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February 12, 1997 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-02-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Penn State 57
No. 6 Duke 62,
No. 2 Old Dom. 97,
NC-Wilmington 58

No. 5 N. CAROL. 79,
No. 22 Clemson 72
No. 6 Georgia 76,
No. 13 LSU 65
No. 7 ALABAMA 89,
Auburn 57
No. 8 Tennessee 90,
South Carolina 59

Washington 92
Philadelphia 94
New Jersey 104,
MIAMI 104,
Detroit 91
Charlotte 100

San Antonio at
Dallas, inc.
Ottawa 5,
L.A. Kings at
Boston at

February 12, 1997



You're hired!

Michigan wrestler Chris (Pitbull) Viola leads his team with seven major decisions.
The Wolverines are 9-0 when Viola wins his match.
*Viola Wlay
fought like itbui

earns job
after seven
By Richard Shin
Daily Sports Writer
On July 10, former Michigan State assis-
tant coach Sue Guevara was named interim
coach of the Michigan women's basketball
"This opportunity is a dream for me,"
Guevara said at the time. "(Athletic
Director Joe Roberson) is letting me live
my dream for a year. and I know it is going
to be longer, because I totally believe in the
commitment the University has made to
women's basketball, and they have made a
commitment to me.'
Call her a fortune teller. Call her
But most importantly, call her the coaci,
Yesterday, Roberson announced the
removal of "interim" from Guevara's job
title. Terms of the contract will be deter-'
mined after the end of this season.
The decision to forgo a national search
for a new coach - a search that last year,
Roberson adamantly stressed would take
place - was not something that concerned
the athletic director.
"There are a number of constituencies
who I talk to on a regular basis involving
decisions like this, and in this case, (there
was) absolute unanimous consent,"
Roberson said. "Whether it be any of the
coaches who are here, the fans, (or) most
importantly, the players - they feel, and'i
agree, that we have found that person."
The decision came with four regular-sea-
son games remaining for the Wolverin ,
who are currently in ninth place in the Big
The search for a permanent head coach
started shortly after last season, following
the departure of former coach Trish
Roberts. Guevara was named interim coach
in July and was confident that she would
earn the job.
"I honestly believed seven months ago
that I was going to be here 20 years,'
Guevara said. "I told Jeff (Long, assistant
athletic director), when I first met with hiin,i
that I would gladly (be interim coach), and?
I was going to make it very difficult for hin
to get rid of me. The theme for our progranT
this year was, 'A New Beginning.' Let met
tell you-- it is only the beginning.
See GUEVARA, Page 1Q-.

By Tracy Sandier
Daily Sports Writer
They call him Pitbull. It's a name that
started when he was a high school
stler and just never went away.
One hundred eighteen-pound
Michigan wrestler Chris (Pitbull) Viola
has put together quite a season, with a
19-5 overall record (9-3 in dual meets).
He has recorded victories in his last five
matches, while posting a team-best
seven major decisions. Basically, he has
wrestled with the intensity of a pitbull.
"In high school, we had our matches'
televised, and the commentator just start-
calling me Pitbull one day, because
at's how I wrestled," Viola said. "It kind
of stuck. I put it on a recruiting tape and
sent it up here. When I got off the plane
(Michigan assistant
coach Joe)
McFarland was
like, 'Hey Pitbull,
over here,' right in
the middle of the
airport. Then, he
st started intro-
'cing me that
Michigan coach
Dale Bahr sees the
nickname as one that is very appropriate.
"His nickname's Pitbull because he
likes to get after people, score a lot of
points and beat them as bad as he can
beat them'" Bahr said.
Before he was a Pitbull, Viola was a
sixth-grader looking to get involved in
*hletics. Due to his small frame, there
were not a lot of sports in which he could
participate at a competitive level. His
grandfather got him interested in
wrestling and Viola has pursued that
interest ever since.
Since he wrestles the first match of
every meet, Viola has the ability to make
or break Michigan's day. The team is 9-0
when Viola wins his match.
"I've always maintained that the first
d last weight classes wrestled in a dual
meet - Chris starts us off and Airron
(Richardson) finishes us off- are very
important psychologically," Bahr said.
Me first weight class is probably worth
/ t2 times the other weight classes,
fause you come out, you're nervous,
tAkids have warmed up.
y fThe tempo is generally set with the
t-pound bout. When he gets out and
s after people, it kind of sets the
ipo for everybody that follows him."
die of Viola's favorite aspects of
wrestling is the competitive nature of
each match.
"I kind of like to think (of a match) as

