Tag Archives: Wright State

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,

-Lee

Raiders Back to the Screen

Greetings readers,

Wright State and Dayton’s CW recently came to an agreement to air some Men’s Basketball games, as you can see in this press release from wsuraiders.com.

As someone who grew up in the Dayton area, I remember as a kid watching WDTN during the evening news and seeing the WSU updates, with the Raider Viking logo on the side. I don’t remember the game highlights, but I remember seeing the logo. Along the way, I’ve purchased a few old media guides, with the most recent one being from 1996-1997. In the media guide, there was an insert talking about the games that would be broadcasted on Channel 2.

Fast forward to 2011, a pair of new mascot suits, and a college degree in my hand; and Channel 2 has struck a deal with Wright State for rights to broadcast the games. The main difference is: the games will air live on Channel 26, which is Dayton’s CW and there will be three games live.

I say it’s about time that Wright State got back to the airwaves. It’s been way too long since we seen the Raiders on TV (it might have been Schilling’s first year where the contract ended, but this is all just a guess. Point is, they haven’t been on TV in awhile.)

You might argue with the fact that WWRD actually was on the scene a few years back, but not everyone got that station. It took me awhile to figure out that it was Time Warner Cable Channel 997-ish (this was when the first game was on. I think it was changed shortly afterwards to Ch. 23.) Point is though, not everyone got that channel.

I think it’s great that local television is picking Wright State games up again. Next year hopefully, we’ll see more games on the set.

Source of information from Wright State University’s Athletic website.

Until next time,

-Lee

Vikings Drop the Baseball

Greetings readers,

It’s a sad day for the Cleveland State baseball program, as the university has decided to cut the program after this season after 79 seasons. The decision was made by the university for budget reasons. According to the article from cleveland.com, this will save CSU about $450,000.

This will not affect the Vikings’ membership in the Horizon League or in NCAA Division I. The Horizon League doesn’t require schools to have a baseball program, and the minimum amount of teams to play in D-I is fourteen.

It is a sad day for fans of college baseball when you see a team pack it up and call it quits. However, there were a few things that made it somewhat difficult to follow Vikings baseball (at least away from the internet.)

The Vikings played at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, which is twenty miles away from Cleveland State. Before the move a few seasons back, CSU played at Pipe Yard Stadium in Lorain, which was thirty-some miles away. Not the easiest trip to make, day in and day out. While playing at Progressive Field would have been nice for the Vikings (and a lot closer), the costs would be through the roof unless the Cleveland Indians and the University could reach a deal. Unlikely? Probably, but still would have been neat to see.

Another reason is the lack of success that the Vikings have had. Cleveland State has failed to record a winning season since 1989, when the Vikings went 24-21. The Green and White got close to winning seasons a few times since then (like going 23-26 in 1993, and 22-24 in 1991.) That is not a knock on anyone who has played or coached, that is just stating the facts right out of the media guide.

Once CSU disbands the baseball program, the Horizon League will only have six teams playing baseball. I once heard that the minimum amount of teams that the conference requires to sponsor a sport was six. Detroit (UDM) was the last university to disband their program in the HL, after the 2004 season for budget reasons. While this makes it possible for teams to play each other twice in a season at each venue again (some schools only see each other once in the regular season), it is the borderline number to keep the sport in the conference. What if someone decides to drop before the 2012 season? Will baseball soon become history in the Horizon League?

As a former Sports Director at Wright State, I have seen the Raiders and Vikings play ball several games. While most have been wins for Wright State, the Vikings have always had some great talent. I remember one Josh Hungerman playing for CSU before becoming a member of the Colorado Rockies farm system. He was a starting pitcher, who would later become the DH for CSU. Currently, Anthony Sambula (see picture) is about to graduate from Cleveland State as a senior and has snagged a few HL Pitcher of the Week awards in 2011.

As a positive for the league, it is nice to see five teams in the league at home and away once again. As a possibility for scheduling, the traveling teams could be the Ohio teams of Wright State and Youngstown State, followed by the Indiana schools of Valparaiso and Butler, then pair up UIC and Milwaukee together for baseball. Another positive is that all the players currently on CSU’s roster will be able to play somewhere else without waiting a year.

