I was excited. The weekend of the dance, Jim Baer was visiting me from Columbus so we both went over to the gym to hear the band. We got up on the track above the bandstand and listened to the music. There was a snowstorm that night and part of the band did not arrive on time and so they stayed late and played all the old Miller standbys.
I did even better academically at Bowling Green and had a cumulative point average of around 3.70. I had a very good history teacher, Mrs. Pratt. She was the sister of Nile Kinnick, 1939 Heisman Trophy winner. He was killed in World War II and Iowa’s football stadium is named after him. She wanted me to major in history and thought that was the field that I should pursue. I was set on coaching but I did do one great research paper for her on Bataan.
Author Shane Trotter describes a system where grades are no longer tied to actual achievement, where high school standards have been lowered so much that a college degree -- and absurd levels of debt -- now takes the place of a high school diploma, where self-esteem is more important than achievement and where the performance of American students relative to the rest of the world keeps dropping.
As an educator of 30 years, I've seen what Trotter describes and then some. We are a society whose political and cultural leaders -- including educators -- are abandoning truth and facts in favor of other, nicer-sounding objectives, like “equity."
The winter of 1955 I did quite well academically. I was starting to get almost all “A’s” and spring semester I got a 4.00 grade average. In the physical education department I was ranked the number one student. We were ranked daily in anatomy class and I finished number one in a class of 126. I knew every bone and muscle in the body back then but don’t know any of the names today.
Woody asked me to tutor four football players in anatomy. I tutored Jim Parker, Jimmy Roseboro, Lee Williams, and Aurilius Thomas. We all had dead cats and one human remains to study in class, but in the rooming house we used each other to learn the various bones and muscles. I got paid $5 an hour so it was a real good deal for me.
Last year I read where Jim Parker had died. This was very hard for me to imagine, as he was such a great athlete and football player. We played against each other in high school basketball. He was the biggest and strongest player on the OSU team. He became an All-American and later was selected as one of the Top-50 Pro football players of all time, while playing for the Baltimore Colts.
We both wrestled in the intramural wrestling championship. He pinned everyone he wrestled in the first period. In the championship bout I lasted against him until the second period before he pinned me. Casey Fredericks, the wrestling coach, asked both of us to come out for wrestling the next year. Woody had a fit and would not let Jim wrestle and I was gone from Ohio State the next year.
In 2004 when I was elected to the Purdue Hall of Fame, I saw that Casey Fredericks was also elected. I told Jane that he had to be dead by now as he was old when I knew him at Ohio State. He was at the dinner and very much alive at the age of 91. I asked him if he remembered when Jim Parker and I wrestled for the championship. He said yes and that “Damn” Woody Hayes would not let Parker come out for wrestling. Today Casey is still around and Jim Parker is gone. Actually of the four players I tutored three have died: Jim Parker, Jimmy Roseboro, and Lee Williams. I don’t know what has happened to Reddy Thomas? You just never know in this life.
One time I was really surprised in my economics class. I sat about halfway back in the lecture hall and I had never spoken to the professor. There were about 100 students in the class and we had just taken a 60 points essay test. The professor asked Jim Young to stand up. I stood up not knowing what was going to happen. The professor said that I had written a perfect paper, 60 out of 60 points. He further said that he wanted everyone in the class to know that I was also a football player, as well as a student. I was embarrassed but proud.
There were two banquets that year, the yearly team banquet and the Pants Club banquet. The Pants Club goes back to 1939. During the 1930’s Ohio State had a hard time beating Michigan. Francis Schmidt, the Ohio State coach, told his team that they could beat Michigan because Michigan players put their pants on “one leg at a time” just like the Ohio players did. When Ohio State beat Michigan that year the Pants Club tradition started. There still is a regular football banquet, but on years Ohio beats Michigan there is an added banquet. Each player receives a little pair of gold pants and I still have mine.
Things were going well for me academically in the winter of 1955 but I was really down, football wise. I was really mad and did not feel a part of the football team. At the start of the spring term and just before spring practice started, I decided to leave Ohio State. I packed up all my things and took off for Van Wert. My parents were surprised that I had come home but did not really say too much.
That first night my parents went to a meeting and I was watching the Academy Awards on TV when the phone rang. It was Woody and he wanted to speak to Jim Young - I guess he did not recognize my voice. I said that Jim Young was not there and hung up. In about a half hour he called back again and I decided to face him. He talked to me for about two hours and the next morning I packed my things and was on my way to Columbus. He promised me a good chance to play in spring football and a job that would pay me more than my present job did.
I got a good opportunity in the spring and I felt I did a good job. The competition was Don Vicic and Joe Trivisonno, both juniors like me, as well as Galen Cisco of St. Marys, a sophomore. Hubert Bobo had flunked out of school. I remember one day when Bill Hess stopped me and told me he now believed that I would play a lot of football at Ohio State in the future. However, when I came back in the fall two players were moved ahead of me on the depth chart at fullback. I went through most of the two-a-day practices and then I was asked to move to guard. I could not see myself being an offensive lineman at my weight and starting to learn the position so late in my career.
This time however, I acted like a man and went in and talked to Woody. He was very good and called Doyt Perry at Bowling Green for me. Doyt had been the coach that recruited me for Ohio State and was starting his first year as head coach at Bowling Green. On my way home, my car broke down and it took a long time to get to Van Wert. The next day I was on my way to BGSU and a different phase in my life.
Before going on with my story, I would like to talk about Woody Hayes as a coach and as a person. He was only my coach for two years before I transferred and therefore I am not one of his boys, as so many Ohio State football players have been over the years. He was a truly great coach, lasting at “the graveyard of coaches” for twenty-eight years. For anyone who knows the sport of football and the mentality of Ohio State football followers, this is an unbelievable accomplishment.
Woody lived football; there was no time for anything else in his life. His family, his health, and his financial needs were secondary to football. He would not function very well in today’s sports world. He was a coach at just the right time for his coaching style. He would be totally out of sync in today’s football culture, although I am sure he would make some adjustments, but I do not believe it would be enough. Woody was a two-facet coach in many ways. Anyone meeting him would be impressed by his intelligence, speaking ability (English Major), and ability to converse on any subject. He had a very pleasant voice and had great sincerity in his delivery. By the same token he could be a very tough individual if he wanted to be.
Every thought that Woody had was for his player’s success; he cared about nothing for himself. By the same token he did not hesitate to yell or humiliate a player if that player made a mistake on the football field or in the classroom. The person he hit the hardest was himself. He would hit his forehead again and again with his fist in practice when he got mad. The ring on his fist would bring blood to his forehead. He could not stand a mistake, and his ability to eliminate football mistakes in his players was one of his great strengths as a coach.
The three college coaches that I was associated with - Woody, Doyt Perry, and Bo Schembechler - all had the special ability to praise an individual but also the ability to keep that same individual from getting the big head. They could praise you and cut you down in the same sentence.
As a player who left Woody’s program, I am still a believer in Woody as a person and coach. Now here are a few of the things that I remember about him. (My time with Woody was limited but the stories that others can tell about him are unlimited.)
One Monday scouting report was Woody at his best. Each Monday the whole football team would always hear a scouting report on our next opponent before we went out to practice. Clive Rush was a new coach and was responsible for giving the scouting report on our next opponent – Illinois. He started to give his report to the team and Woody told him to stop. Woody said, “First I want to know if we can beat Illinois?” Clive said, “I think so, Woody.” Woody said, “That’s not the answer. The answer is Hell Yes, now get your ass out the door and come back in here and we’ll start again!” When Clive came back in, Woody asked him if we could win the game. Clive said, “Hell Yes!” Woody said, “That’s better, now let’s hear the report.”
I might say that the only people that worked harder than the players under Woody were his coaches. Woody worked day and night on football and expected his coaches to do the same. His coaches had two weeks vacation in the summer – period. Christmas Day was the only day off the rest of the year. Bo told the story of when he was an assistant under Woody and one of the coaches was standing at practice with his hands in his back pockets. Woody came up and ripped the pockets out of his pants. Woody said, “You cannot coach with your hands in your pockets!” The next day when the coaches came to practice all the pockets on all the pants were sewed shut. Woody also hated golfers and said that if a coach was a good golfer that meant that he was not spending enough time on football.
After I left Ohio State in 1955 my next contact with Woody Hayes was in 1957 when he called me at Bowling Green. He wanted to know if I would take the head-coaching job at Celina High School. His former roommate at Denison University, Dr. Otis, was looking for a new head coach and Woody recommended me. It paid $7000, which at the time was a lot for a 22 year old just getting married and graduating from college. How much was it? The next year I took my first job at Findlay College for $4200 a year. I did not take the Celina job, as I wanted to be a graduate assistant at BG and Jane and I were just starting our married life. It was nice of Woody to think that much of me after I had left his program.
Woody Hayes was one of a kind. He proved beyond a shadow of a doubt what hard work and single-minded dedication can achieve. He coached in a period where most of the leaders of the country had been through the Depression and had served in WW II. Woody had been a Navy commander of a minesweeper during WW II. Football was a tougher team game then and Woody Hayes was certainly a tough but fair coach.
My football experience at Ohio State was a test that I did not succeed in. As I look back now I see that I did not have the confidence in myself and perhaps was not yet worldly enough to succeed. Football had always come easily to me in high school and all of a sudden I was not the star but just another player trying to win a position. It was a combination of a physical lack of speed and a mental lack of self-confidence. In my heart I have always been an Ohio State man and a Woody supporter. It is hard, however, for me to feel sorry about transferring to Bowling Green because it opened up a career in coaching that might never have happened at Ohio State.
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#1 South Dakota State 31, Holy Cross 3
Southern Illinois 34, Weber State 31
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#4 Jacksonville State 49, Davidson 14
Delaware 19, Sacred Heart 10
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#3 James Madison 31, VMI 24
North Dakota 44, Missouri State 10
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#2 Sam Houston State 21, Monmouth 15
North Dakota State 42, Eastern Washington 20
That summer Woody had a football coaching class that we all took in the afternoon. We first had a class on football coaching and then we put on our football pads, basically practicing on a limited basis. There were about 40 football players in the class and we always finished up with 40-yard sprints. Woody’s son Steve, who was nine years old at that time, would be out at practice and Woody would make him run the sprints with us. He naturally finished last every time and Woody would chew him out for being last. Steve grew up to be a lawyer and later a judge.
Fall football practice in 1954 was the hardest I ever experienced. We had “two-a-day” practices for almost a month. We never left the stadium - we slept, ate, met, and practiced there all day long. We slept in a dormitory room with bunks for 40 players and a coach always sleeping in the room with us. My bunk was right above the backfield coach Clive Rush’s bunk. It was his first year and he had a lot of pressure to perform his job correctly for Woody. He would wake me up at night as he went through the plays out loud in his sleep. We wondered if Woody ever slept as he was always looking at films when we had lights out and still looking at films when we got up in the morning.
The cafeteria was in the stadium, as was the locker room. The practice fields were right at the open end of the stadium and the meeting rooms were in the stadium. We were up at 6:00, ate breakfast, dressed, had meetings, practiced for two plus hours, and had more meetings all before lunch. You had a one-hour rest period at 1:00 and then got dressed, had meetings, and practiced before dinner. Right after dinner we had free time from 6:30 until 7:30. We then had a team meeting followed by individual meetings and lights out at 10:00. This went on for almost a month.
1954 was the toughest two-a-day practices that I ever went through, but each and every year, two a days were always a challenge. You were tired, physically beat up, mentally overloaded with plays and defenses, and competing for a position so that you could play in the games when the season started. It really was a physical and mental challenge to each and every football player. I can think of no other sport that can test an athlete more in a short period of time than two-a-day football practices.
When you completed two-a-day fall practice, you knew you had accomplished something. I realize that there are many more challenging things in the world than two a day practices, but for a college football player it was a real challenge each year. I don’t think that people who have not played football - and many of those who have played football - realize the challenges of football and what those challenges can do for an individual. I hate to see two-a day-practices go by the wayside – we need that type of challenge for our youth.
I think the maddest I ever got at a coach was at Ernie Godfrey, the linebacker coach one day. He told me that I was not using my forearm blow correctly and that I needed extra work on it. He told me to be dressed in my uniform ready to practice my forearm blow on the practice field during the 1:00 rest period. This meant that I basically practiced all day. He said that I needed the extra work - but I needed the rest!
We worked very hard and had no water or breaks in our practices. One Saturday scrimmage was the hardest day I ever went through. We had a big scrimmage in the stadium and then rather than resting while the other teams scrimmaged, we went out to the practice field. There we ran 100-yard “Stop and Goes” until it was our turn to scrimmage again. You were on the go for over two hours. At the end of the scrimmage, Woody called us together and said that everyone had to run a 440 around the track in the stadium. He said the last two finishers had to run the 440 again. You cannot imagine the pushing and tripping that went on in that 440 to try to keep from being last. I was not one of the last two.
Afterwards, there were four players who had heat and kidney problems so much so that they missed the entire season. No one died but they were hurting, including one that later became an All-American. People today would think this was nothing but brutality. However, we did not think anything about it.
Each unit of the football team had a different colored jersey. You could be purple, green, white, etc. The goal was to get on Red 1 or Red 2. In 1954 a football player had to play both offense and defense in a game - there was no free substitution. You were allowed to put a new unit in once each quarter. Therefore, if you were on Red 1 or Red 2 you played in every quarter and were considered a starter.
Two fullbacks were ahead of me, Hubert Bobo who held the Ohio High School scoring record, and Don Vicic, a big strong player from Euclid; both were sophomores like I was. Don got hurt in the pre-season and I moved up to Red 2. This was the high point of my playing career at Ohio State. I was going to play in every game and letter as a sophomore. We opened up with Indiana and I played in all four quarters; I was on cloud nine.
In practice the next week, I ran the ball into the line and broke into the secondary. The safety came up to tackle me and I made a cut to avoid him. Something popped in my knee and I had to leave practice. The next day my knee was swelled, I could not walk, and had to be helped to the training room. Ernie Biggs, the trainer, told me that I needed to walk it off and so I spent the morning supporting myself between two tables and trying to walk.
This was the first time I had an injury that kept me from playing and I missed the next three weeks of practice. Years later when I was coaching at Michigan, all the coaches had to have a physical exam after Bo had his heart attack. The doctor told me I had a really loose knee and wondered when I had injured it. I told him about that injury in 1954 and he said I was lucky that I had not had a lot of problems with my knee.
When I did get back to practice, I was a forgotten player. I was just a scout player the rest of the season and only got into two more games. Before one game when I was still recovering, in the pre-game meeting Woody called out the opening kickoff team and I was on it. I could hardly walk and was surprised when he called my name; he quickly changed it to Dick Young.
