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January 14, 2004 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-01-14

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January 14, 2004




Carr names DeBord special teams coach, announces return of three juniors

By Courtney Lewis
Daily Sports Editor
Former Michigan offensive coordinator Mike
DeBord has rejoined the coaching staff as its

recruiting coordinator and
special teams coach, head
coach Lloyd Carr announced
DeBord resigned Dec. 17
as Central Michigan's head
coach after the team went 3-9

° ' ;

spent eight years on the Michigan staff, the last
three of those as offensive coordinator.
"I'm delighted," Carr said. "He's an outstand-
ing football coach and a better man. (He) brings
great energy, enthusiasm, knowledge, and it's
going be great to have him back because he's a
fun guy to be around. I know our players are
going to love him, so I'm excited to have him
DeBord replaces special teams coordinator
Jim Boccher, who "has resigned to go into the
business world," according to Carr.
Michigan had an up-and-down season on spe-
cial teams in 2003. Mistakes contributed to loss-
es against Oregon and Iowa. After Michigan lost

30-27 in Iowa City, Boccher did not make the
trip to Minnesota the following week. Carr
issued a statement before the start of the game
saying Boccher wasn't there due to "personal
reasons." Boccher never returned to the staff.
BACK FOR MORE: Carr confirmed what Marlin
Jackson's high school coach had indicated last
week - that Jackson will be back for his senior
year, and he'll play cornerback.
Jackson had a frustrating year after switching
from cornerback to safety and said after the
Rose Bowl that he would not play another sea-
son for Michigan at safety.
"(Jackson's move) made us a better football
team, and he did something for this team that he

did not necessarily want to do from a personal
standpoint," Carr said.
But Carr added that he agreed Jackson should
return to cornerback.
All three Michigan players who were consid-
ering entering the NFL draft (Jackson, receiver
Braylon Edwards and offensive lineman David
Baas) have decided to play for Michigan one
more year. Carr said he spoke with all three
about their decisions, but he didn't try to push
them in any direction.
"Basically, I'm there to answer questions that
they have; I'm not there to try to talk them into
staying," Carr said. "Because I think its very
important, if they are going to make a decision

to stay at Michigan, that they're staying for the
right reasons."
The coach said when advising a player, he has
to consider what's best for the player and not
necessarily what's best for the program.
"I always try to put myself in a position where
I answer the questions for them in a way that I
would try to answer the question if that were my
son asking it," Carr said.
STILL MISSING: One player who will not return
to the team next year is fullback Sean Sander-
son. The sophomore fullback was suspended for
the 2003 season because of academic reasons.
"I had some things that I asked Sean to do, and
he did not fulfill those," Carr said.

in 2003. In DeBord's four years at the helm, the
Chippewas accumulated a 12-34 record.
Prior to his stint in Mount Pleasant, DeBord



Penn State at Michigan, Tomorrow, 7 p.m.; Michigan at Michigan State, Sunday, 2 p.m.
* Burnett looks to help from the

Michigan at Michbigan State, Saturday, 3:45 p.m.
Izzo hopes
to locate_
his team s4
By Dan Rosen
Daily Sports Writer



If 5-7 Michigan State still has a shot
at saving a once promising season, it
starts this week with home games
against Penn State and Michigan.
That means that the Spartans,
much like Indiana last Sunday, will
be desperate for a win against the
"It's kind of a big week for us,"
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.
One problem for Michigan State so
far has been a lack of toughness. After
a 12-point win over Bucknell in late
November, Izzo called his team soft.
He complained that, rather than being
physical, his players looked afraid of
getting hurt inside.
While he's recently seen flashes of
better offensive play, Izzo still isn't
pleased. The Spartans have played
swiss-cheese defense in dropping
three of their last four games. The
team that was No. 3 in the country
before it played a game now sits at the
bottom of the Big Ten standings 12
games into its season.
"We (have) had our moments when
we showed up, but we've had our
moments when our defense let us
down again," Izzo said.
One reason for Michigan State's
lack of physicality this season is
work ethic. Since the team lost Jason
Richardson and Zach Randolph to
the NBA two years ago, Izzo feels
that he hasn't had the leaders around
to teach the younger guys how to
prepare and play.
"I thought what we had going here

By Megan Kolodgy
Daily Sports Writer
When sophomore Kreston Martin came to Michigan,
he had aspirations of playing basketball for the Wolver-
ines. But competition was tough, and Martin didn't
quite make the cut. Not to be deterred by the setback,
the dedicated player did the next best thing.
He tried out for the women's team.
"I saw a flyer in the CCRB about men's practice club
for the women's basketball team, and I thought it would
be pretty interesting," Martin said. "I could stay in
shape and stay sharp with my game."
Now Martin and about 10 other men play an integral,
though untraditional role on the women's basketball
team. Since the squad consists of a mere 11 girls, one of
whom can't play due to a knee injury, practicing day-in
and day-out without the ability to substitute would be
far too physically taxing on the players. That's where
Martin comes in.
He and the other guys take turns coming down to Crisler
Arena each afternoon and practicing with the women's
team. Though they don't get the chance to hit the court
come game time, their assistance allows the Wolverines to
be in excellent condition when they play.
"I experienced one year in my coaching history where
we only had 10, and then one gets hurt and you're down
to nine, and the physical beating that those kids have
because they never get off the floor," coach Cheryl Bur-
nett said. "I can't speak highly enough of these guys.
They show up at 7:30 in the morning for shooting prac-
tice. That, to me, is an unbelievable commitment to
helping our cause."
Martin and his teammates have also had to adapt their
playing styles so that they are better suited to the
women's version of the game.
"We need guys who play a certain way," Burnett said.
"We need guys who play ego-less.
"They're not just out here to show that they can
school on somebody."
Martin said he is thankful for the opportunity to
hone his skills and simply play the game on a day-to-
day basis.
"I really don't take it as women on the court," Martin
said. "They're just basketball players. That's how I see it."
And the boys' commitment does not come without
perks. These men are under the instruction of a coach
who has certainly made her mark on the world of
women's basketball and is in the process of trying to

