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The Michigan Daily - Friday, N,
Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 22, 1985
Double flgUre 'fearsome forward puts aside
aggression in everyday arena
Assistants hold program key
By STEVE WISE
T O MOST people, Butch Wade epitomizes the
punishing, powerful player for which the Big Ten
"You need one bruiser," said Wade's front line par-
tner, Richard Relford," and believe me, Butch is
a bruiser. He already hurt four guys in practice."
Off the court though, Butch Wade changes.
Crushing picks give way to contemplation, and the
Wolverines' second leading rebounder becomes
"He's very conservative, rather quiet," said
Wade's mother, Dorothy, "He's not a violent tough
The violent tough guy is the one who averaged
slightly more than seven rebounds per game. Butch
the Bruiser earned Honorable Mention All Big Ten
status last year by shutting down offensive stars like Greg
Stokes of Iowa. Wade admits he doesn't mind the
pushing and shoving, but said he does not intend to be
"You don't try to hurt people, but you gotta let
people know you're not gonna stand for it," said the 6-
8, 235-pound forward. "If somebody intimidates you,
they've got you where they want you."
Where opposing big men want Wade is out of the
action, but he said that won't happen. "If somebody
knocks me on me ass, I'm bouncin' back up-quick."
Wade learned to bounce back early, growing up in
a Boston housing project. Some of his earliest
athletic training came while dodging through
buildings as he was chased home from school.
"It was tough.. . growing up fighting," said
Wade. "I was the same size as everyone else. Then I
got a little bigger and they began to think twice."
They also began to think twice about Wade's
basketball talent, which was apparent from his first
participation in organized ball. The 13-year-old Wade
led his team to a recreational league championship.
"Iused to get 51 points in a game," he said. "I said,
'Hey, this is alright.'"
He was even better in high school. At Boston Tech,
Wade was the city's top scorer his junior and senior
years and top rebounder his last three years, grab-
bing 22 and 24 rebounds per game as a junior and
senior. With 30 points and 32 rebounds, Wade also
grabbed a city championship his senior year, along
with Massachusetts Player-of-the-Year honors and
All America status from two magazines.u
Despite the success, Wade needed some time to
emerge from the shadow of another basketball
player, his sister Lisa.
"She was really good," Wade said. "When I first
started, they'd say, 'Here he comes. That's Lisa
Wade's little brother.' "
Butch, or Mark as he is legally named, alsox
followed the footsteps of his father, Mark Sr., who
was Most Valuable Player at Prairie View A&M. "I
had a little taste of it myself," said Mark Sr. "Maybe
some of it rubbed off."
What did rub off was Wade's parents' idea of how to
deal with trouble. "We always told him not to
start anything," said Dorothy Wade, "But if you get
pushed, you have to defend yourself."
His parents encouraged Butch to attend college, which he said he would have
done even without basketball. Wade made his specific choice of schools,
however, with some more impersonal assistance.
Wade's high school coach was head of the math department, and he
developed a computer program to evaluate colleges. "He ran it through a com-
puter," said Wade, "all the factors of different schools, like academics and
facilities, and Michigan came out on top."
Michigan was also at the top of Dorothy Wade's list. "Mom wanted me to go
to Michigan from the jump," Wade said. "She wanted me to get away from all
the people, all the crime, the streets really."
Mark Sr. said leaving Boston turned out to be a good idea. "(Butch) has
matured a lot since he went to Michigan. Being away from home helped him."
"It was fast and action packed in the projects," Wade said. "Here it's more
"I still clown around," the communication major added, "But I've been doing
a lot of thinking ... about the upcoming season, about my future."
The foremost concern for Wade's immediate basketball futre is his offense.
a' .r U.IN,,P ge..... e a . . a a a
By BARB McQUADE
THEY PROVIDE the link to
academics, recruiting and fine-
They teach fundamentals as they
work with players on an individual
They're the guys wearing the dark
suits in the back row of the team pic-
ture - the assistant coaches.
Under head coach Bill Frieder, the
Michigan Basketball staff - Mike
Boyd, Steve Fisher, and David Ham-
mer - works behind the scenes to
keep the stage set and the players on
cue. And in the competitive world of
college basketball, the assistants are
more than just understudies.
