Saturday, January 26, 2013


By Mark Wasik:

 Sophomore forward was top-six in the Mountain West in four categories

 LAS VEGAS ( - UNLV sophomore Alana Cesarz, who ranked in the top six of the Mountain West in four categories, including points and rebounds, will miss the rest of the women's basketball season after suffering an ACL meniscus tear in her left knee.

Cesarz was ruled out when MRI results confirmed the ACL tear after she was first evaluated by team doctors on Thursday. She injured the knee on a fastbreak in the first half of UNLV's Wednesday night contest against Wyoming in Laramie. She will have surgery on the knee sometime in the immediate future.
"It's a big loss, Alana's really improved her game in so many ways this season, with her points, her rebounding, and her post defense," said UNLV head coach Kathy Olivier. "Now the challenge is for different people to step up and take advantage of this opportunity."
A native of Delavan, Wisc., the 6-1 forward had posted a 15.3 points per game average though 19 games, which ranks her fourth in the Mountain West and second on the Lady Rebels. Her 7.1 rebounds per game is the sixth-highest average, while she leads the conference in both free throw percentage (84.3%) and minutes played (36.8 mpg).
Entering the Wyoming game, Cesarz had recorded double-figures in a team-high 17 games, including 11 straight, while her four double-doubles paced the Lady Rebels. She was named to two all-tournament teams during the non-conference season, the Subway Classic in Minneapolis in November and the World Vision Classic in Las Vegas in December.
With the loss of Cesarz, the Lady Rebels are down to a total of three post players on the active roster. UNLV will return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 30, with the first meeting of the year against in-state rival Nevada, Reno. The game will tip off at 6:30 pm in Reno.

NFHS Lends Support to U.S. Department of Education Ruling on Participation in Sports by Disabled Athletes

By: Bruce Howard
 As the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) is in full support of the policy of inclusion that underlies the guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) for K-12 schools to provide opportunities for disabled students to participate on athletic teams.

In the most recent High School Athletics Participation Survey, the NFHS’ 51 member state associations and the 19,100 schools in those associations reported that almost 7.7 million boys and girls participate in high school sports. Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director, said even more individuals now will have the opportunity for that once-in-a-lifetime experience of high school sports.

We believe in the values of participation for all students,” Gardner said. “Providing opportunities for disabled students adds value to their educational experiences.”

While the new OCR guidelines issued Friday do not ensure that a disabled student will be able to play on a school’s competitive team, they do deal with five principles that schools must implement to provide modifications for a disabled athlete that would provide that individual the opportunity to play on a school’s competitive team.

Although the implementation of these guidelines will be on an individual school basis throughout the nation, the NFHS, which writes playing rules for 16 high school sports, will be working with its membership to assist schools.

The NFHS and our member state associations will work together with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to enhance participation opportunities for all students, including those with disabilities,” Gardner said.


About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.6 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS Web site at

Friday, January 25, 2013


Twin Cities media member Tony John Geer of Community Hoops has passed away. Tony Geer was a man with a passion for people and sports.

Tony had many gifts and many connections in the twin cities metro area. He was in the know in both the basketball and the media world.

Jay Pivec the head mens basketball coach at Dakota County Technical College said of Tony Geer's passing, “The twin cities has lost a spots legend and I’m deeply saddened by his passing.”

I have known and worked with Tony for many years. He helped me build my media career to what it is today. Having helped me build my web site Steven's Sports Report. Tony is the one of the guys that helped my get my name and site built and he is partly responsible for putting me on the media map.

Tony has worked with multiple media organizations the twin cities metro area.

According to Mike Peden of, “Geer graduated from Minneapolis Washburn in 1980, and people who could withstand his enigmatic surface were rewarded with possibilities they would have never considered on their own. No matter how frustrated his contacts could get when he was unable to deliver a promise he made, cutting off ties was still a foolish decision because of his networking talent. Geer was aware of this fault, often introducing himself by saying "Last name: Trouble. First name: Big. Middle name: Huge," occasionally expanding the joke to include other puns with the word "trouble."

His coping mechanism? Humor. Losing your direction on road trips was more entertaining with Geer than most drivers. Nearly every gym he entered would become a temporary "smile zone," where patrons were required to grin if they wished to gain entrance. Children would be mesmerized by his mastery of his "hidden ball" trick as they tossed an imaginary object that landed perfectly inside any bag he happened to possess.”

Tony's work will truly be missed by people that he has affected.