- practice depth
turn the program around. Under her guidance, they
gather information about the game that couldn't be
learned in a pickup game at the CCRB.
"I've learned a whole lot," Martin said. "More, proba-
bly, in the three months I've been with (Burnett) than in
my whole high school career. I've been observing her
throughout the season - what she's been saying and
what she's been teaching the players. I can see that what
she is telling them is working, and I can't help but to
listen and learn from her too."
Martin has also become closer with the players whom,
prior to this season, he did not know. This year, he has only
missed one of their home games.
"I've kind of BRETT
grown attached MOUNTAIN/Daily
to them," Martin In preparation
said. "I've been 4 for No.8 Penn
working hard t State and No.
with them, so I 25 Michigan
State, Cheryl
want to see Burnett looks
them succeed." to the men's
From all practice club
appearances, the to help out
team has grown with depth In
attached to Mar- practice.
tin and his team-
mates as well.
They join in the
team huddle
when practice
ends and
walk off the
floor chat-
ting with the
"If we did
not have this
group of prac-
tice guys, I
really honestly
do not know
what we
would do,"
Burnett said.
"They're phe-
nomenal. I
feel like
they're part of
the family.



Rebounding - usually a strength for Michigan State - has been a weakness this
season, as seen In the collision by Shannon Brown (left) and Paul Davis.

for three, four years was that we had
seniors that were passing (the work
ethic) on down," Izzo said. "It just
seems like once you lose those lead-
ers, you've almost got to start from
scratch again. And I think that's some-
thing that I didn't do a good job of
looking at."
After the contests in East Lansing
this week, the Spartans will warm up
the bus again for three games out of
town. Given that they have yet to win
a road game, holding court at home
means that much more.
Michigan coach Tommy Amaker
hasn't had to call out his team's tough-
ness this year. In fact, he's been

pleased with it, particularly on
But the Wolverines have been
inconsistent, which Amaker sees as a
byproduct of their youth and inexperi-
ence. Michigan has 10 underclassmen
on its roster.
Michigan didn't play in East
Lansing last season, so senior
Bernard Robinson is the only
Wolverine who has competed in a
Michigan-Michigan State game on
the road.
"I think our kids feel that we can
play with a lot of people," Amaker
said. "And I think that we've shown
that. I think that we'll be confident."


w U

Mees hopes that academic success translates on the court

AGES 18-45,

By Alex Cummins
For the Daily
Heading into the dual-match portion
of the men's tennis season, Michigan
coach Mark Mees expects big things
from this year's squad. However,
Mees' expectations don't just apply to
action on the tennis court. Since his
appointment as head coach five sea-
sons ago, Mees has produced 11 U-M
Athletic Achievement Awards and
eight Academic All-Big Ten distinc-
tions. This is no easy task considering
the Wolverines practice two-and-a-half
hours every weekday, have matches on
weekends and lift weights two times a

week. It takes a special person to han-
dle both the academic and athletic rig-
ors of the University.
"We have something unique here at
Michigan with our tremendous aca-
demic and athletic programs," Mees
said. "Not many schools in the coun-
try are like us, and we want not only
talented tennis players, but also peo-
ple who will take advantage of the
academic opportunities U-M has to
Mees and the rest of the Wolverines
will look for leadership from the
team's co-captains, junior Michael
Rubin (preseason No. 6 in regional
rankings of the Intercollegiate Tennis

Association) and senior Anthony Jack-
son, who compete at No. 1 and No. 2
singles, respectively.
"We are really looking for Michael
and Anthony to lead our younger
guys," Mees said. "No matter who we
play, we will always have a good
chance at winning first and second sin-
gles (with Rubin and Jackson). But I
am also confident that they can lead
our younger guys to victories, as well."
Rubin and Jackson have also
received a preseason regional rank-
ing of No. 15 as doubles partners by
the ITA.
The Wolverines' opponents should
be cautious if they plan on taking this

young squad lightly. Freshman Brian
Hung is ranked 21st in the ITA rank-
ings of the singles division, and two
other freshmen, Ryan Heller and Steve
Peretz, are poised to make major con-
"Our freshmen are going to get the
opportunity to contribute right away,'
Mees said. "They've gotten their feet
on the ground, and everyone has been
improving. With the fun part of the
season about to get underway, I'm
excited to see what happens."
The Wolverines kick off the dual-
match season Saturday morning at the
Varsity Tennis Center against Western


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