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Messages - Gregory Sager

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1
Given his title, I wonder if McGhee is a full-time employee.  I have no idea, but who was the last Viking assistant coach to have full-time, on-campus employment?  Bosko?

No, it was Marlon London ... Edwind's predecessor.

Every North Park men's basketball coach has had a full-time assistant since the Keith Peterson era in the mid-'90s (not counting said assistant being given such minor add-on tasks as  intramurals coordinator, which essentially meant hiring a student to run intramurals and then giving him or her the key to the gym closet).

McGhee's title actually reinforces the fact that he's full-time. You don't call somebody an associate head coach, which is a step above mere assistant coach as far as titles go, if he's not full-time. Marlon London was also tabbed as the associate head coach by Tom Slyder.

3
Yeah, I've been sitting on that one for a few days. I'm pretty excited about it.

Edwind McGhee, North Park's new full-time assistant coach (who holds the title of associate head coach), just finished his first season as the head coach at downstate Lincoln College, where he had been an assistant for the previous two seasons as Lincoln transitioned into the NAIA and the CCAC. In his 2021-22 debut as the man in charge, McGhee's Lynx were an ordinary-looking 13-14, 12-10 in the regular season. But that 12-10 CCAC record was good enough to get them the sixth seed in the six-team league tourney ... and they went on the road and beat third-seed Indiana-Northwest (which was receiving votes in the NAIA national poll) and second-seed Indiana-South Bend (ranked #19 in the NAIA poll) before falling five points short of the regular-season champ and #1 seed, eleventh-ranked Olivet Nazarene, in the CCAC tourney championship game on the home floor of the Tigers in Bourbonnais. That championship-game loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for McGhee's Lynx, who finished the season 15-15.

Unfortunately for McGhee and his Lynx, Lincoln College was forced to close its doors for good last week. The one-two punch of the coronavirus pandemic and a ransomware attack on the school's computer system by Iranian-based hackers, which disabled the school's administrative functions for three months last winter, spelled doom for the college. It's a bad loss for Illinois higher education; although not an HBCU, Lincoln had a majority-black student population and was dominated by students who were the first generation in their families to attend college. The school just didn't have enough financial resources to deal with the double blow.

Prior to coming onto the Lincoln staff as an assistant coach, McGhee was the head coach at a prep school in Florida for two years. Before that, he served as a GA on the DePaul men's basketball coaching staff, where he earned his master's degree. That came immediately after he had ended his playing career for the Blue Demons; he came to DePaul as a walk-on and earned a basketball scholarship by his junior year, which is the kind of thing that always impresses me. He graduated from DePaul with a double major. One of them was Broadcast Journalism, so I'm sure that I'm going to get great interviews out of him. ;)

His background leads me to believe that he should be an invaluable right-hand man for Sean Smith, as Sean himself makes his debut as a head coach in 2022-23.

4
Men's soccer / Re: CCIW
« on: May 20, 2022, 02:43:58 pm »
It's always a bit difficult to get a good read on soccer recruits based upon what you can see online. But one thing that jumped out at me among the six recruits that NPU has posted thus far on Instagram was a comment in the club profile of outside midfielder Love Brandt. His hometown club, Åby IF, is way down in Sweden's sixth division (no surprise, since the village of Åby only has a population of 5,000), but Brandt was apparently competing for a slot on the national U17 team before being sidelined by an injury. How much of that is take-it-to-the-bank info and how much of it is hype is all speculation. But, nevertheless, it caught my eye.

5
Multi-Regional Topics / Re: Conference changes
« on: May 19, 2022, 04:48:22 pm »
Carlow would make a fine addition to the PAC or the AMCC.

Pittsburgh is becoming quite a hub for D3. With Carlow joining, there's gonna be more Yinzers in the middle section of D3's Maine-to-Iowa geographic base than you can shake a Primanti Btothers sandwich at.

6
Whoever made out North Parks and Wheatons basketball schedule. They didn’t talk to each other. They both have Elmhurst scheduled for December 10. That should be interesting.

It's not a matter of "talking to each other." All league games are assigned by the CCIW's schedulemaker, via the league office.

