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February 17, 1992 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-02-17

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The Michigan Daily-Sports Monday- February 17, 1992 -Page3

Summitt
Basketball coach Pat Summit talks about her

Jeff Sheran

career and the state of the women's

game

Since becoming head women's
basketball coach at the University
of Tennessee, Pat Summitt has epit-
omized the word success. Arguably
the best college basketball coach
ever - male or female - Summitt
has won 461 games as of Saturday,
making her the third winningest ac-
tive coach in the women's game.
She has coached her teams to four
Southeastern Conference titles and
11 Final Four appearances, winning
three NCAA championships (1987,
1989 and 1991). She also guided the
1984 women's Olympic team to a
gold medal in Los Angeles and has
complied a 63-4 international
record.
In a career in which she also
won a silver medal in the 1976
Olympics as a player, Summitt has
achieved almost every possible ac-
colade in the women's game. Daily
Basketball Writer Ryan Herrington
spoke with her recently about her
career and the state of women's
basketball.
Daily: When you started coach-
ing at the University of Tennessee,
at the age of 22, did you ever imagine
the success that you would have?
Summitt: No, not in my wildest
dreams. Obviously, I knew that the
program only, had one way to go, and
that was up. I guess I just antici-
pated a lot of hard work and was
hopeful that we could enjoy some
success. I never imagined it would
come to this degree.
'I think the skill level
is much improved,
therefore how the
game is played on a
national scale is much
more competitive. I
think just in terms of
watching the athletes,
they're better. So I
think we have a
better game today
then we had 10 years
ago from a spectators
standpoint.'
D: What was it like for you to
come right out of college, having
played at the University of
Tennessee-Martin the year before,
and be given control of your own
basketball program?
S: It was scary. Certainly, I was-
n't prepared. I think that more than
anything it was a real challenge for
me and a situation where I felt like I
had to go in and just do the best that
I could do. I knew I would learn a
lot, and I knew that I'd make mis-
takes. I just wanted to learn from
them.
D: You have had an incredibly
successful career as both a player
and coach. What has been the most
special moment for you in the game
CHAMPS
Continued from page 1
backstroke, Humphrey established a
new conference and meet record of
:55.33 and reset it in the finals,
dropping her time to :55.28.
Anderson swam to a fifth-place fin-
ish (57.22), while another rookie,
Jen Almeida, finished tied for sev-
enth (57.69).
Michigan's 800-freestyle relay

team of Silvester, Williamson,
McCracken, and Swix out-touched
last year's champions from Ohio
State, finishing in 7:20.84. Swix,
who anchored the relay, swam from
behind and clinched the victory on
the final length to complete Friday.
"I wanted to swim a smart race,
and this is my favorite relay," said
Swix. "They beat us at the dual meet
in this race."
Creighton added to the

of basketball?
S: Well, I don't think I can re-
ally single out one moment. I think
that being a part of a medal winning
team as a player, being a part of the
staff when our team won the gold in
'84 and all three national champi-
onships are special.
They're also a lot of highs in
terms of winning big games and hav-
ing big moments. But there's been a
lot of great moments in my coach-
ing profession, a lot of big wins, a
lot of exciting trips and just a lot of
fun things. Certainly when you
reach the top, that's a real special
moment.
D: You've had three-quarters of
your players make the Final Four at
least once in their career. What do
you think has made your program so
successful?
S: Talent. It's really the players
and to year in and year out consis-
tently have very talented teams. It's
important to recruit the type of in-
dividuals that are goal-oriented, and
that really want to be successful. I
just think it really goes back to the
players.
D: What do you think is the
most important ingredient in a pro-
gram then? Would it be the players?
S: Well, the people really. I
think you have to have the people
and the resources. Now, you have to
have the resources first to get the
people. But I think you win with
talent, you win with people, people
of high character and winners and a
strong staff.
D: What do you expect from
your players during the season?
What type of effort?
S: Well, I guess to play in this
program there's a standard or a level
of expectation that I think is very
demanding, from the staff, from the
fans, from the media. I just think
that we more or less have created an
environment here where people have
expected a real high standard night
in and night out.
D: You hold many positions at
Tennessee besides just being the
women's coach, among them being
the position of associate athletic di-
rector. There was a similar situation
at the University of Michigan
where Peggy Bradley-Doppes held
both the job of women's volleyball
coach and was an administrator. She
chose to drop the coaching and con-
centrate more on her work in the
athletic department. Do you find it
difficult to manage your time and
have you ever thought about drop-
ping one of the jobs to concentrate
on the other?
S: No. My administrative duties
are obviously limited during the
season. Certainly, I think Tennessee
recognizes that coaching is my top
responsibility. It really hasn't been
a problem for me.
D: How about the extra respon-
sibility of now having a son (one
and a half year old Tyler)? How has
that affected your coaching, if. it