trying to fit eight minutes of wrestling
into seven minutes of time;' Viola said.
"I like to go out there and really go after
a guy. Everybody's got a breaking point,
if you push them hard enough.
"You get them to a point where you
can sense it coming and you can also just
sense it when the guy breaks, because
they drop their head or whatever they do.
That's when the fun part comes in,
because you just start beating them up.'
As much fun as he has beating people
up during matches, Viola is more of a
victim during practice.
"Chris is a great competitior," Bahr
said. "He's a much better competition
wrestler than he is a practice wrestler. A
lot of people will beat him up here in
practice. But when it comes to the
matches, he has the ability to psycholog-
ically take himself to the next level."
Stemming from his competitive atti-
tude comes a will to never give up.
However, Viola knows that without the
proper technique, wins become scarce,
whether he works hard or not.
"I don't give up," Viola said. "I'll get
down in a match or something and battle
my way back. I need to work on techni-
cal stuff down on the mat. I have a hard
time with long, skinny guys."
His will to succeed stretches beyond
wrestling to his academic life. Currently
enrolled in the School of Kinesiology,
Viola is working toward the goal of
transferring to engineering.
"When Chris came out of high school,
he was a good student, but he wasn't a
great student," Bahr said. "When he
came to Michigan, he told us he wanted
to get into the engineering school. He's
got his grade point up to the point where
now he wants to transfer to engineering,
which is a real asset to him"
When he's not wrestling, Viola likes to
travel and help out in the community.
Last spring, Viola and his roommate,
Michigan wrestler Brian Aparo, spoke at
a DARE graduation ceremony for ele-
mentary school children. Viola says he
likes working with younger children.
"I like playing with little kids," Viola
said, "and they like me, because I'm
about their size."
As much as he cares about his team,
Viola sometimes likes to do things a lit-
tle differently than everyone else.
"Chris came in very much an individ-
ual;" Bahr said. "Sometimes I say he
travels to the beat of a different drummer
than some of the other kids. Over the
years, he seems to have been more con-
forming. He's very team-oriented, but he
might show up to a banquet in shorts,
just to be different"

A happy Sue Guevara entrtins question shortly after being named the permanent replacement for former
Michigan women's basketball coach Trish Roberts.
This decision is long overdue

By Richard Shin
Daily Sports Writer
Undoubtedly, the big question on
everyone's mind after the announce-
ment of the hiring of Sue Guevara
was: What took so long?

It has been
seven months
and one day
since Guevara
took the posi-
tion at the
helm of the
women's bas-
ketball team
on an interim
basis. It has

.:>: >:

tackle a project of a program at
Michigan - one that won a grand
total of four games in the Big Ten
over the past three seasons.
Michigan Athletic Director Joe
Roberson realized the risks that
Guevara was taking in accepting the
job on an interim basis.
"Last summer, Sue Guevara made
a commitment and took a chance,"
Roberson said. "Guevara was willing
to make a commitment to Michigan
with no promises of security and
knowing full well the magnitude of
the challenge she would face."
Faced with that prospect, Guevara
still took the job.
Let's examine the job she has done:
U Non-conference: Michigan
started the year with five straight vic-
tories and entered Big Ten play with
an 8-1 record, the school's best start
Big deal. Last season's squad start-
ed with a 6-3 record before a horren-

dous 1-15 conference mark.
This season's squad, however, has
won a tournament title and also nar-
rowly missed beating then-No. 1
Stanford, eventually losing by three
points. Three points away from a 9-0
The Big Ten: After an 0-18
debacle in 1994-95, then last season's
1-15 record, the Wolverines have put
together a respectable 4-8 mark this
season with four games remaining.
In several of those losses - includ-
ing defeats at the hands of Purdue
and Michigan State, two of the con-
ference leaders - the Wolverines
were still in the game entering the
final minutes.
Michigan's inspired play has
earned the praise of coaches around
the league. The Wolverines also have
the opportunity to finish in other than
10th or 11 th place in the conference
for the first time in a long time.
See OVERDUE, Page 10

been one day since she was given the
job permanently.
Seven months ago, Guevara left a
comfortable job as associate head
coach at Michigan State to take the
job as interim coach, leaving job
security and a successful program to