Unfortunately, the CCIW website has yet to post a composite schedule for 2022-23.

7
Augustana runs the table to win the CCIW tourney by beating North Central, 10-9 in 14 innings. Augie won all four of its games and beat every tourney participant except Carroll. The winning run was scored on Cole Green's first homer of the season in the top of the 14th off of NCC ace Luke Lamm.

It was a pretty dramatic way to win the tournament, although the drama was lessened somewhat by the fact that if North Central had won the game the two teams would've then had to play another game immediately thereafter to determine the champion.

8
I know, I know, I make one of my increasingly infrequent appearances on the board yesterday and I'm back so soon?! I guess I'm just trying to do my part to fill the Q void.

Well, you did include a link in your post, which is a promising first step to achieving quasi-Q status. ;)

Now that we've (presumably) wrung every drop out of the NCC hiring situation and the Cal Tech admissions process, how about a different topic? Years ago, there was a pretty solid D2/D3/NAIA summer league that played out of Des Plaines just outside of Chicago. It died off and then resurrected out at Joy of the Game in Deerfield. That died off too, pre-Covid. Has anyone heard any talk of a similar type of league in the works for this summer? I could use a fix.

That's a great question. I also forgot to ask John Hodel last season if his Broadway Armory summer league is still around. Whenever North Park has fielded a summer-league team, the Broadway Armory league has been its typical venue.

P.S.  By the way, thanks to all of you regular posters for your commitment to this board. It is one of my go-to's, in and out of season and I appreciate the level of discussion and depth of information and commitment.....and zeal.  ;D

Thank you. I'm here all week. Try the zeal!

9
Yes, I think that the bottom line here is that we all agree that Caltech's Oliver Eslinger is one heckuva coach, with the absolute value implied in the adjective "heckuva" being a YMMV interpretation. While I didn't want to pick on the poster who calls himself northcentral, I hope that he will re-evaluate his opinion of Eslinger based upon this conversation. And, while I didn't want to pick on Todd Kelly, either (whom I still hope will apply for and get the Benedictine job), I think that we've reinforced kiko's point that Todd was wrong to slam Augustana for including Eslinger as one of its finalists to replace Grey Giovanine a couple of years ago.

10
Men's soccer / Re: SimpleCoach D3 Soccer YouTube Channel
« on: May 13, 2022, 10:24:39 am »
Congrats, SC! You're halfway to YouTube celebrityhood!

I have to say that yours is a much more genteel path to becoming a social media sensation than inventing some ridiculous dance on TikTok.

(If you have invented ridiculous dances on TikTok, please don't feel the need to share them here. ;))

11
It marks the second straight year in which the Vikings have eliminated the Thunder in the CCIW tournament.

If the Vikings want to make that a yearly tradition, it'll be fine with me. ;)

12
Incidentally, WUPHF, I think that we've done this board a solid by steering the conversation away from the gossip and contumely surrounding North Central administrators that had been the previous hot topic.

Airing dirty laundry is one thing; rubbing our faces in somebody else's dirty laundry for days at a time is quite another.

13
You make it sound as though public schools are a black mark against getting into an elite college or university, but you and I both know that they aren't.

I am a public school graduate and I love public schools, but let me ask: if the valedictorians of Oak Park River Forest and Midwest Central apply for admission to Caltech and the decision is based entirely on academics, who gets in?  In that scenario, we could predict the answer nine times out of ten.  Probably ten out of ten, but maybe the committee remembers an alum from Manito and so they can vouch for the rigor of an otherwise unknown school.

Still not sure where you're going with this, since it appears that we're in agreement on this point.

Elite publics are very much a part of the mix at Caltech ... and at NESCAC schools, and at UAA schools such as your own. There's not really any marked difference between the makeup of the rosters of Caltech teams and the makeup of the rosters of those elite academic leagues as far as high school backgrounds go. The difference lies in who from those high schools are going to Caltech and playing sports, as opposed to a Wash U or an Amherst ... or, yes, an MIT (even though it's neither a UAA nor a NESCAC institution). It's a matter of athletic competence, and it's very much tied to the gatekeeping aspect behind Caltech matriculation that Ryan and I have talked about.