We had a great team that year, going undefeated, beating USC in the Rose Bowl, and winning the National Championship. In a small unusual way I contributed to the success of that team. John Borton was starting his third year as the quarterback and was a great passer but not a real good runner. In practice one day we were tackling partners. When I tackled him, his thumb somehow got dislocated and put him out of action for a while. Dave Leggett, a very good runner, became the quarterback and led us to an undefeated season.
The big win of the year was over Michigan. We stopped Michigan on the one-foot line and then the offense took the ball 99 2/3 yards for the winning touchdown. This was a great OSU team led by Howard “Hopalong” Cassidy, Jim Parker, Dave Leggett and many others.
Last year I was reading a book on Woody Hayes when I came across a picture of the locker room celebration after that Michigan win and to my surprise, I was there cheering. It was funny to see a picture of yourself that you had never seen before, over fifty years later. Today I am proud to have been a member of that great championship team that beat Michigan, although I certainly did not contribute much.
Football weekends that fall were very exciting for a kid from Van Wert. The team would work out on Friday night and then go to dinner at the Scarlet and Grey golf course. We would then go to the State Capital and see a movie that had not yet been released to the public. For example, we saw the movie White Christmas in October and it was not released until December. We had our own private viewing theater. Then it was off to the Seneca Hotel to stay overnight. The next morning, we had the pre-game meal and then always a walk with Woody.
Riding the bus to Ohio Stadium was very exciting for me. I have been on many bus rides with football teams from Van Wert to Shawnee to various colleges and finally ending with West Point trips. There are many different things that I remember about those trips: Everyone singing as you return from a victory, total silence after a loss, the driver getting lost, the intense pre-game ride, and the send off at West Point for the Army-Navy game.
One bus ride has always stood out in my mind, the ride from downtown Columbus to Ohio Stadium on game day. It was like a dream come true for me. We loaded up in two buses at the hotel and headed for the stadium. Motorcycle cops would be in front, on the sides of the bus, and behind the bus, with their sirens blaring. It made you feel very important. Everyone stopped as we roared down Neil Avenue past 1490 where I roomed, on the way to the stadium. When we arrived at the stadium, the crowds would form a line for us to walk through, as they shouted words of encouragement. The Ohio State Saturday morning bus ride meant a lot to a 19 year-old kid struggling to succeed at OSU in 1954.
Everything about Ohio State football was first class. We had the best equipment money could buy, free passes to the main movie theaters, and on Sunday we could go downtown to Keating’s Restaurant for an all you could eat free meal. After practice we just threw our shirts, socks, etc. in the middle of the locker room and the next day you had a clean roll in your locker.
I got a big supply of OSU T-shirts, which I used for years to come. A friend of mine was Cleo Vaughn, a basketball player from Lima. He was the first black to play at Ohio State and his job was bringing the clean clothes rolls over to the locker room. He would give me T-shirts whenever I wanted them. One night Galen Cisco and I decided to get some clothes from the locker room. I backed my car up to the locker room window in the stadium and he threw out clothes to me. Enough about our stealing T-shirts, let’s move on.
After the victory over Michigan we started practicing for the Rose Bowl game. It was very cold in December but this did not hold us back. Woody always had a saying, “If you are going to fight in the North Atlantic, then you are going to train in the North Atlantic!” We were going to Southern California not the North Atlantic but that did not seem to mean anything to Woody. He never let the weather bother him and always wore a T-shirt to practice no matter how cold. We sometimes thought that maybe he had two or three T-shirts on but were never able to prove it. He never coached a game without a short sleeve shirt and tie but never a jacket. He always showered in the same shower room as the players. We called him “Triple belly” but of course not to his face.
I practiced that December in Columbus as a scout team player but I really was hoping to be on the travel squad. This was not to be as teams were only allowed a 44 men traveling squad in those days. The rest of the team, including me, went out on a train and we did not get to dress for the Rose Bowl.
In mid December the travel squad flew to California and the rest of the squad took the train. I remember driving down to Columbus to catch the train on the tenth anniversary of the death of Glenn Miller. The train ride was a two-day trip. The whole team attended the Bob Hope Show and we all made the trip to Tijuana. (There was no Disneyland in 1954.) We won the game in the rain and then the non-travel squad had a long train ride back to Columbus.
The Blindfold Drill was a success and I wish I had used it from the start. If ever I do this again, it'll be incorporated from the first day and used frequently, maybe daily, after that.
It works best with a CLEAN T-Shirt. Blindfolds loosen. If you slip the head-hole over the forehead and throw the rest back over the head, you're good to go.
Purpose: For plays that are very repetitive in nature, grooving the steps so that they are the same EVERY TIME allows the QB and Backs to focus on the External World, not something in the heads. It develops Body Awareness - The body does not have to "Looked At" to prevent Hit-or-Miss actions. "You do the same thing that you did last time and the same thing that you will do next time."
The HS Option QB has a hunnert things that Flash "OMG!!!" in his head when he first attempts a Mesh. The worst is that he feels he has to look the ball into the Back's hands since he is not sure that the Back will be there. Halfway through the Mesh, the QB points his toes, knees and hips backside, in an attempt to PULL the ball and run away from the developing Scene in front of him.
The Blindfold forces the QB to do what he has been taught: You can't see the FB so you look at where Coach Wilson is (Off the OTs hip) and let the FB clear, take 2 steps (on average) and Pitch.
SIGHT is left out of the Mesh Mechanics! Very quickly, the QB’s body begins to adjust and Groove the Body to Step - Look at Dive Key - Mesh - Let FB clear - Attack Pitch Key. The QB is the most relaxed player on the field - until the FB clears - and then all hell breaks loose.
QBs Mechanics are pretty OK here.
In 1978, I was flying an F-15 over Germany when I received a call from the controlling agency. An airliner was in trouble and I was asked if I could help. The controller explained that the pilot’s airspeed indicator was reading zero. This meant he had no way of knowing how fast he was going. This would be a problem on his descent and landing.
I located the airliner and joined up on his wing. After making radio contact, I suggested to the pilot that he fly on my wing all the way to touchdown at the Frankfurt airport. He said, “I can’t do that.” He explained that he did not how to fly in formation with another aircraft. I then suggested Plan B, that I fly on his wing and read off my airspeed every second or two. Since we would be flying together, we would be flying at the same speed. The airline pilot liked the idea so we headed to the airport. I asked him what speed he wanted to maintain at each phase of the flight.
About every two seconds, I would radio to him our mutual air speeds. He informed the control agency that we would be coming down together. The airline pilot did all the navigating - all I had to do was fly a few feet off his wing and read off my airspeed.
When we got to the most important part of the flight, the final approach, he lowered his landing gear and flaps. He had told me that he wanted to maintain 125 knots all the way to touchdown I kept reading off the airspeed. 124.... 125... 126... 125, etc.
As he began to round out for his touchdown, I moved my throttles forward and flew back to my base at Bitburg, Germany. I have often wondered what the passengers thought when they saw a fighter jet flying off the wing of their airliner. Did the pilot let them know what was going on? If so, did it cause them any concern?
What lessons can be learned from this event?
1. When you are in trouble, ask for help. Too many people try to solve problems by themselves. Ego, insecurity, lack of the ability to trust others or lack of a robust braintrust are just a few reasons why people are unwilling or unable to reach out for assistance.
2. When you are asked to help someone who is in need, drop what you were doing and move quickly to assist.
3. Be creative in looking for a solution to the problem.
4. If your first answer doesn’t work, come up with another.
Any kid playing football in the State of Ohio looked forward to someday playing football for the Ohio State Buckeyes. I certainly was no exception as I was a big OSU fan and wanted to play someday for the Buckeyes. I had been to a few games in Ohio Stadium as a youth and the hugeness of that stadium totally impressed me.
Starting in my junior year OSU started recruiting me, as they did all the outstanding players in the state. In the summer of both my junior and senior years I went to Columbus to a Frontliner recruiting picnic at Leo Yasenoff’s. My dad and Danny Murphy went along with me. The top players from all over the state, the Ohio State coaches, and the important alums were all there for the full day get-to-gather. It certainly gave a young kid from Van Wert the feeling of importance.
Ohio State was not the only school that recruited me, as I heard from over 70 schools. I visited OSU, Michigan, Purdue, Cincinnati, Kent State, and North Carolina, although my visit to North Carolina was different. Bob DeMoss recruited me for Purdue and was still there when I became the head coach. Michigan was a school that really fit my football abilities better than OSU did, but my loyalty was with the Buckeyes. I had been to several games at the University of Michigan and they ran the Single-Wing, which is what we played in high school. I was a very experienced Single-Wing spinning fullback and would have been good in that type of attack. Ohio State was a T-formation team and the fullback was mainly a blocker at that time.
Cincinnati was a big time program in the fifties with a famous coach, Sid Gilman. On my visit to the Bearcats my roommate was Len Dawson, who would become a great Purdue quarterback and All-Pro quarterback. Try-outs were illegal but on Saturday morning we all had to play a game of football, only Len Dawson was excused. It became a game of tackle football without pads, as the coaches all stood around and evaluated us. Kent State required us all to run timed 40-yard dashes, which also was illegal at the time. Frank Lauterbur was the coach that recruited me for Kent State and was the coach that my mother liked the best when he visited our home. North Carolina had me visit the Notre Dame – North Carolina game in South Bend, but I later cancelled my recruiting trip to North Carolina. It came down to three schools: North Carolina, Michigan, and OSU.
One other school that I contacted on my own was Minnesota. I liked Wes Fesler, a great Ohio State three-time All-American player, who had been the Ohio State coach. He had just recently been fired at Ohio State and Woody Hayes had taken his place. He wrote back and told me to go to my state school. I am not sure this would happen in today’s recruiting.
I made an official visit to Columbus with my parents and we all had lunch at the Faculty Club with Woody Hayes. After meeting and talking with Coach Hayes, my parents were completely sold on him and Ohio State. Woody was a great talker and recruiter with such a sincere voice and approach when he was selling you something. Later in the visit, Woody had a meeting with me in his office to talk to me about coming to Ohio State. He had me pull up my pants leg and felt my lower leg muscles. He said you could always tell a good football player by the size of his calf muscle, I passed the test.
In the fifties there were no athletic scholarships, only Grant-in-Aids. Every player had a job, to cover his tuition, room, and board. Woody also got me an academic scholarship to help with the cost. My job was in downtown Columbus in the State Capital Building and I worked for Mr. Diffenbaker, as a typist. Twice a week I would take a bus downtown and work for two hours. I would go to the State Finance Office and they would give me a stack of old letters, which I would retype. I never knew what happened to those letters but that was my job for two years at Ohio State.
There was never any real doubt about where I was going to go to school and so on my visit to OSU, I told Woody that I was coming. In early August I attended the Ohio All-Star game in Canton to watch Willie Hernandez play and was disappointed that I was only an alternate and not playing in the game myself. A group of guys from Van Wert went to Canton in three cars and that night we had sixteen guys stay over night in one hotel room.
The next morning Jim Baer and I got up early and drove to Columbus for our campus orientation. In those days parents were not included and the main event was to take the Ohio Psychological Test that all freshmen had to take before starting classes in the fall. I did not get a very good score in this test, which was supposed to predict your probable college success. I was in the 26th percentile and staying up the previous night in Canton, did not help. Two years later I had to take the same test when I transferred to BGSU and I scored in the 98th percentile.
Attending Ohio State in the fifties was different than it is today. School did not start until the end of September and OSU was on the trimester yearly schedule. Football practice started on September first and the first game was not until the end of September. Freshmen were not eligible for varsity football and could not start football practice until the first day of school. The enrollment at Ohio State in 1953 was 30,000+ and every male had to take ROTC for the first two years of school.
In late September, Jim Baer and I packed up my car and we were off to college, no parents, just the two of us. This was the first of many trips we made between Columbus and Van Wert over the next two years. We developed a system so we could make good time and not get caught by the state patrol. Jim watched out the back window for any police cars and I watched out the front. We drove fast and never got caught; it usually took us less then two hours to cover the 120 miles on a two-lane road.
One time driving home alone I came very close to getting killed. I was passing a big truck and another truck was coming at me. There was a narrow two-lane bridge that I had to get through. I gunned it around the one truck and just got back in my lane before the other truck passed me, I have never had a closer call.
At this time at Ohio State there was only one dormitory for men on campus, the Stadium Club, and most students lived off campus. Jim and I roomed at 1490 Neil Ave., about two blocks from campus. The house belonged to Jim Reeder’s mother, who lived there with her very old mother. Jim and I had one upstairs room, Carlton Tappan from Utah had one room, and Tom Wolff from Medina had the other room. We ate all our meals at a drugstore around the corner or at Pomeriene Hall on campus. I hardly ever drove my car as I either walked to campus or took the bus to downtown Columbus.
I wanted to be a coach and so my major was Physical Education with a minor in History. Jim Reeder worked out my schedule of classes for the next four years for me. Getting an education so I could be a coach in the future was important, but playing football at Ohio State was what I was really excited about doing for the next four years. I had played football for seven years and success had always come to me in a somewhat easy way. I guess that I expected the same type of success at OSU.
On the first day of school the freshmen football team met on the bleachers at the open end of the stadium. There were 107 recruited players at that meeting. I had never seen so many players together at one time and this was only one class. Our freshman coach was Bill Hess. Bill was one of the original Navy Seals in WW II and later the head coach at Ohio University. Bill gave us a pep talk and had us all sing The Buckeye Battle Cry. I was very surprised to find that there were 12 fullbacks in the class. When I saw the depth chart and I was listed as the 6th team left halfback, I knew I had my work cut out for me. I was a hard running fullback but did not have the speed for a halfback.
That first year we practiced every day but had no games. We were used as scout team; we called it cannon fodder, for the varsity. We had to wear kapoks to protect us from downfield blockers. The varsity would run a play and block us full speed, but we were not allowed to hit them. The kapoks were like a catcher protector in baseball, but covered your whole body and legs. Woody said that since we had protection on it was OK to block us and knock us down. We hated to wear those kapoks because you could not move with them on and you were like a standing dummy, which got knocked down on every play.
Practices were hard going against the varsity but each Friday we had a scrimmage against each other. One Friday Danny Murphy came down to spend the weekend with me. After the scrimmage we went over to the gym and played pick-up basketball for about three hours. I sprained my ankle and could hardly walk the next day. I went to the trainer and he asked me if I had sprained my ankle in Friday’s football scrimmage, I lied and said yes. I had a good full season as a freshman but had no way of knowing where I stood in the scheme of things football-wise.
The first semester I did fairly well in my studies, I did get a “C” in English. In a later semester I also got a “C” in sociology and those were the only “C’s” I ever got in college at both Ohio State and BGSU. Surprisingly some of the hardest courses I had were in physical education. In high school I never had to take gym as I was always playing sports, so I had never had gymnastics, etc. At Ohio State I had to demonstrate proficiency in each sport in order to pass the courses. Gymnastics with the side horse, parallel bars, high bars, etc. was very hard for me to learn and to do. Starting from scratch at age eighteen was a real challenge. We also had to perform in boxing, fencing, trampoline, swimming, golf, wrestling, etc.
