Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Dequan Stanley Decommits, Heading to USF

Dequan had committed to BG for a couple weeks and now he's decided to head to USF.  Here's what I wrote at the time... 

I wish him the best.  This is one of the most important decisions a person makes in their life and he should make the choice that is best for him.

One other thing...the easiest way to avoid de-commits is to get players no one else wants.  I believe our staff will find us the guys we need to compete.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Mountain Verbals to BG Football

There's a new verbal for BG.  His name is Dawson Hildebrand from Troy, OH.  He's very interesting.  His junior year was his first year of playing HS football.  He's 6'3" and 332 pounds and he's known as The Mountain around the team. 

In the story linked above, he made a key blocked punt and there's another story out there about something similar.  So you wonder if this might be a born playmaker and a young man ready to grow into being a player.  

According to this story in the Dayton Daily News, "in recent weeks, Hildebrand received scholarship offers from Findlay, Tulane, Western Illinois and others."

Also this, which I think really is interesting
He attended Newton High School his first two years and finished fifth in the Division III state track and field meet in the shot put as a sophomore. He also was a state qualifier in the discus. He finished fourth in the shot put as a freshman.
You're 4th in the state in shot put as a freshman...there's athletic ability involved in that.  He's big but he's more than big at that point.

Welcome to the Falcons, Dawson.


Monday, June 15, 2020

Anthony Stacey leaving BG

Here's a wow for the men's basketball program.  Anthony Stacey will be leaving to be the head coach at Whitmer.

Very happy for Coach Stacey.  This is a good opportunity.  Whitmer has produced numerous D1 players, is strong in all its athletic fields, and presents an opportunity to compete for state titles.  Coach has been a HS head coach before and clearly relishes the opportunity.  Best of luck to him.

He leaves a hole at BG and it is going to be an important one to fill.  The head assistant job is vital to a program and to a team's chemistry.  My understanding is that Coach Huger and Stacey had different styles which kept the team in balance.

Had Coach Summey been here, he would have been able to step up and fill that role, but the current assistants (Noon and Wright) are not experienced assistants.  To me, this is a very important hire.  I hope Coach spends some time to find a proven, experienced assistant to fill the most important role on the staff.  Honestly, I think it's vital to keeping our momentum going.  (One loyal BG fan has pointed out a possible parallel to when Coach Orr lost George Jackson.)

It's never easy and change is a constant, especially at the mid-major level.  Coach Huger has done a good job at the helm and I look forward to him finding the right coach for this job at this time.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Davin Wilson in portal

Another departure from the Falcon defensive backfield, as the report is that Davin Wilson has entered the portal.

At his season ticket event, Coach Loeffler said that we'd have all freshmen in the d-secondary, so perhaps that was an early hint on this.

Here's BG's recap of this freshmen year, which ended in a redshirt.

 Played in four games, starting three times …  Had 12 tackles, including 10 solo tackles … Added one interception and three pass break-ups, all in a victory over Akron … Made five solo tackles in a game at Western Michigan … Tallied six total tackles in a game against Ohio 

He is from Rancho Verde, CA.  He was in Loeffler's first class upon taking over the Faclcons.  Wilson was a three-star recruit (247) who committed to BG on signing day, December of 18.

So here's the depth chart from out last game, updated for known departures, planned and unplanned.

Best of luck to Davin.  The process continues to grind and doesn't get easier.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Football Verbal Nate Pabst

BG has another verbal, one that had everyone very excited.  Coach Loeffler was counting down the minutes...literally. So, hey, if he's excited, we're excited.

The young man is named Nate Pabst, and he plays at Moeller High School in Cincy.  (By the way, Moeller is now coached by Mark Elder, who coached EKU against BG in 2018).

This is an interesting guy.  He plays DE/TE...he's listed as a WDE (blind side).  It is not known how much reprogramming had to be done to get Loeffler to not put him at TE.

The interesting thing is that he is a world champion kickboxer.  Not sure why, but it seems like good training.  You'd be tough and can see him below.

Nate is a 2-star player.  He's 6'6" and 240 pounds, which is a good size for a pass rushing end.  He had offers from Akron, Kent, Ball State and Miami.

Welcome to the Falcons, Nate.

Football Verbal: Dequan Stanley.

Dequan Stanley is the newest commit for BG.  He's 5'10" and 160 pounds and a WR/CB who seems to project as a WR at BG.  He's from St. Augustine FL, which is on the Atlantic Coast between Jacksonville and Daytona.  Supposedly the oldest city in the US.

