Author Topic: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin  (Read 2170374 times)

Offline matblake

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Re: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #27705 on: January 25, 2013, 10:53:43 am »
Wish Joe the best. Certainly going to be an uphill battle, but hope he can make it happen.

Oh, please. Cry me a river. ::)

This is the uphill battle that Joe Adam faces:



... and this is the uphill battle that Mike Conway faces:



 ;)
Just think how great it would feel to get to the top of that "hill" ;D

Cold, windy and lacking in oxygen?

The north face of the Eiger has killed 64 climbers since 1935. That's why the Swiss call it der Mordwand, which means "the murderous wall" in German.

Given what NPU football seems to do to the careers of the men who coach the team, it seemed like an appropriate metaphor. ;)
.....so, how many coaches careers have "died" trying to climb that "hill"? :o ;D

Every one since Rucks, and that was just because Carthage came calling.

Offline NCF

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Re: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #27706 on: January 25, 2013, 12:03:28 pm »
Wish Joe the best. Certainly going to be an uphill battle, but hope he can make it happen.

Oh, please. Cry me a river. ::)

This is the uphill battle that Joe Adam faces:



... and this is the uphill battle that Mike Conway faces:



 ;)
Just think how great it would feel to get to the top of that "hill" ;D

Cold, windy and lacking in oxygen?

The north face of the Eiger has killed 64 climbers since 1935. That's why the Swiss call it der Mordwand, which means "the murderous wall" in German.

Given what NPU football seems to do to the careers of the men who coach the team, it seemed like an appropriate metaphor. ;)
.....so, how many coaches careers have "died" trying to climb that "hill"? :o ;D

Every one since Rucks, and that was just because Carthage came calling.
...there had to be some before that, just as there will be more to come, unless a miracle occurs and they rise up out of the ashes....then they can change their name to the Phoenix. :)
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Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #27707 on: January 25, 2013, 05:00:39 pm »
Wish Joe the best. Certainly going to be an uphill battle, but hope he can make it happen.

Oh, please. Cry me a river. ::)

This is the uphill battle that Joe Adam faces:



... and this is the uphill battle that Mike Conway faces:



 ;)
Just think how great it would feel to get to the top of that "hill" ;D

Cold, windy and lacking in oxygen?

The north face of the Eiger has killed 64 climbers since 1935. That's why the Swiss call it der Mordwand, which means "the murderous wall" in German.

Given what NPU football seems to do to the careers of the men who coach the team, it seemed like an appropriate metaphor. ;)
.....so, how many coaches careers have "died" trying to climb that "hill"? :o ;D

Every one since Rucks, and that was just because Carthage came calling.

Here's the list of NPU's last ten head coaches and what they've gone on to do after leaving the Park:

Scott Pethtel (2006-12) -- Still looking for a new gig.
Robin Cooper (2001-05) -- Head coach at high schools in Kentucky and Ohio. Current situation unknown.
Mike Liljegren (1995-00) -- Defensive coordinator at Palatine HS for two years, then the head coach at downstate Collinsville HS for ten years. Fired from that job in November, but still teaches math at Collinsville.
Tim Rucks (1990-94) -- Just left his job as Carthage's head coach to become the full-time assistant athletic director there.
Mel Boehland (1989) -- Has been an insurance salesman in a suburb of the Twin Cities since his North Park gig ended.
Craig Fouhy (1987-88) -- After leaving North Park he became a p.a. announcer and a broadcaster (both PBP and color) for several college football teams. He is currently the sports anchor at a TV station in Arizona.
Ron Ellett (1986) -- Started a construction company after leaving North Park. Retired from that in 2005, he's now an Illinois/Arizona snowbird.
Bill (Goose) Anderson (1978-85) -- Served as the head coach at Illinois College from 1986-94.
Gene Mitz (1975-77) -- Went on to become an assistant coach at several schools on all three NCAA levels, as well as the head coach at local juco Triton and several high schools. Currently an assistant coach at Benedictine.
Mike Watson (1973-74) -- Retired in 2010 after spending 32 years as the head coach at Centennial HS in the Twin Cities suburbs.