Vaughn: 'Never satisfied'

By JASON GONZALEZ, Star Tribune 

Robbinsdale Cooper's Rashad Vaughn

In between shooting simulated jumpers with the Knicks' Carmelo Anthony in NBA2K13, Rashad Vaughn imagined what it would be like to have his name on an NBA roster.

The 16-year old Cooper junior, wearing a school sweatshirt with "Mr. Showtime'' plastered on the back, still has several years until that is even a possibility. But his big imagination motivates him.

"I ain't never satisfied," Vaughn said after defeating his younger brother in the video game. "If I can't be No. 1 [in recruit ratings], I have to be No. 1 in the draft."

The flashy nickname doesn't seem to match Vaughn's personality off the court, where he's soft-spoken and gentle. With a basketball in his hands, it's a much different story. Before he developed his highly sought-after jump shot, Vaughn was known for his two-handed dunks and even a 360. These highlights earned him the nickname that used to identify him on Twitter. He also has been known to oblige random requests for dunks from the star-struck student body.

"There are a lot of people in his ear," Cooper coach Steve Burton said. "But he's handled it well. It makes a difference when you're relaxed and happy."

For about 26 minutes on Jan. 5 at Target Center, he managed to steal the spotlight normally directed at top-touted recruit Tyus Jones in a game against Apple Valley.

The 6-6, 201-pound shooting guard made nearly everything he threw up that day, scoring 35 points. Jones was just as impressed with Vaughn as the big-time college coaches in the crowd.

"Any time you're in the same state as the No. 1 player in the country, it's tough to get more attention," Vaughn said. "All the hard work is paying off. But I have to keep grinding and move up [in the rankings] and be the best. Every player would like to be No. 1. And I feel like I can get to that."

He calls his mentor, assistant coach Pete Kaffey, at 1 a.m. to find a gym to shoot in. He wakes up Kaffey for church every Sunday. He takes cones to a park on a 30-degree day to get in extra agility work. It's all part of the work ethic and discipline that Vaughn believes will get him to the top. Kaffey is confident Vaughn is already there.

Once ranked at the bottom of the top 60, Vaughn has climbed 50 spots. That rise has helped draw a couple dozen high-profile scholarship offers. Climbing higher will be tough, but Vaughn already can boast about being the top- rated player at his position.

Cooper point guard Billy Kellogg said Vaughn is much more than that.

"He's steady and humble," Kellogg said. "You can argue it. But honestly, I think Rashad [is the best in the country]."

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Prairie Seeds initiates corrective plan, cancels basketball season


 Academic concerns led to the decision, and the charter school seeks a new AD to revamp its programs.

Prairie Seeds Academy's principal canceled its varsity boys' basketball season and is looking for a new athletic director in the wake of last fall's disqualification of the charter school's soccer team from the state tournament.

"I can't go back and redo things. But going forward I have to double-check stuff," said Principal Choua Yang, who is also the acting athletic director. "I've learned that with athletics stuff, you can't make an error. You can't take chances. I've learned a lot and I've grown a lot."

Yang's restructuring has entailed removing former athletic director Youssef Darbaki, who remains as the boys' soccer coach; cancelling the varsity boys' basketball season because of academic concerns; re-evaluating all roles on the athletic staff; hiring a full-time athletic coordinator, Marcia Abbott, to help oversee paperwork and planning, and building a corrective plan of action that she said was submitted to an attorney for the Minnesota State High School League.

Darbaki, who coached the soccer team since it began varsity play in 2010, could not be reached for comment. The team won the state Class 1A title in 2010 and finished as runner-up in 2011.

The changes stem from the aftermath of a fight that broke out during a section final soccer match between Prairie Seeds and Totino-Grace last October.

Despite winning the game, Prairie Seeds lost its spot in the state tournament when the MSHSL investigated the fight and found the team had been playing with an ineligible player.

It marked the third time Prairie Seeds boys' soccer had tangled with the league over player eligibility.

The Brooklyn Park-based school was the subject of a closed-door session during the high school league's Dec. 6 board meeting. Lawyers from the MSHSL and Prairie Seeds convened after the meeting and Yang got the message the school needed to improve its standing or lose membership.

Yang said her desire to be in good standing with the league prompted her to cancel the boys' basketball season. Her new role in athletics found that the team was academically underachieving, so she pulled the plug with hopes of improving the players' efforts in the classroom.

"We're taking this route and doing this process because we want the kids to be able to compete in the future," Yang said. "The most legitimate thing for me to do is to show how we can improve as a program."

Dave Stead, the executive director of the MSHSL, said he was encouraged to learn Prairie Seeds is taking action to right its wrongs. Stead, who was part of a closed-door meeting, said some action has been taken since the meeting.