He was third-team 6A all-state as a CB (there are 8A's total)  He had offers from Maryland, Akron, Troy, Bryant, Gardner Webb, Notre Dame (OH), Campbell and Coastal Carolina.  

He is a three-sport star...he plays football, basketball and track.   He has no ranking currently, but seems to have embraced it.  For many, its a motivator.

Here's a good story about him.  He's a playmaker.  In October of his junior year, he had three kickoff returns TDs THAT SEASON.  He averaged 19.6 yards per catch (at that point of the season).  

At that size, I think you have him in the slot but he's clearly a playmaker coming to a program that is trying to accumulate them.

We have 9 commits now and 3 of them are WRs.  There are currently 5 scholarship WRs on the roster and no one more than a sophomore (amazing).  Three WRs were in the last recruiting class (4 but one enrolled early) and is counted there.

So, by the time Dequan gets to BG in the summer of 2021, we'd have (as it stands now) 11 scholarship WRs.

Welcome to the Falcons, Dequan.

Friday, June 05, 2020

News from Football

So last night BG held a virtual forum with Scott Loeffler (and special guests, or how do they do that at concerts, ASG?), more on that in a minute.

First, kudos to the athletic department for being innovative and creating this event.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I'm glad I got my renewal taken care of in time to participate.  There are going to be more of these and I'd encourage any other season ticket holders to get their renewals in and participate.

Some small news bits.

He said that one thing that was apparent in the 3 days of practice was that "we have a quarterback" and it makes a night and day difference.

He noted that BG took five OL last year and will take 5 again this year and that is unheard of in any program he has ever heard about.  Similarly, we took 5 defensive lineman last year and 4 this year.

I agree with this.  Teams have won the MAC with different styles of play, but no one has won the MAC who wasn't able to control the line of scrimmage.  And I suspect never will...because the winds of November come blowin'.

He was careful to manage expectations for this year, which is appropriate.  We will be very young on the offensive line and the d-line remains an issue.  One of the problems with rebuilding the front is it just takes longer.  Also, the defensive backfield will be very young.

The best part was his description of how they are installing offensive and defensive concepts without being in person.  I can't do it justice, but it was innovative and creative and I give them 100% credit for refusing to sit idly by during this crisis.  Coach said "control the controllables."

Or, as John Wooden said, "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”

Also, he said that this could be a model for off-season workouts that could reduce the number of contact drills in the spring, which would reduce injuries.  Again--innovative, resourceful thinking.

He said "elite" once.  This should be like a swear jar.

He talked quite a bit about our tight end oriented offense.  Says defensive coordinators hated it...12, 13 or 22 personnel.  And in 11 personnel, which most teams play, can give you 12 different formations, while 12 can give you hundreds.  You can be in a spread or you can be compressed.  But you need TEs who can block and run routes.

So, beyond that, we had visits from 3 NFL Falcons.  

First, together, were Korey Lichtensteiger and Scott Mruczkowski, who both had extensive NFL careers and were the best offensive lineman of their era in Bowling Green football.  Lichtensteiger was the team MVP.  They shared some memories of BG and then talked about the importance of the offensive line.

Mruczkowski remembered the GameDay game most of all.  It was powerful...he said he was getting chills down his spine thinking about it.  As I think we all do.

Key line:

"We put a licking on those boys."

Yes sir.  You did.

Oh man.

So, then the highlight of the show came along.  Phil Villiapiano.  So, you can watch Scot Loeffler and see that he's a little unglued.  It's OK...normal people watch football they don't coach it.  He's intense.  The words are racing to get out of his mouth.  His motor is RUNNING.

Phil Villiapiano comes on...he's an order of magnitude further down the tracks than Loeffler is. This dude is a wild man.

Key line:

"What I love about football is you can hurt somebody."

Second line, when describing football.

"I want to kill you."

Honestly, he had me laughing the entire time.

He started by saying that he liked hearing Coach talk about football, but "I wasn't liking coach too much last year.  How can you give up 60 points in one game?  There aren't enough plays."

At another point, he said, "I don't think we made any tackles last year."

No filter.  

He wasn't giving us any "expectation managing" for next year.  Zero.  None.  He started talking about Jerry Glanville and who knows what else.

He did confirm that he hated facing two tight end formations.

