No better place to start today then with the great work done by Shane Harrison and Tommy G over at the video office. They put together this highlight video of the year in UC athletics. Over the course of a year we forget so many of the great moments that happened as the news cycle spins a thousand miles a minute.
Great to relive a fun year in UC sports.
Let's eat ...
--- Didn't have an opportunity to write about the passing of Charlie Coles yet, so wanted to touch on it here. So saddened to hear the news Friday of one of the great men involved in college athletics to be lost too soon.
Testimonials came out from all over as news spread.
There was this one from Bill Koch at The Enquirer.
Also, Enqy writer Shannon Russell shared a remembrance.
ESPN's Jon Greenberg also put together this great compilation.
SportsNation broke out this photo of Coles 1995 coaching staff: Herb Sendek, Sean Miller, Thad Matta and Coles.
Mick Cronin offered this statement:
"On behalf of the University of Cincinnati, my staff and family I want to offer condolences to Mrs. Coles and the rest of the family on the passing of my friend Coach Charlie Coles. He was a great coach and an even better person. Coach had the ability to make everyone smile and always wanted to help those around him. I consider myself lucky to have known him and his passing is a tremendous loss for the coaching community."
My favorite Charlie Coles story will always be from the first press conference of his I attended in December of 2009. UC had just beat Miami in Cashmere Wright's first season playing. Cash had one of his first great games and made the difference. In the postgame, Coles took a question about Wright, paused, put his hands on both ends of the podium and said off into the distance, "you just knew he'd be great because he's got such a great name," he said. Coles paused and announced it again for maximum comedic value. "Cashmere."
When asked by AP writer Mark Schmetzer if Coles had his druthers what his name would be could he go back and pick it, he stopped and really thought hard about the question with a serious look on his face. Then spouted out his answer slowly leaving the press room in stitches.
"Rudyard. Othello. Coles."
From that point forward I always tried to bring in one of my interns or take the extra time myself to post the transcript of every Coles presser after games and post it to the blog. It was always worth it. Sad to see him go, there will never be another quite like him.
--- UC announced late Friday their new baseball coach is Ty Neal. He most recently served as the Indiana pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. In case you missed it, Indiana just swept Florida State to advance to the CWS in Omaha. He's widely considered one of the top assistants in the game and should bring an injection of fire and energy to his first college head coaching gig.
Neal's been a pitching guru during his career, mentoring 18 pitchers into being drafted in the first 10 rounds of the MLB Draft. Somwhere young ace Mitch Pattishall jumps for joy.
Love the idea of hiring a coach in his first head job. There's nothing quite like the pride and energy that come from the first opportunity. And if he develops players and recruits as he had at IU, well, that's an exciting combo.
--- The Bearcats football game at Illinois has been announced as a noon kick in Champaign on ESPN2 or ESPNU. That's great news for any Cincinnati folks looking to make the double-dip trip to see the Bengals play the Bears in the season opener the next day in Chicago. Toss a Lou Malnati's pizza into the middle of that combo and you have an epic weekend.
--- Enjoyed a long conversation the other day with Tommy Tuberville. On top of informing me he estimates he has about 15 pairs of boots he allowed a number of interesting nuggets about this upcoming season and evaluations of the roster. Look for much more on that coming up on the blog soon.
--- Randomness ...
--- The aircraft carrier games look like they are done. Loved the first one between Michigan State and UNC, but that really was more lightning in a bottle. There's just too many variables.
--- This Week in Nerdery: Admiral Ackbar statue.
--- The only question is will it take one year or two for these facemask logos to be on every team in college football. The second I saw this it felt inevitable.
--- You know what I can't handle on a Monday morning? Bears are opening doors now?!? Sonuva.....
--- Twitter vitriol has been out of control for a long time. Jimmy Kimmel had NBA players read some of the meanest tweets they've received. Comical.
--- Huey Lewis and the News were at Horseshoe Casino last night (no, I will not call their outdoor music venue The Shoe, that name already exists in Cincinnati history). Regardless, you know Power of Love brought the house down.
Have a great day everyone.