Posts Tagged ‘school’

Recruit Profile:Harvard’s Ernest Rouse Set To Show Off in the Ivy League

May 7th, 2010

Ernest Rouse is a man that had Jack Curran Gym at Archbishop Molloy High School packed with fans, college coaches, and sportswriters throughout the entire season. He was named onto the New York Post's Honorable Mentions for the All-City team this past year.

Aside from being a very talented player on the court, Rouse is one of the smartest students at his school. His hard work and determination on the court and the classroom earned him a chance to play for Harvard University and study at one of the world's most prestigious schools.

Tommy Amaker, head coach at Harvard, should definitely be happy to see such a great addition to the team. This past year, the Crimson had four seniors on the team who will now will be departing. Rouse is a shooting guard and when two senior guards left, it opened up the slot for Ernie Rouse.

The Crimson put up a 21-8 record this past season. Cornell was the only Ivy League school to make the NCAA tournament, but Harvard was up there in the conference and had a shot.

Now their chances get better with the addition of more young talent. Rouse definitely makes their chances go up higher. He may only be 6'2 and weigh 175lbs., but if he was able to carry Molloy's team in 2009-2010, have them on top of their game, and have them ranked as one of the top teams in New York City, he's the man for Harvard.

He's a mature player and sharpshooter from outside. He can drive the ball into the inside, take a foul, and make the shots. He's clutch. Rouse is a great all-around player for the Crimson and an excellent acquisition for Amaker.

Cornell may have made the NCAA Tournament, this past season, but now Harvard is waiting in the wings with Ernest Rouse set to make a splash.

Seven College Football Coaches Who Could Get a Pink Slip

May 7th, 2010

In 2009, many high-profile coaches were fired or left their program.

After an unsatisfying tenure at Notre Dame where the highlight was a Hawaii Bowl win, Charlie "Fat Chuck" Weis was put out to pasture. Texas Tech fired Mike Leach, who took the Raiders to 10 straight bowls, for vastly different reasons.

This list of coaches is based strictly on their lack of success on the field. If last year is any indicator, off-field incidents will continue between overzealous coaches and players.

With conference expansion of the horizon, and high-profile coaches like Mike Leach and Phil Fulmer virtual free agents, some big and small teams could be looking to make a change.


Todd Dodge - North Texas (5-31 in three seasons)

Before heading out to coach the Mean Green, Dodge was one of the most creative and accoladed coaches in Texas high school history. He won five championships at Southlake High and coached stud quarterbacks like Greg McElroy (Alabama) and Chase Daniel (New Orleans Saints).

However, success in high school doesn't usually translate to FBS football. Dodge's defenses have been the laughingstock of the Sun Belt, surrendering 36.4 points per game last year.

This season will be especially tough because his son and starting quarterback Riley Dodge has to move to wideout because of arm issues.

It's safe to say that Dodge will be out this year unless he wins at least six games. His "Air Raid" offense hasn't made up for a porous defense and a lack of athletes even in football-rich Texas.

A program that won four Sun Belt titles under Darrell Dickey hasn't been the same, and Dodge will likely go down as the worst coach in North Texas history (.139 winning percentage).


Mike Price - UTEP (34-38 in five seasons)

Price was very successful at Washington State winning two Pac 10 titles, but some off field issues at Alabama led to his dismissal and disgrace. The lowly UTEP Miners gave him a chance for redemption, and he took them to a bowl with Carson's little brother, Jordan Palmer, at QB.

But the blue chip recruits haven't come in for Mike Price, and he's suffered four straight losing seasons. This season could be even worse as the Miners only bring back one starter on offense.

Price has been out-recruited by other Conference USA schools like East Carolina and Tulsa, and the results on the field are showing.

Price is all but fired. Last year, with so many senior starters returning, the Miners had a shot at at least six or seven wins and a bowl.

Their inability to recruit talented defenders has really hurt them because Trevor Vittatoe can really put points on the board (58 points in a win over Houston). Mike Price must win many shootouts to have another year in El Paso.