"Some things need to be addressed and they need to do that," Stead said. "I'm happy they are taking a good strong look at their program."

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Former Gopher Barker arrested in Houston on marijuana charge

By MICHAEL RAND Star Tribune:
Former Gophers wide receiver A.J. Barker, who quit the team midseason after a dispute with head coach Jerry Kill, was arrested and charged with suspicion of marijuana possession in Houston, according to the Harris County District Clerk office.

Barker was arrested at 11:05 p.m. Sunday and booked at 8:08 a.m. Monday, according to records. He posted a $500 bond and has a court date Feb. 14.

Multiple outlets reported in December that Barker was going to transfer to play for the University of Houston. It also was reported that he was offered a scholarship and would be immediately eligible next season.

But in an e-mail to the Star Tribune on Wednesday, Houston athletics spokesman David Bassity said, "A.J. Barker is not a member of our football team and was not offered a scholarship, as some outlets have reported."

Spring semester classes started Monday at the school. Barker was the Gophers' leading receiver this season when he quit the team in November, citing mistreatment by Kill in a scathing 4,000-word Tumblr post as his chief reason for leaving.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

BOYS BASKETBALL: Unbeaten Warriors roll to ninth victory | | Brainerd, Minnesota

Tenacious defense and quality bench play were just two of the aspects of the game at which the Brainerd Warriors excelled Tuesday night.

The unbeaten Warriors, who rolled to their ninth win with a 82-38 dismantling of the Pequot Lakes Patriots, scored 40 points off of 39 turnovers.

Brainerd, which is 9-0 for the first time since the 1965-66 season, received 33 points from reserves. Among the most productive bench players Monday were Tony Sauer, who scored 10 points, Taylor Huber with eight and Jagar Hanson with six.

“It’s huge to be deep because when teams are shallow you can get picked apart pretty easily,” Tony Sauer said. “Since we have 10 to 12 guys that we can throw out there it’s huge.”

Warriors coach Scott Stanfield has been confident in his bench all season.

“We played a lot of kids the whole game,” he said. “During the first half, and early in the second half, we played 12 or 13 kids. Honestly, we can play 12 or 13 kids and there’s not a real lot of drop off, and I think you saw that tonight.

“That’s valuable because what it does is in practice they’re going up against each other and every day they get a little better. And, that’s fun.”

Jack Sauer led the Warriors with 19 points and Marcus Comstock finished with 13. They sparked Brainerd to a 50-percent shooting night (31 of 62).

Tony Sauer said the Warriors are playing with considerable confidence but aren’t concerned about having Brainerd’s best record in 47 years.

“Everyone’s playing together, I think that’s the big thing,” he said. “We’re sharing the ball, we’re getting open shots and then by knocking them down it keeps everything going.

“We’re just taking it a game at a time, and keep playing together.”

Brainerd’s ball pressure resulted in numerous turnovers. It helped the Warriors rattle off 22 unanswered points to open the second half and build a 73-27 edge. The Warriors’ pressure caused Pequot to make just 4 of 20 baskets in the second half, and just 31 percent (14 of 45) for the game.

The Patriots didn’t score in the second half until Jack Kreitz buried a three with 8:33 remaining.

“We got to rest our starters most of the second half for our game (Tuesday night) against (St. Cloud) Apollo, which is a big conference game,” Stanfield said. “The kids’ effort, no matter who went in, was what I was most proud of.

“I thought the defensive effort and the intensity remained. That’s really important to me, when you sub kids in late in the game that it doesn’t get sloppy or they don’t give have the effort that the starters have. Tonight, all the kids who went in played really hard on defense. That was fun to see.”

Pressure defense helped the Warriors build a 51-27 halftime cushion. Brainerd forced 21 turnovers in the first, scoring 24 points off of those miscues.

Brainerd was relatively hot from the field in the first, shooting 47 percent (18 of 38). Jack Sauer scored 13 points in the half, Tony Sauer 10 and Comstock nine.

Pequot started out with a hot hand, seizing a 12-8 lead before plummeting like the temperature outdoors. 

The Warriors scored 14 of the next 16 points, and 20 of the next 26, for a 42-19 edge and the contest was all but over.

Jordan Redmond scored all of his team-high 10 points in the first half for Pequot Lakes. No other Patriot scored more than six.

The lopsided win also enabled Stanfield to play almost his entire 26-man roster.

