Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Canton Event for The NOOZ Chronicle

 When our publishing company originally put together the NOOZ Chronicles we planned on having two events surrounding it. But Covid came along and threw us a curve ball. We originally planned on having a Cleveland event, which we finally had this summer at Visible Voice Books and it was a blast. However, the guys who put out the NOOZ back in the day are from the Canton area and we had planned to have an event down that way to celebrate the book, as well as have a good time. So for all of our friends down Stark County way and surrounding areas we have gotten our act together:

Wednesday, August 24
at the Barrel Room
7901 Cleveland Avenue NW
North Canton
from 6-10
Music by Cats on Holiday duo
Come have a good time, see some old friends, enjoy some live music, and pick up a copy of the NOOZ Chronicles before they are gone.

Saturday, June 4, 2022


 Thanks for everyone who attended our event for the release of the NOOZ Chronicles last week at Visible Voice Books. Considering it was postponed for six months, and the threat of rain, we were very happy with the turnout. Not only a good time was had by all, but a donation of $250 from Pink Flamingo Press, Visible Voice Books, and Cats on Holiday was given to the Relief Fund at the Ukrainian Library in Tremont.

We are very surprised at the interest in the NOOZ Chronicles. If you were unable to attend and would still like to get a copy, there are still a few copies available at Visible Voice Books. If you are down in the Canton area you can get a copy by contacting Dwight Jellison at 330.309.3953. 

If you are out of town and would like a copy contact us at 216.496.8286 and we will figure something out to get you a copy.

We are working on a Shopify page so readers can purchase the many books we have written and/or published over the years. Hopefully it will be up by the end of the summer. If you have made a Shopify and want to share some of your wisdom give Greg a call at 216.496.8286. 

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Another Chapter from my Coaching Book

 This chapter will probably come at the end of the book and will be titled "No Names Please." 

            The following are a few of the coaching stories from over the years that are a bit on the risqué side. Names are left out or changed to protect the innocent, the married, those with ex-wives, those with children, and those now in positions of authority. I observed some, heard about others, was involved in one or two, was involved in another one or two but won’t admit to it.


            The buses were filled and ready to leave for a road game with everyone in attendance except the star quarterback. His car was parked in the players lot, but he wasn’t on the bus. The head coach sitting in the first row of the first bus turned to one of the Graduate Assistants and said, “Go find him.”

            The GA had no idea where to look but figured he’d start with the QBs car. As he got closer he noticed some movement inside. He peered into the driver’s window and saw the quarterback sitting back I his seat with a big smile on his face, and his girlfriends face buried in his crotch.

            The QB rolled down the window just as his girlfriend looked up and smiled, “Don’t worry, Coach. I’m almost done.” The QB rolled up the window the smile on his face getting larger.

            The GA hustled back to the bus to report to the Head Coach. “Where is he?” The Coach demanded.

            “Don’t worry, “ replied the GA. “He’s coming.”


The coaches had put the players to bed and seeing is that the game was a 4:00 start the next day, a few of the coaches decided to go out for a beer. They swiped the keys to one of the school vans and headed for a bar district they heard about downtown. They found a parking spot and got out, and it seemed like they were right in the middle of things. One of the coaches went into a close by convenient store, came out with a 12 pack, and the enjoyed the warm autumn night and the surrounding crowd that was having a good time.

Suddenly out of nowhere appeared a girl of maybe of 16 on a bicycle.

“Any of you guys want some action?” she said to a surprised crowd. 

One of the coaches sitting on the back bumper of the van said in jest, “How much?”

She responded, “Hundred bucks.”

 Everyone laughed and the coach on the bumper responded, “What do you get for a hundred bucks?’

Before he could move she was on him like a panther on a prey, trying to undo his belt buckle. 

“Hey, what you doing?” the coach responded, pushing her off his body.

Just as suddenly as she appeared, she hopped on her bike and disappeared. The coaches we all laughing heartily, then suddenly the coach on the bumper said, “Son of a bitch. “

“Whang this for a while. t? 

“She grabbed my wallet.” And sure enough, while she was wrestling with his belt buckle with one hand she reached in to his trousers with the other and stole his billfold.

I don’t know what was funnier, retelling the story about the hooker on the bicycle, or listening to my coaching colleague trying to explain to his wife back home why she had to cancel their credit cards.


We were flying west (commercial, of course) I think to St. Louis to play a game. I was sitting on the aisle seat with one of our young, cocky coaches sitting next to me. Our stewardess was in her mid to late thirties and very attractive, with a killer smile and great disposition about her.

The young guy next to me was enthralled. “Boy, she is hot,” he said to me each time she passed us. A young guy full of testorone and bullshit. 