Dan Hawkins - Colorado (16-33 in four seasons)

Hawkins, who had taken Boise State to four straight bowls, was supposed to be a breath of fresh air in this roadkill program that had been rocked by scandals and seven-win seasons.

But Hawkins has never been able to recruit the kind of talent to win in the Big 12 (same with a lot of coaches). His last recruiting class, for example, didn't have any recruits ranked higher than three stars.

He also has had zero success on the road, winning only two games away from Folsom Field. A signature win versus No. 3 Oklahoma is the only thing keeping him afloat. Speculation swirled last year about his axing, but the AD gave him a vote of confidence.

With Cody Hawkins as a senior and 13 other starters returning, Hawkins has experienced vets in a Big 12 North that should be wide open except for Nebraska.

A season of at least 7-6 should save his job, because Hawkins has never had a winning season at Boulder. This is definitely Hawkins' last chance at coaching a BCS school.


Ron Zook- Illinois (21-39 in five seasons)

Ron Zook's time is running out. Unlike the previous coaches, recruiting isn't his problem. Five star studs have come and gone in Champaign including quarterback/receiver duo Juice Williams and Arrellious Benn. In 2008, Zook's recruiting class was ranked number 17.

Even though he's had four losing seasons, Zook led the Illini to a Rose Bowl in 2007, getting pummeled by USC. They beat Ohio State and were very talented with Williams, Benn, and future Pittsburgh Steeler Rashard Mendenhall at tailback. But mostly Zook's teams have underachieved.

Last year, the Illini were supposed to challenge for a top 20 ranking. However, they couldn't defend giving up 53 points to Fresno State, and Illinois was held under 17 points six times even with senior Juice Williams at quarterback.

Zook's offense will struggle this year with eight underclassman starters. The defense must perform to the highest levels under Ron Zook to save his job.


Ralph Friedgen - Maryland (66-46 in nine seasons)

Friedgen has had success at Maryland, leading this predominantly hoops school to six bowls in nine seasons. However, 2009 was a wake up call that the Terps have only had two winning seasons since 2004 and are slipping away in the expansion-era ACC.

This year's Terps team could be just as big as a disappointment. No skill players return on offense, but the newcomers should be well protected by four returning O-Line starters.

Friedgen's old teams could spring the occasional upset (Tennessee in the 2003 Peach Bowl; top 10 Boston College and Rutgers in 2007), but they've lost two straight to Sun Belt squad MTSU.

A bowl season will ensure Friedgen's peaceful retirement in 2011 unless he pulls a Joe Paterno and stays 20 more years at the program he built.

But if the defense doesn't help the inexperienced quarterback and receivers stay in game, the "Fridge" could get an early pink slip.


Dennis Erickson - Arizona State (19-18 in three seasons)

This might be jumping the gun for this college football nomad, but Erickson won more games his first year in Tempe than he has the rest of his career. That team was led by accurate quarterback Rudy Carpenter (68.4 completion percentage).

There is some optimism for the Sun Devils with Michigan transfer Steven Threet coming in and five four-star recruits for a class ranked a little bit outside of the top 25.

Recruiting hasn't been a problem for ASU, but closing out tight games has been. The Sun Devils lost four games by at least a touchdown, including a three-point home loss to hated rival Arizona.

The Wildcats are slightly more talented than ASU this year, boasting shutdown corner Trevin Wade (5 interceptions) and nine returning starters on offense.

The Pac1-0 is tough league this year with teams like USC and Oregon continuing to dominate, and Washington, Arizona, and UCLA finally starting to reap the rewards of their highly rate recruiting classes or taking advantage of a senior quarterback (Jake Locker of Washington).

Erickson has won conference titles at three different schools (Miami, Oregon St., and Arizona St.), but he'll need to do one of his best coaching jobs to get this team out alive in the Pac10 jungle.


Steve Spurrier - South Carolina (35-28 in five seasons)

The Gamecocks hired Steve Spurrier to win SEC titles, but all he's given them is seven win seasons and bowl appearances.

The Ol' Ball Coach has shown flashes of greatness in his tenure at USC, posting wins against old foe Tennessee (South Carolina football's first win in Knoxville) and old school Florida.