“All but two or three kids got in because we don’t have enough room in the (score)book that we have,” Stanfield said. “We’re going to adjust that and see if we can add to that somehow, but that’s the only reason those kids didn’t get in.”

Brainerd 51 31 — 82

Pequot Lakes 27 11 — 38


Jack Sauer 19, Jacob Blong 8, Marcus Comstock 13, Ian Haug 5, Chris Bowman 4, Tony Sauer 10, Taylor Huber 8, Jagar Hanson 6, Nick Schwen 2, Isaiah Smith 2, Logan Davis 3, Geoff Sheflo 2. FG 31-62 (50 percent). FT 13-21 (62 percent). 3-pointers 7-23. Turnovers: 10.


Brett Peterson 6, John Craig 3, Jordan Redmond 10, Travis Jacobson 6, Keegan Johnson 1, Brandon Hehir 3, Conner Davich 2, Kevin Beltz 2, Jack Kreitz 3, Sean Murray 2. FG 14-45 (31 percent). FT 5-7. 3-pointers 5-13. Turnovers: 39.

MIKE BIALKA, sports editor, may be reached at 855-5861. Follow on Twitter at

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

AFCA Announces 2012 Coach of the Year Winners

According to the AFCA: The American Football Coaches Association capped its 2013 convention by presenting its top coaching award — AFCA Coach of the Year — to five outstanding coaches today.

Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, North Dakota State’s Craig Bohl, Valdosta State’s David Dean, St. Thomas’ Glenn Caruso and Morningside’s Steve Ryan are the 2012 AFCA National Coach of the Year winners. Kelly in FBS, Bohl in FCS, Dean in Division II, Caruso in Division III and Ryan in NAIA.

The winners are selected by a vote of the Active AFCA members (coaches at four-year schools) in the Association’s five divisions. The AFCA has named a Coach of the Year since 1935. The AFCA Coach of the Year award is the oldest and most prestigious of all the Coach of the Year awards and is the only one chosen exclusively by the coaches themselves.

Brian Kelly led Notre Dame to a 12-1 record and an appearance in the BCS National Championship game. He has a 199-68-2 overall record in his 22 seasons as head coach, with two Division II National Championships in 2002-03 at Grand Valley State, two Big East titles at Cincinnati and two AFCA Division II Coach of the Year honors in 2002-03. In his three seasons as head coach for the Fighting Irish, Kelly has led Notre Dame to 28-11 record.

In 2012, Craig Bohl led the Bison to a 14-1 record, a second straight Missouri Valley Football Conference title and a second straight Football Championship Subdivision national championship. In his 10 years at North Dakota State, Bohl owns a 89-32 record, and those 89 victories place him second on the school’s all-time wins list. He earned AFCA FCS Regional Coach of the Year honors in 2011, and was named Missouri Valley Football Conference Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2012.

David Dean led the Blazers to a 12-2 record in 2012 and the program’s third NCAA Division II national title in nine years, earning him AFCA Division II Coach of the Year honors for the second time. With those 12 wins, Dean brought his overall record to 54-17 and drew closer to Chris Hatcher’s program leading 76-win mark. He also earned AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honors in 2010 after leading Valdosta State to eight wins, a NCAA Division II playoff berth and the school’s first conference title in six years.

Glenn Caruso led St. Thomas to a 14-1 record, its third consecutive Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) championship and its first appearance in the NCAA Division III national championship game. Caruso has a five-year record of 57-8 at St. Thomas. The Tommies have recorded three straight 10-0 regular seasons, making the first time that has been accomplished in MIAC history. Caruso earned AFCA Regional honors in 2010 after leading St. Thomas to a 12-1 mark and a trip to the NCAA Division III quarterfinals.

Steve Ryan led Morningside to a 13-1 record and an appearance in the NAIA national championship game this season to earn AFCA NAIA National Coach of the Year honors for the first time, to go along with a second straight AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honor. Ryan has an overall record of 98-31 in his 11 years as head coach at Morningside, ranking him second on the school’s all-time wins list behind Jason Saunderson with 118. He guided the Mustangs to a second straight Great Plains Athletic Conference title in 2012, and third under his tutelage. Morningside has made nine straight appearances in the NAIA playoffs under Ryan.

The winners will be honored Tuesday evening at the AFCA Coach of the Year Dinner at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.

AFCF Grants

The full-time assistant coaches at the five schools represented by the AFCA National Coach of the Year winners will each receive a $1,000 grant from the American Football Coaches Foundation that can be used to further their education or professional development.

