Tag Archives: coaching

The More You Coles

Greetings readers,

After a tournament loss to the Toledo Rockets, Miami University Head Coach Charlie Coles called it quits. Since taking the job in 1996, Coles won 263 games with the Redskins/RedHawks and made seven trips to the postseason.

As well as coaching at Miami, Coles has had a few stops at a couple of local high schools and a stint as the Head Coach of the Central Michigan Chippewas. Coles also spent three years (1963-1965) as a Redskin and one of the program’s 1,000 point scorers.

Would you like to know what makes Coach Coles so different than most coaches? You can tell his passion for the game, as well as being a class act. Just ask some of the fans, like Ball State fans, Xavier Coach Chris Mack, Wright State fans, Dayton fans, and many more. The point is, Coles is in a class all by himself. He never minced words, especially

As a former Wright State student/sportscaster, I’ve seen a couple of Coles-led teams at the Nutter Center. I think I’ve only seen one Miami win at home, but one game Wright State won was off a last-second three to win the game (not to mention claim the lead for the first time.) I can tell you about the time when Coach Coles had his post-game interview patched through the main arena, and he was his usual self. I remember the remaining fans laughing and having a good time listening to the post-game show.

This audio clip (located on Raider Roundball) is Coles’ last post-game interview after a Miami-WSU game. I wish I could find the one I described, but alas.

One thing plaguing Coles has been his health. In the early beginnings of his RedHawk head coaching career, he fainted on the court of Western Michigan. He’s had several surgeries during his time at MU. He missed the road trip to Buffalo because of a virus. He has also had his heart reshaped.

While it’s tough to leave any job at your Alma Mater, I feel like it was the best for the Coach. With his health problems, he needs some time to enjoy with his family. It will be different for fans to see another coach take to the sidelines with the Oxford Red Birds, but I think Charlie needed a break.

Happy retirement, Coach Coles.

To close off this post, here is one of my favorite post-game interviews by Coles, as well as Cincinnati.com’s Top 5 Moments.

Sources of information from muredhawks.com, cincinnati.com, The Wright State Proboards, udpride.com, and raiderroundball.com. Picture from the Muncie Star Press.

Until next time,


Six Teams Enter, Six Teams Leave

Greetings readers,

Remember those times I talked about the Troy Bruins and the AAHL? Well, looks like the All American Hockey League is locking things up for 2011-2012. According to their website, there will be no operations for next season.

Looking at it retrospectively, the AAHL sure had a bumpy year. Originally with six teams, the number quickly lowered down to five. Even before the puck was dropped for the first time, there was drama.

Once called the West Michigan Blizzard, the team moved to Dyer, Indiana before the season began.

The Madison Ice Muskies also was expected to play, but disappeared to Wooster without a trace. Renamed the Korn Kings, the team stayed for five games (two at home.) Their away jerseys, were literally just a green top with numbers taped on.

Indiana called it quits after the first half and were replaced by the Chi-Town Shooters. Troy and Queen City booked for the exit before the second half, and the Lapeer Loggers ran into financial problems.

As a last ditch effort, a third team was born of former Bruins, Storm, and Logger skaters called the Michigan Moose. They lasted only a few games. They don’t even appear on the league schedule, seen here. The last two teams were the Battle Creek Revolution (where the league headquarters were located) and the Shooters. Both teams websites are gone.

You might be asking, did the season finish? Yes. The Battle Creek Revs were the 2011 Champs, taking two out of three from Chi-Town.

So what does this mean for the league and those teams? Well, as a former intern with the Troy Bruins, I do happen to know some ideas and plans. However, that doesn’t mean I can spill them out here.

To be as vague as I can, there are plans to return to Hobart Arena, but probably as a junior hockey team like in the first season. It possibly will be next season, mainly because of the bridge going directly to the arena is out.

What about the other teams? I’ve seen some comments saying that Battle Creek was looking at the Federal Hockey League (from AAHL’s Facebook.) Chi-Town might take the same route.

The AAHL have bought some time to look for new teams, but will they ever drop the puck again? Time will tell.

Source of information from the AAHL website. Picture from MLive.

Until next time,


Pink Slips O’Brien

Greetings readers,

The Indiana Pacers recently fired Head Coach Jim O’Brien. In his fourth year as the coach, the Pacers were 17-27 and in 10th place in the Eastern Conference. You can read Indiana’s press release here. O’Brien’s last game was in the city of Chicago, as his Pacers looked to build on a one-game winning streak after defeating the New Jersey Nets in Indianapolis. Before the win at Conseco Fieldhouse, the Pacers were on a six game losing streak.

While Indiana kept it close throughout three quarters, it was the Bulls who would come away with a 110-89 win.

There was a lot of flack by the fans on the Pacers message boards about benching Josh McRoberts when he was having a career night in Chicago. We’re not talking a benching that lasted a few minutes, we’re talking about a benching that lasted almost all of the fourth quarter. There’s also been an uproar by the fans to can O’Brien since the longest time. One of the things people couldn’t stand about his coaching style was the inconsistent rotations and minutes played.  There were also complaints that his system just didn’t work, at least with the talent he had at Indiana.

Jim O’Brien walks away from Indiana with a 121-169 record. He stands at a 303-327 clip all time as a coach in the NBA.