But he hasn't made an SEC title game yet or won more than eight games, marks he surpassed after three seasons at Duke.

Over the spring, Spurrier showed his desperation by saying he would call all offensive plays. This Gamecock squad has 10 returning starters on offense and steady quarterback Stephen Garcia (2,862 yards) could thrive in the old "Fun and Gun" which made Danny Wuerffel into a Heisman winner.

With 18 returning starters from a decent 7-6 squad that beat Ole Miss and Clemson, South Carolina must win at least nine games or reach the SEC title game to save Spurrier's job.

The 'Cocks have two preseason All SEC players (Cliff Matthews, Chris Culliver) and have a good chance of making Spurrier look like a genius again.

Or he could replace Lee Corso on the College GameDay...


Men’s College BB: Former St. Mary’s Assistant Accepts Head Position at Columbia

May 7th, 2010

On what was a beautiful summer like day on Columbia's prestigious campus Wednesday, an even warmer welcoming was taking place inside its infamous Levien Gymnasium.

Just three weeks and 150 applicants later, Columbia had found its new head coach, and boy, did they find a good one.

Former St. Mary's associate head coach, Kyle Smith left his position of nine years with the Gaels, for a head coaching position at a school that has been in somewhat of a rut. 

For the past seven years Columbia's coach was Joe Jones.

Jones was an amazing leader who came to Columbia on the heels of a two win season.

He has built a great foundation, and probably would have won an Ivy League title sometime during the past three years had it not been for that amazing run that Cornell put together. 

Ironically enough, Jones left for the associate head coaching position at Boston College, under the leadership of now-former Cornell coach, Steve Donahue. 

So when Kyle Smith came knocking on Columbia's door, a man with great recruiting skills, great basketball skills, and a whole lot of good experience, it would be hard to turn him down.

In fact, the only concern with Smith is that he has few ties with the New York area, which may affect his recruiting ability. 

Smith was right there for all 81 of the Gaels wins during the past three seasons, two of which came in the NCAA tournament this past season.

He too came into his coaching position with a team that had won only two games the previous year. 

The addition of Smith has made headlines, however, he was just a fish in the sea this offseason in the metropolitan area.

Schools like Hofstra (twice), Rutgers, Wagner, St. Francis, St. John's, Iona, Seton Hall, and Fordham, have all replaced their coaches.

Columbia is the fourth Ivy League school to announce a new official head coach this offseason.

However, Columbia is hoping to stand out in the years to come.

Say's Smith, "I look forward to the challenge of building and Ivy League championship men's basketball program at Columbia".

Good luck, Coach Smith. 

Mike Rice Introductory Press Conference: This Coaching Hire Won’t Work

May 7th, 2010

Rutgers basketball serves as a graveyard for coaches on the rise.

Rutgers hired Kevin Bannon, Gary Waters and Fred Hill to change their fortunes. In the end, those men could not get the job done.

Waters bounced back nicely by leading Cleveland State to a NCAA Tournament victory against Wake Forest last year. Bannon and Hill will not be coaching a college basketball team again.

One would think Rutgers learned from their mistakes, but that's not the case. They hired another up-and-coming coach several days ago.

They officially announced the hiring of Mike Rice yesterday in a press conference. Rice previously coached at Robert Morris University.

It's bad enough they hired an unproven coach, but they hired a guy from a NEC school. Hiring a coach from the Northeast Conference is not the way to go.

The Northeast Conference teams never fare well when it comes to beating great teams. There is a reason why they have never won a tournament game.

Robert Morris almost pulled it off in March. They should have beaten Villanova.

That's the only reason why Rice was even considered for the job. No one knew who the new Rutgers coach was prior to what Robert Morris did in this tournament.

Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti hopes Rice can work out his magic at Rutgers. That's the problem right there. He is doing this on hope.

He was better off hiring a coach that has experience of winning. A coach that knows how to recruit and do well in the Big East conference.

Al Skinner, Tim Welsh or Fran Fraschilla would have been the right choices. As crazy as Bobby Gonzalez was, he would have been a better fit.

