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February 16, 1998 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-16

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMONDAY - Monday, February 16, 1998 3B

Tomjanovich

NBA head coach talks about his days as a Wolverine

Thirty years ago - long before Rudy
Tomjanovich won his 300th game as an NBA head
c:ach or coached the Houston Rockets to back-to-
back NBA championships - he was one hell of a
basketball player here at Michigan.
Tomjanovich averaged 30 points and 15
rebounds per game in his senior season, earning
him All-American honors. As a three-time letter-
winner he pulled down 1,039 rebounds, the high-
est career total in Michigan history.
Tomjanovich also holds Michigan records for
single-game scoring and field goals (48 points
and 21 field goals) and single-game rebounding -
27 in Michigan 's first game at Crisler Arena on
Dec. 2, 1967.
Tomjanovich was drafted second overall in 1970
by the San Diego (now Houston) Rockets, where
he played his entire 11-year career with the orga-
nization. Now, as the team's coach, 'Rudy 77 as he
is called, pilots a team with three of the NBA 's 50
greatest players -- Clyde Drexler, Hakeem
Olaju won and Charles Barklev.
The Daily:s Jordan Field recently sat down with
Rudy T to talk about his career at Michigan, his
job with the Rockets and the changes in college
basketball since the '70s.
Daily: After all these years, do you still feel you
have ties to the University?
Tomjanovich: Very much so. I still get goose
bumps when I hear the 'Hail to the Victors.' I have
to admit I don't watch many sporting events during
the season because I feel I can use that time to
watch tapes for us, but I should probably do that a
little more.
But I am very proud of the football team and
also the basketball team. I watched that game
against Duke this year and I thought that was a
very emotional game.
D: I saw that the Rockets had three days off at

D: How do you think the college basketball
game has changed since your days in college?
T: Well, there are different jerseys that are much
baggier now. Butttheagame of college basketball is
a great game. It's a lot different from when I
played, and it's a lot different from the NBA game,
but it is a great, very exciting game. I look forward
to the time of the NBA Draft because that's when I
can sit down and watch a lot of film from the col-
lege basketball season.
D: What are your best memories from college?
T: Well, we never really won too much when I
was there, and we never had any tournament play.
But, my junior year, I believe we played the
nation's hardest college schedule, and then my
senior year we played the second-hardest schedule.
I really got to play against some good ballplay-
ers and teams. Our first game at Crisler Arena was
against Kentucky and they blew us out, but that
was a great memory of going against Adolph Rupp
and those guys. I was even really happy to see the
success the Michigan program had after I left.
Guys like Johnny Orr, who was really good to
me - I was happy to see them win even if I was-
n't there. My roommate, Dan Fife, whose son
recently played at Michigan, was a good friend of
mine. So I have a really warm feeling thinking
about it there, and many good memories from the
years I had at college.
D: Is Johnny Orr someone you would credit for
your knowledge of the game that has helped your
success as a coach?
T: Well, everybody that I came in touch with,
player or coach, has really helped me. I can't real-
ly pick just one, but he was certainly a major influ-
ence on me.
- For question or suggestions about future or
past Q&As, the Daily's Jordan Field can be
reached over e-mail at jMfield@ umich.edu.

the end of the year. Did you find the time to watch
the Rose Bowl?
T: Oh, no. I couldn't because we had practices
and all that stuff. But I was proud that I was asso-
ciated with the University of Michigan at that
time, and it's always been a great university.
What drew me there was the basketball program,
and it just keeps building. It's a great institution.
D: How do you feel about the football team
sharing the title with Nebraska?
T: Well, it's always something. I thought we
were No. 1, but I don't get involved with the poli-
tics of the whole thing.