Despite no winning seasons since 1989, I will still miss the away gray pinstripes of the Cleveland State Vikings playing at Wright State. I will miss the Vikings taking the diamond at Nischwitz Stadium, wearing the green alternative jerseys with a font that looks like Cincinnati’s (the Bearcats, not the Reds.)

As a closing note, I want to wish everyone in that organization nothing but the best in their futures. You have bright futures ahead, keep your head up and play hard for the last few weeks of 2011.

Sources of information from cleveland.com, csuvikings.com, and baseball-reference.com. Picture from the Horizon League website at horizonleague.org.

Until next time,

-Lee

Rebuilding the Wright Way

Greetings readers,

Today’s post is a little different. I’m writing about my alma mater, Wright State University. Granted, I’m a new graduate, but I still feel that it’s important for me to be updated on new happenings. For a little preview for those that aren’t familiar with what’s going on: Wright State is looking to roll out a Master Plan to rebuild the university. Three snapshots were made to ensure that short-term and long-term goals could be accomplished.

Wright State is unique, due to the woods that split the academics and the athletics side of the campus up. These are part of an old farmland that now have their uses for the Biology Department. It’s a nice walk through the woods, and you can actually traverse from the education side of things over to where most of the sports are played in about 15 minutes (your results may vary.)

In the Master Plan, there’s many changes coming but for the purpose of this blog I’ll stick with the Athletic side of things. If you follow along with the link I provided, this should be near the back of the slideshow.

In Phase I, which is scheduled to be completed in three to five years, the Athletics Core will try to extend Raider Road all the way to Kauffman Road. If you aren’t familiar with WSU, Raider Road is the road that runs by the Nutter Center (basketball arena), the Setzer Pavilion (practice/office arena for basketball), the softball field, and the parking lot that is used for the Tennis Courts and Nischwitz Stadium (baseball). Raider Road ends at University Boulevard which takes you to State Route 844 or back to the main part of campus. At the intersection, you will see Lot 20 (it’s a long way from the dorms but a lot cheaper to park there) and Alumni Field (soccer) closer to 844. To complete the description, Kauffman is the road that borders Wright State to the north. There are currently three entrances to campus from the road, and two link to Lot 20. The other connection is from Wright State Road, which ends at an angle at University. To do this, the lot will need to be cut in size as the road will need to pass the soccer field.

Along with extending an important road in Phase I, Wright State also wants to fill in some of the pond near the Nutter Center to create more parking spaces, which many basketball fans have brought to attention numerous times. Along with creating a pedestrian spine and landscapes for University and Raider, the recreation fields would move from the Student Union area to behind/next to Alumni Field. Nearby the Athletic core, there would be a Sports Medicine building by Kauffman.

Phase II is a short one for the Athletic side of things, as the relocation of the recreation fields is scheduled to be complete in five to ten years. However, there is another Sports Medicine building (labeled Sports Medicine II) nearby.

In the final Phase, which is scheduled to take ten plus years, the Athletic core is looking to build a “Field House” and an Aquatics Center.  Along with adding some fields to the northwest part of Wright State (that’s the corner of Zink and Kauffman, which is where the majority of the on-campus and off-campus apartments are located), there is a plan to add more parking spaces by opening a one-level parking deck north of the Nutter Center, which should be right next to Gate Nine.

In the final slide, there is Student Housing planned on the southwest corner of University and Raider, which is currently an untouched field of grass. The tennis courts are relocated to the north of Alumni Field, which happens in Phase I.

As you can see, there are a lot of improvements being planned. I didn’t touch on any other part but the Athletic core, mainly because this is a sports blog. I could have mentioned that there are plans to replace the Forest Lane apartments, where I spent three years living on campus. There’s also a few parking garages in the works.

All and all, this is a fantastic plan. Granted, no two people are going to agree on one same thing being the best or worst, but it’s a solid plan to keep Wright State with the times. I know when I come back for Alumni functions, I’m going to be surprised on how much the campus has changed.

It’s my alma mater. Hail Wright State, Hail Wright State U. Go Raiders!

Until next time,

-Lee