M' women's swimming Close to collapse

By Josh Kleinbaum
Daily Sports Writer
It's as automatic as night and day.
When there is a Big Ten women's
swimming championships, the
Michigan Wolverines are there to win

it. For a decade,
the Wolverines
have owned this
meet. The last
time they fin-
ished anything
other than first,
Ronald Reagan
was president
and the New
York Mets won
the World Series.


that respect, they have nothing to
worry about. And as Michigan coach
Jim Richardson has been saying for the
past month and a half, as he watched
his team slide, that the dual meets
mean nothing. Once you're in, you're
in - anything can happen.
Richardson is confident. His team
has been training hard for the past
month and a half for the Big Ten and
NCAA championship meets, and it is
because of this hard training that the
Wolverines have lost half of their dual
meets. Richardson thinks he has the
talent to win the Big Ten title.
And he does. There is no question that
the best swimmers in the conference are
on the Michigan team. But there's one
problem - they have not been in top
form since December. And maybe
Richardson shouldn't be so confident.
It was at Miami (Ohio), Dec. 5-7,
that the Wolverines showed their dom-
inance. In that weekend, a handful of
Wolverines recorded times that were
fast enough to qualify for the NCAA
championships. In the two months
since that meet, only Shannon
Shakespeare recorded an NCAA qual-

ifying time. And Shakespeare had
already qualified in other events.
The fact is, Michigan is swimming
slowly. The Wolverines peaked in
December, while they need to be peak-
ing now.
Northwestern is doing it right. The
No. 15 Wildcats have a record similar
to that of the Wolverines - 9-4. But
since the new year, they have only lost
twice, and not at all since Jan. 18.
They swam their fastest times of the
season in seven events just this past
weekend when they beat the
Wolverines. The Wildcats are peak-
ing. They are dangerous.
The Wolverines' problem could be
morale. After a strenuous training trip in
California over winter break, a fatigued
Michigan team dropped its next three
meets. It's tough to come back from that

and still swim your fastest.
The problem could still be .fatigue.
The Wolverines have trained hard so
that they will be ready for the Big len
and NCAA championships. Their sea-
son has snowballed since the trainjng
trip, and they still might not lpve
recovered strength-wise. This week,
they will only be practicing at-40 per-
cent of their normal workout level. Out
it could be too late - they could hive
pushed it too hard.
Regardless of the cause of their slow
swimming, the Wolverines have to fix
it, and they have to do it fast. A strong
Northwestern team is poised to do2he
impossible, to knock off the chanpi-
ons, to beat Michigan.
It hasn't happened in a decade. But
if the Wolverines don't do something
quickly, it will happen next week."'

In a week and a half, that could all
Last Saturday, the Wolverines lost
their first Big Ten dual meet since the
1992-93 season. Their 8-4 record is
deceiving - since the new year, they
are only 4-4. The Big Ten powerhouse
is ready to fall.
The Wolverines have qualified nine
swimmers for the NCAA champi-
onships and could still qualify more. In

i !

New netters are fresh

By Rhonda McGee
r he Daily
The Fantastic Four has arrived. No,
not the wonderful Marvel Comic charac-
ters' but rather Michigan's women's ten-
nis team.
:Yes, the Wolverines have added four
freshmen to the team. Meet Tenley
Hardin, Brooke Hart, Danielle Lund and

attitudes and enjoy the game;' Hart said.
The singles' performance from the
four women has been outstanding, con-
sidering the fact that they are only fresh-
men. Hart, Lund and Weggenman were
successful against Wisconsin. Hart
played a close match, prevailing, 3-6, 7-
5, 6-3, while Lund easily defeated her
opponent, 6-1, 6-1. Weggenman had an



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