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September 05, 1980 - Image 149

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-09-05

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NEW COACH INSTILLS OPTIMISM
White's ilhn face uphill strugle

By MARK MIHANOVIC
First in a nine-part series
* Editor's Note: This is the
first in a nine-part series exam-
ining the 1980 Big Ten football
season. The series was written
-by Daily Sports Editor Alan
Fanger and Executive Sports
Editor Mark Mihanovic.
Football coaches are a funny lot.
Those who win, those who have the hor-
, as they say, invariably downplay
Heir own team's chances for future
suecess. Those whose ball clubs lack a
similar degree of talent often attempt
to compensate for this lack via con-
fidence-building exhortations of op-
timism.
When Mike White was named to
replace the ousted Gary Moeller (now
Michigan's quarterback coach) as the
Illinois head football mentor, he knew
which category he would fall under.
_tdeller's three-year record of 6-24-3
asn't sufficient to inspire enthusiasm
f6r Illini football. Thus, the new man's
duties include being, in his own words,
"abit of a ticket salesman."
-So the 43-year-old White can be ex-
pected to find the positive in whatever
Illinois does during the 1980 season. And
whatever Illinois does can't be much
worse than last season's 1-6-1 ninth-
place Big Ten finish.
'White, who coached at California-
rkeley from 1972-77, is a firm
believer in wide-open offensive football,
and he hopes to inject life into Illinois'
listless attack (ninth in the conference

last season) through the "off-balance
theory."
"We have found that the great
equalizer in offense is the forward
pass," White said during last month's
Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon in Chicago.
"It allows you to beat teams with
greater physical ability. We might do
anything we can to get the ball across
the goal line."
White still hasn't settled on a quar-
terback to direct his multiple-formation
attack, however. Having groovied such
standout passers as Craig Morton, Jim
Plunkett, Mike Boryla, Steve Bar-

said.
All-Big Ten candidate Troy McMillin
(6-3, 243), at guard, is the bright spot on
a thin offensive line. Mike Sherrod (6-
6, 236) and Lee Boeke (6-5, 250) both
ably fill the tight end slot, and junior
John Lopez is the best of four wide
receivers whom White will shuttle in
and out.
Some changes have been made on the
defensive side of the line for the Illini,
as well. White's top assistant, Max Mc-
Cartney, has decided to switch from a
three- to a four-man front, and White
feels confident that the defense will be

tkowski, and Joe. Roth in the past, it
might seem unlikely that he would
decide on a scrambling-type, but senior
Rich Weiss is just that and has a good
shot at the starting job. Also in the run-
ning are junior-college transfers Dave
Wilson and Tony Eason, both drop-back
passers.
/ While Illinois is solid at the fullback
position with Wayne Strader (6-2, 215)
and Calvin Thomas (5-11, 235) handling
the chores, White needs a game-
breaker at halfback to make his offense
go. "The guy who emerges at running
back is the player we think can most
consistently make the big plays," he

effective.
"Max's defense will be an aggressive
type and one that will take some
pressure off the offense," White predic-
ted. "Hopefully, this will keep us in a lot
of football games where we can use the
talents we have on offense and derive
some success.''
While 6-3, 225-pound Kelvin Atkins is
a legitimate All-American candidate at
outside linebacker, and Earnest Adams
(6-2, 230) and John Gillen (6-3, 227) are
strong at inside linebacker; the Illini
will have trouble with the Art
Schlichters and Mark Herrmanns of the
Big Ten unless a top-notch pass-rusher

emerges. The secondary is the biggest
question mark on a team that is full of
them.
But White's treat-em-as-men ap-
proach to college coaching, which con-
trasts with Moeller's disciplinary tac-
tics, has done wonders for the players'
outlooks.
"This year it's a much more positive
attitude," Sherrod said. "It's more on a
professional level. He just tells you
what he wants you to do, and he figures
if you don't do it, you just don't wanna
do it."
Gillen concurred. "It's the same
people, but a whole new attitude. He
treats you like an adult. We can go out
and play with anybody in the league."
As for White, he hasn't set any
timetables concerning his ball club. His
only goal: "We'd like to conclude the
season with your (the media's)
respect."
But the only way to do that, as White
knows, is to win some football games.
And it will take more than a positive at-
titude to win in the Big Ten this season.
TOMORROW: Indiana
IM interest
Autumn ushers in yet another
action-packed sports season in
Ann Arbor, and the Daily sports
staff is ready to bring you a close-
.up view of intramural, as well as
intercollegiate, sports. Starting
next week, we'll carry the scores
and results of all IM games and
tournaments on a daily basis.
We'll also bring you coverage of
key intramural games and
championships, and focus in on
some of the outstanding athletes
whose names may not be familiar
to you. And if you're concerned
about entering an IM competition
before the deadline passes, we'll
carry a running list of upcoming
deadlines. You can catch two
other regular features on our
pages each week: Fan-Fare, a
column in which you-the
reader-can voice your opinion
on the sports news of the day, and
a new feature called "Alumni
Update," which will highlight the
activities of former Michigan
athletes. It's our way of adding
more for your morning.

The Michigan Daily-Friday, September5, 1980-Page 15-A
SECOND HAND ROSE
>
331 E. HURON
ANN ARBOR, Mich.
phone 9963808
Friday 12:00 5:00
Saturday 12:00 5:00

NOVEMBER OPENING PLANNED:

n door complex near
By BUDDY MOOREHOUSE CANHAM ALSO indicated that there
Just in case you were wondering, that is a possibility that students not on
ig uilding that is under construction Michigan athletic teams will get to use
in the athletic complex is not an air- the facility as well. "We would also like
pn he har.ltoughxs t masiv to use it for IM Sports, if someone can
plane hangar. Although the massive pick up the tab for the utilities," said
structure looks big enough to house a Canham. Obviously, the cost of elec-
c. it is actually the $at6 million en- tricity and heat for such a large struc-
clddd racicefild hattheatleti tore could amount to quite a bit.
department decided last year to build.
The facility, which is being built by
the Henry deKoning Construction Com-
pany of Ann Arbor, is still quite a ways
way from completion. The floor of the
acitty is still dirt, and the roof has not.
beeti put up yet. According to Athletic
Director Don Canham, the athletic
department hopes to have the structure
completed by the middle of November.
THAT NEWS should please coach Bo
Schembechler's gridders, as that is the
time of year when the mercury begins
to dip, making football practice in-
cteasingly more unpleasant.
According to Canham, the facility
will be used primarily by the football,
*ield hockey, baseball and softball
teams. Despite the fact that an equal
number of men's and women's teams
will be using the building, Canham in-
sisted that Title IX, which provides for
sexual equality in athletics, in no way
influenced the decision on which teams
will use the facility.'
"I'm sure that it will be used a lot by
women," said Canham. "But there's no
way of telling whether or not everyone AN EMPLOYEE is seen continuing the
Will have equal time." field. It is due to be completed in Novem

comp letion
The practice field, which is being
funded solely by funds from the athletic
department, should be a great aid to the
Wolverine gridders in spring practice,
says Canham. "Spring football starts in
March, and quite often there is still
snow on the ground," said Canham.
"Now we won't have to worry about
that."

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Daily Photo by PAUL ENGSTROM
construction of the new practice football
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