Obviously, Pernetti had a late start of hiring coaches after it took an off-the-court incident to fire Fred Hill. Still, those guys were available. Maybe they would not have been inspiring, but at least, they have the cache of recruiting and winning.

Fraschilla would have been the choice here. He knows how to win and recruit in this market by doing it at Manhattan and at St. John's. He struggled at New Mexico State, but that bad experience shouldn't taint his coaching career.

Welsh would have been another fit. He was fired by Hofstra for his DWI arrest, but how many coaches have not been hired again after being in the police blotter? Too few to count.

Welsh may not be a great gameday coach, but he knows the area well enough to recruit. He actually did okay at Providence. Right now, okay would be considered greatness at Rutgers after couple of decades of awful basketball.

Who knows what Rice is going to do? It's hard to say he will be successful. Why should we feel that way after experiencing the same old story in the last couple of decades?

Here are several reasons to be optimistic:

He served as Jamie Dixon's assistant at Pittsburgh. He knows what it takes to win in the Big East.

He knows how to recruit in New Jersey and Philadelphia.

Bobby Hurley Sr. endorsed the hire. Anytime Hurley gives the seal of apporval, that's a good thing.

Those are well and good, but again, we saw enough of those coaches.

Rutgers should have thought big. They should have been bold. Bold as in going out and hiring a big name.

Rutgers coaching history does not bode well for the former Robert Morris coach.

One wonders what he was thinking in making this decision to coach at Rutgers. He would have been better off coaching in another mid-major school before he took a step up like this one.

Coaching in the Big East is not for rookie coaches. Not in a league where there are many great coaches. It's easy to be overmatched whether it's going through a player's home or coaching in the court.

Providence coach Keno Davis is learning it the hard way. After doing well at Drake, he is not having that same success at Providence.

It's going to take years for Rice to get this program running.  He has to sell the kids and their coaches that Rutgers is the place to be.

All these previous Rutgers coaches tried with no success. Mike Rosario's departure does not help matters. Don't forget Bob Huggins has complete control of getting kids in this area along with Jay Wright.

Who knows if he can coach at this level?

There's too much doubt about this choice.

Here's a prediction.

Rutgers will have another press conference in a couple of years at this time. They will announcer another unproven head coach, and that guy will say all the right things.




Al Golden Rewarded by the Temple Owls With a Contract Extension

May 7th, 2010

I like the way Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw works; quietly and behind the scenes.

I ran into Bill at the signing day function and mentioned something about head coach Al Golden's contract and Bill said, "Al Golden can have a contract extension any time he wants."

Bradshaw didn't elaborate, and he didn't need to for a Joe Schmoe like me.

I didn't take it as a good sign at the time because I interpreted it as a "contract extension" of the current contract with the same financial terms in place.  Evidently, though, from what I hear, his recently signed extension features a significant increase in Golden's salary with a commensurate increase in staff compensation. The figures $1.2 million with a $2 million buyout have been floated around.

I got those from reliable sources, guys who have told me things that have happened the day before they became public elsewhere, so I don't doubt them.  Someone tweeted me this morning that Golden is now making money similar to head coaches in BCS conferences, a more-than-double salary increase.

I like that, but what I like more is that there are hightened protections in place for my beloved Temple University.

I hope Al stays here for a Joe Paterno-like run, but I live in a real world.  Other schools have come after him hard the past two seasons and, someday, someone is going to get him for the right offer.

Once that happens, though, I want Temple protected and this deal does that.  The school that hires Golden away from Temple will have to pay the school the kind of money West Virginia got when Rich Rodriguez left for Michigan.  That's the best part of the deal and assures that Temple will have the financial wherewithal to hire a big-name coach should Golden leave.

Let's hope Golden settles in here and develops the kind of love for the school that Wayne Hardin, John Chaney and Harry Litwack had.  This school has a special mission and only very special people understand that.

For the historic-like turnaround Golden has already achieved here, he deserves to be compensated handsomely.  I hope he attacks the enormous task ahead to move the program forward with the same verve he has in working his magic so far.

Today was a great day for both Al Golden and Temple football, but there are greater days ahead.

It should be fun finding out what rewards those days bring to the Owls and their fans.

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