I liked my classes in college and studied much more than I ever did in high school. I did my studying early each night and reviewed the total course regularly so that I did not have to cram for finals. In the evening I was ready to go to bed after we watched the original The Tonight Show with Steve Allen. Jim Baer on the other hand liked to start his studying after the show and this gave us both a problem. I wanted to shut the light off between ours beds and he wanted it on to study. Sometimes that light went on and off quite a few times.
Every male took ROTC at OSU and most of the football players were in the Air Force ROTC. I was in Air Force ROTC for the two years that I was at Ohio State. We had classes twice a week and drill once a week in uniform. I enjoyed these classes as we had WWII instructors who had many interesting stories to tell. Each spring there was a big May Day parade with about 18,000 ROTC students marching in it.
After football season my freshman year I went out for basketball and Fred Taylor, a future great basketball coach, was my freshman coach. I was late starting because of football but was able to stay on the freshman team until February.
Jim and I got along well and did a lot of things together. We played both intramural basketball and softball, winning championships in both. We attended a lot of movies and one weekend we decided to go for a record. We started on Friday night and went until Sunday night, seeing how many movies we could view. In those days there were a lot of neighborhood theaters and they always had double features. Our record was 24 movies in a 56-hour period. When the Dodger’s farm team, Montreal, was in town we went out to Redbird Stadium to see the minor league baseball games.
The same four roomers lived at 1490 Neil for the two years I was there. We got along fairly well. Tom Wolff was in the band and studying to be a lawyer. Carlton was a graduate student in geology. One time he would not turn off his TV when it was time to go to bed. I got mad and stood in front of his TV with a blanket outstretched. This caused a little conflict but it did not last long.
During my two years at Ohio State I did not date much as I was into football, my studies, and playing sports. I did take a young lady to the Olentangy River one night to see the “submarine races” and I did have a few dates in Van Wert in the summer.
Spring practice my freshman year was an exciting time. It was very competitive and was my first chance to show that I could play football at OSU. I worked up to third team fullback and decided to stay in Columbus and work on my football that summer. Only five of the original twelve were still at fullback after spring practice, so I felt good about my situation.
Boxing is big at USMA too, or was in my day. Boxing was required of everyone, so every last cadet could appreciate what it took to be good. Just about everyone turned out for the championship bouts. It was big in the Army too.
Muhammed Ali actually took part in a smoker at Camp Casey during my tour in Korea. Ali fought a huge Michigan Gold Glover from my company. The gym could seat about 10,000, and it was packed to the rafters, as they say...and would've been even if Ali hadn't been one of the boxers.
A few days after I graduated from high school I left for Camp Nelson Dodd. This was my start of life away from Van Wert and home. Camp Nelson Dodd was a YMCA camp located on the Mohican River near the small hamlet of Brinkhaven, in Southern Ohio. We used to sing a song at Nelson Dodd that goes like this: “ In the old Mohican Valley there’s a camp for all our Y boys that really fills the bill, strong in spirit, mind, and body in the YMCA way. Nelson Dodd is sure the place for our Y campers!” This pretty much tells what the camp was all about. I went there as a camper one summer and then served as a counselor two years.
When I arrived there in 1953 to spend the summer I shall never forget the feeling I had. The camp looked desolate, the grass was knee deep, the buildings all needed opening up and repaired, a bridge had to be put across the river, I knew no one, and I was going to spend the summer there without a car. When we did put the bridge across the river I almost got swept away in the current as we assembled the sections of the pontoon bridge. Twelve weeks sure seemed like a long time at first.
I was in charge of the athletic program and had a lot of selling to do. Most campers were interested in nature, crafts, canoeing, swimming, etc. They played sports at home and were not planning on playing much at camp. We promoted the sports the best way we could. One time we had a boxing match between counselors.
Bob Young and I were going to put on a boxing exhibition. We agreed that we could hit each other as hard as we wanted in the body but would not hit each other in the face. The first round I pounded his body hard and he got mad. In the second round I expected to get hit in the body but he hit me on my chin and almost knocked me out.
We did a lot of hiking, canoeing, and camping out; these were things that I really enjoyed doing. Canoeing was real fun, as we took the canoes up the river 15 miles and then canoed down to the camp. One trip to Killbuck was a 15-mile hike and then we stayed overnight. After we got the tents set-up, all the other counselors were so tired they just wanted to rest. However, the campers were still eager to do something. I organized a huge game of “Capture the Flag” and everyone had a great time.
The campers had to be in their cabins with lights out at 9:30. There were 10 campers with one counselor for each cabin. Once the campers were asleep, the counselors got together to do various things. One of the things we liked to do was to go out in a canoe and “Gig” frogs in the river. I remember one night that we blew cigarette smoke into one cabin and all the campers woke up crying. The counselor for that cabin had a real struggle getting the campers back to sleep.
In order to get a haircut you had to go into Danville, Ohio a small town about 8 miles away. The barber was Honus Wagner’s brother and he had pictures of Honus all over the walls. The only time we left the camp was for haircuts or once a week we got to go to a movie in Mt. Vernon. One of the other counselors was a great Glenn Miller fan and it furthered my interest in Miller music.
Nelson Dodd contributed three important things to my future life. First, it helped me mature and get used to being away from home. I spent the whole summer there and was a little homesick at first but quickly got over it and never really spent much time in Van Wert again in my life. Secondly, I learned all the songs that I sang with my kids as they were growing up. Songs like: Patsy-Patsy-ore-a, John Jacob Jinglehimer Schmidt, Lloyd George, Little Red Caboose, The Ship Titanic, etc.
Thirdly, I made friends with the camp doctor and his wife and he introduced me to Kahlil Gibran, which led to my interest in philosophy, Eastern thought, and “out of the box” thinking.
What a great experience Nelson Dodd was for me at that time in my life. Last year I was reading a biography of John Glenn, the astronaut, and he mentioned how important his experience at Nelson Dodd was for him as he was growing up. The last two-weeks of the summer, girls would come to the camp and Ellie Mallory was there the same year I was, although we were not there at the same time.
Nelson Dodd is no more and that is too bad. Many boys and some girls got a great experience at Nelson Dodd and it certainly helped me in my maturing.
Looking back on my early years I see many great and positive experiences. My early experiences provided me with positive beliefs that have stayed with me for a lifetime. I was constantly busy doing things that I liked to do and, in general, doing them successfully. I had supportive parents, good teachers, and some very good friends. I learned to be responsible, to lead, to get along by myself, and to decide what I wanted to do in life. Van Wert was a great place for me to spend my youth.
When I go back to Van Wert now and see Eggerss Stadium, it brings back many great memories. I remember standing in Section A, as a little boy, hoping to play football on that stadium field some day. What friends I made during those years! 50 years later they are still my friends even though we are all in different walks of life and different areas of the country.
This was pointed out very clearly to me last Spring (2007) when in a three week period I heard from the following: Elaine Reeder called from Hawaii, Dan Murphy, who now has Parkinson’s, called from North Carolina, Jim Baer, my old roommate called from Utah, Red Jordan e-mailed me from Indiana, Jim Miller e-mailed me from California, Ron Bagley e-mailed me from Van Wert, Willie Hernandez’s wife sent me an article about Willie and me from Van Wert, and I went out to dinner with Larry Smith in Tucson.
The first eighteen years were GREAT YEARS that I enjoyed, but I still had a lot to learn about the world. My early experience as a kid was one of being a “grown-up acting kid” who got to stay a kid as a grown up, not a bad deal! The next eighteen to twenty years I think of as the “striving for success years.”
First City Football Club (FCFC)
Washington DC Football Club (DCFC)
Washington Capital City Football Club (CCFC)
Administrators at West Point are embracing the radical racial politics that have taken hold over many American campuses, according to documents reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon. The prestigious military institution will not only adapt critical race theory into its curriculum but will also use such practices in admissions. A West Point diversity and inclusion plan for 2020 to 2025 said that in order for the academy to remain competitive with the civilian sector among potential applicants, the school must appeal to the sensibilities of "America’s younger generation." Inclusivity will matter just as much as marksmanship, according to the documents.
"The Armed Forces represent the nation it defends, including reflecting our nation's diversity," the document reads. "It is imperative that we leverage all aspects of the nation’s diversity … to create and sustain an inclusive organization that attracts the best that the nation has to offer. We must create an environment that appeals to the aspirations of American’s younger generation. Only then will we be successful in competing with the civilian sector for the highest quality recruits.”
We have embraced a neurotically death-averse attitude that would have been utterly foreign to previous generations, demonstrating a willingness to choose the preservation of life at the expense of all other values. We have become a society of Zoomified communication, of petty rules and Karens minding other people’s business, of cult-like faith in a priestly caste of Experts. These social and philosophical trends will be even harder to dislodge than any legal precedent.
Growing up, baseball was my favorite sport but it became the one that I had the least success in. I just could not hit the ball consistently. I was always on the team, played some, and lettered my senior year but never quite got the job done. I don’t know how much my eyesight hindered me in baseball but I sure was not much of a hitter.
My senior year I received three trophy awards: Most Valuable Football player, Most Valuable Basketball player, and the Outstanding Athletic award. Along with the junior high basketball trophy these were the only trophies I received. Certainly, times have changed in this regard. It seems you get a trophy today for just showing up.
Sports were all important to me during my high school years. Most boys develop an interest in sports but mine became a passion. My interest in sports was strictly on my own accord. My parents never encouraged me to play any sport. Every sport I started to play was my own decision. Once I was into a sport, then my parents supported me and were there to watch all my games.
In high school every day was filled with some sport. Every noon I would hurry home and eat and then get right back to school for basketball. On Saturdays it was basketball all day long at the YMCA and Sundays were either Fungo hitting or pick up football games on the stadium field. Of course, every night after school we practiced either football, basketball, or baseball.
I had an early leadership role in junior high school in both football and basketball. I was big for my age and was able to dominate in basketball. This changed a little bit in high school as I stayed the same size and my teammates grew taller. In football my size allowed me to run over anyone who tried to tackle me. I feel that most of the players looked up to me for leadership.
Coach Smith showed great confidence in me when he chose me to direct our football team on the field starting in my sophomore year. I loved the challenge of being the signal caller and I did a good job. This probably helped me decide early in my high school years that I wanted to be a coach. I used to sit in study hall and try to devise a new system of football. I even had a name for my new system – The Split-Z.
Thinking about those high school years brings back so many memories and thoughts of friends like: Willie Hernandez, Red Jordan, Danny Murphy, Dick Smith, and many others. We had great fun on the bus coming back from the away games and always sang all the way home, if we won, which we usually did. We would stop at Balyeat’s Restaurant for our after game meal.
We had eleven football players in our senior class. When we had our fifty-year reunion, ten of the former teammates returned and the eleventh had died. I think that says something about the great team of 1952.
Coaches and heroes certainly played a key role in my formative years. I had my early heroes such as Jackie Robinson of the Dodgers in baseball, Doak Walker of Southern Methodist in football, and Bob Cousy of the Boston Celtics in basketball. My teams were the Dodgers, the Celtics, and the Cleveland Browns in football. My college teams were Ohio State and, early on, Southern Methodist. The most important heroes however were my coaches, starting with Jim Reeder.
Jim Reeder came to Van Wert in 1950 to coach basketball, baseball, and assist in football. He became my mentor, friend, coach, and hero. We never called each other Jim. I always called him Coach and he called me Brigham. He was my basketball and baseball coach for three years. He was so full of life, worked us very hard, had that charisma that attracted all of us who played for him, and had a young sharp wife. He had played basketball, baseball, and football at Ohio State. He had to give up football after he broke his leg. He spent three years in the Marines during World War II. I had an early interest in the Marines, in Ohio State, in sports, and in coaching; Coach Reeder just seemed to symbolize all of these things rolled up into one.
I became very close to Jim Reeder much the same as Don Dwyer became very close to me later on in my life. I helped him move, baby-sat some, and spent time with him other than just at practice. One year he took me to Bowling Green to watch the Cleveland Browns in pre-season practice. He had played with several of the Browns at Ohio State and so I got introduced to many of my Brown heroes like Otto Graham. I even got up the nerve to ask his wife, Elaine, to dance with me at the Prom. Nobody thought that I had the nerve to ask her and nobody thought that she would dance with me; but she did.
He taught me how to shoot a fade away-banked hook shot and would play pick up basketball games with all of us. I really enjoyed his health class as he talked about things that interested me. When it came time to prepare for college, he worked out my class schedule and I roomed at his mother’s house at 1490 Neil Avenue in Columbus.
After Van Wert I kept in contact with him and Elaine over the years. Jim died at the early age of 49. I always wished that he could have been alive when I became the head coach at Arizona, Purdue, and West Point. I think of him often and find it hard to believe that he would be 84 years old now. In my mind he is still that young, tough, aggressive coach that I loved. I always tried to model my coach-player relationship in the same way as he did with me. He was tough, fair, and was able to relate to you on a personal basis, even though you knew he was still your coach and in charge.
Coach Reeder contributed to my success over the years in many ways, but two stand out for me. One of the strong points of my coaching was my ability to relate to my players in a personal way; I got that from Jim Reeder. The second way he helped me was in the area of my own personal life. I went steady with a girl though most of my high school years. Jim and Elaine felt that I was limiting myself and that I had a future, which did not allow me to be tied down at an early age. I broke up with my girl in my senior year and their influence helped me do it; it certainly was the right decision. Jim Reeder came into my life at the right time and had a great influence on my entire life. While Jim has been gone for a long time I still stay in contact with Elaine Reeder. She has visited us, as well as her daughter Becky, and she calls Jane and I quite often.
In football all of the coaches I played for or worked for were Hall of Fame coaches. My high school coach Gil Smith was one of the original Ohio High School Hall of Fame coaches. My college coaches, Woody Hayes and Doyt Perry, are both in the National Football Hall of Fame. I worked for Bo Schembechler, who also is a National Hall of Fame coach. Each of these men helped mentor my coaching career.
The first and probably the most important mentor was Coach Smith. Gil Smith coached at Van Wert from 1941 until 1959. He won 130 games and lost 30 with a winning percentage of 75%. He won 12 WBL Championships and had a 46 game winning streak covering five years. He was truly a great high school football coach.
From the time that Coach Smith noticed me, when I was in the eighth grade, I was his boy. I was big for my age and could really run over all tacklers in junior high football. I guess this is the reason, even though I was only 13 years old, he brought me up to practice with the high school team.
I started for him all four years in high school. He had great confidence in me as a tough football player and as an intelligent one as well. He had me calling the plays from my sophomore year on.
Coach Smith was older when I played for him but loved to talk football strategy with me. One of the courses that I had to take was Algebra and Coach Smith taught that class. He would teach the first half of the period and then give everyone study time. During study time he always called me up to his desk to discuss football. I was not very good in Algebra but I liked the study part of the class. When he had a free period and I had study hall, He would have me come down to his office and talk football.