That's as far back as I've gone for the moment, but you get the idea.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 05:23:44 pm by Gregory Sager »
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Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #27708 on: January 25, 2013, 05:50:03 pm »
Given this track record -- keep in mind that Tim Rucks, as a Carthage grad and as someone who was obviously familiar with the CCIW, was an exception to this list -- I think that you can understand why I have immediately become such a big Mike Conway fan. The man is not naive; it doesn't take more than five minutes of online study to ascertain just how desperately bad NPU has been at football (by CCIW standards, of course) for the past forty-plus years. And it didn't take him long to learn the campus culture regarding football, either. He told me that while he was moving into his office he happened to wander across the hall to the NPU bookstore. He asked the bookstore manager why there wasn't any North Park University football apparel available for sale. Her terse reply: "Win some games first!"

He was the defensive coordinator at D2 California (PA) University for eleven years, and for the past five seasons that team has been in the D2 playoffs. The past three years, they've been regional champions, and the defense has been rated as high as #1 in D2 during his tenure. Given all that, it's reasonable to project that he might've gotten a more promising head coaching job than NPU if he'd waited for another year or two. But he chose to take the North Park job, which, as you can see from the list above, is definitely a high-risk move, career-wise. That takes a certain amount of both courage and self-confidence. Furthermore, his two sons have given up their football scholarships in order to join their dad at NPU. In essence, he's also taken on two tuition payments by taking the NPU job. That is a sign of a man who believes in his mission.

I suppose that if you favor a different CCIW school you can't really root for him ... but if you're an objective observer you can't help but root for a guy like Mike Conway.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 05:53:13 pm by Gregory Sager »
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Offline Mr. Ypsi

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Re: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #27709 on: January 25, 2013, 06:01:33 pm »
Greg, rest assured that I will root for Mike Conway in every game but one. ;D

Doesn't NPU have any tuition breaks for employees' kids?

Offline formerd3db

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Re: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #27710 on: January 25, 2013, 06:47:13 pm »
Gregory and Mr. Ypsi:

First, Gregory, thanks for the very interesting, detailed info as well as your insights and opinions regarding the current situation and the new HC.  Indeed, you don't see that type of commitment as much anymore in today's society, whether it be the coaching world or some other profession.

Second, as far as I know, most colleges and universities have policies that provide a full free undergraduate education (R&B, tuition - i.e. everything) for full time employess of that institution (even some of the smallest DIII schools do this; all our MIAA schools do).  I would be very shocked to learn that NPU does not do the same.  If that is the case, then indeed, Conway's sons giving up their football scholarships to play for their dad is major and commendable decision and one deserving of respect.

Anyway, I do hope the new coach can significantly improve the program.     
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Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #27711 on: January 25, 2013, 07:02:54 pm »
Greg, rest assured that I will root for Mike Conway in every game but one. ;D

Doesn't NPU have any tuition breaks for employees' kids?

There is a tuition discount, but to the best of my knowledge it's not a full ride for the children of full-time NPU employees.

Tuition discounts have been a bone of contention at NPU for a long time now. The tuition breaks for the children of Covenant denominational employees and for the children of Covenant pastors and missionaries have been steadily decreased over the years. That is a matter of concern to a lot of people in the Evangelical Covenant Church, since pastors, missionaries, and church workers don't tend to make much money. But the other side of the coin is that North Park, with its modest endowment, is a tuition-driven institution that can't really afford to give large constituencies (such as the Covenant ministerium, which includes well over a thousand pastors) substantial tuition breaks for their children.
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Offline formerd3db

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Re: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #27712 on: January 25, 2013, 08:18:07 pm »
Greg, rest assured that I will root for Mike Conway in every game but one. ;D

Doesn't NPU have any tuition breaks for employees' kids?