"We've got a great staff, but I think
everybody in the Big Ten has a great
staff," Frieder said. "You've got a lot
of things involved to make a program
be successful. You can't do it all your-
Frieder's assistants handle a vast
number of responsibilities to help
maintain his program and contribute
to producing a winning basketball
team. In addition to Frieder's right-
hand trio, graduate assistants Thad
Garner, Dan Pelekoudas and Scott
Tompkins work to keep Michigan's
high-flying program on its feet.
"The nature of how things are run
around here make the assistants feel
important in terms of not just
recruiting, not just coaching, but
totally involved in what we're trying
to do," said Fisher, beginning his
fourth year on Frieder's staff.
Each of the three assistants is ac-
tively involved in practices and
provides input during games. The
coaches work with players on in-
dividual skills each day - with the
freshmen at pre-practice workouts,
and with the veterans as well during
Garner, a graduate student in the
School of Social Work, lends Big Ten
experience to the team. The 1982
Michigan graduate provides tips from
the sidelines at practice.
"There have been times when Bill
has sat up in the bleachers and wat-
ched the practice," Fisher said, "and
Mike and I have been the 'head coach'
for that particular day."
"I utilize them at practice so I can
oversee it all," Frieder explained.
The head coach's trust in his assistan-
ts extends to game situations.
Flanked by Fisher and Boyd, Frieder
entertains suggestions from each side
during a game.
"Eight or 10 eyes out there are bet-
ter than two," said Frieder, who ser-
ved as a Wolverine assistant coach for
seven years before being named to the
"Each of us has a duty to find out
what we're doing wrong or right on
the floor and pass the information on
to Bill," said Boyd, a former assistant
coach at Kent State. "Any time we
have a comment we're allowed to
make that to Bill. But he's the boss.
He's the one that gets to veto or agree
that that's what we're going to do."
The ,courtside 'cHvity comprises
Daily Photo by DAN HABIB
Wolverine assistant coach Steve Fisher helps hold the Michigan basket-
ball program together. Frieder's staff handles academics, recruiting,
and individual instruction.
only half the job. No matter how
strong a program is, it cannot endurep
Spotting and signing high schoolI
players is Boyd's main role. The Nor-1
thern Michigan graduate travels1
"wherever (the recruit) is" to watcht
"I try to narrow it down to kids
we're interested in for the following
year," he said. Because of early
signings that began November 15,
recruiting for this year is almost
finished. "We're now looking at
juniors and sophomores," Boyd said,
"following their schedules and
picking certain games to go see them
M ICHIGAN'S recruiting success
in recent years has been no
fluke. While the school's academic
and athletic programs help sell the
Maize 'n' Blue, the assistant coaches
have worked "around the clock,"
Frieder said, to ink standout players.
Letter writing, phone calls and
arranging campus visits are all part
of enticing a high school star to attend
"When Bill took over, our first
priority was to make sure we got the
best player in the state," Boyd said.
Michigan's success in recruiting foot-
ball players from the East and from
Florida, Boyd Idded, has bolstered in-
terest in Wolverine athletics among,
prpeet'sfrom those areas.'.' '
Grad assistant Pelekoudas isy.
heavily involved in campus tours and °
meeting with players and coaches,
Fisher said. Because of demands as a
law student here, the 1984 graduate
limits his commitments to enter-
tainingnglavers on official campus
Daily Photo by DAN HABIB
Hammer rounds out the assistantC
duties with perhaps the most impor- South of the
tant of all. Academics is the main on South Ma
concern of the former head coach at Experience B
Delta College. Hammer arranges featuring authentic ME
tutoring and counseling to keep the a
Wolverines academically sound. "We and American
try to locate problems early, so we in thessophisticate
can do something about them," he of a restored Ann Ai
said. Correspondence with parents of Open for lunch <
freshmen and sophomores is part of
Hammer's weekly routine. RESTAURA?
In addition, the second-year _/326 South Main Street+ Ann Arbor
assistant is in charge of scouting and
travel arrangements. "Everything'
other than going out on the road to
recruit I do," he said.
Tompkins assists Hammer in his4;
The next step for an assistant coach -
is, of course, to secure a position as Food-At
head coach. "Anybody that's sitting in Great Food At Aff
my chair want to be a head coach and
to have a chance to make his own --
decisions," Fisher said.O-
Boyd agreed with that view, but -
pointed out that contributions as an
assitant may, e, pu, pshimporta=F - * 'WeemAtrgtt'
Muscling for position under the boar-
ds (right), Butch Wade belies his
conservative, quiet off-court
demeanor. Still, it's not difficult to be
intimidated by the big man and his
4 . i ' '4a . ' '4 **