I wish I had time to address this as it lacks the proper nuance.

No idea what you mean by "the proper nuance."

Ryan's point about building classes stands.

Ryan's point about building the class was the philosophy of using criteria other than grades and boards to determine admission and diversify the experience of the student body.

And that's my point. If an applicant's athletic participation in and of itself -- let alone athletic achievement -- counts for nothing, then there is no "building the class."

I do not believe that Caltech will ask for four personal essays just to throw those in the shredder and focus entirely on academics, but if you have inside knowledge that this is the case, well...

This is exactly why I qualified my earlier point:

I'm not saying that the old stereotype of academicians looking down their noses at jocks is always necessarily the operating principle that drives the Caltech admissions process, but there's certainly no advantage gained whatsoever from having played a sport.

"Four personal essays" =/= citing one's three-point shooting percentage or one's being named to the All-County first team by the local paper. We're really getting into the weeds in terms of making suppositions about what is in those essays, but I think it's a logical hypothesis that a faculty committee could be impressed by a 17-year-old kid talking about the sense of personal responsibility and time management and appreciation of cooperative endeavor that he learned from participating on his high school basketball team ... and it's an equally logical hypothesis that a faculty committee would be turned off by what they perceive to be the braggadocio of some jock touting his handles, his silky shooting touch, and how many points he scored in a game against Crosstown High. You don't even need to be that professor of applied physics who was once the nerdy teenager who got stuffed into his locker or given an atomic wedgie by jocks to be turned off by something accentuated in a kid's essay that matters not one whit to the Caltech academic ethos.

I just don't see how the "four personal essays" are going to be a venue whereby a faculty committee at Caltech is going to be swayed by a teenager's basketball ability into accepting him for admission. And the stark evidence (which you didn't read) of Caltech's pathetic legacy in intercollegiate athletics indicates that, indeed, it's never really swayed anybody on that committee before.

14
Seems like Ed Mathey made the right call. Behling was on fire on the mound today.

15
You make it sound as though public schools are a black mark against getting into an elite college or university, but you and I both know that they aren't. Elite publics are very much a part of the mix at Caltech ... and at NESCAC schools, and at UAA schools such as your own. There's not really any marked difference between the makeup of the rosters of Caltech teams and the makeup of the rosters of those elite academic leagues as far as high school backgrounds go. The difference lies in who from those high schools are going to Caltech and playing sports, as opposed to a Wash U or an Amherst ... or, yes, an MIT (even though it's neither a UAA nor a NESCAC institution). It's a matter of athletic competence, and it's very much tied to the gatekeeping aspect behind Caltech matriculation that Ryan and I have talked about.

Ryan's point about building classes stands. Putting together even a semi-competent team at Caltech is a herculean effort. We've talked already about the pre-Eslinger era of Beavers men's basketball, and how Caltech lost 310 straight SCIAC basketball games, a losing streak that spanned 26 years and garnered national media attention when the Beavers finally snapped it by beating Occidental in the final game of the 2010-11 season. But there's a lot more to it than just the futility of Beavers men's basketball. Over the past ten seasons the Beavers baseball program has gone 34-295 (.103) overall and 11-229 (.046) in SCIAC play. From 2001 through 2014 the Beavers were unable to beat any four-year varsity teams in baseball, and they didn't win a SCIAC game between the 1983 season and the 2017 season. Men's soccer? The Beavers have gone 11-159-4 (.075) overall and 5-138-4 (.048) in SCIAC play over the past ten seasons. It's largely the same on the women's side, although to their credit women's volleyball coach Tom Gardner and women's basketball coach Bridgette Reyes have lifted the Beavers out of glorified-intramurals status to at least marginal success over the past three or four years. As of yet they've come nowhere near what Eslinger has accomplished with Caltech men's basketball over the past seven or eight seasons, but at least they're not getting steamrollered every time they take the floor in those two sports the way that they were before ... so kudos to those two coaches. But by and large in the grand sweep of SCIAC sports Caltech just can't keep up with anybody else in the conference, and if you asked Gray Fox or any of the other posters in the SCIAC room they'd tell you the same thing.

Sometimes correlation does indicate causation.

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