Finally, he said to me, “Excuse, have to go to the head.” He squeezed past me and went down the aisle towards the bathroom. 

I dozed off and then woke up and realized the seat next to me had been empty for a while. Finally, he returned with a slight smirk on his face.

“Where were you?” I asked.

“In the john.”

“You are always this happy after you go to the bathroom.?”

“I didn’t go to the bathroom. I broke one off. That stewardess just got me too worked up.”


So life was rolling along pretty good for the coach as he approached his fortieth birthday. He was the head coach of one of Ohio’s better small college football teams, and he was well liked by the players, administrators, and parents. He should’ve known things were going too smooth.

He had gotten married soon after college to his sweetheart, and both of their kids were now off to college themselves. One day he came home for dinner and over the meatloaf his wife told him, “I’m not happy. I want a divorce.”

He wasn’t the first coach to ever hear that from his wife. He wasn’t the first guy who ever heard that.

He was stunned. Things moved very swiftly the next few weeks, and Coach realized that she had been planning this for a while. She quickly had a new job and a new apartment in Columbus, the big city down the freeway. She was never really happy in a college town, too much gossip, too much small-town politics. She also had a buyer lined up for their dream house they had bought when the kids were young. Before he knew it, he was divorced and homeless.

He was in a depressing funk, and everyone around him knew it. Luckily it was the off season, and things didn’t flow over onto the football field.

He did know that a lot of the passion had slipped away in their marriage. He’d fall sleep in the living room watching film, and by the time he’d get upstairs she’d be sound asleep. He did realize that it was over and sooner rather than later he should put it behind him.

And soon word got out that Coach was available, and the single women of the town, from middle age divorcees to twenty something barmaids, soon had a new target. Those who had known him genuinely liked him, and those who knew his wife didn’t think much of her. Most women who knew him when he was married as a great catch, while she would never pass up a chance to criticize him. He was always away from home, she would complain. Spending more time and caring more about that damn football team than his own family. 

In short time he was soon inundated with invites, to stop for a drink after school or to come over for a home cooked meal. He was very uncertain what to do. He didn’t know what to do after 20 years of marriage to the same women. 

“I don’t know what to do,” he said to me. “I can’t start dating again.”

“Why not?”

“I wouldn’t know what to do. I haven’t been with anyone but Carol for twenty years.”

“Don’t worry, my son,” I replied. “It will all come back to you. It’s just like riding a bike.”

And ride a bike he did. Whether it was Sally down at the dry cleaners, Mary who cut his hair, or some of the women who hung around the places we would stop to have a beer or two at the end of the day, he found no lack of female attention and got more and more comfortable with it. He couldn’t believe the lack of cat and mouse interaction between consenting adults. He always had to watch what he said or did around his wife, but not around these other women that suddenly filled up his life.

His depression over his divorce was soon in the rear-view mirror. I knew he had put his marriage completely in the past when he walked in my office one Monday morning and asked, “Why is it every woman in the world gives head except the one I was married to for twenty years?”


One winter I drove to Columbus for a recruiting fair at one of the big hotels downtown. There was a recruiting fair in one of the ballrooms, some sort of sports business show going on in another, and my friend John was playing music in the bar. After I was done doing my coaching duties, I sat down at the bar, ordered a beer, and started to enjoy the music.

The guy sitting next to me was impressed that I knew the singer, and we started a conversation. He just assumed I was a coach, and he told me he was in sports marketing. Back then I really wasn’t sure what that was, so he told me the latest project his company had participated in.

“The next time you see highlights of a NASCAR race on SportsCenter, check out the ads on the front quarter panels and you will see both the Viagra and Cialis logos. We brokered that deal. We will be on all the cars next fall.”

“Wow. Does that stuff really work?”

“Does it really work, my friend?” And he went into a twenty-minute soliloquy about his experiences with Viagra. We spent an hour or so b.s.ing about this and that. I remember I introduced him to John during one of his breaks, and he even bought a couple of his C.D.s. I remember we exchanged business cards, and we went off in different directions. I headed back to Cleveland; he went off to another trade show in Pittsburgh.

That fall a box was mailed to me c/o the football office at John Carroll. Inside was a note signed “Good Luck this season. Tell John I’ve really enjoyed the McGuffey Lane CDs.” And I realized the box was from my sports marketing acquaintance from earlier in the year. Inside the box was perhaps twenty or so packages, half Viagra, half Cialis. Each contained about three dozen pills. 

I had to say, that up until that time in my life, I had never needed anything in the men’s performance department. Even as I started to sprint through middle age, I was still just naturally horny, I guess. I through the box in the trunk of my car and forgot about it.