has?
S: I would say that on the court
it has had absolutely no affect at all.
I think maybe off the court it has
given me a little better understand-
ing of people in general. For me at
home, he's been a very positive out-
let, something that's brought more
balance into my life. Rather than
coming home and turning on film of
last night's game, we watch Sesame
Street.
D: In regards to women's bas-
ketball, how have you seen the game
evolving over the past decade?
S: Well, I think the skill level is
much improved, therefore how the
game is played on a national scale is
'I think it would only
be realistic to say that
we still have a lot of
promoting to do, and
we still are selling our
game. I think at the
same time we can be
excited about the
changes that are
taking place and the
potential for future
growth.'
much more competitive. I think just
in terms of watching the athletes,
they're better. So I think we have a
better game today then we had 10
years ago from a spectators stand-
point.
I think coaching is better. I think
that because of the media coverage
and television coverage, fan support
has grown tremendously, yet I think
we still have to market our product
on a game-to-game basis. I think it's
real important to do that within
your own university and your own
community.
D: While the SEC-Big Ten chal-
lenge has provided greater exposure
for women's basketball on a na-
tional level, some still argue that it
will never grab the attention of the
American public like the men's
game. Do you feel that it's going to
take more promotion by the coaches
or the universities for that matter
to get the game more accepted?
S: With coaching, and particu-
larly with women's athletics,
there's a lot of promotion that has
to go on. There's a lot of educating
that needs to be done and a lot of
contacts need to be made. An oppor-
tunity to speak to civic groups and
get active and be a part of the com-
munity I think is important, if you
are wanting to promote your pro-
gram.
I think that certainly we can't go
out and think that everyone's going
to go and jump on our bandwagon or
we're going to turn people away and
have sellout crowds. I think that the
men didn't start out having that, and

I'm certain they didn't expect to
have it without working for it. I
think that it took them years to es-
tablish their own sport, to establish
the media support, the fan support
and we're still years behind them.
So I think it would only be realistic
to say. that we still have a lot of
promoting to do, and we still are
selling our game. I think at the same
time we can be excited about the
changes that are taking place and the
potential for future growth.
D: Where do you then envision
the game moving into the 1990s?
S: I'd like to think that it would
get better - that we would see
if ore new kids on the block so to
speak - new teams that have uni-
versities that have made a financial
commitment to their respective
programs and therefore nationally,
it just becomes more competitive. I
would like to also see more televi-
sion exposure and therefore, more
excitement.
D: While there have been a few
female assistant coaches in men's
basketball programs in recent years,
there have not been any female head
coaches. Do you feel this might hap-
pen in the future?
S: I won't say never, because you
never say never, but I don't envision
it happening within the next 10
years in Division I. I could be wrong
and I won't say it could never hap-
pen. I think somewhere 15 or 20
years from now it might happen.
D: How about yourself, have you
ever thought of coaching a men's
team?
S: Only briefly. I think that the
time, energy and effort that I de-
voted to the game early in my career,
and I've been able to sustain over an
18-year period is not something that
I think I would want to do again. I
think it would take that and more to
be successful in a men's program be-
cause of what you would have to
overcome being a female, and going
out and recruiting to convince an 18-
year-old male that he needs to be
coached by a woman.
D: You've achieved a lot in your
career. Is there anything left that
you still wish to accomplish?
S: Obviously, I'd like to win
more championships. I wouldn't
stay in the business if I didn't have
the motivation to want to be the
best. I want to continue to feel that
our program and our staff is making
a difference for women.
D: Have you ever thought about
when you might step down from
coaching?
S: I thought about it in '84 after
the Olympics, but we hadn't won a
championship here, and I think it
was probably the stress and the time
commitment that I had made really
for two years (coaching the Pan Am
and Olympic teams). Since then, re-
tirement hasn't been a serious
thought on my mind.

