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January 19, 1977 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-01-19

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Wednesday, January 19, 1977


Page Seven

Cage coach



The stuff dreams are made of. That describes
most of Dan Fife's life. Until, like so many be-
fore him, his dreams shattered in the risks of
Fife, Michigan's varsity reserve cage coach,
worked his way through the minor leagues ant
pitched a season for the. Minnesota Twins be-
fore arm trouble forced a premature retire-
."Every kid dreams about playing in the
big leagues" Fife said, "and there I was. I
just can't describe the feeling."
The brown-haired, 27-year-old starred in two
sports in high school and college.
An all-state selection in both basketball and
baseball his last two high school years, this
Pontiac area product went on to earn six let-
ters at Michigan.
The 6-2, southern Illinois native started every
basketball game his sophotiore, junior and sen-
ior years for the Wolverines.
His coach then and his boss now, Johnny
Orr, remembers Fife the player. "Man, he
Gum really played with reckless abandon. A tre-
this mendous competitor he gave 100 per cent ev-
iate, ery game."
11 at Today an uncertainty rules Fife's future, like
unto the insecurity of his final baseball season;

a summer he spent pensively resting between
cortisone shots.
Fife fears that the recent NCAA ruling that
limi s schools to two full-time and one part-
time assistant basketball coaches, down from
three full-time, may cost him his job.
Presently Fife's duties, 'according to Orr, are
limited. He cannot recruit or travel to scout.
Fife worries that a graduate assistant might
replace him when his contract expires next
October. "Every night I'm thinking about
what I could do if that comes up."
Orr views the situation differently. "I don't
think he'll be cut" the nine-year Michigan
coach emphasized. "If I have my way I'll never
take a grad assistant."
"Fife does so many things for us. He gets
along very well with the players. They respect
and like him. He's a super guy."
Fife lived his first eight years in a small
southern Illinois town near the Kentucky bor-
der. "All they do in Carrier Mills is play
baseball and basketball," Fife described. "I've
been playing since the day I was born."
The Fifes moved to Clarkston, Mi. after the
coal mine, where the senior Fife worked, closed
The brown-eyed youngster brandished his

skills there too. He played varsity baseball and
basketball all four years in high school.
Recruited by five colleges, Fife narrowed bis
choice to Michigan and Michigan State because
he wanted to stay in the area.
"I found no comparison between the two
schools," Fife said, "Michigan just had more
class about it, more prestige."
Drafted by the Detroit Tigers out of high
school Fife put his education first and became
a hit with Michigan basketball fans.
Freshmen could not play varsity at the time,
but Fife played every possible game after
that. Overshadowed by Rudy Tomjanovich his
first two years and Henry Wilmore his senior
year, Fife averaged about 13 points per game
during his career.
The Tigers:made Fife their second choice in
the college player draft. Basketball's Milwaukee
Bucks picked Fife seventh. Fife, always a fierce
competitor, became a Tiger.
After two seasons in the Detroit system he was
traded to Minnesota even up for veteran Jim
"The day I was traded was really disap-
pointing. I was happy where I was, I'd made
a lot of friends. It bothered me," Fife ex-
Despite his disillusionment the trade sped

iden tity
his rise to the big time. In August of that season
the Twins called him up. He compiled a 3-2 rec-
ord. It was the peak of his baseball career.
He barely made the Twins squad the next
spring. Af er a month of major league inac-
tivity the Twins returned him to the minors. "I
thought I l.ad a raw deal," Fife said.
He pitched little that season, but his real
troubles began the following winter. Playing
the game he missed badly, basketball, Fife
threw out his arm tossing a length of the court
It seems ironic that a basketball pass would
begin the end of his baseball career. Fife
spent the following season in pain.
No longer a pitcher of promise, Fife knew he
could not support his family, a wife and son at
the time, in, baseball.
About this time Jim Dutcher left his Michjga
assistant coach job for the number one spot at
Minnesota. Fife applied to fill the void.
"Orr joked that he hired me because I was
from a- little further south than him, and he
wouldn't be the only hillbilly around," Fife said.
No longer a basketball or baseball player,
Fife, now a father of two, would like to make
his mark in coaching.
"I want to coach because it's connected with
athletics" Fife explained. "And I love athletics."