There is a tuition discount, but to the best of my knowledge it's not a full ride for the children of full-time NPU employees.

Tuition discounts have been a bone of contention at NPU for a long time now. The tuition breaks for the children of Covenant denominational employees and for the children of Covenant pastors and missionaries have been steadily decreased over the years.
Greg, rest assured that I will root for Mike Conway in every game but one. ;D

Doesn't NPU have any tuition breaks for employees' kids?

There is a tuition discount, but to the best of my knowledge it's not a full ride for the children of full-time NPU employees.

Tuition discounts have been a bone of contention at NPU for a long time now. The tuition breaks for the children of Covenant denominational employees and for the children of Covenant pastors and missionaries have been steadily decreased over the years. That is a matter of concern to a lot of people in the Evangelical Covenant Church, since pastors, missionaries, and church workers don't tend to make much money. But the other side of the coin is that North Park, with its modest endowment, is a tuition-driven institution that can't really afford to give large constituencies (such as the Covenant ministerium, which includes well over a thousand pastors) substantial tuition breaks for their children.
That is a matter of concern to a lot of people in the Evangelical Covenant Church, since pastors, missionaries, and church workers don't tend to make much money. But the other side of the coin is that North Park, with its modest endowment, is a tuition-driven institution that can't really afford to give large constituencies (such as the Covenant ministerium, which includes well over a thousand pastors) substantial tuition breaks for their children.

Obviously, I do not know the inner workings of the financial framework at North Park.  However, I find that strange that they can't afford tuition breaks.  Despite over a thousand pastors in the Covenant ministry, all of their children are certainly not going to go to NPU.   So does the Covenant national organization/framework basically run the entire NPU?  If that is so, I can understand why they can't provide large constituencies as you mention.  Otherwise, if little Olivet College in our MIAA can provide full tution breaks for its employee's children (and Olivet has had a much tougher time financially than the other MIAA schools and particularly/historically having the smallest enrollment), I can't imagine North Park not being able to do the same. Just curious.
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Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #27713 on: January 25, 2013, 08:42:54 pm »
Obviously, I do not know the inner workings of the financial framework at North Park.  However, I find that strange that they can't afford tuition breaks.

We need to distinguish here between partial tuition breaks, of various sizes, and full tuition breaks.

Despite over a thousand pastors in the Covenant ministry, all of their children are certainly not going to go to NPU.

True, but the incentive for Covenant pastors and missionaries to send their kids to North Park was very high back in the day because of the tuition break. It had the welcome ancillary effect of binding the families of Covenant pastors closer to the school, which is important in a rapidly growing denomination in which a lot of pastors have come in from the "outside". Now that incentive has been significantly lessened.

So does the Covenant national organization/framework basically run the entire NPU?

No. NPU functions as a sort of independently-run department of the denomination. The institutional tie to the parent denomination is further deepened by the facts that: a) it's the only four-year institution of higher learning that the Covenant has; and b) the Covenant's only seminary, North Park Theological Seminary, is located on the NPU campus.

But NPU more or less runs itself in terms of governance.

If that is so, I can understand why they can't provide large constituencies as you mention.  Otherwise, if little Olivet College in our MIAA can provide full tution breaks for its employee's children (and Olivet has had a much tougher time financially than the other MIAA schools and particularly/historically having the smallest enrollment), I can't imagine North Park not being able to do the same. Just curious.

Not every school's situation is the same. NPU, f'rinstance, is located in a large and very expensive city, so I'm sure that the overhead for running the school is vastly larger than it is for Olivet.
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Offline CardinalAlum

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Re: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #27714 on: January 25, 2013, 09:10:53 pm »
Wish Joe the best. Certainly going to be an uphill battle, but hope he can make it happen.

Oh, please. Cry me a river. ::)

This is the uphill battle that Joe Adam faces:



... and this is the uphill battle that Mike Conway faces:



 ;)
Just think how great it would feel to get to the top of that "hill" ;D

Cold, windy and lacking in oxygen?

