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March 19, 1980 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-03-19

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Moby : A


of a sport

The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, March 19, 1980-Page 9
Ex-baseball coach :

Moby Benedict-onetime player,
Onetime coach; parttime official,
fulltime human being-sat looking out
his Hoover Street window at the grey
March afternoon.
"I love this old building," he said.
"To me, when I was going to school
here, the I.M. (Intramural Sports
Building) was all there was."
THOUGH THE 'old I.M.' may no
longer be 'alf there is' for the former
Wolverine baseball mentor, the
itramural sports program is once
again a large part of his life. At the end
of last spring, after he had completed
his seventeenth season as head coach,
Benedict left his spot in the Michigan
dugout for good and moved over to the
I.M., where he is currently in charge of
all intramural officials.
"The transition has been relatively
easy for me," said Benedict of the
move. "I've always enjoyed, the
students; working with them, being
ith them. And I've been very
nterested in officiating and
competitive athletics for most of my
life, which is basically what I'm doing
with regards to the intramural
The 'zebra outfit' is nothing novel to
Benedict. Although he has cut down
recently ("I was out officiating three or
four nights a week-my wife finally
rebelled"); Benedict has reffed
V' ichigan high school football and
asketball for the last 28 years.
"REFFING WAS good from a
coach's standpoint," said the Detroit
native, "because it got me into high
schools, I got to meet the coaches, and I
got to check out some players-I
remember I recruited (Red Sox second

baseman) Teddy Sizemore because I
saw him in a basketball game."
Benedict never- liked to umpire
baseball, however, because he always
found himself "evaluating techniques
and styles, and as a result wouldn't pay
attention to the game."
Competitive athletics, likewise, is
certainly nothing new to the former
Wolverine shortstop. Twice an All-Big
Ten selection in his playing days,
Benedict took over the coaching reins in
1962, and went on to become the second
winngest coach in Michigan athletic
history with a 373-259 record.
BASEBALL IS but one of Benedict's
many athletic pursuits. "I love all the
sports, I've played them all for years,"
said the stockily built 45-year-old. "I'm
getting to the age when I don't play
basketball much, but I ,do enjoy
paddlebal." Benedict must have
enjoyed paddleball a good deal in 1965,
when he won the only tournament he
ever entered and came away the
national singles champion.
So, as the man says, moving over to
the intramural department "isn't like
getting a new job and going to sit in an
office somewhere with a totally
unrelated subject matter."
Whatever the , subject matter,
Benedict works hard at it. "Moby's
usually the first in and the last to
leave," said Bill Gray, intramural
supervisor, "and he does a lot of
'unofficial' things-hell, he's done some
of my jobs.
"Moby's absolutely fair," continued
Gray. "And because he does so much
himself he can ask and expect the same
from others-he's just a super person to
work for.
"I'M CONVINCED he deals with

people here the same way as he did with
his players when he was a coach," Gray
added. "He's straightforward, he
doesn't hide anything or pull any
However he dealt with his players
when he coached, Benedict was
successful-not only at winning games,
but at teaching baseball's fundamentals.
"I have a reputation of being a goodi
fundamentals coach-and I feel I can
teach fundamentals with anybody in
the country as far as knowledge of
baseball and teaching it," said
Benedict. "If that's all I had to do in
baseball I'd probably still be doing it-I
didn't care much for recruiting and the
frustrations and problems you have off
the field, but I always loved to be on the
field with the kids."
THOUGH HE neither sees, nor
desires, a return to his old coaching
post at Michigan, Benedict is eager to
continue practicing his strongest
talent; that is, to teach the fine points of
the game.
"What I'd truly like to do is run a
'rookie league' team in the summer.
(Most major league clubs have 'rookie'
farm teams made up of ballplayers
straight out of high school or college.)
What you do there is teach them how to
play baseball-and it would work in
perfectly with my job here at the I.M.
because our slack time is the summer

Benedict was so proficient at
teaching the game while managing the
Wolverines that a total of 61 of his
players have made it to the pro ranks;
and out of those, 18 (and counting, if you
include Rick Leach, Steve Howe and
Steve Perry) have made it to the
majors, including Sizemore, Elliot
Maddox, Leon Roberts and Geoff Zahn.
Naturally, Benedict feels a sense of
pride when thinking of such players.
"IT'S A memorable moment when
you turn on your television set and see
one of your kids playing for the Red Sox
or Phillies or the Tigers and you know
that possibly you had a little bit to do
with his success of getting there," said

However, the ex-c
his players.
"Some people judg
the professional
produced, but real
should be judged to
men who 'go throuj
credits to their com
University," he said.
"I'M NOT AN emo
think a memorable n
time you see a yo
you-just a wide-ey
maybe doesn't have;
has trouble with his
see that person deN
baseball player a

hit at Old I.M.
oach is proud of all graduate and go ort and become a
doctor or a lawyer.-
ge your program on "You don't get a lot of money outf
players you've coaching-coaches don't make a great
lly your program deal for the time you put in. I t1,in)
tally on the young where your rewards come in is whe-
gh it and become the kids come back and they say 'hery
munity and to the thank you, we appreciate it,' and they
show a great love for Michigan, anrtd.a
tional person, but I- great love for baseball, and a great lade,.,
noment occurs any for you as a person. That's whpt.s
ungster come to important."
ed freshman who Despite the cold greyness outside, t.
a lot of ability and Hoover Street office of Mey'
schoolwork and to Benedict- onetime player, onetime
velop into a good coach, parttime official, fulltime 9
and to see him human being-seemed to contain a 2
warm glow of its own.
Phty BA AC
iGN bseball Equal Rights Amendment.
iliar p se i the Seal Equality of Rights under the low shall not be,
spent 17 years. sateon acouintsex.
ict relaxes behind . INFORMATIONAL MEETINGS
ntramura i l-, MARCH 20th -10:00 pm
irnl prs s'al officials. The in Markley dormitory Angela;
ew post has been Davis Lounge. Come and discuss the -
the e-Wolvrine ned for the ERA, its obstacles to
.h .xWlvrn passage and what you. con do to
right at home in help co-sponsor SERA (Room 4108
Building. Michigan Union) and MSA-