While this might appear to be a post only relevant to the Pacers fans, there is actually a local tie to the Miami Valley in this story. Jim O’Brien was the head coach at the University of Dayton from 1989 until 1994. It would be his second job as a head coach in the college ranks, his first being with Wheeling Jesuit and going 74-69 with the Cardinals. While O’Brien saw success in his first year with the Flyers, going 22-10 and defeating Illinois in the Big Dance, his next few years were not so good. His last two years saw a mere ten victories out of forty-seven games. According to this article published by the Dayton Daily News about a year ago, he doesn’t follow the Flyers after being let go by then-AD Ted Kissell.

UD Pride has a topic about Jim O’Brien in their message boards (read here). A post mentions how O’Brien said his firing at UD was a mistake, although he went 10-47 in his last two years.

I first saw this happening from Indy Cornrows on Twitter, saying Jim O’Brien is done. The topic exploded on Twitter shortly after that. The Pacers then called a 4:00 press conference to announce the new head coach, which is now Frank Vogel who was an assistant with O’Brien this season.

There is an article here explaining why some fans were too harsh on O’Brien. There is also a few more problems that people saw this season. To counter that article, there was an article published on January 16th of this year from Pacers Gab asking some readers of the Indianapolis Star why they wanted O’Brien gone.

While O’Brien might be a good guy in the public eye, he did not fare well as the head coach of the Pacers, failing to get near the .500 mark for three overall seasons. He continued the playoff-less streak since Rick Carlisle’s last season in Indiana.

Will Jim O’Brien pick up another head coaching gig? Only time will tell. Will the Pacers make the playoffs, like Larry Bird planned, with Vogel as the interim coach? There’s still plenty of season to play.

Sources of information from the Dayton Daily News, Indy Cornrows, UD Pride, Pacers Gab, and the homepage of the Indiana Pacers.

Until next time,


Write For Long Periods of Time

Greetings readers,

I recently bought the book “Win Forever”, wrote by current Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. Being a fan of Coach Carroll at Southern California, I wanted to get the book. However, I had to buy it online just because I’m also a fan of saving money.

The book, written by Pete Carroll with Yogi Roth (a former assistant with Carroll at USC), is split up into a couple of parts. From the early days, to the start of his NFL coaching career, and to his second crack at being a head coach in New England takes up the beginning.

During the beginning, he doesn’t have his coaching philosophy written down (advice given to him when we worked in Arkansas if I’m remembering right.) Even without this, he still cared about the players and wasn’t seen as a coach that just wanted to yell and make players feel bad for mistakes. He got two head coaching chances before snagging the Southern California job with the Jets and Patriots.

After a 6-10 season with New York, Carroll was fired and replaced with Kotite. He’d later have a three year stint with the New England Patriots before being replaced by Bill Belichick in 2000.

This is where the philosophy begins. He talks about what he plans out and (without spoiling too much of the book) he learns that he is a competitor. He then goes step-by-step plotting out his philosophy and then uses it to get the head coaching job at USC.

During the latter of the book, he goes over everyday practices and saying moments that made him happy to be the coach at USC. He doesn’t go over every single game, but he covers a few that have a special place (yes, he does talk about winning over Ohio State 35-3.) There’s even a whole chapter labeled “Fourth and Nine” which deals with a game I won’t say because I won’t spoil the whole book.

At the end of the book, he goes over things that don’t depend on football, but on life. Yes, the philosophy isn’t just used in coaching but it can be used to find who you are in life. Before the conclusion section, he writes “You too can Win Forever.”

Overall: this is a great book to pick up. I know some of you might be saying “Didn’t he cheat at USC?” or “How’d USC do in their bowl *snicker*”, which is fine. I am a fan of Coach Carroll and have been since the 55-19 win over Oklahoma. No matter what your opinion is on that whole mess, it’s still a great read. Yes, some ideas are from John Wooden. Some amazon.com reviews say that this book is almost like John Wooden’s book updated for 2010. Carroll admits that some ideas are from his book too. Either way, this book opens your eyes on ways to always compete. The coach also lists some of his childhood heroes and how they always competed.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, I would. It is a good read for football fans, for Pete Carroll fans, and for others that want to learn about how coaches tick. In bookstores, this book will run you about $27 plus tax. Online, I bought mine for $17 (shipping and all.)

Until next time,


Maize Fire Sale

Greeting readers,

Let me ask you something. If you coached a team and had a bunch of gear and merchandise, what would you do with all of it? Keep it as a reminder on what not to do as a coach? Give it to a family member or a fan? Burn it and cruse everyone around you because you think you’re God’s gift to coaching? How about donate it to a Salvation Army?

That’s what former head coach Rich Rodriguez did. After three years of coaching the Michigan Wolverines, the former West Virginia coach was fired and replaced by Brady Hoke.

Off an another article from ESPN, it sounds like it was a successful sale for that store, with 300-some Wolverines fans made it to the store.

I must say, this is something I’ve never heard of happening. Of course, we’ve seen coaches released, but have we ever heard of someone being nice and helping out a good cause?

Rodriguez ended up giving around 432 items to the Wayne, Michigan store, which is 15 miles southwest of Detroit. 161 out of 432 items were put up for auction, whereas the rest were put up for sale.

I could go on and explain who bought what and a couple who spent over $1,000, but that’s not the point. It’s a nice gesture to donate your gear, especially when some can consider those three years to be the worst three years in Michigan history. It’s nice to see some of the Wolverine fanbase still support Rodriguez and help out a business as well. Will other coaches do this in the future? Maybe.

Until next time,