The north face of the Eiger has killed 64 climbers since 1935. That's why the Swiss call it der Mordwand, which means "the murderous wall" in German.

Given what NPU football seems to do to the careers of the men who coach the team, it seemed like an appropriate metaphor. ;)
.....so, how many coaches careers have "died" trying to climb that "hill"? :o ;D

Every one since Rucks, and that was just because Carthage came calling.

Here's the list of NPU's last ten head coaches and what they've gone on to do after leaving the Park:

Scott Pethtel (2006-12) -- Still looking for a new gig.
Robin Cooper (2001-05) -- Head coach at high schools in Kentucky and Ohio. Current situation unknown.
Mike Liljegren (1995-00) -- Defensive coordinator at Palatine HS for two years, then the head coach at downstate Collinsville HS for ten years. Fired from that job in November, but still teaches math at Collinsville.
Tim Rucks (1990-94) -- Just left his job as Carthage's head coach to become the full-time assistant athletic director there.
Mel Boehland (1989) -- Has been an insurance salesman in a suburb of the Twin Cities since his North Park gig ended.
Craig Fouhy (1987-88) -- After leaving North Park he became a p.a. announcer and a broadcaster (both PBP and color) for several college football teams. He is currently the sports anchor at a TV station in Arizona.
Ron Ellett (1986) -- Started a construction company after leaving North Park. Retired from that in 2005, he's now an Illinois/Arizona snowbird.
Bill (Goose) Anderson (1978-85) -- Served as the head coach at Illinois College from 1986-94.
Gene Mitz (1975-77) -- Went on to become an assistant coach at several schools on all three NCAA levels, as well as the head coach at local juco Triton and several high schools. Currently an assistant coach at Benedictine.
Mike Watson (1973-74) -- Retired in 2010 after spending 32 years as the head coach at Centennial HS in the Twin Cities suburbs.

That's as far back as I've gone for the moment, but you get the idea.

Ellett still my favorite.  That one year he would yell things out at our huddle and we were just laughing at him because we couldnt understand a word!  Very animated!
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Offline formerd3db

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Re: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #27715 on: January 25, 2013, 11:52:53 pm »
Obviously, I do not know the inner workings of the financial framework at North Park.  However, I find that strange that they can't afford tuition breaks.

We need to distinguish here between partial tuition breaks, of various sizes, and full tuition breaks.

Despite over a thousand pastors in the Covenant ministry, all of their children are certainly not going to go to NPU.

True, but the incentive for Covenant pastors and missionaries to send their kids to North Park was very high back in the day because of the tuition break. It had the welcome ancillary effect of binding the families of Covenant pastors closer to the school, which is important in a rapidly growing denomination in which a lot of pastors have come in from the "outside". Now that incentive has been significantly lessened.

So does the Covenant national organization/framework basically run the entire NPU?

No. NPU functions as a sort of independently-run department of the denomination. The institutional tie to the parent denomination is further deepened by the facts that: a) it's the only four-year institution of higher learning that the Covenant has; and b) the Covenant's only seminary, North Park Theological Seminary, is located on the NPU campus.

But NPU more or less runs itself in terms of governance.

If that is so, I can understand why they can't provide large constituencies as you mention.  Otherwise, if little Olivet College in our MIAA can provide full tution breaks for its employee's children (and Olivet has had a much tougher time financially than the other MIAA schools and particularly/historically having the smallest enrollment), I can't imagine North Park not being able to do the same. Just curious.

Not every school's situation is the same. NPU, f'rinstance, is located in a large and very expensive city, so I'm sure that the overhead for running the school is vastly larger than it is for Olivet.