He had some great expressions that he would use during practice. He would say, “You are not worth a wooden nickel.” He always got upset that we were not fast runners and would say, “All I get on my team is the south Germans, who have no speed.”
Today all the football programs have computer game viewing, using advanced technology. We had 16 mm game film and viewed it with a screen and projector. After we played a game on Friday night the film was sent to Chicago to be developed and was returned 10 days later. This meant that we had already played another game before we got to look at the film of our previous game. You can see that studying game film was not a big thing for us in those days. To top it all off, Coach Smith did not know how to string the film on the projector: he always had me do it. My, how football has changed.
I learned a lot playing football under Gil Smith. He was a quiet, intelligent man, who had the ability to demand the best from his players. He knew how to win. He certainly gave me a great foundation for my future coaching career.
Mike Kish was my first high school basketball coach but left after my freshman year to go to Upper Arlington High School in Columbus. He was a very fine person and a good coach. He helped me early by teaching me how to shoot a basketball when I was 12 years old. He also gave me the opportunity to play in my first varsity basketball game as a freshman.
Over the years he always stayed in touch with me and was very good in visiting my parents during their later years. He was very happy when his son, Tim, coached for me for several years both at Purdue and Army. Even though Mike only coached me for a short time, I have always held him in high esteem.
One other individual needs to be mentioned as a person who influenced my early football career. Ken (Gene) Wable was a former Van Wert player who was eight years older than I was. When he would come to his parent’s home in Van Wert on vacations, I would go over and we would discuss football and look at football films.
He later became a very successful coach at Mt. Union College in Alliance, Ohio. Mt. Union College dominated Division III football today and Ken is the coach who first developed that great program.
Ahead of us was a trip across the North Pacific from Pearl Harbor to San Francisco. There were enough life preservers for everyone, but not enough lifeboats on the ship for 2000 passengers. Hence, my grandmother, who was in her sixties, was not assigned a seat on a lifeboat. She was issued a life preserver. If we had been sunk by a Japanese submarine, she would have gone down with the ship. In the cold water of the North Pacific, she would have perished quickly.
As I recall the rules, no one over the age of 40 was assigned a seat on a lifeboat. The policy was clear - older people did not count as much as children and young adults. At age 7 I learned about the rationing of life.
The lesson was not clear to me at the time. However when I reached adulthood I realized that there are some situations where there are no good answers, yet decisions need to be made. For instance, a combat medic who is dealing with many wounded soldiers sometimes has to leave someone who is unlikely to survive in order to treat others who, if given rapid treatment, have a better chance of survival.
Starting my sophomore year I received a great honor from Coach Smith. In those days a senior always called the plays in the game but he selected me to be the signal caller. In my day coaches did not call the plays from the sidelines but a player on the field made all the calls. For three years I made all the decisions and called all the plays on the field for both the offense and the defense. This responsibility was of great help in preparing me to be a future coach.
One call I made in the Bellefontaine game I shall never forget. We were behind 13-0 in the fourth quarter with what I thought was a third and two on our own 32-yard line. I called for a fullback buck into the line with me carrying the ball. When I got to the line of scrimmage and looked at the game clock, I saw it was fourth and two. I had no choice; I had to make a first down. I hit into the line with my head down and finally ran over the safety 16 yards down the field. In the fourth quarter, I scored two touchdowns and we won 14-13. I passed out in the locker room from exhaustion after the game and had to go to the hospital, but I was soon all right.
Van Wert changed basketball coaches in 1950 and I was not too happy at first. Mike Kish had been our coach and I knew that I would be a starter as a sophomore; with a new coach I was not so sure. Jim Reeder, the new coach, did not know me like Mike did and I thought I would have to prove myself all over again. I did start that year but our best year in basketball was the next year when we went to the regional in Toledo. Early that season I convinced Coach Reeder to give a little 140 lb. kid a chance. Danny Murphy was his name and hustling basketball was his game.
Danny and I would full court press the whole game as we both were in great shape. We also always had a lot of fouls called on both of us. One night against Lima South, Danny fouled out in the first quarter and I had to press by myself the whole game. Once again I passed out after the game over a water cooler and had to go to the hospital.
The greatest competitor I ever played with was Danny Murphy and we became great friends. The intensity level was quite high when we played basketball together. Today we are both old men that may never see each other again, however, my respect for him as a competitor has no bounds. I can still feel in my gut the intensity that we used to generate together when we were teammates.
Whenever we played a pick-up game we always wanted to be on the same side. We would take on six or eight other guys and feel we could beat them by ourselves. I called him Marquis Haynes and he called me Goose Tatum. Marquis and Goose were the stars of the Harlem Globetrotters at that time. I hung out at his house, Murphy’s Grocery, and he always had the pre-game meal of grilled cheese at my house.
Football my junior year was a little down year for us as we lost the championship to Celina 7-9 when they ran a punt back for a touchdown at the very end of a rain soaked game. Jim Bagley got hit in the head early in one game and could not remember his plays. In those days we called it “Getting your bell rung”; today it would probably be called a severe concussion. He stayed in the game and I told him what to do on each play. He played the whole game and the next morning did not recall anything about the game the night before.
My senior year was our year in football. We went undefeated and finished 9th in the state, which was the highest that Van Wert had ever finished. I believe that I contributed some good leadership that year. The Van Wert fair always went on during our pre-season practices and one Saturday morning only 17 players showed up for practice. I went to each player who missed practice and got them to agree to not miss any more practices. One game Lloyd Lee, a tackle from the Marsh, got hurt and was lying on the ground. I bent over him and told him he was faking. He tried to slug me but he got up and played the rest of the game. He later became a preacher. My philosophy was I did not care if they liked me, as long as they respected me.
Three games stand out in the season of 1952. First is the Bellefontaine game because I got a hip pointer the day before the game and could hardly run without great pain. I played the whole game and scored the only touchdown of the game. The second game was the biggest game ever played in Van Wert. St. Mary’s had a great team with Galen Cisco as their leader and fullback. We later played together at Ohio State and he went on to pitch in the major leagues for many years.
Everyone expected St. Mary’s to win as they were just rolling over all opponents. A huge crowd lined the field; the largest crowd in Van Wert history. The week of that game I decided that if we got close to the goal line, I was going to score. Every night after practice, I got on the twenty-yard line and then ran and dove into the end zone. I practiced that dive 20 times after every practice that week. While it may not seem true, in the first five minutes of the game I scored 2 TD's diving into the end zone. Willie Hernandez also had a great game with several long runs and we won 33-7.
In the 1940’s Army had two straight national championships and dominated college football. A great pair of running backs, Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis, who the press called Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside, led the Cadets. Around Northwestern Ohio they started calling Willie and I, Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside. We considered that quite an honor.
The last and most important game of 1952 was the Lima Central game. We had not beaten Lima Central in three years and needed to beat them for an undefeated season. The game was played at Lima Stadium and was scoreless in the first half. I made up my mind that we were going to score the start of the third quarter. I called my own plays and carried the ball for 13 straight plays until we were on the 4-yard line. I then called “Buck-Lateral 26”. On this play I took the ball and started into the line and then gave the ball to Jim Jordan who then pitched the ball to Willie around the end. It worked perfectly as everyone tackled me and Willie went across the goal line for our first score. We ultimately won the game 26-0.
It was a great thrill to play on our undefeated football team. Coach Smith was selected to coach in the High School All-Star game at Canton, Willie was selected to play in that game and I was selected as an alternate but did not get to play in the game. We seniors gave Coach Smith a gold plated card for his billfold after the season. He always said that the 1952 team was his greatest team. This is quite a statement because from 1954 until 1959 Van Wert never lost a game. After his death, his wife gave me that gold plated card and said he always wanted me to have it. I felt honored that he would select me out of the hundreds he had coached over the years.
During my career I scored 49 touchdowns but the one thing I am most proud of is never missing a game or a quarter for four years. I did receive some injuries but I always played. My sophomore year I had a severely bruised shin bone and the bone started to soften. I was not allowed to practice much, but with a special fiberglass pad I could play in the games. This injury did get me out of Latin class and also resulted in a D in Latin. Everyday for six weeks I had to go to the doctor’s office for treatment and I chose to go during Latin class. This was both a good decision and a bad decision on my part.
In my junior year I got a hip-pointer, which gave me great pain for about a week. My senior year I received my worst injury. I separated my shoulder in the second game of the year. I had always done the passing and punting for our team but had to give up my passing responsibility, as I could not lift my arm up at all. I wore an air pad on my shoulder and did not miss any games. It took almost a year before I had good movement in my shoulder again.
All of this bragging on how tough I was simply brings me to the one record that I think is unusual and that I am proud of – 144 straight quarters of high school football in 36 straight games.
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Little League Softball World Series is in an uproar this year because boys who joined a girls team are playing in what has traditionally been an all-girls event.
Parents, teams and tournament officials say the five 16-year-old boys from Arizona have an unfair physical advantage, and may even pose a danger to girls. Some teams are threatening not to play the team, and the tournament director himself is protesting.
"It looks like they stacked the deck. Those boys are huge," said Val Maslauskas, a parent from a Massachusetts team whose players wore mouth guards to protect themselves in a 10-2 loss to the Arizona team Wednesday. "We're trying for equality for these girls and this is not equal."
The crowd erupted in cheers when one of the boys was thrown out at second base and booed at a collision between an Arizona boy and a Westfield girl at first base.
"They made catches in the outfield that no girl could have gotten to," said Kelly Popko, who played third base for Westfield, Mass.
Little League Baseball Inc. made its softball and hardball divisions nongender specific in 1974 after losing lawsuits filed by boys demanding to play softball, spokesman Lance Van Auken said Wednesday.
The first girl played in the Little League Baseball World Series in 1984. The Arizona boys are the first to play in the softball series.
"Little League's preference is that the softball division be for girls," Van Auken said. "It would be nice if there were a legal solution to it."
Richie Reyes and four other boys signed up for the girls team after their usual summer baseball league disbanded. He doesn't see what the fuss is about and says the girls' team needed more players.
"We were all brought up to believe that an athlete's an athlete," he said.
Four teams have indicated they won't play the team. A Philippines team had originally threatened not to play, but players changed their minds and wound up beating the boys-and-girls squad 3-2 Tuesday night.
Describing an "undercurrent of unhappiness," tournament director Bud Vanderberg said he will take the issue to the national Little League board of directors next week.
"I will do what's in my power to change this to make sure it's all girls playing in this tournament," he said.
By Chris Vannini Jan 29, 2021
Whenever Tom Flores showed up on TV, everything in the Aranda household stopped. It didn’t matter what they were doing. The family would gather around the screen.
Dave Aranda grew up in Southern California in the early 1980s. At that time, in that place, Flores was the king, as head coach of the Oakland and then Los Angeles Raiders, winning Super Bowls in 1980 and 1983. It wasn’t just that Flores coached a winner. He’s Mexican-American. So was Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett. Just like the Arandas.
Dave Aranda, whose parents came from Mexico, is now the head coach at Baylor. He vividly remembers that time as a child and what family members would say about Flores when he popped up on the TV.
“There’s one of us. That’s us, right there.”
Like Aranda, Miguel Reveles is also a second-generation Mexican-American from Southern California. He didn’t follow the NFL much as a kid, but his brother was a Raiders fan. Now the offensive coordinator at Division III La Verne, Reveles remembers hearing the same thing about Flores growing up.
“My brother would talk about him, ‘He’s like us,’” Reveles says. “Him explaining that to me pushed me as I went into coaching.”
At Boise State head coach Andy Avalos’ introductory news conference earlier this month, a reporter told the coach a Hispanic fan had said they already bought season tickets because their 9-year-old son was excited to see a coach who looked like them. Avalos, whose grandparents came from Mexico, needed a few seconds to collect himself.
“That’s why we do what we do,” Avalos replied. “You talk about pressure and expectations, we focus on doing right so we can provide an example to young people like that.”
Flores, now 83 years old, is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, with a final announcement expected any day. Avalos’ hiring at Boise State made him the fourth Hispanic coach to land an FBS head coaching job in the past two years, and the sixth in the past four — along with Aranda, UNLV’s Marcus Arroyo, New Mexico’s Danny Gonzales, Miami’s Manny Diaz and Oregon’s Mario Cristobal. In the NFL, Ron Rivera took the Washington Football Team to the NFL playoffs this year and Brian Flores won 10 games with the Miami Dolphins.
At a time when a spotlight is on the lack of minority head coaching hires in football — just two in the NFL and two in college in this cycle — Hispanic coaches hope their recent success landing jobs is a sign of things to come. They hope it can lead to not only more opportunities for other Hispanic coaches but also that the high-profile representation can persuade and inspire more Hispanic youth to get into football and get into coaching, just as people like Flores did for them.
It’s something Flores didn’t have when he came up in the sport. He was the first Hispanic starting quarterback in pro football history. But even he didn’t realize his own impact until after he won those Super Bowls as a coach. His success created immense pride in Hispanic communities.
“I just didn’t think about it until I was traveling the country later, and Hispanics would come out of their way to see me,” Flores says. “One person said, ‘When you won your Super Bowl, my dad cried.’ Why? ‘Because he was so happy and proud.’ I didn’t even know this guy. He said his father sat in front of the TV and cried. I thought, wow, this is bigger than I ever thought.
“I never thought about it when I was throwing a football as a kid with no shoes.”
Like Flores, a number of Hispanic coaches in college football are the sons or grandsons of immigrants. Flores worked in fields growing up. Reveles’ parents came from Mexico, and English was his second language when he was a kid. Same with Cristobal, the Oregon coach, whose parents left Cuba separately and met in Miami. Cristobal remembers his parents working two jobs and attending night school to attain citizenship and learn English. His father, Luis, died in the mid-1990s, and his mom still lives in his childhood home in Miami. They came from nothing, as he says, and they wouldn’t let him make excuses. Cristobal started his coaching career as a graduate assistant making no money as his parents dealt with health issues.
“They were always working hard, learning the language, doing everything humanly possible to educate my brother and I on the importance of working hard, doing things right, making zero excuses and finding a way,” Cristobal says.
At Oregon, Cristobal hired one of the most diverse staffs in the country. Two years ago, Arroyo was his offensive coordinator and Avalos was his defensive coordinator. Offensive line coach Alex Mirabal is Cuban-American as well, and the staff included four Black assistants and a Polynesian assistant. The Ducks athletic department received the NCAA/Minority Opportunities Athletic Association’s 2020 Award for Diversity and Inclusion.
One person who has worked with Cristobal said he believes a number of Hispanic coaches got their shot because Cristobal gave them a chance at FIU or Oregon when others wouldn’t. It took another Hispanic coach to believe in them.