Award History 

Lynn “Pappy” Waldorf, then of North­western, was named as the first AFCA Coach of the Year in 1935. One national winner was selected from 1935 through 1959. From 1960 through 1982, two national winners were selected — one representing the University Division and one from the College Division. From 1983-2005, four national winners were chosen. In 2006, the AFCA started honoring an NAIA Coach of the Year, giving us the five honorees we have today.

Prior to 2006, the NAIA was a part of the AFCA’s Division II membership category.

Oldest Award

The AFCA’s Coach of the Year award is the oldest of all Coach of the Year awards and is one of only two Coach of the Year awards recognized by the NCAA in Football Bowl Subdivision and the only Coach of the Year award recognized in the NCAA’s three other divisions. The NCAA does not select a “coach of the year” for college football. When a coach is referred to as “NCAA Coach of the Year,” he is usually the AFCA Coach of the Year winner.

All-Time Winners: A total of 152 men representing 109 institutions have been honored by the AFCA as AFCA National Coach of the Year since the program was established in 1935.

First Year Coach of the Year: Richmond’s Mike London and Valdosta State’s David Dean are the only coaches to earn AFCA National Coach of the Year honors in their first season as a head coach.  Dean was the Division II winner in 2007. London was the FCS winner in 2008.

Most Schools: Jim Tressel is the only coach to win AFCA National Coach of the Year honors at two different schools, and the second to win the honor in two different divisions. Tressel earned AFCA honors at Division I-A Ohio State in 2002 and Division I-AA Youngstown State in 1991 and 1994.

Two Divisions: Brian Kelly is the second coach to win AFCA National Coach of the Year honors in two different divisions. He earned AFCA honors at Division II Grand Valley State in 2002 and 2003, and FBS Notre Dame in 2012.

Top Individuals: Larry Kehres of Mount Union is the only coach in AFCA history to win National Coach of the Year honors nine times. He has earned the award in Mount Union’s national championship seasons of 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006 and 2008. Joe Paterno of Penn State earned his Division I-A fifth National Coach of the Year Award in 2005 (1968-72-82-86). Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Lance Leipold (2007, 2009-10-11) joins Northwest Missouri State’s Mel Tjeerdsma (1998-99-2008-09) and Bob Reade of Augustana (Ill.) College as the only four-time AFCA Coach of the Year winners. Reade earned the honor in 1983-84-85-86 in College Division II (now Division III). Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly (2002-03, 2012), Carroll’s Mike Van Diest (2003, 2007, 2010), Sioux Falls’ Kalen DeBoer (2006, 2008-09), Appalachian State’s Jerry Moore (2005-06-07), Youngstown State and Ohio State coach Jim Tressel (1991, 1994, 2003), Alabama’s Bear Bryant (1961, 1971, 1973) and North Alabama’s Bobby Wallace (1993-94-95) are the only three-time Coach of the Year winners. Kehres, Leipold, Moore, Reade and Wallace are the only coaches to win the award in three or more consecutive seasons.

Top Schools: Mount Union is the only institution to have a representative win the AFCA National Coach of the Year Award nine times. Georgia Southern, North Dakota State, Penn State and Wisconsin-Whitewater are the only schools with five winners. Alabama, Augustana (Ill.), Grand Valley State, Michigan, Northwest Missouri State, Ohio State and Wittenberg are four-time winners.

Larry Kehres has won all nine awards for Mount Union, while Joe Paterno has won all five awards for Penn State. Paul Johnson (1999, 2000), Erk Russell (1986, 1989) and Tim Stowers (1990) are Georgia Southern’s honorees. North Dakota State’s national winners are Don Morton (1983), Earle Solomonson (1986), Rocky Hager (1988, 1990) and Craig Bohl (2012). Lance Leipold’s four honors and Bob Berezowitz’s 2005 National Coach of the Year award account for Wisconsin-Whitewater’s five honors. Mel Tjeerdsma accounts for all of Northwest Missouri’s awards. Lloyd Carr (1997), Fritz Crisler (1947), Bennie Oosterbaan (1948) and Bo Schembechler (1969) are Michigan’s winners. Bill Edwards (1962, 1963) and Dave Maurer (1973, 1975), his successor, are responsible for Wittenberg being listed in the select group. Gene Stallings earned Coach of the Year honors in 1992 to join three-time winner Bear Bryant as Alabama’s winners. Augustana’s Reade accounts for all of his school’s awards. Ohio State’s Jim Tressel joins Carroll Widdoes (1944), Woody  Hayes (1957) and Earle Bruce (1979) as one of the four Buckeye coaches to win the award. Chuck Martin (2005-06) joins Brian Kelly (2002-03) as the winners from Grand Valley State. Appalachian State (Jerry More, 2005-06-07), Delaware (Tubby Raymond, 1971-72; K.C. Keeler, 2010), Furman (Dick Sheridan, 1985; Jimmy Satterfield, 1988; Bobby Johnson, 2001), North Alabama (Bobby Wallace, 1993-94-95), Notre Dame (Frank Leahy, 1941; Ara Parseghian, 1964; Brian Kelly, 2012), Sioux Falls (Kalen DeBoer 2006, 2008-09), USC (John McKay, 1962, 1972; Pete Carroll, 2003) and Valdosta State (Chris Hatcher, 2004; David Dean, 2007, 2012) are all in the exclusive group of schools having three winners each.