Totally understand what you are saying.  The only additional comments I have would be that a) I'm talking about the fact that all the MIAA schools grant total tuition to their full time employees' children if they choose to go to that school (and if fact, some of the schools have reciprocal arrangements i.e. if a prof's kid from Alma wants to go to Olivet, they can for free and visa versa) and b) granted, even though the cost of living in Chicago is extremely more than in Olivet as far as expenses for running the school, no way does Olivet have the resources/financial support that North Park does, at least to my knowledge and what I've seen in the past.  So if that still holds true, I still am puzzled as to why NPU has the policy you describe.  It sounds like that is just the way they want to do it.  Thanks for the additional info.  Anyway, I'll look forward to seeing the Hope/NPU football game this September.
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Offline NCF

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Re: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #27716 on: January 26, 2013, 09:28:41 am »
Given this track record -- keep in mind that Tim Rucks, as a Carthage grad and as someone who was obviously familiar with the CCIW, was an exception to this list -- I think that you can understand why I have immediately become such a big Mike Conway fan. The man is not naive; it doesn't take more than five minutes of online study to ascertain just how desperately bad NPU has been at football (by CCIW standards, of course) for the past forty-plus years. And it didn't take him long to learn the campus culture regarding football, either. He told me that while he was moving into his office he happened to wander across the hall to the NPU bookstore. He asked the bookstore manager why there wasn't any North Park University football apparel available for sale. Her terse reply: "Win some games first!"

He was the defensive coordinator at D2 California (PA) University for eleven years, and for the past five seasons that team has been in the D2 playoffs. The past three years, they've been regional champions, and the defense has been rated as high as #1 in D2 during his tenure. Given all that, it's reasonable to project that he might've gotten a more promising head coaching job than NPU if he'd waited for another year or two. But he chose to take the North Park job, which, as you can see from the list above, is definitely a high-risk move, career-wise. That takes a certain amount of both courage and self-confidence. Furthermore, his two sons have given up their football scholarships in order to join their dad at NPU. In essence, he's also taken on two tuition payments by taking the NPU job. That is a sign of a man who believes in his mission.

I suppose that if you favor a different CCIW school you can't really root for him ... but if you're an objective observer you can't help but root for a guy like Mike Conway.
If he wanted his sons to play for him, he couldn't wait. I would be willing to bet he's gone when his younger son graduates-especially if he can be the one who guides them to a couple of conference wins and maybe get the university to upgrade the stadium. He's got to change the negative culture in order to get good recruits. Winning is #1, but in this day and age you need all the bells and whistles (new locker room, uniforms, etc.) as well.All that will take more than a few years, so it will be interesting to see how much North Park can improve and be competative in the CCIW.
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Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #27717 on: January 26, 2013, 11:47:10 pm »
Obviously, I do not know the inner workings of the financial framework at North Park.  However, I find that strange that they can't afford tuition breaks.

We need to distinguish here between partial tuition breaks, of various sizes, and full tuition breaks.

Despite over a thousand pastors in the Covenant ministry, all of their children are certainly not going to go to NPU.

True, but the incentive for Covenant pastors and missionaries to send their kids to North Park was very high back in the day because of the tuition break. It had the welcome ancillary effect of binding the families of Covenant pastors closer to the school, which is important in a rapidly growing denomination in which a lot of pastors have come in from the "outside". Now that incentive has been significantly lessened.

So does the Covenant national organization/framework basically run the entire NPU?

No. NPU functions as a sort of independently-run department of the denomination. The institutional tie to the parent denomination is further deepened by the facts that: a) it's the only four-year institution of higher learning that the Covenant has; and b) the Covenant's only seminary, North Park Theological Seminary, is located on the NPU campus.

But NPU more or less runs itself in terms of governance.

If that is so, I can understand why they can't provide large constituencies as you mention.  Otherwise, if little Olivet College in our MIAA can provide full tution breaks for its employee's children (and Olivet has had a much tougher time financially than the other MIAA schools and particularly/historically having the smallest enrollment), I can't imagine North Park not being able to do the same. Just curious.

Not every school's situation is the same. NPU, f'rinstance, is located in a large and very expensive city, so I'm sure that the overhead for running the school is vastly larger than it is for Olivet.