ALAN
a~ CH
GOL DENBACH
The Bronx Bomber
belated Valentine's Day story about the true love of a man for his
University: Second-year Public Health graduate student Jeff Holzhausen i
robably one of the most popular students on this campus, but his name
doesn't ring a bell with many of his peers.
That's OK as far as Holzhausen is concerned, for he has earned his notoriety
under a more user-friendly title.
Superfan.
You've seen him at Michigan football and basketball games donned in his 6ow
patented blue cape and mask. You might have also seen him incognito, so to speak
(dressed in normal clothes, that is, if a Hawaiian shirt in the middle of February is
normal by your standards), at Yost Ice Arena for Michigan hockey games.
When Holzhausen arrived in Ann Arbor in the fall of 1992, from nearby
Chelsea, there was no character like himself. So he began the legend of Superfan
behind the inspiration of another Michigan legend: former Michigan football play-
by-play man Bob Ufer. Ufer was notorious for being anything but an objective
journalist, which earned him criticism from some people. But Holzhausen admrni
Ufer's refusal to conform to the norm.
"He said things that people said he shouldn't," Holzhausen said. "People said
that he couldn't show his spirit on his job. But he did, and if he can do that, the I
know that I can. All I want to do is show my spirit. I grew up loving Michigan and
I can't help the way I feel."
With no predecessor to which he can compare himself, he built his image grada-
ally over the years.
"My freshman year, I just wore an 'M' flag around my back," Holzhausn said
"Then the next year, someone made it into a cape for me. I started wearing the
mask my junior year."
And of course there are his props: an 'M' flag that he waves proudly duringlay
stoppages, a Michigan cheerleading cone (is that the word for that thing) which
gives his taunts an added boom, and the cow bell, which he bangs to generate a
strong "Go Blue!" chant when the crowd appears dead.
But there is olenty of, well, behind-the-scenes work that Superfan does, of which
many of us are unaware.
In fact, the Athletic Department has called on Holzhausen's counsel.
"A couple of times Steve Fisher's office called me about how to get the crowd
more active," he said. Brian "Ellerbe's staff has done it also"
He also acts as an unofficial employee of the Admissions Department.
"Before football games, I'll go over to where the recruits are siting and give
them a speech," he said. "I tell them that there's no school that cambines academics
and athletics like Michigan. There shouldn't even be a choice in the matter"
We also can't neglect to mention his knack for promoting good public relatios
Little kids - and parents as well - frequently come up to him asking for auto-'.
graphs and take pictures with the man in blue. This is one of the many reasons why
Holzhausen does not drink at events or while in costume. He does not consider
himself obnoxious, and he keeps his language within the PG, well, maybe the PG-
13 vernacular.
Last, but not least, like any good superhero, he is a protector of his people.
Holzhausen recalls a rescue effort he made during Michigan's 28-0 victory over
Ohio State in 1993, when his Buckeye counterpart, Brutus the Buckeye, made ap
unwelcome appearance in the student section of Michigan Stadium.
"He was coming down hard on our cheerleaders and our student section,"
Holzhausen said. "So I started giving him hell right back at him. Then someone'hit
him with a marshmallow and he thought I did it, so he took a swing at me.'
While it seems as if there's nothing wrong with what Holzhausen does other than
expressing an unusually high level of enthusiasm, there are some members of th
student body who think that he goes too far, that he overdoes his shtick.
"I couldn't care one way or another what people think of me," said Holzhausen.
"It's who I am. I have a lot of spirit."
But students cannot carve out a career in college sports, and Superfan is no dif-
ferent. Holzhausen is graduating in May and needs to find a successor.
"I want to pass it on," he said. "In the past year, I've had 200-300 kids come up
to me at games or e-mail me saying they want to do it."
Now, crunch time is approaching and Holzhausen needs to examine his candi
dates. Besides, he'd like to help his successor get fitted for the next Superfan atire
"I'm keeping my outfit," Holzhausen said, "but I'd like to help the new one pitk
out the costume.
- Jeff (Superfan) Holzhausen is lookingfor his replacement. You can reach him
via e-mail at holzieo)umich.edu. Alan Goldenbach, although not a candidate to be
the next Superfan, can be reached at agold@umichJdiU.