Two-Timers: Jim Butterfield, Ithaca (1988, 1991), David Dean, Bill Edwards, Joe Glenn, Northern Colorado (1996-97), Rocky Hager, Paul Johnson, Chuck Martin, Dave Maurer, John McKay, Harold “Tubby” Raymond, Darrell Royal, Texas (1963, 1970), Erk Russell and Andy Talley, Villanova (1997, 2009) are the repeat winners.

Back-to-Back: Kalen DeBoer, Bill Edwards, Joe Glenn, Paul Johnson, Larry Kehres, Brian Kelly, Lance Leipold, Chuck Martin, Jerry Moore, Tubby Raymond, Bob Reade, Mel Tjeerdsma and Bobby Wallace are the only coaches to win national honors in consecutive years. No FBS coach has won the award in consecutive years. Kehres is the only coach to win three consecutive Coach of the Year awards twice, while Tjeerdsma is the only coach to win two consecutive Coach of the Year awards twice.

Fit to be Tied: In 2003, Brian Kelly and Mike Van Diest became the fourth duo in the history of the AFCA National Coach of the Year award to finish in a tie for the honor and the first non-I-A coaches to share the award. Larry Coker and Ralph Friedgen finished in a tie for the honor in 2001. In 1964, Frank Broyles of Arkansas and Ara Parseghian of Notre Dame shared the award and in 1970, Charlie McClendon of Louisiana State and Darrell Royal of Texas were co-winners.

AFCA Coach of the Year Bios

Football Bowl Subdivision

Brian Kelly, University of Notre Dame

First AFCA FBS National Coach of the Year Award ... Led the Fighting Irish to a 12-1 record and an appearance in the BCS National Championship game this season ... Has a 199-68-2 overall record in his 22 years as a head coach at Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Central Michigan and Grand Valley State ... His 12 wins in the 2012 season mark the best season for the Fighting Irish since 1988 ... Guided Cincinnati to a 34-6 record in his three years with two Big East titles and earned three Big East Coach of the Year honors from 2007-09 ... Spent three seasons at Central Michigan with a 19-16 overall mark, leading the Chippewas to a 9-4 mark and a Mid-American Conference title in 2006 ... Head Coach at Grand Valley State for 13 years, leading the Lakers to a 118-35-2 record and two NCAA Division II National Championships in 2002 and 2003 ... Has led three different FBS teams to seven straight bowl games since 2006 ... Earned an overall record of 34-6 in three years as head coach at Cincinnati, leading the Bearcats to three bowl games, including two BCS bowl games.

Previous National Coach of the Year Honors: Division II, Grand Valley St., 2002, 2003

Previous Regional Coach of the Year Honors: Division II, Grand Valley St., Region 3, 1998, 2001; FBS, Cincinnati, Region 1, 2008-09; Notre Dame, Region 3, 2012

Football Championship Subdivision

Craig Bohl, North Dakota State University

First AFCA FCS National Coach of the Year Award ... Led the Bison to a 14-1 record, a second straight Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) title and a second straight NCAA Football Championship Subdivision national championship this season ... In 10 years at North Dakota State, Bohl’s owns an 89-32 overall record ... Has guided the Bison to a 24-8 record against FCS ranked teams, and a 10-1 mark in the FCS playoffs ... North Dakota State has been ranked in the Top 5 for 42 weeks since moving to FCS in 2004, including 23 weeks at No. 1 ... Led the Bison to a Great West Football Conference title in 2006, and a 10-1 overall record in the program’s third year in FCS play ... Earned MVFC Coach of the Year honors for a second time in 2012, along with being named the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year.