-Photo copyright Topp's Chewing
AT ONE POINT you could get eight Wayne Comer's for
Michigan varsity reserve basketball coach. As a colleg
Fife won six letters playing basketball and basebal


Big Top
When Ringling Brothers popularized
the circus, they probably never be-
lieved there would be a permanent
show located in Michigan's Track and
Tennis Building.
Yet, between 2:30 and 6:30 any week
day, the Track and Tennis Building
turns into a three ring circus any ring-
master would be proud of.
It doesn't have the customary bears.
and lions. Instead the building is fill-
ed with athletes from five of Michi-
gan's intercollegiate sports teams.
TRY TO IMAGINE the track team
running interval sessions, the men's
tennis team hitting overheads in the
center of the track, the baseball team
having pitching practice, the womens
tennis team jumping rope to warm
up, and the womens track team warm-
ing up on the sidelines.
Probably the team that gets affect-
ed the most by the confusion is the
men's track team.
Once a week the Michigan distance
men come inside and join the sprint-
ers and hurdlers to run intervals. This



Blue circus

adds an additional 20 athletes to the
building and causes problems for dis-
tance coach Ron Warhurst.
"We've had guys step on tennis
balls and twist their ankles," com-
mented ~Warhurst. "We've also had
giys get run into on the back stretch
of the track by people who weren't
supposed 'to be jogging on the track
A TYPICAL DAY'S set up for train-
ing at the Track and Tennis Building
has the tennis teams on the infield,
the polevault set up on the three
o-tside lanes of the track on the back-
stretch, the inside lane used for in-
tervals and two lanes for jogging.
"The building is just not adequate
to handle six or seven teams," said
FM', rh'urst. "But it's the only facility
- have so everybody gets pushed in
there together. It's a great training
facility, but it's not adequate or big
ennigh to handle meets."
That could create yet another prob-
lem since the Wolverines host both the
Central Collegiate Conference and Big
Ten Championship indoor meets at

the Track/Tennis Building.
The major area of concern in a
big' meet is locker space. Currently
visiting athletes must change at the
old intramural building and walk
across to the indoor track.
THROUGHOUT THE three year ex-
istence of the building, Warhurst has
seen several near accidents take place..
"The tennis team hits balls into
the back net and they -bounce out, or
a tennis player throws his racket and
almost hits one of the guys doing in-
tervals;" said Warhurst.
"Just last week we had Bowling
Green up here for time trials and one
of their pole vaulters stuck their pole
out onto the track. Doug Henniger
(one of Michigan's sprinters) swerv-
ed to avoid it and Dwight Jones
(tranfer sprinter from Arizona State)
tripped over him and banged his
Two solutions were offered by War-
hurst and Greg Eyphax, the Wolver-
ines sprint coach, who must put up
with the confusion everyday.
"YOU COULD BUILD another build-

ing and put tennis courts in it and
have a small area for baseball," said
Warhurst. "That way you'd alleviate
a lot of the problems."
"The first thing they got to do is
build more locker rooms and train-
hng rooms," Syphax said. "They've
definitely got to do something where
they expand the building."
Both Warhurst and Syphax said that
spreading out the time that the teams
practic would not be a solution.
"With the way the class scheduling
is set up, my guys (sprinters) are
having a hard time getting every
class they need by 3:00," said Syphax.
We have guys finishing class at all
times which means I usually can't
can't start a workout before 4:00.
"That gives us till 5:00 to do a
workout. Since the women's track
team uses the track then. That's just
not enough time."
Whether the Track and Tennis Build-
ing is expanded as Warhurst and
Syphax wish is up to athletic director
Don Canham.
But as far as Syphax is concerned
"They got to do something."

