Death Cab for Woody

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Coaches leaving to seek other opportunities...on a Monday.

In recent news, Russ Rogers has "involuntarily" retired from the head coaching post for the OSU Men's and Women's Track & Field Teams. This has been a long time coming, and the lessening of Football Player involvment in T&F has pretty much pointed to this occurring sooner rather than later. Coach Rogers had a great deal of success in the past, and his resume was impressive with an appearance as an assistant at the '88 Olympics in Seoul, Korea and 3 Big Ten Titles.

***On a side note. Mondays or Tuesdays just dont seem to be the day to leave a company to retire or seek other opportunities. This tends to be a running joke with people that I used to work with in the past.

I know a lot of people are critical of the man and his lack of production in recent years, but I wish him only the best. The coaches for the non-revenue sport teams at OSU are an undervalued commodity. They do not have the monetary or athletic department resources to run as an exclusive entity within the department. This is a simple fact, and it forces the head coaches to depend on assistant coaches heavily for travel and accomodation coordination, which can directly effect the time available for the coach to actually spend on "coaching." I am not a Rogers apologist. However, I will not echo the sentiments of "good riddance" shared by many buckeye faithful on the message boards. Good Luck Coach Rogers! Enjoy the retirement and best wishes and good health to you and your mother.



Happy Trails Russ...








In other Gene Smith Resource Management News...



Gene takes a moment before a non-revenue sports coach's meeting



Now, it is obvious that "Mean" Gene Smith is still in the process of cleaning house within the athletic department with the recent "involuntary" departures of underachieving Wrestling and T&F program coaches. I cant say that I blame him too much for these moves.

With an athletic department that requires a great deal of revenue to break even and supporting one of the highest amount D-I sports programs at a single school in the US, it is imperative that OSU is successful in all of its sports programs. It is a simple equation...More Success = More Revenue for the athletic department. The three major sports at OSU are in a mode that will not require much marketing to sell tickets and merchandise for Football, Men's Basketball, and Women's Basketball. The revenue and profit generated from these sports (let's be honest here...mainly Football) will generate the budgetary constraints for the rest of the sports to operate for the year. Some of these sports will try and chip-in to make up its fair share, but the idea of one of these sports contributing any meaningful revenue to the AD P&L is just not realistic. I am sure that Gene is going to look to make more changes in the following years, if certain trends continue. I truly believe the following coaches could be labeled with a "Dead Man Walking" title in near future, if their respective teams do not improve from past performance.

OSU Coaching "Dead Pool"

1. Men's Ice Hockey - Coach John Markell


Look no further than "That School Up North." They do it right. Dont give me geography as an excuse. This is the next revenue-generating sport at OSU with an 18,000+ seat arena waiting for a consistently successful team that doesn't "peter" out in the CCHA Playoffs and NCAAs.



2. Women's Tennis Coach - Check Merzbacher


How times have changed. The OSU Women's Tennis Team used to be very competitive in the late 90's. This past year's team finished 7-14, 2-8 in the Big Ten. While, the 2005 team was in similar territory with a 7-18 overall record and a 2-8 record in Big10 play. Not a revenue generator sport, but you've got to imagine that Chuck is asking Ty Tucker (OSU Men's Coach)to let up a little bit.



3. Women's Lacrosse - Sue Stimmel


What does 5-11(2004), 6-10(2005), and 4-12(2006) not equal? Progress. I realize that this is the same program that finished 14-4 in 2003 with an American Lacrosse Conference championship, but the team should not drop to 5-11 with 7 starters and additional 7 returning letter winners. Especially, when a rebuilding men's team was able to improve throughout this past season.



I really cant say that I want anyone to lose their job, but this type of performance does not provide much in the way of leverage when justifying the coach's existence at the university.

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