Coming soon; Fan-Fare,
Sa readers' reply column

Let's face it. You're concerned sports
fans; die-hard, rough-and-ready
followers of Michigan and professional
sports. You have gripes, praises,
observations-generally, feelings you
desire to express to anyone.
Well perhaps the Daily can help you
express those feelings. Beginning
&ednesday, March 26, and continuing
each Wednesday thereafter, you'll be
able to submit letters that will be

printed in our Fan-Fare column. But
first, a few ground rules: (1) letters
should not exceed 250 words in length,
(2) print your name, address and phone
number at the bottom (in case -we need
to contact you), and (3) address your
letters to Michigan Daily-Sports, 420
Maynard, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.
We hope to hear from you in the near,

skipper, Moby Ben
above in his fami
dugout, where he
To the left, Benedi
the deskeat theIt
ing, where he cu:
over all intramur
transition to the ni
relatively easy for
mentor, and he is
the old Intramural1

r .


A little over a week ago Dan Farrell announced his resignation as
Michigan hockey coach after holding the position for seven years. The news
shocked the fans and his players and now Michigan athletic director Don
Canham must pick his successor.
Right now it is not clear who will be the next Wolverine coach. Canham
refused to release any of the names of prospective candidates but said last
week that he wanted to talk to two or three people about the position, and
that it would be two or three weeks before a new coach will be named.
"I have a couple guys in mind," Canham said. "Frankly I'd like to hire a
Michigan man, but that doesn't close the door on non-Michigan men. We're
going to take a good look. We'd like to have someone who doesn't have to
learn about Michigan. There are a lot of advantages of continuing a good
program without having to educate a coach."
He also said he was in search of a man with head coaching experience,
but didn't rule out hiring an experienced assistant.
Among the possible candidates are former
Michigan players Red Berenson, Mel
Wakabayashi and Wilf Martin. It is very unlikely
(: 9 that Berenson will take the job if it is offered to
him because he is enjoying a good rookie season
as head coach of the St. Louis Blues of the
National Hockey League.
Wakabayashi was the head coach of the Japan-
ese Olympic team that finished poorly in the 1980
Winter Olympics.
Martin is the coach and director of the club
hockey program and the rink manager at the
Giordano University of Colorado. He has already made a
trip to Ann Arbor to discuss the job with Canham
on March,8. He has not been offered the job yet and it would not seem like a
wise choice because he has neither coached at the college varsity or high
school level. He also is not familiar with the WCHA style of play and has no
recruiting experience.
Another possible candidate is Doug Hinton. Although he did not graduate
from Michigan, he was Farrell's assistant for five years and was responsible
for recruiting a lot of top-notch talent into the Michigan program. Now he
coaches Port Huron of the International Hockey League.
But I think the number one man to fill the position is current assistant
John Giordano. He may be an underdog in the eyes of Canham because he is
not a Michigan man and does not have head coaching experience at the
(Held with MSA Elections)

StoP the search ...
... Giordano is the man
college hockey level.
But he draws my support for several reasons. First, he was an excellent
coach at Harper Woods Notre Dame where his 1972 Fighting Irish team cap-
tured the state high school championship. He coached Michigan's last All-
American, Dave Debol, and also John Blum who has turned out to be one of
Michigan's top defensemen.
In his first season at Michigan he has surely proved he is capable of han-
dling the job. He put together the most potent power play in the country,
developed an effective penalty killing system and improved the defensive
corps incredibly.
But by far his most outstanding attribute is that the players believe in
him and that is very important for a successful coach. "I'd love to see John
Giordano named as the new coach," said freshman forward Ted Speers. "He
worked us'really hard but we have a lot of respect for him.
"I didn't play much at the beginning of the year and he kept encouraging
me. I don't know if I would of made it (break into the starting lineup) if it
weren't for him."
Brad Tippett is another player who Giordano has helped this year. "I'll
be happy with whoever they name as coach. I would like to see John or Doug
Hinton. Both know hockey very well. This year John has helped me so much
it can't be put into words," he said.
Goaltender Paul Fricker would also be very pleased if Giordano is
named coach. "I would like to see John Giordano named as coach. I think he
could handle the job if given the opportunity with his knowledge of the game
and he has been behind a superb technical coach in Farrell," he said.
"We have a very technical offense, our breakout was superb and it left a
lot of teams dazed the first time we played them.
"He relates as good to the players as any coach I ever had. I think with
everybody coming back, it would be beneficial to maintain the same system,
a new coach might want to change it."
So, Mr. Canham, we don't need a Michigan man, but a man who will win
hockey games. And you don't need to search for that man in Colorado, St.
Louis or Port Huron, because he is right here in Ann Arbor, and answers to
the name John Giordano.






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