You could say my coaching career started in eighth-grade basketball. Our coach’s wife was having a baby and he put me in charge of the game, so he could be with her at the hospital. After the season we all received a trophy, which I consider my most cherished award along with my Hall of Fame ring. Awards were not given out very much in my day, certainly not like they are today. For example, I did not receive another trophy until four years later. I believe my dad had something to do with giving the money so that we all could get our basketball trophies.These excerpts from the memoirs of Hall of Fame coach Jim Young (Arizona/Purdue/Army) are printed with the permission of Coach Young
Football started for me in the sixth grade and I had a rather tough introduction to the game. I told my dad that I needed a pair of football shoes but he thought that he could make me a pair and save a little money. He took an old pair of my shoes and drilled holes in the bottom. He then put cleats on the shoes and screwed the posts through the holes in the bottom of the shoes. I wore those shoes exactly one day, the bottoms of my feet were all cut up and bleeding. The next day I got a pair of real football shoes. Putting on a football suit was a new experience for me and I did not know which way some of the pads went on at first. Our helmets were made of leather and of course we had no face bars in those days.
Practice, practice, practice is all we did in the sixth grade. We did play pick-up games in the stadium on Saturday mornings. Playing Fourth Ward one Saturday, I was able to run over most of the kids anytime I wanted to. The only player that could tackle me was Dick Smith. Dick and I later played together in high school and double dated a lot.
We did get to play a few games in the seventh grade and by the time I was in eighth grade I was outstanding. It may sound like bragging but no one could stop me, I could run over anyone my age. That year we played Coldwater twice and the first game I scored almost every time I carried the ball. The Coldwater coach said that they would cancel the second game if I played. I did not get to play in the first half but my coach said that I could play in the second half if I did not score a touchdown. Coldwater kicked off to us and I ran the ball back through everyone and then downed the ball on the 10 yard-line. My coach was really mad at me, but he asked for it.
In order for me to be able to see better, I got contact lenses. They were very new at that time and I had to go to a doctor in Ft. Wayne weekly for about six weeks to get them fitted correctly. The lenses covered the whole eye and you put them in and took them out with a suction cup. Theses contacts really helped me see, particularly at night. One time in high school I put both contacts in the same eye before a game and could not understand why everything was so blurred.
My introduction to high school football started in the eighth grade, as I was asked to practice with the high school team. Gil Smith was our great high school football coach; respected by all, feared by some, and winner of many championships at Van Wert. My introduction to him happened one noon lunch period when I was coming back to school with a bag of donuts. I looked up ahead and saw Coach Smith walking and so I slowed down so that he would not see the donuts and me. Sweets in those days were called “Pogey Bait” and were taboo with most coaches, the same as going with a girl was taboo. To my chagrin, he stopped and waited for me to catch up to him, so I had no choice but to talk with him. He said nothing about my donuts but asked me if I would like to start practicing with the high school team.
Eighth graders just did not practice with the high school team; I was really excited but also very scared. I might have been excited but the varsity players were not too happy to have a lowly eighth grader practicing with them and they gave me a tough time. Our practice field was 10 blocks from the high school and you had to walk to get to it after school. The upperclassmen rode their bikes and made me run all the way. They would take my school clothes and put them in the locker room toilet, sometimes in practice they handed the ball to me the wrong way, so I would fumble it. It was tough but something that also made me very proud to be with the high school team and it certainly made me a tougher person. Coach Smith was getting me ready for four years of high school football and I believe that that practicing really helped me be ready to start as a freshman the next year.
1949 was my freshman year in high school and we had a championship football team, only losing one game. I started on defense at linebacker and played some on offense at fullback. I was able to score four touchdowns that year.
The first few days of practice were a little different, as they had no helmet that would fit my big head. Coach Smith said that when he played they did not use any helmets so I should just go ahead and practice until a new helmet arrived. I practiced three days without a helmet; don’t think you could get away with that today. There were no water breaks in those days and only “Candy Asses” would drink water during practice, however, we did get young kids to sometimes smuggle water to us on occasion.
My first varsity experience was at Lima Stadium in the pre-season Jamboree, four teams played a rotating practice game against each other. I was scared to death as I ran down on the opening kick-off. I hit the ball carrier or he ran into me, but either way after that hit I was no longer scared.
Our opening game was against Bryan. I played defense in this game but got to play offense in the fourth quarter. Bill Fellers, who I looked up to, called the plays and he let me carry the ball. The first play I got 13 yards and then I scored my first touchdown from one yard out, what a thrill! Here is an English class paper I wrote about that occasion:
THRILLS, THRILLS, THRILLSI was the only freshman to earn a letter that year and Coach Smith honored me in an unusual way. He “allowed” me to hold the dummy for every one of the senior’s last tackle. It was a tradition for each senior to take his last tackle the last practice. Each senior would run full speed for about 15 yards and than tackle a dummy. Someone had to hold the dummy and it was me. All fifteen seniors went over the top of the dummy to get one last hit on me. All in all my entire entire freshman year in football was a success as I played in every quarter of every game.
Most people have a thrill they think is the greatest they have ever
It may be anything from being President of the United States to being run
over by a car. I want to tell you about my thrill.
To start with the beginning we must go back to 1949. I was a freshman and
just new in high school. I went out for football and as all freshmen do, I got my
share of initiation from the seniors. I didn’t think I had a chance of playing. As
it turned out, in our first practice game, I played a little defense but no offense.
As always we played our first game with Bryan. The game was here. Since
the game starts at 8 o’clock we were supposed to be dressed by 7 o’clock. I got a
little nervous and was at the school by 4:30 ready to go. Just a little sick on my
Now to get to my thrill. When the game started I was in there on defense. Was
I scared! After a while I got a good hard tackle and got over that. Near about the
fourth quarter coach decided to put me in on offense. He sent Bill Fellers, my
idol, in with me. As he was the only one of the regulars who talked to me, he
became my best football buddy. Without him I don’t know how I could have
The first time I ever carried the ball I got 13 yards, which built up my
confidence. Bill took the ball and ran for 19 yards and we moved down the field.
Very soon we were on the one-yard line. Don’t ask my why, but Bill called a
signal to let me carry the ball. The next play it happened. I drove over the line for
a touchdown. You can’t imagine the thrill that filled me. As the boys tackled me
over the goal line I was so utterly shocked I didn’t even get up, I just lay there for
To top it all off, after the game in the showers, the fellows began talking to me.
I was one of the team now.
ATLANTA, GA—Georgia has hung up signs at all entrances to the state reading "Welcome to Beijing," cleverly disguising the state as the capital of Communist China. The ploy was designed to trick liberal companies threatening to boycott into staying and doing business in the state.
"It's a brilliant plan, if I do say so myself," said Georgia Governor Brian Kemp as he nailed another Beijing sign atop a "Welcome to Georgia" sign along the interstate. "When these Hollywood companies, airlines, and baseball leagues see that we're actually just the capital of a country that throws its citizens into concentration camps, murders journalists, and oppresses women and children, they'll love doing business here."
By 1955 I had moved on to the challenges of college, thus my time of listening and watching the Dodgers was coming to a close. I did go to Cincinnati in the summer and see Sandy Koufax pitch one of his first big league games. In the fall of 1955 I had transferred to Bowling Green and was a new student who did not really know anyone who had a TV to watch the World Series. I did see a little of it in Kaufman’s Bar but I really missed out on the only World Championship that the Brooklyn Dodgers ever won. In 1956 Jackie Robinson retired and by 1958 there was no more Brooklyn Dodgers.
It is hard to tell what type of Dodger fan I would have been if they had stayed in Brooklyn. I was still a Dodger fan but not really an LA fan. I cheered for the Dodgers but did not really follow baseball during my coaching career. I did get to meet Jackie Robinson in 1962, Carl Erskine in 1977, PeeWee Reese in 1979, and Don Newcombe in 1983. My interest decreased in the Dodgers as the old Brooklyn connection faded out. Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale were the last Brooklyn Dodgers to hold my attention. I did read a few books about the Dodgers but not many during this period.
When the book Boys of Summer came out in the early eighties, it renewed my interest and from time to time I would run across old Dodger fans. When I was coaching at West Point I ran into a janitor one day in an elevator. He had a Brooklyn Dodger t-shirt on and I asked him if he was a Dodger fan. I told him about the 1947 World Series game I attended. He said, “Oh, you mean the game that Bevens pitched a no-hitter until Lavagetto got that double? I was there.” It had been 40 years ago but we both had our memories of that game –the football coach and the janitor.
In the 1990’s I was aware of the Dodger Adult Baseball camp at Vero Beach, Fla. but of course could do nothing as long as I was coaching. After I retired I decided that I would go to Vero Beach and play baseball. I had never been able to hit the ball very well and I had not played baseball in 40 years, so I knew my work was cut out for me.
I worked hard for six weeks to get ready for the camp. I had my son and son-in-law hit me fly balls. I went to a bar 3 or 4 times a week to use their batting machine. I started with the little league speed machine and worked up to the Nolan Ryan machine. I ran a lot of sprints to get my legs in shape.
In February I was ready for my spring training. Camp was a little different than I expected. There were 85 campers and about 55 were repeat campers. The average age was 40 years of age and most of the campers played semi-pro ball the year around. I was the ninth oldest camper and when I had to bat against a young left-handed pitcher with number 32 on (Sandy Koufax ‘s old number) I knew I was in for a challenge.
The old Brooklyn Dodgers such as Duke Snider, Carl Erskine, Clem Labine, and
Ralph Branca were there and I really enjoyed talking with them. The rookies, which I was one, had to try-out and the Vero Beach team, managed by Steve Garvey, selected me.
We played or practiced baseball from early morning till evening. We had batting practice, conditioning, lectures, and played 8 games in five days. I played outfield and our team tied for the championship. Jane tells how when she talked to me on the phone the first night, I was all fired up but by the third night my voice sounded really tired. I worked hard to get my legs in shape but still pulled the muscles in my thighs. It became a struggle to run fast.
My roommate was the oldest camper at the age of 70. He had played for the Dodgers in the minor leagues in 1947. Seeing the two of us trying to get out of bed in the morning and go to practice must have appeared very funny.
The big game of the week was a benefit game against the former Dodgers with Tommy Lasorda pitched the first few innings. When I came to bat, I knew I was in trouble. I was left-handed and so was he. Jeff Torberg was the catcher and he went out to remind Tommy who was batting. I had Tommy come to West Point and speak at one of our football banquets and Jeff used to come to our spring football practices in Tucson when he was the manager of the Cleveland Indians. Tommy threw me nothing but curveballs and I struck out.
The last day we played our last game in the morning. I was proud of myself because I had played all the games and I had not made an error. We were sitting in the locker room eating our lunch when someone came in and said for us to get back out on the field, as we had a play-off game to still play. I thought, “Oh! Not another one.” I did make it through the game without making an error but my hitting left a lot to be desired.
During the camp at night we had various activities to do. A lot of the old Brooklyn natives would play Dodger Trivia and one night I asked to play. I have always known a lot about the Brooklyn Dodgers and their history but very little about the LA Dodgers.
They were not too happy to have an outsider come into their game. They thought they would ask me a tough question and see if I really knew anything about the Dodgers. The first question that I was asked was who scored the winning run in Game Four of the 1947 World Series. I said, “Eddie Miksis!” They all looked at me and wondered how I could know that. The best trivia player looked at me and said, “ If you know so much, who was he running for?” I said, “Pete Reiser, who had just walked and had a bad ankle.” After that I was accepted as a true Dodger fan!
All in all it was a great experience, a lot of fun, and a lot of hard work. I now have a Dodger uniform (#42) and a baseball card with my picture on it.
I have a good memory and those old Dodger facts are still very strong in my mind. One time Jerry Kindall was telling one of the coaches that he worked with in USA Baseball that I was a knowledgeable Dodger fan. This coach had grown-up with the Dodgers and told Jerry to ask me a question, which he was sure I could not answer. The question was to name the starting line-up for the Dodgers in the 1941 World Series. Jerry was amazed when I named every one of them.
Today most of those old Dodgers are dead or about eighty years old. That is very hard for me to accept, for to me they will always be my “Boys of Summer.” I have over 70 books on the Dodgers and I am still adding to my personal library, as I just read six new books on the Dodgers. On the Internet the Brooklyn Dodgers appear to be very much alive even though they have not existed for over 50 years. I will always be a fair weather Los Angeles Dodger fan but a true Brooklyn Dodger fan. For a short 10 years they filled up a big part of my thoughts and will always be a strong passion with me. Look around my office and the Brooklyn Dodgers still live. The pictures, the autographed balls, and the 1947 World Series ticket stub above my computer. Thoughts and videos of those old Dodgers can still bring tears to my eyes. In my goal-setting class at the Gospel Rescue Mission I have one lesson on “What can we learn from Jackie Robinson?”
I will close this section with a quote from the book, Double Play, by Robert Parker. He is of my vintage and himself a Dodger fan from afar. He writes:
Normally on Sundays teams played a doubleheader, so all the slow summer
afternoons I would hear Red Barber’s play-by-play with Connie Desmond, until
the sound of it became the lullaby of summer, a song sung in unison with my
father. I saw Ebbets Field in my imagination long before I ever saw the bricks
and mortar. The rotunda, the right field screen with Bedford Avenue behind it.
Shaefer Beer, Old Gold cigarettes, the scoreboard and Abe Stark's sign.
Brooklyn itself became a place of exotic and excitement for me. . . .Years before
my father took me there and I found, to my adolescent delight, that it was what
The Dodgers have not been in Brooklyn for over 50 years but the Brooklyn Dodgers are still my favorite team. Today I am not very good as a sports fan but in my mind I will always be a “Brooklyn Dodger” fan.
Morning Coach Wyatt,
I watched the game live then woke this morning and watched the offense only again to break it down for me. And never to take shots, it's just what I do to help myself be a better DW coach and learn from others, their good, their bad, their success, their failure.
Immediately what I noticed was the O-Line.
1. They were (or appeared) foot to foot, not six inches
2. The Guards had their helmets at or slightly past the Center’s shoulders
3. Right side, no one had their inside hand down
4. Left side, the line cascaded and the TE was almost always equal to the Center. The LTE also had his outside hand down
5. The Center snapped the ball with the old style "lift & turn" method
6. Their pulls took too long, due to being too far up on the LOS...I saw too many opposing jerseys in the backfield
7. No 12 Step Cure, too many times I saw blocks that were the initial contact but no sustained weld
The QB, appears to be "Chest to Butt"...he's too close to the Center and doesn't have his hands extended. That, too, affects timing.
I also am not a fan of rotating the QB every play. Why wear Wrist Coaches if the QB has to be told the play, then sent in every play? To me there's no continuity with your QB by rotating every play.
With regards to play calling, to me the defense stayed in a base 4-3 Cover 2 with the Corners rolled...the Sam was always closer to the LOS but the Mike and Will were mostly aligned toes 5 yards deep every play...unless it was a short yardage situation then the Backers all came up and crowded.
