Monday, January 28, 2019

My Dorm Room

So I am living in a dorm for the first time since I was 19. It has only been a few days but so far, so good. The building is actually an old Holiday Inn, built for the Miami Dolphins back in the 60s when they did summer practice on St. Thomas's campus. It definitely has the 60's field to it, with two stories of rooms that all open out on to concrete balconies. Lots of cinder blocks and lack of color.
My only concern is that my room looks so barren. It has the usual dorm room furniture, a bed a desk, and a closet. I do have my own bathroom and shower, thank God the 60 year old man said to himself.
There is so much bare wall space. What was on my dorm room walls 41 years ago? A farrah Fawcett poster? A picture of Brian Sipe?

I sent the following email out to some friends...

For those of you who don't know it, I have taken another position. I'm not calling it a job because I am retired, I'm only do things that are fun, new, and/or a bit challenging. I am now the Academic Advisor for Football, an English Professor, and an Assistant Coach at St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, Florida. It's close to what I was doing at Thomas More University, but offers me more teaching opportunities (two full time English professors just retired, and one of the two that are left is 77); and this fall will be the first time the school fields a football team. To be on the ground floor of a college football team is a great opportunity that most coaches don't get to experience. 
So far everything is going well except I have a situation I need help...One of the enticements to come down here was that the school would put me up for the first semester. So, for the first time in 41 years I am living in a college dorm. Its a converted 1960s era Holiday Inn, and I have a large room with my own bathroom and with lots of space. Thats were I need help. Except for my bed, dresser, and desk there is nothing else in the room. It looks so vacant and bare. What does a 60 year old man need to decorate his dorm room? Do I need to go find a Farah Fawcett poster? A bean bag chair? Please send me any and all suggestions.
What the heck did we have in our room in Styvesant Hall, I ask you Jeff Tumarken. Did we have anything on the walls? I remember Wenz and Mack kept a pair of binoculars in my room in case anyone was sunbathing on the roof of Hayes Hall next door. Can I get busted at St. Thomas for having Little Kings in my fridge? Does Dominos still deliver and give you free sodas? 
Many of you had children who went off to college. What are the current trendy necessities for dorm living? Do I need my own cup pacino machine?
Do I need to find copies of Frampton Comes Alive and the first Boston album and play them to death like everyone did on my floor freshmen year?
Do you see how this is causing a life conflict? 
Florida is a hotbed for college athletes, and there are very few small colleges throughout the state. We should do great in the recruiting department. We are better coaches when we have better payers, isn't that funny how that happens. We already have 31 players who transferred in at the semester.
Hope all else is well. I've been posted things on my blog about last football season at Thomas More and this off season at St. Thomas. I hope to one day write my coaching memoirs. What I've posted is rather rough and incomplete, but you can check it out at and click on Blogger. I have notebooks full of notes and stories and hope to start writing more prose this winter and into next summer.
And, as far as football goes, I will not be watching the Super Bowl this year. Both the Saints and Chiefs got screwed on some really bad calls late in the games last weekend, and the right teams are not playing in the Big Game this year. I'll probably be catching some rays and working on my tan instead of watching the game (is that a great visual or what?)...


Monday, January 14, 2019

Last and First Games...

If you look over the posts from the last six months they all center around the 2018 football season at Thomas More University. It was a unique season for several reasons, especially because I was pretty sure it was going to be my last one. Besides the blog posts I have several hundred pages of notes from the last four seasons about coaching, not just at Thomas More and not just football. I've had this idea for awhile to write a book about coaching, using a diary like structure of a season as the frame story that would allow me to insert smaller stories. I figured I'd spend this winter and next summer working on it, and hopefully have something done by next fall. That's what I had planned...

I did know that this year was going to be my last at Thomas More. I really enjoyed my time there, but I had one of those birthdays that ends with a '0' and I had a few other adventures I wanted to pursue.

My coaching book was not going to be about all the names you read in the paper and see on TV. It isn't going to be about those coaches and their million dollar salaries. I want it to be about all the coaches I have worked with all these years, high school and small college coaches and the real world we have lived in.

O.K., that was my intention for the 2018/19 football and school year. I was going to stay at TMU until the spring semester ended, working on the book when I had time away from tutoring and teaching English, then work on it almost full-time through the summer and into the fall.

Then I got another call from Dave Armstrong. He was the old friend who got me to come to Thomas More in the first place, and now was president at St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, Florida. Would I be interested in coming and help starting a football program from scratch? Be an assistant coach and the academic advisor? Would I be interested in being on the faculty pay scale and possibly teaching a creative writing class? Would I be interested in ending my teaching and coaching career in South Florida, on a beautiful campus eight miles from the beaches of my youth?

And so that is how I have ended up living in a dorm for the first time since I was 19 years old (living free on campus for a semester was another perk to get me down here). It's actually a building that once was a Holiday Inn, built to house the Miami Dolphins when they trained on St. Thomas's campus back in the 60's.