Totally understand what you are saying.  The only additional comments I have would be that a) I'm talking about the fact that all the MIAA schools grant total tuition to their full time employees' children if they choose to go to that school (and if fact, some of the schools have reciprocal arrangements i.e. if a prof's kid from Alma wants to go to Olivet, they can for free and visa versa) and b) granted, even though the cost of living in Chicago is extremely more than in Olivet as far as expenses for running the school, no way does Olivet have the resources/financial support that North Park does, at least to my knowledge and what I've seen in the past.  So if that still holds true, I still am puzzled as to why NPU has the policy you describe.  It sounds like that is just the way they want to do it.  Thanks for the additional info.  Anyway, I'll look forward to seeing the Hope/NPU football game this September.

No, it's not "just the way they want to do it." It's not a capricious decision on NPU's part. The belts are tight at NPU, especially in the wake of the serious hit that the school's endowment took during the recent recession.

I think that we've taken this discussion about as far as it will go.
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Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #27718 on: January 27, 2013, 12:04:52 am »
If he wanted his sons to play for him, he couldn't wait.

One son's a redshirt freshman, the other just finished his freshman season. If he knew that another job would probably pop up in a year from now, he could take it and still get to coach both of his sons -- Dakota for two seasons and T.D. for three.

I would be willing to bet he's gone when his younger son graduates-especially if he can be the one who guides them to a couple of conference wins and maybe get the university to upgrade the stadium.

I'll take that bet, NCF. Couple of things: First of all, he is really taken with NPU's Christian culture. That means something to him, especially after coaching at a state school for the past eleven years. The way that the school has welcomed him, and the way that his two sons have very quickly made a lot of friends on campus and have really fallen in love with the place in just a few short weeks, has made a big impression upon him. I interviewed him at halftime of the NPU men's basketball webcast tonight, and he went on at length about that and about the overwhelmingly positive impression NPU has made upon him. You can argue that, well, yeah, it's on an NPU webcast, so of course he's going to say nice things about the school. But I can tell when I'm being snowed, and I can tell when someone really means it. He really means it. I think it's very important to him to coach at a Christian school.

Second, the Holmgren Athletic Complex is not due for upgrades, insofar as the football team is concerned. (The baseball team is trying to raise funds to turn the top floor of the fieldhouse into a clubhouse, but that won't affect the football team.) The university has other projects in the works, or in the planning stages, that will take precedence over a facility that was just upgraded about a decade ago. The new Johnson Science and Community Center, which is currently just a hole in the ground on the west side of the campus, is the immediate focus for NPU's development folks. And Mike Conway is not at NPU to raise money for a facelift for Holmgren. He's there to win football games and recruit students. Any upgrade to Holmgren will take place long, long after Dakota and T.D. have passed from NPU students into NPU alumni.

He's got to change the negative culture in order to get good recruits.

He's got to do a lot of things in order to get good recruits. I've already discussed at length all the things that hold back NPU's ability to recruit, and the negative culture is not even the toughest one to overcome.

Winning is #1, but in this day and age you need all the bells and whistles (new locker room, uniforms, etc.) as well.

Those things will not be forthcoming in the near future. NPU simply doesn't have the money to make them happen. (Well, the Vikings do get new uniforms every year, so that's not really an issue. But the locker room and the football aspect of the stadium aren't going to be improved any time soon.)

All that will take more than a few years, so it will be interesting to see how much North Park can improve and be competative in the CCIW.

Agreed.
“If you have a chance to help others and fail to do so, you are wasting your time on this earth.” — Roberto Clemente

Offline Mr. Ypsi

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Re: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Reply #27719 on: January 27, 2013, 12:17:53 am »
Greg, I really admire how positive you are able to stay as an NPU fan.  I guess also being a Cubs fan has given you plenty of experience!  (And it probably also helps that, whatever their current frustrations, no one can take away the FIVE national titles in men's basketball!)