Ann Arborite wins bronze in doubles luge
Street misses record, finishes sixth in Downhill behind German gold medalist

NAGANO, Japan (AP) - Talk about being low.
Two years ago, Ann Arbor native Mark Grimmette
and Brian Martin had to pay their own way to their
first W Cup luge race. And last month, with the
Winter Olympics looming, Chris Thorpe broke a
bone in his right wrist while training with doubles
partner Gordy Sheer.
Talk about being high.
On Friday, both teams won medals - Thorpe and
Sheer the silver, and Grimmette and Martin the
bronze - to break the United States' 34-year
Olympic jinx in the sport.
"I think breaking my hand helped," said the 27-
year-old Thorpe, of Marquette. "It distracted us a lit-
tie bit. We knew we were definitely at a disadvantage,
and we started to go up from there."
Some in the crowd seemed to be gasping for air as
the last run began Friday with both U.S. teams in
medal contention.
"I didn't breathe for an hour," said Ron Rossi, exec-
utive director of the U.S. Luge Association. "A lot of
people have been working for a long time, some of us
20 years, to get us over the hump."
These four sliders have excelled in the sport like no
one else before them in the United States. Sheer and
Thorpe became the first team members to win a
'World Cup title, winning four races to lock up the
1996-97 title. And Grimmette and Martin succeeded
them this year with a similar performance.
But they're probably the best-kept sports secrets in
the United States.
In Europe, where luge began competitively in

1883, people know that Stefan Krausse and Jan
Behrendt of Germany are the most decorated doubles
sliders in Olympic history. People know that the gold
they won here - by just 22-thousandths of a second
over Thorpe and Sheer - was their second.
Sheer can only wish it were the same back home,
where not many know that no American had ever
medaled in the sport since it began in the Olympics in
1964.
"We're not Alberto Tombas or Michael Jordans
here in doubles luge," said Sheer, 26, of Croton, N.Y.,
who plays drums in a three-piece band when he's
away from the track.
"But I hope that it brings some awareness and some
publicity to our sport. And maybe we'll get some new,
stronger athletes who will see this race on TV, and
next time they can one-up us and be one and two,
instead of two and three."
Luge doubles, where the big guys - Thorpe and
Grimmette - lie on top of the sled and obliterate the
small fries - Sheer and Martin - for aerodynamic
reasons, is about as close a sport there is.
These four take it one step further - they get along
like brothers away from the track, have even lived
together and help each other whenever they can.
Whether the sport goes anywhere in the United
States is anybody's guess.
Although there's a sparkling new track in Park City,
Utah, for the 2002 Winter Games, the one in Lake
Placid - the only other refrigerated track in the
country - is falling apart and in dire need of a S20
million makeover.

New York Gov. George Pataki has pledged $5 mil-
lion to rebuild it, and the private sector is expected to
come up with half the money, but federal funds have
fallen short.
Maybe this sudden Olympic success will change
Washington's thinking.
PICABO FALLS SHORT: Caution cost Picabo Street
big time.
Usually fearless, sometimes even reckless, she
decided to play it safe last night and missed making
U.S. Alpine history by 17-hundredths of a second.
Germany's Katja Seizinger didn't hesitate at all and
became the first downhiller to repeat as Olympic
champion.
Seizinger, who edged Street to win at the 1994
Lillehammer Games, finished in 1 minute, 28.89 sec-
onds to become the first person to win two Olympic
downhills.
Pernilla Wiberg of Sweden won her third Olympic
medal by placing second in 1:29.18.
Street, trying to become the first U.S. Alpine skier
to win three Olympic medals, was sixth in 1:29.54.
Normally an aggressive racer, the 1994 silver medal-
ist in the downhill said she held back on the icy
course.
"I just didn't want to risk anything. I don't need to
go down again," said Street, who was seeking her sec-
ond gold medal of these Olympics.
"I tried my hardest to get up there on the podium,
but it's not worth risking my health at this point to
maybe either get down here and win a medal or hit the
fence. I've hit the fence too many times."

FLAGSTMA~s
BANK
Recruiting for a Management Development
Program on February 24, 1998
-Gain Immediate Hands-on Training
-Leam a Full Spectrum of Business Functions
-Take the Opportunity to Contribute to the High
Standards of Flagstar's Management Staff
For an appointment call
The Placement Office at (313)764-1372

U I -- __________________________

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