I have never coached against this type of 4-3, but I would have loved to because in my opinion the two easiest defenses to attack are a 4-3 and a 5-2.
The drive that should have been the Game Winning drive was the start of the 4th when the home team had the ball deep on their end and slowly drove the ball to inside the plus 20.
The 4th down pass play killed the drive and I said to myself "game over". This was the closest they came to the end zone with the exception of their only scoring drive.
The run was dominating the defense on this drive, and on 4th and 3 with 6+ minutes I'm giving the D a hard count since they had 10 in the box. If they don't jump I call time out then run Power.
The pass play called was ballsy, but the execution killed it. The C Back was initially wide open and could have walked in untouched with a completion BUT the QB held the ball too long - should have thrown on his 3rd step of his roll out, instead he threw on his 7th - then lofted the ball which forced the Back out of bounds at the front pylon.
The C Back also ran a bad route, if that was supposed to be a Corner / Banana route the second he threw his "I'M OPEN" hand in the air it forced him to drift to the sideline, complete the route to the back pylon.
Turnovers killed them too. Too many fumbles.
My take away from the game: I'll use your quote "Winning Conceals - Losing Reveals".
This Double Wing has great upside if the obvious errors and mistakes are corrected quickly.
(Sure hope they read this - and aren’t too thin-skinned to take well-intentioned correction.)
Some big, big news coming out of Los Angeles at this hour: Dea Spanos Berberian, sister to Chargers controlling owner Dean Spanos and a minority owner herself, has filed legal action seeking to force a sale of the franchise, per the L.A. Times. She says the team’s mounting debt is jeopardizing the family finances.
We’re still digesting this, but here are the urgent key points: Dean Spanos already promised his siblings in November 2019 that he would hire an investment bank to find a buyer after the 2024 season. Berberian wants to speed it up. The petition noted that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, worth an estimated $180 billion, is interested in becoming an NFL owner and said “the Chargers could be a perfect opportunity.” If he really said that, that’s the strongest indication yet that Bezos is an active shopper.
The complaint says the family trust -- of which the Chargers comprise 83% -- has an annual $11 million shortfall, with “little cashflow or reason to believe the numbers will improve.” The Trust has $164 million in debt “associated with the Trust’s interest in the Chargers.” Berberian is represented by Adam Streisand, who repped Steve Ballmer in his pursuit of the Clippers and Jeanie Buss in her effort to secure control of the Lakers.
The Dodgers became my second great passion. They of course are part of the sports passion but were different from the standpoint that I was a fan and not a participant. The Dodgers have been a lifelong passion but that passion is centered in the period from 1947 thru 1956.
I am not quite sure how I became a Dodger fan but I do have some ideas. After World War Two was over, sports and particularly baseball became the neighborhood activity. Baseball (softball) became the activity that we all played after school everyday and on the weekends. In the neighborhood all the games took place at Gilliand’s lot on Elm Street. These games were always pick-up games where we would choose up sides. Sometimes they were all boys’ games and a lot of the time girls also played.
At school we played baseball before school started, at recess time, and during noontime lunch hour. In the 5th grade we had a baseball field that was behind the football stadium. There was no outfield to speak of, as the back wall of the stadium was right there. If you hit the ball high over the stadium wall it was a home run, if you hit the ball in the opening in the wall it was a double, and if you hit the wall (which happened almost every time) then the ball was in play. If someone caught the bounce off the wall, you were out.
In the sixth grade I was exposed to my first organized baseball, Ward League Baseball. Now in the summer besides all our pick-up games I also had an organized game each week. Most of these games were played at the Fairgrounds diamond. The fairground was also where the Van Wert Burts, a semi-professional team played their games. Every Sunday afternoon they played a double-header against another city’s team. We would ride our bikes out to the fairgrounds to see the Burts play.
The fast pitch league was also in its heyday right after the Second World War and all the veterans played on the various factory teams. Almost every night there were games being played at the fairgrounds. I remember that the toughest pitcher was Larry Smith’s dad Leo, who seemed to have muscles all over his body.
It is fairly evident that I was exposed to a lot of baseball in my pre and junior high years. In 1946 I started listening to major league baseball on the radio. The only team that I could pick-up was the Chicago White Sox. Bob Ellison was their broadcaster and I learned the names of most of the White Sox, such as Luke Appling, Pat Serray, Ted Lyons, etc. I got to see my first major league ball game at Detroit in 1946.
This really only tells you about how I got interested in baseball and not anything about my love of the Dodgers. I think two things made me a Dodger fan by the summer of 1947. One was the fact that almost every war movie of the period had someone from Brooklyn, who was always talking about the Dodgers. The second thing was the arrival of Jackie Robinson in the big leagues. He caught my attention early in 1947 and soon became my baseball hero. I am not sure how much his being the first Negro in the major leagues had to do with it, probably something. I do know that he was the most exciting base runner ever in my mind.
Becoming a Brooklyn Dodger fan as a young boy living in Van Wert, Ohio in 1947 would seem to be an impossibility. There was no television or ESPN to tell about the Dodger games. Also there was no way to get a radio broadcast from Brooklyn unless it was the World Series. The only way to follow the Dodgers was in the sports page of the Van Wert Times Bulletin the next day. This was hard as the only teams that the Bulletin really covered were the Reds and the Indians.
I started to cut the baseball standings out of the paper each day and make a scrapbook, which I still have. I also would read about the Dodgers in The Sporting News. During the year of 1947 I started cutting out pictures of my favorite Dodgers and I also got a book, The Brooklyn Dodgers, which covered their history. I basically memorized this book and this certainly helped me a little later in school.
The greatest event of my life as a Dodger fan was being able to go to the 1947 Dodger-Yankee World Series at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. Attending and seeing the World Series was something that very, very few people ever got to do in those days. There was no TV coverage at this time, although this was the first World Series to be televised, but only to a small number of viewers in New York City. Today with all the coverage of every type of sports event and the overexposure of sports, it’s hard to imagine just what a big event this was for a 12-year-old boy from Van Wert, Ohio.
My dad worked for the Borden Cheese Company and their headquarters was in New York City. He had to go to New York on business at various times and so I thought maybe he could get tickets for the World Series. I never really thought it would happen but I asked him anyway. A few days later my dad came home after work and said that we had tickets for the World Series. I don’t think I was ever more excited than at that moment. That night at the Boy Scout meeting I bet every scout a dollar that Brooklyn would win the game.
We took the train to New York and stayed in New York City. The day of the game my dad and I took the subway to Brooklyn. We got off the subway and walked up Flatbush Avenue with the crowd of fans going to the game. What a thrill to walk up to the entrance to Ebbets Field and see it for the first time. I know that as a twelve year old I was in awe. To actually see the Dodgers in person and then see one of the top games ever played in a World Series is a thrill that I shall never forget.
Game Four of the 1947 World Series was one of the greatest games ever played in the World Series. Floyd Bevens of the Yankees had a no-hitter going and only needed one more out in the bottom of the ninth to complete his no-hitter. He had been wild and had walked a total of 10 batters but still had a 2-1 lead with one out to go. The Dodgers had men on first and second when Cookie Lavagetto was sent up to pinch-hit. He hit a double off the scoreboard in right field and the Dodgers scored two runs and won the game 3-2 on one hit.
The crowd erupted and I have never heard such noise as that day. My dad said to me, “Why are you yelling so loud?” I told him that I had just won 15 dollars from my fellow scouts back in Van Wert. It was a good thing that I did not lose that bet because I did not have 15 dollars to pay all of them.
If I was a regular Dodger fan before that game, after that World Series game, I became a totally dedicated Brooklyn Dodger fan. In 1948 I continued to collect pictures and articles on the Dodgers. I knew just about everything that there was to know about the Dodgers.
In English class one time we were to read a book and then give an oral report on the book in class. I had not read my book yet when the teacher called on me to give my report. To make it worse, the State Superintendent was visiting our school and just happened to be observing our English class when the teacher called on me to give my report. I thought fast and said my report is on the book, The Brooklyn Dodgers. I then proceeded to tell in detail the history of the Dodgers. After class was over the State Superintendent came up to me and said that my report was one of the best he had ever heard.
Another time that my knowledge of the Dodgers surprised someone was 1969 at The University of Michigan. Don Lund was an associate athletic director at Michigan and had been their baseball coach. He came up to the Dodgers briefly in 1948 and then played most of his big league career with the Tigers. One day I told Don, “I remember when you hit your first big league home run against Cincinnati in 1948.” I got my old scrapbook out and showed him the article about his home run; he was amazed that I had it and that I remembered it as well.
About 1948 I started to paste a few pictures on the walls of my room. Eventually I got carried away and had every inch of the four walls covered with Dodger baseball pictures. I had a big picture of Jackie Robinson, from the cover of Life magazine, on the door to my room.
Today a lot of kids put up big posters on their bedroom walls but my walls were a little different. Every inch of all four walls was covered with pictures, from floor to ceiling. All the pictures were cut from magazines and put on the wall with glue. I don’t remember my parents complaining about the walls. Before I left for college in 1953, I tore all the pictures down and the walls were repainted. There are still a few snap shots left showing my room with all the Dodger pictures on the walls. I doubt if anyone has ever had a room decorated the way that mine was, but then I doubt if there were many parents as understanding as mine were about my love of the Dodgers.
We don't keep statsOur off-season program is very simple - we don't have one
We never count tackles
The Prairie boys and girls teams swept to team titles as Falcons’ Annie Anderson and Landon Gunter took individual titles, even though Gunter wasn’t the first boy to cross the finish line Thursday.
Kelso’s Drew Norman was disqualified for theatrics at the finish line in an incident stemming from Kelso and Prairie’s dual meet last month.
On Feb. 24, Gunter beat out Norman at the finish line, waving to the Kelso senior in the process, Prairie coach Curtis Crebar said.
Michigan has always attracted more Dutch than any other state. Most Dutch immigrants in the 19th century headed for Michigan. By 1900 Michigan counted one-third of the Dutch-born in the USA. Most Dutch lived in five counties—Allegan, Kent, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, and Ottawa. Southwestern Michigan was truly the Dutch center, centered in Grand Rapids. One-third of the Dutch in Michigan in 1900 lived in that city, where they totaled 40 percent of the population.
In 1990, nearly 300,000 residents of Dutch ancestry lived in the five-county region, making it the largest Dutch settlement area in the United States. The breakdown was 35 percent in Ottawa County, 22 percent in Allegan County, 19 percent in Kent County, 12 percent in Kalamazoo County, and 10 percent in Muskegon County. In brief, the Dutch like West Michigan.
"The people flatter themselves that they have the sovereign power. These are, in fact, words without meaning. It is true they elected governors; but how are these elections brought about? In every instance of election by the mass of a people—through the influence of those governors themselves, and by means the most opposite to a free and disinterested choice, by the basest corruption and bribery. But those governors once selected, where is the boasted freedom of the people? They must submit to their rule and control, with the same abandonment of their natural liberty, the freedom of their will, and the command of their actions, as if they were under the rule of a monarch"
"Patriotism always exists in the greatest degree in rude nations, and in an early period of society. Like all other affections and passions, it operates with the greatest force where it meets with the greatest difficulties ... but in a state of ease and safety, as if wanting its appropriate nourishment, it languishes and decays". ... "It is a law of nature to which no experience has ever furnished an exception, that the rising grandeur and opulence of a nation must be balanced by the decline of its heroic virtues".
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage."
My parents were great parents for me. They disciplined me, gave me love, companionship, let me have the freedom that a young person needs, introduced me to many things, and supported the things that I became interested in.
I was never aware that I was an only child; the subject just never came up in our home. We did many things as a family of three. Some examples are: We went fishing at St Mary’s Lake, fished at various creeks in the area and the Maumee River, had great vacations to Northern Michigan, worked together in our Victory
Garden at the farm, ice skated on the town creek, went to Chicago to the Ice Escapades, went to see the Dodgers play, etc.
As I look back on “being an only child” I feel that I had two great advantages over multiple children families. First, I can enjoy myself alone. I enjoy sitting and thinking. Having time alone has always been very important to me and this perhaps comes from being an only child. I spent many hours as a kid alone, playing with my soldiers, reading, listening to my music, and daydreaming. I enjoy silence and I enjoy time alone thinking. The second advantage came about after I left home. My parents were able to help me financially because I was the only child; something they would not have been able to do with a large family.
When my passions became the military, the Dodgers, and sports; they supported me even though these were not things they particularly liked at first. They let me be my own boy and later my own man but were always there to give me support. They were always there for support and advice but never there to push or control in anyway.
I believe each of us develops to a greater or lesser degree from our parents’ influence. My parents had a strong influence on me and many of my traits and beliefs can be traced back to them. Some of the traits I have that are similar to my parents’ are:
1. Work hard at what you do.
3. Do the thing you dislike first so you can enjoy the good things. Don’t procrastinate. (Eat your spinach before your ice cream)
4. Organized. Don’t waste time.
5. Quiet – not outgoing in a social group.
6. Be responsible and follow through on what you start.
7. Stubborn and believe in your way.
8. Think, plan, and work through all options on paper before you decide.
9. Focus on one thing at a time.
The WIAA sends its condolences and support to the Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities which have faced an increased number of attacks over the past year. Anti-Asian hate crimes have grown by 149% around the country last year and 33% in Seattle*. We condemn these racist actions and encourage individuals to both acknowledge this violence and support the people of color in their communities.
The WIAA will continue to take action focused on celebrating differences as strengths and dismantling systemic racism that disproportionately affect BIPOC communities. It is our goal to assist member schools in offering equitable opportunities and an inclusive space for all students, coaches and administrators.
*Statistics from the Center for Study of Hate & Extremism
If I were to pick one word to describe my life, I would pick passion. I have been a person of passions. A passion for me is something that you are totally dedicated to and is ingrained in the thought patterns of your mind. A passion is always there and never leaves you completely, at least that is the way my passions have always been for me. I have had five important passions in my life and they have continued to play a part in all phases of my life, as one passion has led to another passion. The key passions for me have always been: World War Two and the Marines, The Brooklyn Dodgers, Sports, Music, and most of all Alyce-Jane Waltz-Young.
My life has been filled with these five very strong passions. They never leave me completely and lie just below the surface of my thoughts. What I so internalized as a kid remains strongly internalized in me as an adult. These passions have dominated my thoughts, my emotions, and my beliefs for a very long time—my passions are who I am.
When I was eighteen years old I was introduced to a book, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. This was my first introduction to eastern philosophy and what today I guess would be called “thinking outside the box.” Gibran expresses so well many of the thoughts that I have in writing this book. Gibran states, “The things which the child loves remain in the domain of the heart until old age. The most beautiful thing in life is that our souls remain hovering over the places where we once enjoyed ourselves.”