Previous Regional Coach of the Year Honors: FCS, Region 4, 2011

Division II

David Dean, Valdosta State University

Second AFCA Division II National Coach of the Year Award ... Led the Blazers to their third NCAA Division II national title in nine years, and second under Dean in 2012 ... Has a 54-17 overall record at Valdosta State, which places him second on the school’s all-times wins list ... Led Valdosta State to a 8-3 mark, the Gulf South Conference title and a berth in the Division II playoffs in 2010, earning him AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honors for the first time ... Earned AFCA Division II Coach of the Year honors in 2007 after leading the Blazers to a 13-1 record and a national championship in his first season as a head coach.

Previous National Coach of the Year Honors: Division II, 2007

Previous Regional Coach of the Year Honors: Division II, Region 2, 2010

Division III

Glenn Caruso, University of St. Thomas

First AFCA Division III National Coach of the Year Award ... Led the Tommies to a 14-1 record, its third consecutive Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship and its first NCAA Division III championship appearance in the program’s history ... St. Thomas finished No. 2 in the AFCA Division III Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, their highest ranking in school history ... Has a five-year record of 57-8 at St. Thomas, and an overall record of 63-20 including his two seasons at Macalester ... The 14 victories in 2012 tied an MIAC record for most wins in a season ... St. Thomas’ 50 wins in the past four years are the third most in Division III behind only Mount Union (57) and Wisconsin-Whitewater (52).

Previous Regional Coach of the Year Honors: Division III, Region 5, 2010

Steve Ryan, Morningside College

First AFCA NAIA National Coach of the Year Award ... Led the Mustangs to a 13-1 record and an appearance in the NAIA championship game this season ... Has an 11-year career record of 98-31 at Morningside ... His 98 victories rank second on the school’s all-time wins list ... Earned AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honors in 2011 when he led the Mustangs to nine wins, the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) title and a trip to the NAIA playoffs for the eighth straight year ... Morningside has won three GPAC titles under Ryan (2005, 2011-12), and he has been named Conference Coach of the Year four times.
Previous Regional Coach of the Year Honors: Division II, Region 4, 2005; NAIA, Region 4, 2011, 2012.

Friday, January 4, 2013

BOYS BASKETBALL: Brainerd finds way to remain unbeaten | | Brainerd, Minnesota

By Mike Bialka:

Exactly two weeks had passed since the Brainerd Warriors’ last game and that rustiness showed Thursday night against the Alexandria Cardinals.

Brainerd shot just 37 percent from the field and 50 percent at the foul line, but good teams find ways to win when they don’t play particularly well. The Warriors did just that, securing a 62-53 Central Lakes Conference victory at Brainerd High School.

The Warriors led just 54-53 with 2:06 remaining, but came through at crunch time, scoring the game’s last eight points. Brainerd is 6-0 for the first time since Dec. 27, 2006.

“All in all, it was a good win,” Warriors coach Scott Stanfield said. “These are the kinds of games in the conference — that’s the way it’s going to be. We’re no longer the team that can sneak up on people. We’re going to get everyone’s best effort. The kids have to learn that. This was a good learning experience for us.”

Guard Jack Sauer, who scored 11 points in the first half and finished with 16 to lead Brainerd, thought the Warriors weren’t focused.

“We’ve been on a break,” the senior said. “We were just kind of sloppy but we’ll get better as we go on.
“We just practiced (during the break). We weren’t used to that game-type setting so we were kind of rusty.”

Brainerd made only 16 of 32 free throws, 9 of 21 in the second half. Fortunately, the Warriors committed just 11 turnovers and scored 19 points off of 22 Alexandria turnovers.

“We’re going to shoot free throws (Friday) probably right when we come in,” Stanfield said. “It’s such a weird thing. We practice free throws every day. You observe them, you chart them, and they’re up around 75 to 80 percent.

“It was just one of those games. At any level that happens. It seems like when one kid struggles at the line it trickles down, and it certainly did today. But we played well enough down the stretch, against a pretty good team, and pulled out a win.”

The Warriors converted just 21 of 57 field goals, 9 of 30 in the second half. They missed numerous baskets in the paint.

“We missed a lot of shots right at the rim, layups at the rim,” Stanfield said. “I think part of it is we haven’t played since Dec. 20. During that time period, we practiced and the kids were working really hard in practice, but there’s nothing like playing a game. You smooth out more when you play a game.”

Brainerd, which led 34-23 at the half, was up 40-28 when things began to unravel. The Cardinals went on a 10-point burst to climb within a basket. Brainerd stayed ahead, but the Cardinals twice climbed within a single point before Brandon Bistodeau’s three tied it at 51 with 4:41 to play.

