Football Musings Revisited


Given the recent (re)hiring of Mark Whipple as the football coach for the University of Massachusetts, I thought I’d revisit my October 9, 2013 post to see how things are going in the real world version of my fantasy coaching staff:

The most epic coaching staff ever would be:

Mark Whipple – head coach  He’s back. He’s like a father to me. Fire the musket!

Rusty Burns – Quarterbacks/ Offensive Coordinator (currently at TCU) I was worried about Rusty toward the end of the season, especially after TCU hired a new OC, but Bill heard from him on January 10th…he is still a Horned Frog, just not the co-offensive coordinator anymore, (I think he’s the new receivers coach). I’m relieved to know that all is well for my crazy uncle from Forth Worth (by way of New Jersey).

Don Brown – Defensive coordinator/Assistant Head Coach (Currently at Boston College) I was hoping that he could be part of our recent family reunion, but he’s still at Boston College. I wish him all the best since he’s like my other dad (how many dads is it possible to have anyway? I have at least three and two crazy uncles! Geez!).

Steve Tirrell – Defensive Line After he left coaching, I realized just how much I missed Steve and his family. He’s been gone long enough that if I saw his children, I’d probably feel old and pass out.  I’m not sure what he’s up to these days, but the Tirrells will always have a special place in my heart.

Keith Dudzinski- Linebackers (currently at Maryland) Keith is still at Maryland and I wish him and his family well. He always reminded me of the older brother who might tease you but he’d always have your back when things were tough.

Paul Gorham – Offensive Line (currently at Sacred Heart) Ok this story is both heartbreaking and totally inspirational. Paul was originally on our staff when Bill started out here in 2000.  When Coach Whipple left to go to the Steelers in 2004, he went to Sacred Heart, where he spent 7 years as their head coach. At the time I added him to my list, I had no idea that he’d been really sick in 2012 and nearly died. After an insanely difficult struggle to just survive his illness and overcome the obstacles that came with his recovery, he was unable to return to coaching. Now, thanks to the awesome friendship he shares with Coach Whipple, he’s our new Director of Football Operations. I can’t think of a single more inspirational man my husband could work for, and I’m so happy he’s got another chance to work in college football. It may not be in a coaching capacity, but the Ops director is the backbone of the team, and I know he’ll be a wonderful addition to the staff.  I know I’ll get emotional the first time I see him, and I can honestly say that he and his wife are my heroes.

Ted Daisher – Safeties/Special Teams Coordinator (currently at UMass) Apparently what happened to Ted before the holidays got to me more than I realized, because when my mother asked me recently “Did you friend get his job back?” she also said “I know you and Bill were upset because it’s all you talked about Christmas night.” I don’t remember it being quite that dramatic, but I was pissed and as usual, when I’m pissed about something, I have a hard time letting it go. I’m a bit of a bulldog that way. Ted was a victim of our asshat former coach and was fired for no good reason on December 20th. He’s back now, and I’m thrilled that things have been made right for him. Having him back is confirmation that nice guys can occasionally finish first.  Granted, being fired in the coaching world isn’t exactly the same as being fired elsewhere, but there’s a difference between being fired and being screwed. Trust me, Ted wasn’t fired.  Bill called me on the night of January 12th and told me “Ted’s back, I just let him in the building”, to which I replied “Yay! Tell him I’m happy he’s back.” And then I realized I probably sounded something like a 12 year old…

I am glad to know that those who weren’t a part of our recent reunion are doing well, wherever they are It’s not a cliché to say I have family all across the country, and they are always in my heart and will always have my love and respect.

Now if only August 30th wasn’t so far away….




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