He further states, “An old man likes to return in memory to the days of his youth like a stranger who longs to go back to his own country. He delights to tell stories of the past like a poet who takes pleasure in reciting his best poem. He lives spiritually in the past because the present passes swiftly, and the future seems to him as an approach to the oblivion of the grave.”
I realize that we all become that old man or woman who likes to tell stories from their past. I now know that while I may not have always listened with full attention to my parents’ stories, it did not matter too much because they were telling them mainly for their own delight and pleasure. However, the only way to keep these memories alive is to put them down in writing, so they survive for future generations to read. Perhaps more importantly, writing these stories down allows the individual who is telling the story to get a feeling that they will not die with him or her.
The Secret of American Foreign Affairs
By Stanley K. Ridgley, Ph.D.
During his administration, Bill Clinton cut the United States Army from 18 active divisions to 10 and presided over an aimless "Blackhawk Down" foreign policy. How, then, could the U.S. military remain so formidable as to conquer Iraq, a nation of 24 million people, in three weeks?
A larger question is how does our military continue to outstrip the rest of the world in every category, from soldier training to leadership to the will to win? The answer to that question is one of the great secrets of American foreign affairs.
There is one primary reason for the rise of U.S. military power over the past century and its overwhelming capability to fight and win wars: American football.
Decried by some as a simple-minded sport that "glorifies" violence and appeals to the blue-collar, beer-bellied crowd, football is a phenomenon woven into America's social fabric and into the psyche of her people.
The United States is a football nation - football players and football fans - and this sociological factor sets Americans apart from every other nation on earth.
American football is a brutal collision sport in which every player's mettle is tested on every play. At its supreme level, the mutual human violence done in football is greater than that of any other sport in the world.
The only other sport that approaches football in bone-crunching controlled mayhem is rugby, another Anglo-Saxon game played almost exclusively by the British and Australians.
Coincidentally, they were the two major powers providing ground troops for the war in Iraq.
Football is violent, but it is not aimless violence. Each individual collision is a tightly circumscribed competition that measures each man's heart, drive, intellect, skill and cunning.
On both sides of the ball, strategy and counterstrategy - the multiplicity of options on a single play - contrive to create an intricate and sophisticated contest. Football is as cerebral as it is violent.
The only people who cannot comprehend football's sophistication are snobs who would like nothing better than to believe that these slashing wide receivers and great gridiron behemoths smashing into each other are dumber than they are. What a devastating ego shock to realize that the average college professor would be incapable mentally, as well as physically, to play successfully the modern game of football.
Why incapable? Because a working intellect under intense psychological pressure and physical exhaustion is an entirely different quality than a working intellect languishing in the library.
Players must execute a sophisticated battle plan swiftly, decisively and flawlessly in extreme situations, while a similarly equipped and talented group of athletes is doing its best to stop them. Play after play, there is no room for error.
In football, there is no time for still more "resolutions." The threat must be perceived and evaluated and the correct decision made now or the consequences could be ignominious defeat. The ethos of football and its prerequisite talents, attitudes and qualities are inculcated in abundance in America's military leaders.
While the football ethos is reflected in America's national spirit and her military, the Europeans draw from a distinctly different sports tradition; one developed on the playing fields of Paris and Potsdam, Boulogne and Berlin.
The ethos of what Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called "Old Europe" is exemplified in the game of soccer.
Soccer is a beautiful and well-powdered sport, much like "diplomacy," bringing to mind men in top hats and striped pants walking herky-jerky, as in black-and-white silent newsreels. Soccer is French jeu d'esprit , and it is the sport of the United Nations.
Soccer rules are easily understood, and the sport is imbued with a comradely egalitarian aspect. Players run about. They wave their arms. Sometimes, they fall down. Sometimes, they can even be tripped, and it is in these moments that Europeans first learn to be either bad actors or diplomats; tumbling on the turf, clutching a "bruised" shin, then bounding up unhurt to take a free kick (or a post-war oil concession.)
Soccer matches can and frequently do end in a tie. This abundance of scoreless ties leads one to suspect that for soccer players, as for U.N. diplomats, the goal is to stall until ultimately nothing is resolved, and no one can really be blamed. Tie-breaking "shootouts" in international play ought to be eliminated altogether, since an egalitarian draw of no winner, no loser, and no hurt feelings is a U.N. dream come true.
The activity, in the end, is pointless. But fans will neither despair nor rejoice at the outcome; aficionados in smoky salons, sipping espresso, can debate endlessly who played the better game.
Is it any wonder that the Old European nations shrink from decisive action, taking only tentative, mincing steps, hoping they'll never have to fight for anything and unable to decide firmly whether there is anything at all worth fighting for?
Consider also what American football is not . It is not about passing the buck, walking while others carry the load or debating until you are overcome by events. Nor is it about ennui, languor and the c'est la vie attitude.
Football is about character and courage, might and mettle, decisiveness, strength and stamina. It is about men who sacrifice, who dare great things and who are not afraid to win great victories.
Hundreds of thousands of American boys and young men play football each year, forging a distinctly American character in the fire of competition. This character is reflected in the American military and its successes.
I am not the first to claim more from sport than might be deserved. Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, supposedly credited his victory over Napoleon at Waterloo to his having been schooled on the "playing fields of Eton," his famous alma mater. So mightn't there be substance here?
Perhaps. American football might not be the great secret of American foreign affairs success of the past 100 years, but it does capture much that is true about the United States and her mettle. And surely, it is one small part of why she is great.
Reprinted by permission of the author.
One Monday scouting report was Woody at his best. Each Monday the whole football team would always hear a scouting report on our next opponent before we went out to practice. Clive Rush was a new coach and was responsible for giving the scouting report on our next opponent – Illinois. He started to give his report to the team and Woody told him to stop.
Woody said, “First I want to know if we can beat Illinois?”
Clive said, “I think so, Woody.”
Woody said, “That is not the answer. The answer is ‘Hell Yes.’ Now get your ass out the door and come back in here and we will start again!”
When Clive came back in, Woody asked him if we could win the game?
Clive said, “Hell Yes!”
Woody said, “That’s better. Now let’s hear the report.”
I learned a lesson that was very helpful to me in my future coaching career the week of the Bowling Green game. Jerry Wampfler came up with a great pass on Wednesday night and we put it in during Thursday’s practice. It was a great idea but our team only got to practice it for one practice before the game. Our QB only had four interceptions for the entire year but three of them came on that new pass in the BG game. The rest of my career I always put any new wrinkle in early in the week so our players had a chance for a lot of repetitions before they used it in a game.
With the announcement from Governor Inslee on Thursday allowing for increased participation and increased spectator capacity in Phase 3 of the Healthy Washington Plan, the WIAA has compiled updated information in the Healthy Washington Guidelines Document.
A summary of major changes to K-12 activities guidelines are as follows:
Spectator restrictions for outdoor events will vary based on whether permanent seating is available and the amount of designated seats. Physical distancing requirements of six feet of separation between groups must be maintained in all seating arrangements which may limit the capacity number further than the guidelines listed.
For facilities with permanent seating up to 1,600 spectators, schools may operate at 50% capacity or a maximum of 400 people, whichever is fewer. For facilities with permanent seating for more than 1,600 spectators, schools may operate at 25% capacity. For outdoor activities, the Phase 3 guidelines indicate that participants, officials, coaches, and staff do not count toward the capacity restrictions as they did in Phases 1 and 2.
Indoor activities in Phase 3 may have up to 400 individuals at an event or at 50% capacity, whichever is fewer. For indoor activities, participants, coaches, officials, and staff do still count toward the capacity restrictions.
For activities where permanent seating is not available, spectators are limited to one seated group (1-6 people) per 100 square ft. Each group will be in a reserved space, only available to the group or pod who purchased a specific location.
The spectator guideline changes will go into effect on Thursday, March 18. This is before counties officially enter Phase 3 but will allow for more attendance in the final week(s) of Season 1 activities.
When I joined the team in Portsmouth (Ohio), I was a little disappointed because it was a small city and the club’s facilities weren’t much. But then I had come from a small town and a small college and I wasn’t used to much.
I already had learned something about the lack of money. The Spartans would, they told me, supply a helmet and a jersey for each player, but our pants shoulder pads and shoes had to be provided by us. So did the whites – our T-shirts, socks, and such.
We all lived in boarding houses in Portsmouth then and paid about two dollars a week for a room. Most of the fellows doubled up but I lived alone. We took our meals at whatever good place we could find in town. Naturally, we tried to keep the expenses down so that at the end of the season we could go home with a few dollars.
Our routine during the week was much like it was on most teams. We’d work in the morning and have a meeting at night. In the afternoon some of the boys would play cards in the local Elks club or try to find another way to pass time. There wasn’t much to do in Portsmouth and we couldn’t get part time jobs in a town where many of the people couldn’t find work.
We got a fast idea of the unemployment situation when we found that while about 4000 people came to our practice sessions, only about 2000 came to the games. They had the enthusiasm but not the price.
The road trips that year were as rugged as the early scrimmages. We traveled by bus all the time and we made some long trips. One time we went to New York to play the Stapletons. From there we went to St. Louis to play the Gunners. Then we travelled to Chicago to play the Bears before we returned to Portsmouth.
Potsy (head coach Potsy Clark - no relation) always made us carry our shoes with us when we went on a long trip like that. Then if he saw a cornfield that looked promising, he’d stop the bus. We’d get off and work out in the cornfield. After we finished, we’d get back on the bus, all sweaty and dirty.
Strangely enough, nobody caught cold and I guess one reason for that was there was little room for the fellows who couldn’t play. We had only 15 men on the squad and often if a fellow was hurt, we didn’t bother to replace him. At the time, the player limit was only 20 anyway.
On these trips we’d eat at stands and restaurants along the road. We were all given an allowance, and if we went over it, the club’s treasurer, an ex-player named Griffiths, would meet us at the door and collect the extra money from us.
From the National Football Foundation's newsletter
By Dick Friedman
Shortly before he began his first season at Villanova, Andy Talley discovered a secret weapon: basketball. The year was 1985, and the Wildcat hoops team had just won the national championship under iconic coach Rollie Massimino.
“I went to Rollie and I said, ‘I want a championship ring,’” Talley recalled. “Because I wanted to go into schools and recruit with that ring on my finger. I would flash it to the kids and say, ‘This is for the national championship in basketball. We’re going to win one like this in football.’”
Talley made good on his football ring promise in 2009 with Villanova taking home the FCS title after a 23-21 victory over Montana. Retiring after the 2016 season, his 32nd on the Main Line, Talley had won a school-record 230 games, and his teams had appeared in the postseason 12 times. Now Talley becomes the first Wildcat player or coach to be enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame, and he looks back on his career with fondness. “It’s been a labor of love, like it is with all football coaches,” Talley said.
In 1981, Villanova had abruptly dropped football, so when Talley arrived on campus in 1984 after a five-year stint and a 28-18-1 record at St. Lawrence (NY), he was charged with resurrecting the program. It was a return to his roots; he had grown up in nearby Haverford, where he was first bitten by the coaching bug.
“From a very early age, I always knew I wanted not only to play football but also to coach football,” he said. “I can remember putting teams together. I would get up 10 or 15 kids to play the local fifth-grade team.”
Talley matriculated at Southern Connecticut, where he played defensive back. He was an assistant at Simsbury (CT) High School. He then moved to the collegiate level at Springfield (MA), Middlebury (VT) and Brown before assuming the head job in 1979 at Division III St. Lawrence. His 1982 Saints team reached the national semifinals.
“I always wanted to be at an academic school and help my players use the education that they got,” he said, citing Villanova as a perfect fit. “This is an academic place that also will be one of the top football programs in the country—if you apply the work ethic that we have.”
Early on at Villanova, Talley zeroed in on the main skill he wanted. “In my fifth year we went to the playoffs,” he recalled. “We lost to Georgia Southern, but once we played a team of that caliber, I knew what we needed: speed. So, I started to recruit nationally.”
Mark Ferrante, who played for Talley at St. Lawrence and then was his longtime assistant and eventual successor at Villanova, credited his mentor for his brilliance at identifying and connecting with prospects from around the country. “He’s a phenomenal recruiter. He could talk about anything. He put people at ease.”
“Air Talley” became known for his high-octane attack that would yield three Walter Payton Award winners: receiver Brian Finneran (1997), running back Brian Westbrook (2001) and quarterback John Robertson (2014).
“If you played us, we were going to try to outscore you,” said Talley. Ferrante added: “He definitely wanted to open the offense up, to spread out the formations. It was getting linebackers to match up in space against people like Brian Westbrook, doing things to give the defensive people headaches.”
Some of Talley’s most significant triumphs have come off the field through his efforts to locate bone marrow donors. Since 2008, he has partnered with the Be The Match Foundation. “Today we have almost 150 college football teams that work with me and do bone marrow drives,” he said proudly. “We have 715 transplants that I know about. I’ve been able to use the strength of college football to save lives.”
To encourage compliance with the Governor's order to wear facial coverings during all activities, the WIAA and WOA will be implementing facial covering procedures and penalties to be used in all football games beginning Friday, March 12.
The improper wearing of facial coverings will now be a pre-snap penalty with the progression of warnings and consequences to be enforced as follows:
The first offense by the team - The coach will be reminded that all players must properly wear their facial covering and, if the offending player is on the field, they will be sent off for one play.
The second offense by the team - The team will be penalized with a sideline warning and, if the offending player is on the field, they will be sent off for one play.
The third offense by the team - The team will receive a 5-yard penalty and, if the offending player is on the field, they will be sent off for one play.
The fourth offense by the team - The team will receive a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty charged to the head coach and, if the offending player is on the field, they will be sent off for one play.
The fifth offense by the team - The team will receive a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty charged to the head coach. The coach will be ejected from the contest for two unsportsmanlike penalties. If the offending player is on the field, they will be sent off for one play.
Any subsequent offenses by the team - The team will receive a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty charged to the head coach and, if the player is on the field, they will be sent off for one play.
If officials notice a player not wearing their facial covering properly during or after the play, the assumption will be made that the facial covering was worn properly at the snap and a reminder will be give to the player to replace it.
Proper wearing of a facial covering requires coverage of both the nose and mouth. Frequently asked questions and answers regarding facial coverings can be found in the summary of guidelines on the WIAA website.
2021 College Football Hall of Fame electee Coach Bob Stoops is joining FOX Sports' BIG NOON KICKOFF college football pregame show beginning this fall, joining analysts Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart (College Football Hall of Famer), Brady Quinn and host Rob Stone.
“I’m a teacher in GA. One of my fellow teachers was doing a lesson today reading Huckleberry Finn. One of our virtual student’s parents (our district is doing in person and virtual at the same time) called to complain because the book has the N word in it. I get the culture we are living in, but the whole premise of the book is Twain actually talking AGAINST slavery and discrimination. I should probably also say that 95% of our district is made up of minorities. So it’s not as if it’s a bunch of white kids sitting around reading this book. Also, what is with the fake outrage? Every single one of my students can sing every word to WAP and not a single parent says anything, but they can’t read Huckleberry Finn? What is this world coming to Clay?”