By The Associated Press
1. San -Francisco (38) 19-0
2. Cincinnati (4) 11=0
3. Alabama (3) 14-0
4. North Carolina (4) 12-1
5. MICHIGAN (1) 10-1
6. Kentucky 10-2
7. Nevady-LasVegas 14-1
(tie) Daily Libels 14-1
8. Marquette 11-2
9. Wake Forest 12-2
10. U.C.L.A. 13-2
11. Minnesota 11-1
12. Louisville 10-2
it. Maryland 12-2
14. Tennessee 11-2
15. Providence 12-2
16. Arizona 12-2
17. Arkansas 12-1
18. Memphis State 15-1
19. Purdue 10-3
20. Syracuse 13-2



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Makes It A Little Bit
Easier To Get Through
The Day


I _-,,uw.m% A

Marquette. squel
By The,Associated Press
Guard Butch Lee's basket.. . ..............
with five seconds left gave No.
8 Marquette a 62-60 victory over 1.Dil
Drake in collegiate basketball
last night. t fart s
Drake led the Warriors by
nine points twice during the fi- NIGHT EDITORS:
But then Lee ran off nineP I D
straight points, and Marquette . RODE
controlled the pace in the final
minutes to survive the rally by -- 15 in the second half. Bo
the inspired .Bulldogs, 4-10. Ellis added 14, including two
Lee finished with 19 points baskets in the final five min-

aks past Drake
maining, and the Bulldogs were with 10 straight points, six byI
not able to contro1 the Warriors, Tomjanovich.,C
who are 12-2. The Rockets, by winning- last
* * night, remained in first plate
ahead of Cleveland in the Cen-
Rockets roar tral Division.
* * *
HOUSTON - Calvin Murphy Cleiehind cruises
scored 25 points and - formerI
Michigan star Rudy Tomjano- MILWAUKEE - The Cleve-
vich added 21, including six in land Cavaliers, sparked by Aus-
a third-quarter surge, to lead tin Carr's 22 points, opened a
the Houston Rockets to a 103- 21-point third-quarter lead and
85 NBA victory over the Chi- held on for a 101-93 victory over
Bulls last night. the crippled Milwaukee Bucks
cago Blast night.
Murphy hit 13 of his paints Campy Russell ex-Wolverine
in yhe irst1alfasthesRock-sstandout put in two long shots
in the first half as the Rock- and Jim Brewer tipped in two
ets built a 53-45 htalftime pad. rebounds as Cleveland built a
72-54 spread in the third period.
Leading 68-62 late in the third The lead reached 82-61 with 2:39

Michigan's eight remaining
basketball games in Crisler
Arena are sold out, but Wol-
verine fans still will be able
to watch five of those home
games, Purdue, Indiana, Min-
nesota, Michigan State and
Marquette, on television in
addition to two others on the
Athletic Director Don Can-
ham announced Monday an
agreement with WWJ-TV
(Channel 4) to televise four
games at Crisler Arena.
WWJ will also televise the
Michigan game at Ohio State
Jan. 24, and will carry the
NBC nationally televised
game at Indiana (Feb. 13).

Packard & Hill Mon.-Thurs. 2307 W
10 a m-2 rmid.,
662-1150 Fri.-Sat. 10a.m.2 a.m.
Sun. 12-12
!. - ---- - - 4 - -





- rs -w

Big 10 Standings
Conference All Games
W L Pct. W L Pct.
Michigan 4 0 1.000 11 1 .917
Purdue 40 1.000 103 .769
Minnesota 2 1 .667 11 1 .917
Indiana 3 2 .600 8 6 .571
Ohio State 2 2 .500 7 6 .538
Mich. St. 2' 2 .500 5 8 .385
Iowa 1 3 .250 9 4 .692
Illinois. 3 .250 9 7 .563
N'western 1 3 .250 3 10 .231
Wisconsin 0 4 .000 4 8 .333
Thursday's Games
Purdue at MICHIGAN
Illinois at Michigan State
Northwestern at Wisconsin
Saturday's Games
Illinois at MICHIGAN
Purdue at Michigan State
Indiana at Purdue
Wisconsin at Minnesota
Northwestern at Iowa

Drake, behind senior Ken
Harris, outscored the Wdriors
13-3 in the first five minutes of
the final period..
But Drake center Chad Nel-
son fouled out with 10:30 re-

.; ,

. I



quarter, Houston -iced the game. left

in the quarter.



Montreal 3. Washington 0
New York Islanders 7, Minnesota 2
Cleveland 101, Milwaukee 93
Houston 103, Chicago ,5
New Orleans 99, Boston 89
Los Angeles 113, Kansas City 111
College Basketball
Arkansas 62, TCU 45
Notre Dame 98, Stonehill 70
Detroit 70, St. Peters 68
Kansas 73, Iowa St. 62
Marquette 62, Drake 60
Providence 82, Rhode Island 71

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