Always Believe

I am going to admit it.  I doubted.  Late in the second quarter of last week’s playoff game, the Bearcats trailed Midwestern 28-10.  The Mustangs seemed to be imposing their will on both sides of the ball.  I was thinking about how proud I was of the coaches and players for a terrific season in the face of adversity, but I thought this one was slipping away.  Little did I know, there was plenty of season left.  The Bearcats put together a tough touchdown drive to end the first half and went into the locker room down 11.  The fourth quarter started with the ‘Cats down 14.  We rallied to tie it up before winning 38-31 in overtime.  For me this was an unbelievable thriller.  For many longtime Bearcat fans, it is par for the course. Continue reading

Traveling with Sam

It’s Thanksgiving Week for my women’s basketball team.  That means on the road for a couple of games.  I’m definitely not complaining because I am on my way to Honolulu, Hawaii for the Oahu Classic.  We will play a team from the basketball-rich state of North Carolina and another from Michigan.  I think the Michigan team will enjoy Hawaii more than the young women from Tabaco Road.
I know what you must think, “How can that team fly to Hawaii with all the budget cuts?”  It was really pretty simple; the players are great people who wanted this trip and made sacrifices to ensure the travel.  Continue reading

The power of sports

I have often said that the great thing about sports is it allows people an escape from reality.  Otherwise normal people, who work 8-5 Monday through Friday and always act professionally can relax and come into an environment where going crazy is the norm.  Whether they’re screaming for a defensive stop or giving some ‘helpful’ suggestions to officials, it’s acceptable for fans to be emotional.  It can be a tremendous break from the harsh realities of life. Continue reading

Playoffs, Hoops and Success

Hello Bearcat Nation. I hope everyone is doing great. This is my first attempt at blogging so hopefully it won’t be too terribly boring. This is a big week for Northwest. Both of our basketball teams have kicked off the regular season. Saturday marks the start of the NCAA D2 playoff football contests. Some of you know I have a basketball background. I love hoops and everything about it. Part of that love comes from my admiration for March Madness. That being said, I may be more excited about this year’s NCAA D2 football playoffs than I’ve been in a long time. (As a side note, it is a travesty that playoffs don’t occur in Division I.) Continue reading

If I Never Get Back

I am in a motel (hotel by Gentry Dietz’s definition), sitting on a bed that’s a little too hard.  It’s late morning and my son, Sam, is in the room with me.  He is watching re-runs of Storage Wars on A & E, a cable network.   He’s anxious to call his mom so she will record the new episode that airs at 9 pm tonight.  What 12-year old kid likes Storage Wars?  Maybe that’s a good time for father and son to bond.

There’s nothing significant about this room.  It’s a nice room and the pillows are great.  Michele, my wife, wouldn’t like it since the drapes allow in too much light and the fan isn’t loud enough.  Sleep for my wife would be short and restless.  I guess its good she stayed home.

Over 28 years of college basketball, I must have stayed in hundreds of motel/hotel rooms.  This is nicer than the rooms I reserved for my teams in the early days.  Smoking restrictions were less and the rooms tended to smell like a Lucky Strike cigarette factory.  I think the rooms are cleaner now and there seems to be competition for the best shower heads.  What makes this room special enough to write about? Continue reading

Pink Out!

This past Friday our Bearcat volleyball team beat Truman in an exciting five set match.  Our team deserved this win.  The players have been battling in practice every day and have lost several very close matches in the past few weeks.  Last Tuesday, we lost a close five set match to the Missouri Western Griffons.  It was really tough to be edged out at the last second and the girls proved that they were hungry for the win on Friday.  Our team is starting to find our identity and proving that we are a team that will fight until the final point.  We have about a month left for the volleyball season, and we still have so much to prove.

This Wednesday marks our annual “Pink Out” game against Central Missouri, who is nationally ranked.  This exact match last year ended in a thrilling five set win over Washburn, who was ranked number 2 in the nation at the time.  Bearcat Arena was packed with fans in pink that were there to support the athletes as well as those who have battled breast cancer.  We hope to have a similar outcome at the match this year.  Our fans have truly been amazing this season and have supported this team through everything.  We hope that we continue to receive the support and watch this team reach their potential.  So everyone, please come to Bearcat Arena this Wednesday at 7 p.m. and wear pink!

The Final Stretch

Brit Bahr, Northwest Student Assistant Volleyball Coach

As we head into our last week of the season, I ask myself, “Where did the season go?”

It seems like just yesterday that I was in Jess’s office this summer talking to her about how excited I was for everyone to arrive on campus and to see them all play together.  Now, we only have three matches left.   This season hasn’t exactly gone the way we expected, but we stayed together as a unit through it all. We have had incredible team chemistry this year.  It has been amazing to see the girls stick together through the incredible wins and the difficult losses.

In this last week, I believe that our team will finish the season on a high note.  They will fight for every point and show their passion for the game.  Tuesday night is Senior Night at 7 pm against Pitt State at Bearcat Arena.  It is our last home game of the season and the team will battle to defend our home court for the last time this year.  Please come out and support our team, especially our seniors, Alex Hanna and Laira Akin.  It is a game that you don’t want to miss!

We will finish the season this weekend away at Southwest Baptist on Friday and Missouri Southern on Saturday.

Help cheer on the team to finish the season with a 3-0 record this week!

Is it Basketball Weather?

When November flips on the calendar, I usually find time to mess with the football and soccer coaches.  These poor souls walk off the practice field with red ears and noses, chapped cheeks, and a look like they had just been stranded at the Arctic Circle.  I remind them that in my sport, the temperature ranges from 69 to 73 degrees with a wind chill index of 69 to 73 degrees.  However, it’s all a disguise about my concern for the weather.  I know it’s time for basketball when I begin to take the seven-day forecast serious.

I always proclaim that you can judge the basketball season on the trees in Missouri.  When the last of the leaves are nestling to the ground, I know its game time.  When hay fever begins because the trees are budding, it’s time for March Madness.  The last time I checked, the leaves were ready for raking.  I just hope my basketball team is ready to roll. Continue reading

Great Expectations

My uncle, Gene Else, gave me invaluable advice about coaching.  He always said, “Great players make great coaches, but great coaches can’t make great players.”  The former Doane College men’s coach, my Uncle Gene also told me to go where I had a chance to win.  All of it is solid advice that I followed to the letter.

My first head coaching job was at Wilber-Clatonia High School, a small school in Southeast Nebraska.  The glory days in sports had not appeared at the high school for many years.  Clatonia had a state championship boys’ team in 1958.  Even my appearance on the scene as a 155 offensive tackle and a 5-10 post player that the coaches listed at 6-2 couldn’t provide much for winning in the mid 1960’s. Continue reading