How did he end up at BG?  This is a great story.  His dad was a basketball coach and they went to the NIT at Madison Square Garden.  BG was playing (Nate Thurmond era) and a huge number of fans had traveled to NY from BG.  They impressed Villiapiano.  The next year, his dad asked him where he wanted to go to college and Phil said, "how about Bowling Green."  And they came and visited and the rest is history.

The guy's a warrior.  He's the only BG alum to get a sideline penalty in a bowl game.  Love him.  And he loves BG.  He was at the UT game this year.

"Go up and beat their ass," he said last night.

Here's a little bonus Phil for you....(sorry, you have to click through to YouTube.  It's worth it.)

That was a different era.

Again, thanks for BG doing this.  It was a welcome escape from what is a pretty challenging world we are facing.  It is a privilege to have things that make you happy, and I thank the athletic department for doing that.  It's a respite, and then we can go back to work.

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Welcome Home, Steven Wright

Former BG PG Steven Wright has returned home as an assistant coach at BG, replacing Kevin Summey who moved on to NC State.

Wright played for Coach Dakich at BG from 2002-2006.  He made 64 starts. Wright, who led BGSU in assists in 2003-04, averaged 9.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.5 steals as a Falcon. He led the Falcons in steals during the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons.

He left the program in February of 2006 and finished at Northern Kentucky as a DII All-American.  I do remember some tumult around one point I think he was suspended and then came back.  I can't find anything about it.

But, we were all young once.  I've seen him interact positively with Coach Dakich on Twitter, so there can't be too many bad feelings.  He certainly has paid his dues.  Here is how it looks between now and BG, his first D1 assistant coaching job.  (He was video coordinator at Cleveland State).

2007-08: Professional Athlete | Basketball Lowen Braunschweig | German Bundesliga
2008-09: Professional Athlete | Uni Baskets Paderborn | German Bundesliga
2009-10: Professional Athlete | Tigers Tubingen | German Bundesliga
2010-11: Professional Athlete | Giants Dusseldorf | German Bundesliga
2011-12: Professional Athlete | Lahti Basketball | Finnish Korisliiga
2012-13: Assistant Coach | University of the Cumberlands | NAIA Division I
2013-16: Assistant Coach | Columbus State Community College | NJCAA Division II
2014-16: Head Coach 17U | King James AAU | Columbus, Ohio
2017-19: Assistant Director & Head Coach 16U | Under Armour's C2K AAU | Columbus, Ohio
2017-19: Head Coach | Princeton High School | Cincinnati, Ohio
2019-20: Video Coordinator | Cleveland State University | NCAA Division I

His two seasons at Princeton were successful  He was 39-13 was named the Greater Miami Coach of the Year, while also taking home District 16 Coach of the Year honors.  He did have Darius Bazley on the team.  Darius is currently a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Welcome home, Steven.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Moosbrugger Presser--Updated with Coaching News

Just listened to the AD's press conference today...very interesting.  I think the media left some things on the table, but let's look at what was talked about.  (It is on youtube for anyone who wants to see the whole thing for themselves).

Per my post yesterday, my biggest question had to do with why a fundraising effort wasn't undertaken prior to the decision to cut the program.  Only one reporter got in that range, but added the hockey program into the question, allowing Moos the opportunity to riff on how hockey was never cut, etc. (all true) and dodge the real question, which was why the fundraising wasn't undertaken before the announcement to cut it, especially given that people were willing fund it.

What he said was that they had been seeking support and having conversations with baseball alumni that there were financial struggles at the University and in the athletic department and that could force some difficult decisions.  He gave roughly the same description of his conversations with Schmitz.  He did not reach out and tell baseball alumni that the program was on the chopping block because he didn't want to "threaten" them.

And yet, one of the alumni told him "I didn't know it was that bad."

My question would be, "do you think you could have prevented this by being transparent with alumni and coaches that their program was going to be cut if support was not generated."

Because he said more than once that "we had to make a difficult decision" and he didn't.

He did talk about one thing I wondered about, which is what would happen to the other non-revenue sports and should their alumni be expected to fund their sports, too.  His answer was telling, which was that they hope to use this as a model for the other non-revenue sports and, in fact, across the entire university.  In other words, given the reduction in state funds to BG, alumni are going to be asked to replace that funding across the school, including in the academic areas.

