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November 19, 1998 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-11-19

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14A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 19, 1998

'1 1

M' unfazed by struggles

The Ar
Sharat Raju

Wit/i all ofIowa' troubles, Fry'
retirement would not be fittbng

By Michael Shaft r
WilySports Writer
How do you prepare a volleyball team
for matches against Ohio State and pow-
erhouse Penn State?
Well, if you're Michigan coach Greg
Giovanazzi, you play a little dodgeball.
"It's something we do about once a
week, especially towards the end of the
season," Giovanazzi explained.
The Wolverines (4-12 Big Ten, 12-14
overall) have dropped their past four
matches. It doesn't seem to have fazed
the team, though.
"Our preparations are going well,"
Giovanazzi said. "The team is amazing-
ly resilient and is dedicated to practicing
hard and playing hard."
At this point in the season, the last
thing the Wolverines need is a matchup
with the second-ranked Nittany Lions.
As large as that may loom, Giovanazzi
said, Michigan is focusing more on the

"We are planning on having a walk-
through Saturday morning for Penn
State," Giovanazzi said. "But at this
point we are really concentrating on
Ohio State"
This weekend marks the final two
home matches for the seniors.
"It's actually really exciting. It's my
chance to show Michigan what kind of
player I am and leave a real lasting
impression on the program," senior
Cheerena Tennis said.
Ohio State won in four games the last
time it faced the Wolverines and Penn
State crushed Michigan in three games.
"Ohio State is a pivotal game, not only
for pride but also for our standings,"
Giovanazzi said. "If we can beat them
and then pull an upset, we can move
ahead of them in the standings."
Penn State, which is playing a tough
match at Michigan State Friday night, is
vulnerable, Giovanazzi said.
"You can sometimes catch a team

sleeping the second night of a road triP."
Giovanai'i said. "Howveer, this Penn
State team is probably the best t eam ev er
in the Big Ten"
Penn State has been extended to five
games only once this season.
"I think at this point w e are playing a
lot looser and really have nothimg to
lose," Ebert said. i
Freshman Shannon Melka, coming
off a weekend in which she set a career
high in assists, will set this weekend.
"I told Shannon before last weekend
that she had the starting job. I think it's
really helped her confidence,
G iovanazzi said.
Sophomore Alija Pittenger, the other
setter on the team, is being trained at the
opposite setter position for next season.
There will be no emotional ceremo v
for the seniors before their final matc
Cliff Keen Arena. Instead, Giovanazzi
will say a sentence about each player
before the Penn State match.

B efore the season began, Iowa football coach Hayden
Fry was a mere five victories shy of tying former
Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler in career
NCAA victories.
Five victories. That's all Fry needed to tie for ninth on the
all-time list. And now, with the season in its final game and
the Hawkeyes struggling with three paltry victories in eighth
place, it looks like Hayden won't ever surpass Bo.
"With a year like I've had with a young ballclub and
injuries - it's been a real long year," Fry said.
Speculation in Iowa City has been that this, Fry's 20th sea-
son with the Hawkeyes and 37th in the NCAA, will be his
last. Although he wouldn't say whether or not Saturday's
game against Minnesota will be the Dean of Big Ten coaches'
final donning of the 'old gold and black,' he probably has the
thought somewhere in the back of his mind.
"I haven't reached 70 yet," the 69-year-old Fry said. "I
always said that it would be nice to coach 'till 70."
Besides the fact that Fry needs only to wait until February
to turn 70, this shouldn't be the Dean's last season. Not the
way everything has panned out thus far. If he loses against the
Gophers and finishes with his worst record ever in Iowa City
-that would be depressing.
Mired in a horrendous string of bad luck this season, Fry
has had to contend with losing not one, not two, but three
quarterbacks to injury. He also lost several players to the
NFL, including every one of his 1997 superstars.
But the influence of Fry reaches far beyond just players.
The Odessa, Texas native has developed people who are now
some of the top coaches in the country.
Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez, Kansas State's Bill
Snyder, former Arkansas coach Frank Broyles, the Minnesota
Vikings' Dennis Green and St. Louis Rams coach Dick
Vermeil - that's the short list of current head coaches who
coached under or played for Fry.
"Hayden Fry really means a lot to me," Alvarez said. "He
gave me a chance when I was just a high school coach. I'll
always be indebted to him for giving me an opportunity to be
at this level."
But how can one gauge coaching greatness? More often
than not, it's great players who make a coach look good.
The measure of greatness, in my opinion, is the ability to
make something out of nothing. Building a program from
scratch - that takes true determination and talent.
Doing it twice? That's pretty amazing. Turning three foot-
ball programs around in one lifetime, that's greatness.
Fry's done it.
In his first season at Southern Methodist back in 1962, Fry
finished 2-8. By the time he left I1 years later, the Mustangs
were a winning team at 7-4.
Fry then went up to North Texas State. In his first year he