A basket by Marcus Comstock, who provided 11 of his 15 points in the second half, and a free throw from Ian Haug put Brainerd in front 54-51. Travis Krueger’s second-chance basket for Alexandria tightened it to 54-53 with 2:06 left. Brainerd then blanked the Cardinals the rest of the way.

Staunch defense enabled Brainerd to hold off the Cardinals. Alexandria shot just 36 percent from the floor and wasn’t much better at the foul line, sinking 61 percent.

The Warriors’ interior defense did a commendable job against 6-8 post Logan Doyle and 6-4 wing Ted Deitz. The latter went to the sideline after appearing to sprain an ankle three minutes into the game and returned for about a minute in the second half. Doyle, who’s bound for South Dakota State, scored 11 points.

“He’s a load,” Stanfield said of Deitz, “but I actually think when they took him out they moved better offensively. They were able to create some space against us.

“Doyle’s a good player. He’s going Division I, and there’s a reason why, but I thought Jagar Hanson played him really well.”

Alexandria 23 30 — 53

Brainerd 34 28 — 62


Brandon Bistodeau 5, Joe Gorghuber 9, Chase Kohler 3, David Krivanek 11, Logan Doyle 11, Ted Deitz 3, Kevin Setterstrom 2, Travis Krueger 9. FG 18-50 (36 percent). FT 14-23 (61 percent). 3-point 6-22. Turnovers: 22.


Jack Sauer 16, Jacob Blong 4, Marcus Comstock 15, Ian Haug 8, Chris Bowman 2, Jagar Hanson 8, Tony Sauer 7, Connor Bowman 2. FG 21-57 (37 percent). FT 16-32 50 (percent). 3-point 4-16. Turnovers: 11.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hooker has been groomed for this season

By David La Vaque, Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Park Center senior guard Quinton Lee Hooker has averaged 24.2 points per game in leading the undefeated Pirates basketball team (9-0) to the No. 1 ranking in Class 4A.

Park Center senior guard Quinton Hooker has averaged 24.2 points per game in leading the undefeated Pirates basketball team (9-0) to the No. 1 ranking in Class 4A.

Impressive as they are, those numbers fail to tell the whole story. Called "a natural leader" by Pirates coach Bo Powell, Hooker paid for the Pirates' fast start by fulfilling his role as the program's standard-bearer for the past three seasons.

"We told him going into his sophomore year that he would have to be a leader, a player who had to make his teammates play at their highest level," Powell said. "We've asked him to do a little bit of everything, and he does whatever we ask every time he steps on the court. He's the most underrated player in the state."

Though Hooker is no overnight success, notoriety is coming fast. Park Center stripped Apple Valley and defending Class 4A state champion Osseo of their No. 1 rankings already this season. Next up is DeLaSalle, the No. 1 team in Class 3A and reigning state champs. Tipoff is 7 p.m. Thursday at DeLaSalle.

Hooker spoke with Star Tribune reporter David La Vaque about the Pirates' fast start, his growth as a leader and the matchup with DeLaSalle.

Q What's it like being ranked No. 1?

A It's definitely a great feeling to see early on that our work is paying off. But it also shows you that, with us beating two No. 1 teams, it's easy to get knocked down. So we have to continue to work hard.

Q What have you been hearing from people in your school and community about all the success so far?

A Every game the crowds seem to get bigger. The vibe around the school is great -- everyone is talking about the basketball team. It's been a lot of fun, especially for the seniors who have come this far and are making some of our big games actually big games.

Q Coach Powell said he has held you to a higher standard since you were a sophomore. How have you tried to meet that expectation?

A When I was younger it was difficult to accept the role as leader because there were a lot of seniors. But over the years I've grown into that role and learned a lot from it. It's become a part of me now. But all the credit goes to the team because without them I'd be nowhere.

Q Looking at the roster, what roles do different guys play on this team?

A Devin Buckley transferred from Prairie Seeds and he averages about 20 points per game for us. He's a great scorer. Treyton Daniels is an athletic wing who can grab rebounds or change the game with a dunk. 

The Matthews brothers, Isaac and Josh. Josh is another good wing. Isaac is an undersized big man but he does his job down there in the post. Isaiah McKay is a great shooter who can knock down shots from everywhere. Same with Jake Tanner. Devin Payne is our scrapper. He's not afraid to defend anybody. I know I'm naming everybody but they all have a big part in this.

Q Looking ahead to DeLaSalle, you have another game with a No. 1 team. What are your thoughts on the matchup?

A They have always been a good program. I know a few guys on the team and they are great players. We definitely have to prepare hard for them.