It took Dave Briggs at the very end to ask who would be making decisions about the baseball program.  There was talk about an LLC early on.  Moos said that only the athletic department could make the decisions but that he was sure there would be a lot of conversations, which I suspect there will be.  At least.  How are you going to, say, fire a coach and lose your donor base?

Competitiveness was a big point of discussion.  And it should be.  To introduce an unpleasant fact, BG is 44-82 over the past five years in MAC play, with four straight losing seasons.  They get a set amount of money for scholarships and how many players they get out of it depends on how many of them are out of state.  The NCAA allows 11.7 scholarships spread over 27 players.  BG had 10.4...again, due to out of state students.

But that's not our lot in life.  Moos said, and he is right, that all of our programs are underfunded.  To win at BG, you have to do more with less.  Every program does.

The question is whether this funding level--at which the program has been unsuccessful of late--is built for competitiveness or mere existence.  And, frankly, whether we have a "more with less" coaching staff.

Moos said that he has that concern and that it is still in the early days and he hopes to build on the momentum to create additional involvement and support that will help the program be more successful.  

Everyone wants that and you can't move ahead without a path to being consistently competitive.

There are no decisions on coaching. Other programs have taken cuts and it seemed like the structure of the coaching staff is a concern.  Moos also felt his relationship with Coach Schmitz would be fine.

One last question would be this:  "What is your understanding with the alumni?  If they fall short on their portion, would you cut the sport again?"

It will be interesting to see what happens.  Hoping for the best...and in some cases better.

UPDATE:  Danny Schmitz, who took over in 1991, will no longer coach Falcon baseball.  The announcement came out this afternoon.  Schmitz said that he left on his own terms and that it was time for a new beginning for the program.  He is the longest-serving coach in the BG Athletic Department history.  

A three-time MAC Coach of the Year, Schmitz delivered seven conference championships (regular season or tournament) and was the Mid-American Conference's active leader in all-time wins. His teams qualified for the NCAA Tournament three times – in 1998, 1999 and 2013. The Falcons won four MAC regular season titles and seven division championships in his tenure.

He finishes his career at 723-791.

The interim coach is Andy Hallock, a current assistant.

Schmitz will remain an advisor to the program, which I think is important for connections to the people who are funding the program.

Football Verbal: Matt Kordas

BG has its newest football verbal...Matt Kordas of Lincoln-Way East in Frankfort, IL.  Frankfort is in NE IL and is south of the lake.  He's 6'0" and 180 pounds and is a Safety.  247 gives him 2-stars, and he has FBS offers from Army, EMU, BG and Kent, and then 12 FCS offers, including perennial power North Dakota State.

He's done a lot of research for me...see above...his team won a state title in the largest division in Illinois and he's a clearly productive player who is recognized in his area. (He was first-team all-area and all-conference).

You gotta like 6 picks...that seems like a lot in a HS season.

His father Greg played at Arizona State and his uncle played at Notre Dame.    Also, this story details that he was making big plays throughout their playoff run, including in the title game, which was a shutout.

Last note:  BG was the first to offer and that made an impression.

Welcome to the Falcons, Matt.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Baseball is Back

And that's a wow.  

I'm happy for the alumni and the players and their families who made this happen and I'm happy for the university to have a baseball team again.

There's one thing you can't avoid:  this makes the athletic department look ridiculous.  Not since Chris Kingston gloated about hiring Mike Jinks has it looked this dumb, and that took years to be exposed.

When I posted on this originally, I thought there had to be something more than $500,000 at stake.  Something having to do with support staff or maybe a desire to have the program fully endowed before bringing it back.  Or the need to show some pain in athletics, because it just didn't seem to make sense that the whole thing came down to $500,000.

Turned out it did.

So the cut is announced, everyone's crying, there's so much sadness and then...

...a bunch of non-professional fundraisers raised the money in 18 days.

If that is the case, and it is, it seems like the athletic department (and its fundraising AD) might have undertaken that first and saved us all the drama and the embarrassment. Instead of a super-secret operation, maybe some phone calls are made and we don't look dopes.  In fact, why wasn't that going on before the need for cuts?   Isn't there a staff of people whose job it is to raise money for athletics?

In fact, to be fair they should make all the other non-revenue sports do the same thing.  Sink or swim.  (no offense to the swimming team).

And how hard did we try to raise money for the other people in the department who lost their jobs?

I just can't see how you announce that and have to take it back in 18 days because someone did your job for you.