NFL prospects spend a:
weekend at the market
Erick Anderson was preparing for the big time. Like hundreds of other
wide-eyed, ambitious athletes, he journeyed to Indianapolis last week, to
the Hoosier Dome, ready for the feverish pace of professional football.
These were the NFL Combines, where coaches and scouts evaluated the
best college football had to offer. Three days of observing, testing, and
judging these aspiring gladiators. A grueling, frantic weekend.
Not really.
"The hardest part was waiting around," said Anderson, Michigan's
standout inside linebacker. "We did nothing more than we did something:
They tested how well you reacted mentally to different situations - a lo
of pressure and stress."
Brian Townsend, who played outside linebacker with Anderson, also
participated in the event. He, too, came away with an opinion about the
process.
"From a coach's standpoint, they want to see what kind of person you
are in addition to what kind of player you are," Townsend said. "From a
player's standpoint, it's more or less like a meat market. You know, before
the cattle can go through the gates, you've got to check them out."
In the history of depersonification
of football players, a.k.a. stallions,a
crazed dogs, hogs, oxen, etc., the
Combines goes to the furthest ex-
treme. Rather than be called a farm
animal, the players are actually r
treated like livestock.
Scouts and coaches will walk up
to a player and spontaneously grab
his limbs to evaluate his muscle tis-
sue. Doctors research a player's en-
tire history of injury to guarantee '
that a team will be receiving a
healthy piece of meat.
Herds of athletes are paraded
through a market square, only to be
auctioned off to the highest bidder in
the April draft.
But for Anderson, Townsend,
and all the other NFL hopefuls, the
Combines is a necessary inconve-
nience.
"I couldn't do anything but help Anderson
myself," Townsend said. "On Sun-
day, the Chiefs and the Raiders asked me to fill out a form. Those were
two teams that didn't know much about me, and I did something to make
them ask me to fill out a form."
And excelling at the Combines can be a tremendous confidence boost,
not to mention a career boost.
"I feel very confident about how I did," Anderson said. "I heard nothing
but good things from scouts and coaches."
Anderson has been projected as a fourth, fifth, or sixth-round pick. He's
not worried when he goes in the draft, or to what team. He only wants to
play football.
"Just get me in a camp," he said. "Once I get there, that's when it
counts.
"It really doesn't matter where I get drafted. No matter how a team did,
they have great players. I'd love to go to a team that won, but I also like
the challenge of a turnaround."
Anderson did exceptionally well at the first event - the medical exami-
nation.
"I never missed a game because of injury - I never missed a game pe-
riod," he said. "I don't know if they actually believed me when I told them
that."
Then came the physical competition. Anderson, who weighed in at 241
pounds, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.88 seconds.
"I wasn't the fastest linebacker, but my time was better than most," he
said. "I was right up there in the quickness tests - the shuttles, the short
dashes. And when was the last time a middle linebacker had to run 40
yards?"
As the 1991 Butkus Award winner, Anderson was recognized as the na-
tion's top linebacker. He especially noticed the award's prestige at the
Combines.
"When I won it, I didn't realize what went with the Butkus Award,"
Anderson said. "Other players surprised me by knowing who I was. People
see you and recognize you. I would walk to my room from breakfast, and
players I didn't recognize would say 'What's up, Erick?"'
Townsend came in with much less fanfare. Much less pressure, too.
"It makes teams wonder when I've only started for a year, and each
game I got better and better," he said. "Teams give me the benefit of the
doubt sometimes and think, 'What if this guy had started for two years?"'
Anderson thinks Townsend took advantage of the opportunity to turn
some heads, both at the Combines and during the season.
"Brian did really well," he said. "That's one of the greatest stories this
year. Throw out the Heisman and the Butkus. He was our best outside
linebacker, and he proved a lot to everyone, including himself."
And whether drafted or not, Townsend said he's poised for a shot at the
NFL.
See SHERAN, Page4

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Wolverine championship total
Saturday evening, destroying the
field in the 1650-yard freestyle
(16:27.93). Swix (16:47.85) and
Barnes (16.57.04) finished third and
eighth. While Creighton just missed
the national cut, she was still elated
with her performance.
"I'm psyched about my swim,
and I think I will still make nation-
als," she said. "We're really on at
this meet, and so many people are
doing so well."
Humphrey smashed the confer-
ence and meet 200-yard backstroke
record in prelims. She lowered her
mark in the finals, finishing in
1:56.53, a full three seconds under
teammate Lisa Anderson's former
record. Anderson finished second, in
2:00.10.
"It's unreal how much I have
dropped this weekend," Humphrey
said. "I'm still in total shock. I just

wanted to break two minutes."
Gehrs rushed back with her third
conference crown of the meet, taking
the 200-yard butterfly in 1:59.52.
Gehrs' time, although off record
pace, again qualified her for nation-
als.
Hooiveld followed up her first
breaststroke record with another in
the 200. Seeded third in the finals,
Hooiveld caught and passed the
leaders in the second half of the race,
touching in 2:14.37 to beat former
Wolverine Ann Colloton's meet
record. In a surprise finish, sopho-
more Stephanie Munson took third,
while Higgins finished sixth.
"This morning, I went out too
fast for my fitness level, but tonight I
took it out much easier (in the first
half)," Hooiveld said. "I'm happy
with my times, and to win is an extra
bonus."
Wolverines also scored well off
the diving board. In the three-meter

diving competition, senior diver Lisa
Cribari and frosh Cinnamon Woods
placed second and fifth respectively.
"Going into finals, I was fourth,
so I had to hit all of my dives," said
Cribari.
"We get better the higher we go,
and on the platform we have a
chance to do very well," Cribari pre-
dicted.
Holding true to Cribari's words,
Michigan's divers ruled on the plat-
form. Led by senior Julie Greyer, the
Wolverines claimed the second
through fifth as well as eighth place.
"Karen Sinclair and Lisa Cribari
did a great job," said diving coach
Dick Kimball. "I can't say enough
about everyone's performances."
"I honestly didn't expect the
margin of victory to be so large. So
many people have come out and
swam so well," Big Ten Coach of
the Year Jim Richardson said.

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