was 5-5-1, but eventually finished with a 10-1 season fol-
lowed by a 9-2 season.
In 1979 in Iowa City, Fry began the same way - with a
losing record (5-6). Now, 20 seasons later, Fry is the Dean
and widely considered amongst the greatest coaches ever.
"The reason why he's lasted so long is because of his orga-
nization, his beliefs," Alvarez said. "He taught me how to
organize team and organize a program."
In true Fry fashion, Alvarez and Snyder - his two most
prominent college proteges - have each resurrected their
respective programs.
Alvarez took hold of an underachieving Wisconsin pro-
gram and returned it to glory. The Badgers won nine straight
games for the first time since the early 1900s.
Snyder is doing even better. He's at Kansas State, for cry-
ing out loud, and his team is now No. 2 and undefeated and
has been the story of the season.
But it all goes back to Fry. He is so old that he broke the
color barrier in the Southwestern Conference when he
recruited Jerry Levias at Southern Methodist back in the '60s.
Penn State coach Joe "Paterno and (Florida State coach
Bobby) Bowden and (Brigham Young coach) Lavell Edwards
are trying to outlive me," Fry joked.
And over the many many years of Fry's coaching career,
one thing has been constant - his sense of humor. In this
day of structured press conferences, distancing of athletes
from media and overbearing athletic departments, Fry's
down-home country wit is always refreshing.
Earlier this season he predicted that this would be a trying
He said that one player "fell in love" with a girl more than
football, so he won't return to the Hawkeyes. He mentioned
that he had a good "Irishman" on his team with a great-
sounding name but he was not a tremendous athlete.
Maybe it's that grandfatherly feeling Fry that has made him
so likable - and so durable - throughout the years.
That durability has been put to the test this season. But a
character like Fry should not fade away like he would if he
retires after this losing season. Fry should ride high into the
sunset, waving a 10-gallon hat into the sky with a broad smile
across his face.
When a reporter asked Penn State's elder statesman about
Hayden's possible retirement, Paterno said he didn't know
Hayden was even considering that.
"I've known Hayden for, gosh, about 100 years" Paterno
joked. "We're such good friends, he doesn't mind needling
me. I think he's the finest gentleman we've had in this game.
"I hope you're wrong on what you just said."
A lot of people hope the same thing.
- Sharat Raju can be reached via e-mail at

Continued from Page 10A
able to quiet Detroit. The physical play
switched from producing fouls to draw-
ing them. This time it was the
Wolverines who found themselves in
the bonus quickly, and they were able to
convert on those opportunities.
And Michigan was able to pull away
once again. As the clock wound down,
the Wolverines were still playing at the
top of their game. Since Thomas only
played seven minutes of the second
half, others were needed to step up in
her place.
Anne Thorius, who played almost the
entire game, contributed defense and
scored 10 points. And freshman phe-
nom Ingram had another incredible per-
formance, tying Thomas for a game-
high 22 points.
That's when the end was starting to
look a lot like the beginning. The
Wolverines, who seemed a little worn

down, were still able to maintain a 20-
plus point lead.
But the Wolverines were not the only
ones missing players in this game.
Michigan was still missing Ann Lemire
and Kenisha Walker, who will both
back on Saturday, but the Titans were
without their team leader.
Preseason all-MCC team member
Stephanie Gray had knee surgery prior
to the game.
"Our leader in scoring and in minutes
was sitting out," Detroit Mercy coach
Nikita Lowry said. "She gets our
defense generated and she would have
caused Alayne Ingram more problems.
It affected us a great deal, but we have
to learn to move on and be well-pre-
pared for the MCC."
But such circumstances cannot be
used to downplay the Wolverines'
success. Michigan played like last
year's team last night - an experi-
enced team - that could pose a threat
in the Big Ten.

Yoches 33 46 1010 17 0 4)
Winters 9 01 00 02 0 1
Lewis 22 38 34 410 1 1
Palmer 10 02 00 0-0 1 1
Hill 24 27 34 12 2 1
Jackson 26 210 22 24 4 2
Brown 18 13 23 11 1 4
James 32 312 00 13 0 5
Peterman 23 69 6-8 67 0 1
Courtney 3 00 2 2 0 0 0 3
Totals 200 21-58 28-331741 9 23
FG%: .362 FT%: .848. 3-point FG: 316, .188
(James 28, Yoches 1 1, Hill 01. Peterman 01.
Palmer 0 2, Jackson 0-31. Blocks: 0. Steals: 8
(James 4, Peterman 2, Hill, Yoches). Technical
Fouls: 0.
Michigan (96)


Thomas 27 9-13 4-7 4-8 5 5 22
Kipping 14 14 00 11 0 3 2
Goodlow 28 57 25 12 1 3 12
Thorius 39 48 12 15 7 3 10
Ingram 31 817 33 12 4 2 22
Minler 21 4-5 3-8 5-9 1 2 11
Oesterle 25 5-13 0-0 39 4 4 11
Dykhouse 5 11 22 00 0 1 4
Stowe 10 13 0-0 12 0 2 2
Totals 200 38-71 15.271942 22 25 96
FG%: .535 FT%: .586 3-point FG: 5-13,..385
(Ingram 36, Oesterle 1 2, Thorius 14, Thomas 0
1). Blocks: 2(Goodlow, Thons) 2Steals :12
(Thomas 4, esterle 3. Thorsus 2, IngramKippi
Miller). Technical Foals: 0. 1 M

Ball State.............30 43
Michigan... ............55 41-
At: Crisler Arena
Attendance: 621


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