Everyone is so afraid of losing their job that they’ve decided the safest thing to do is accept every single complaint that anyone raises without fighting back.
That’s why cancel culture is running rampant.
Not because people actually agree with it, but because they are so terrified of disagreeing with whatever the ascendant mob online is attacking because that mob may turn on them next.
We’ve also bought into the idea that children should never be uncomfortable in their learning at all. In other words, anything that makes any kid the slightest bit uncomfortable has to be eliminated. That’s how we’re raising the most coddled generation ever to exist.
Many parents now believe that by shielding their kids from any discomfort at all, they are helping their kids. Parents have bought into the idea that kids are fragile and in permanent danger of breaking. I believe the exact opposite. I think kids are tough, and we need to work on making them tougher. Kids need to fail — and overcome obstacles — in order to grow.
Last night, my ten-year-old son’s basketball team lost in the county tournament. All of the kids were crushed and crying after the game. Now, personally, I’d prefer that kids lose games without crying. But the bigger issue here is sports teach kids how to cope with failure in a world that increasingly tells them they never fail.
The world is full of high-end competition everywhere. You don’t succeed in life by shrinking from competition. Just as there are winners and losers in every game, there are winners and losers in every competitive field as well.
So are you going to compete or not?
You have to learn how to try your hardest and understand that even when that happens, you still might fail. You don’t ever want to get comfortable with losing, but you have to understand what giving your all and still coming up short feels like.
Because that’s going to happen a ton in life.
You have to learn to cope with that feeling of failure.
We’ve created a world where kids aren’t ever supposed to feel the least bit uncomfortable and that isn’t a world that I want to live in because it stifles all growth and, again, presumes that kids are fragile and delicate when the reality is they aren’t at all.
Great works of art often make those who are exposed to them uncomfortable. THAT’S WHY THEY ARE GREAT WORKS OF ART! Art is supposed to challenge your way of thinking and make you see the world in a way you otherwise wouldn’t.
What’s awful about parents like these, as you mentioned, is they are perfectly fine with their kids being exposed to modern culture, which is often far more sordid and without most of the artistic merit, but they are not fine with works of art from the past. How can you be fine with playing “WAP” or any other modern day rap song in your car, but not okay with your kid reading Huckleberry Finn?
It’s totally illogical.
The saddest part of this is these parent think they are helping their kids, but in reality they are harming them. Parents have to stop reacting to words like they are incredibly harmful. We just do. One thing my generation’s parents got right was the old school “sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you” aphorism. This isn’t true, of course. Words can hurt, as any kid who has ever had another kid say something mean about them knows. But the lesson is an important one: you shouldn’t let words hurt you. And you should teach your kids, like I teach my own kids, that they shouldn’t let words hurt them either.
We spend far more time, it seems to me, judging words in modern day society than we do actions. And that’s absurd because our focus should be on actions, not words. Today’s modern cancel culture is almost always about word choice of one type or another. It’s almost never about actions. In fact, many people absurdly excuse criminal actions and argue for lesser punishment while insisting maximum punishment for word choice. It’s bonkers.
So if I were the teacher in this situation, I’d respond to the parent by saying, “I understand your concerns, but great literature isn’t about making kids comfortable. It’s sometimes about making them uncomfortable. Because when you’re uncomfortable is often when your horizons grow the most.” Then I’d explain what the book is actually about and why it matters today as much, maybe even more, than when it was written over a hundred years ago.
That may or may not work, but it’s the direction I’d go here.
I also assume, as has been the case for decades, that if a parent is uncomfortable with a particular book assigned in class that there is an alternate book that can be assigned instead. So that offer should be made. But I’d make the case that this is an important book for all kids in school to read.
Good luck with that conversation.
And good luck with continuing to exist in the absurd universe we’ve created, where even Dr. Seuss is being canceled.
In ‘Eyes of Texas’ debate, Texas chooses donors over doing what’s best for players
By David Ubben
Steve Sarkisian was clear in his opening statement at the January news conference introducing him as the new head coach of Texas, the college football program that produces more revenue than any other.
“Everything we’re going to do in this program is going to be centered around what is best for our players,” Sarkisian said. “Our goal is to put our players in the best position to be successful, whether that’s in life, whether it’s on the football field or in the classroom. They will be the priority of our program, and we will make sure we have everything in place surrounding them to put them in the best position to do that.”
A few minutes later in the same media session, he was asked about the team singing “The Eyes of Texas” after games. Sarkisian chose to echo the words of athletic director Chris Del Conte, who encouraged players to stand and sing the song in October after an image of quarterback Sam Ehlinger standing alone and singing enraged some fans.
“I know this much: ‘The Eyes of Texas’ is our school song,” Sarkisian said. “We’re going to sing that song. We’re going to sing that proudly.”
*****The Athletic's readers are hard core sports people and definitely what you would call opinionated, so I eagerly anticipated reading their reactions. Alas, showing that it could dish it out but not take it, The Athletic concluded the article with this most uncharacteristic note:
George Floyd’s death at the hands of police last summer ignited protests across the globe and a nationwide re-examination of Black people’s experience in America on a variety of fronts. At Texas, that meant players produced a list of changes they wanted to see on their campus, or else they would no longer participate in recruiting activities. Among them: Renaming buildings named after people who stood in the way of integration, donating money to Black organizations and, most controversially, discontinuing “The Eyes of Texas” as the school song.
***** (Author Ubben’s “example” of “racism” on the part of Texas’ donors):
It’s hardly Texas’ first run-in with racism from donors. The same day Texas introduced Charlie Strong as head coach after Strong had gone 23-3 in two seasons at Louisville, longtime booster Red McCombs called the hire a “kick in the face” in a radio interview.
“I don’t have any doubt that Charlie is a fine coach. I think he would make a great position coach, maybe a coordinator,” McCombs said. “But I don’t believe (he belongs at) what should be one of the three most powerful university programs in the world right now at UT-Austin. I don’t think it adds up.”
***** In Summary
At Texas, the choice to continue playing “The Eyes of Texas” has been dismaying to players with a lot of complaints and little power. An actual, organized player boycott would be far more effective at enacting change than a handful of donors threatening to pull donations. But that’s not happening, and so far, donors have pushed and won.
Some players are surely disappointed to see their concerns ignored, but it’s unlikely all of them feel passionate enough about the issue to escalate the controversy. The university already pressed on players in October and got its way. Under a new coach, will players’ desire to not sing a song initially performed to denigrate and humiliate people that look like them be ignored?
Texas has locked arms with racist donors who see protesting players as little more than jerseys and helmets with little purpose beyond beating Oklahoma and winning more games than Texas A&M so they have a little more ammo to rib their rivals in the boardroom and at the country club.
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A tirade like Ubben's is not why I gave out a number of gift subscriptions to The Athletic for Christmas.
I could, if I chose, read articles like that in any number of other media outlets, but I would never foist them on friends and relatives.
I actually thought that I was giving them access to the sort of great sports journalism that I had come to expect from The Athletic.
How pathetic of this Ubben to use Red McCombs’ opposition to Charlie Strong’s hiring as an example of racism.
True, Strong's record at Louisville was quite good. But as McCombs said, quite clearly, it is a big jump from coaching football at Louisville to coaching football at Texas.
I said the same thing at the time, so go ahead and call me a racist.
(Actually, I was pulling for Charlie Strong to succeed, but in his three years at Texas, he was 16-21. Red McCombs was right.)
That was a pathetic article, intended to stir up trouble. Shame on Ubben and shame on you. Your shutting off comments indicates that you knew what your readers would think, and for that show of cowardice, double shame on you.
The Athletic? How about The Advocate.
I was the Class of 1957, the first class Parseghian recruited. The group included Dick Thornton who should have been All-American but wound up breaking his leg his senior year. Elbert and Albert Kimbrough were outstanding, but the thing we liked was that Ara was very careful to get people he thought were well qualified to get through Northwestern in four years. Physically we weren’t as big as other teams, but we would not make mental errors, and we played both offense and defense so we knew both sides of the football. But the greatest thing about Northwestern is that we knew we were prepared for the next chapter in life.
I was a rookie (with the Philadelphia Eagles), and we had a written test to see if we knew our assignments. I was the last guy finished; coach thought I was having problems. But when I turned in my paper, he said, ‘What’s this?’ Instead of putting down my individual defensive assignment I wrote the assignments for all 22 players. I said, “Coach, that’s how we did it at Northwestern. That was our biggest edge.” So as a rookie, I became one of the Eagles’ signal-callers. It gave me another element I could bring to the team.
During my rookie year in Philadelphia, I agreed to speak at events for nothing, and I got a lot of jobs. The key was that I took a number of public speaking courses for teachers at Northwestern; my diction and approach to presenting really started there. When I was younger, I could be in a room for two hours, and you wouldn’t know I was there. I wouldn’t say a word. Even now I’d rather be home than in public.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association has punished Walsh Jesuit High School for recruiting violations involving donor-funded sports scholarships for 11 athletes.Hmmm. Doesn’t it read as though Walsh Jesuit has a girls’ wrestling team?
The violations were tied to the girls soccer and wrestling programs.
Matthew's first Tiger teams went 12–0–1 in 1947 and 9–1–1 in 1948. His next two teams finished 10–1 and 10–2. In 1951, his team was 9–3 but a one-point loss to North Little Rock that season was the last defeat a Matthews-coached Central team had against competition from Arkansas. The Tigers were undefeated in the state the next six years. Matthews led the Tigers to unbeaten seasons in 1956 and 1957, and left the school with a 33-game winning streak. His 1957 team won the schools second mythical national championship.
The research, done by a team led by Hockey Graphs editor-in-chief Asmae Toumi, compared COVID rates in 361 counties that hosted games with fans to similar counties that did not. The bottom line: If caseloads differed in the counties with games, they did so by less than 5 per 100,000 people, or not enough to be statistically significant.
NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy said this is “the latest in the series of reports” that show the NFL didn’t contribute to outbreaks, and credited fans for following protocols at the games.
Data isn’t perfect, and this report is far from conclusive. The researchers didn’t account for crowd size -- only whether a crowd was allowed at all -- so it’s possible that risk grew with larger capacity limits. Also, they didn’t check on surrounding counties, and they didn’t control for other large events, like political rallies.
But as teams across all sports work toward bigger capacity limits, this report is another arrow in their quiver to twist the arms of public health authorities.
I hope you will join us tomorrow, February 23rd, at 10 AM for our first of two 1 day clinics. The process is the same as our Virtual Convention. Login to our website using your login name and password and enjoy a great day of speakers discussing all aspects of our game. Once again, the clinic is free to all paid members. Please take advantage of all the AFCA is providing you in this virtual space. The clinic kicks off with Head Coach Tom Allen of Indiana as he discusses the process of their amazing turn around at Indiana. For more information, go to AFCA.com.
American Football Coaches Association
Way back in 2011, No. 14 Nebraska roared from 21 points down in the third quarter to beat the Buckeyes 34-27. It was the largest comeback in school history. And Pelini, the fourth-year coach, took this opportunity to rip the fans at Memorial Stadium, some of whom booed the Huskers at halftime and did not return to their seats for the second half.
Pelini made his critical remarks off air before a postgame radio interview with Greg Sharpe, the lead announcer for the Huskers Sports Network. But the tape back in the network studio was rolling. “F—k you, fans,” Pelini said to Sharpe. “F—k all of you.”
Almost two years passed, with whispers prevalent that a recording existed of Pelini’s tirade. “You knew there was something like this out there,” Bishop said. “It was kind of like the dirty little secret that Bo was dog-cussing the fans.”
Then in September 2013, two days after a 41-21 Nebraska loss to UCLA, Deadspin got its hands on the 2011 audio. A storm ensued. Pelini apologized. Athletic director Shawn Eichorst and chancellor Harvey Perlman weighed in, saying the matter had been handled months earlier by then-athletic director Tom Osborne when Nebraska officials learned of the recording.
The coach kept his job. But the damage remained.
“Right then in that moment,” Bishop said, “you knew everything was going to change. The thing about Nebraska, you know the passion and how much the people support the team. For the head coach to lay waste to those fans, just the idea of it is shocking. And to be that angry at the fans after you’ve just made this dramatic inspired comeback, it just didn’t make sense to focus on such a negative.”
The first thing I feel I must do is predicate my offensive thinking on the belief that I’m seldom going to have better talent than the opponents.
I want to be different. I want you to have to do something different when you play me.
I want to be able to adjust to the talent that we have. (Anybody can run. Not everybody can throw or catch)
I don’t want to be at the mercy of one highly-skilled player. I want to still have an offense even if we lose our best player. I don’t want everything to depend on our having a quarterback.
I want to be able to help our defense by controlling the ball.
I want to be able to wear opponents down, physically and mentally. Teams don’t seem to get worn down when they’re on offense for long stretches.
I want to be able to teach the offense to the slowest learner on the team
I want to build a small core of plays that we can get better at through repetition
I want our players to be able to run the offense at any age, at any level of our program
I want to be able to block with advantage - I want to be able to use smaller lineman by teaching them to block down, kick out, double-team and wedge
I want to run a series offense - meaning one in which a number of related plays start out the same way.
I want to know how to troubleshoot. I want to have a good idea of what went wrong and I want to be able to fix it. Quickly.
I want my quarterback to be able to call plays by himself. If need be.
I want my players to have confidence that they can move the ball against anybody
As a result of numerous interpretations of current language regarding blocking below the waist in the free-blocking zone, the committee approved another condition in Rule 2-17-2 that must be met for a legal block below the waist in the free-blocking zone, which is a rectangular area extending laterally 4 yards either side of the spot of the snap and 3 yards behind each line of scrimmage.
The new requirement (2-17-2c) is that the block must be an immediate, initial action following the snap. Under the current rule, an offensive lineman can delay and then block below the waist if the ball is still in the zone. In the committee’s ongoing quest to minimize risk in high school football, the change was approved to require the block to be immediate.
“This change makes it easier for game officials to judge the legality of blocks below the waist and minimizes risk of injury for participants,” said Bob Colgate, NFHS director of sports and sports medicine and liaison to the Football Rules Committee. “This change lets game officials observe the block and make a call without having to determine where the ball is and what formation the offense lined up in.”
“A few things are starting to become clear,” he said on a DC-area radio show. “Number 1: Burgundy and gold should never change, period. That is a core aspect of the identity of this team and we know it is important from all this research as well to make sure we don’t feel like an expansion club and we’re tied to the history. We have to keep the burgundy and gold as a centerpiece to all of this.”
“We need something that’s connected to the history of the club or to the area or to something else that is meaningful to the fanbase already, meaningful to the area, etc. So picking some random [expletive] bird mascot doesn’t feel like the right approach, at least from what we’ve seen so far.”