It was later that season that we were playing in southern Ohio, probably against Wilmington or Wittenberg. When playing in Ohio late in the season you must be prepared to play in 70 degrees and sunny, as well as 35 and a touch of snow. The weather changes from day to day, and there is really no logic to it. All it takes is just getting caught once without the right game outfit and you wouldn’t do it again. I always took a bag full of clothes for a variety of weather. I was really dragging. It was a Friday; I taught all day and then had practiced. Usually, I would just plop my butt on the bus and fall asleep. But earlier in the week I had made a promise to take an old friend out dinner on Friday night in Columbus, so I was driving separately.

I ended taking my friend Lisa out to dinner at one of the places in German Village and I knew I was in trouble. All through dinner she was sending my signals that if I wanted a night of passion, she was available. We had been lovers on and off over the years depending on her marriage status. She had a habit of marrying an asshole every few years and realizing it after about six months of bliss. 

Like I said I was exhausted. Taught all day, practice, the drive to Central Ohio. All I wanted was to feel my head on a pillow, not my hands on a pretty attractive middle-aged woman. What was I going to do?

I followed her to her place. I parked behind her in her drive and went to grab my toilet kit out of my trunk and then it hit me. Why should I be a disappointment to poor Lisa? Poor thing just got divorced again, probably hadn’t had sex in months. Why should I make her feel good about herself? Because it was at that moment, reaching for my shaving kit, that I saw the box filled with Viagra and Cialis. 

I reached in, open one of the containers, grabbed a handful of pills, and shoved them in my mouth. I had some bottled water in the trunk too, so I opened one and washed down the pills. It was dark out. I had no idea how many pills I swallowed. I had no idea if it was Viagra or Cialis or something else.

For the next 40 hours I was the king of the universe. The problem was I couldn’t sleep, sit, or drive comfortably. Thank God the next day was a chilly day. I think the game even went into overtime, but all I really remember was constantly pulling down my jacket to cover up the pup tent in my trousers. It wasn’t until Wednesday that I was able to sleep comfortably. And they tell you to call your doctor if it lasts for more than four hours. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Another Chapter from my Football Book

This chapter will end up somewhere in the middle of the book. After coaching small college football for over 20 years, I felt some background on my own college football experience was necessary.        

   I think this is a good time to talk about my career, or lack there of, as a small college football player at Ohio Wesleyan University, a DIII school in Central Ohio, back in the fabulous Seventies. Over the years I have described my two years as a Battling Bishop mostly two ways, I was an awful player on a bad team, or a bad player on an awful team.

         We first have to talk about the time and place I went to college. The most unique time to ever go to college, if you liked to have a good time, was the time between the end of the Vietnam War and the beginning of the 1980s Reagen conservative period, not to mention the AIDS epidemic. The Viet Nam War had just ended it and there was a big sigh of relief, not only from students, but parents, teachers, and administrators. The chance that you could end up playing real war in a rice paddy in southeast Asia, like thousands of young men had recently before us, disappeared. All the social changes that started in the Sixties were now back and center stage. The drinking age for beer was 18 in Ohio, for everything else 21. States like New York and Florida the drinking age was 18 for everything. For the first time marijuana laws were being relaxed.  Most college students had easy access to birth control, and most parents were happy their kids were in school and didn’t want to know what they were up to when they were there.

         The creative arts exploded. In music we had a periods of progressive rock (the Grateful Dead), country rock (the Marshall Tucker Band), jazz rock (Steely Dan), to go along with the folk and Beatles influenced music of the late 60s and early 70s. It was the beginning of the careers of Seger, Springsteen, Mellencamp and Billy Joel. Women artists like Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, and Emmylou Harris were finally getting their due. Movies that either won or were nominated for best picture during my high school and college days included The Sting, American Graffiti, The Exorcist, The Godfather part II, Chinatown, Lenny, One Flew over the Cukoo’s Nest, Barry Lyndon, Jaws, Dog Day Afternoon, Rocky, All the Presidents Men, Network, Taxi Driver, Annie Hall, the first Star Wars, The Deer Hunter, Coming Home, Midnight Express, Apocalypse Now, Norma Rae, Ordinary People, and Raging Bull.


         Albums released from 1973 until 1980 included Good Bye Yellow Brick Road, Houses of the Holy, Brothers and Sisters, 461 Ocean Blvd., Bad Company, Court and Spark, Diamond Dogs, the first Kiss live album, Pretzel Logic, Rush, Rock n Roll Animal, Grievous Angels, What were Once Vices are Now Habits, Living and Dying in ¾ Times, Todd, Get Your Wings, Buddha and the Chocolate Factory, On the Border, The Hoople, Endless Summer, Elvis Live in Memphis, Close up the Honky Tonks, Welcome Back My Friends to the Show that Never Ends, Starting Over, I Can Stand a Little Rain, Sneakin’ Sally through the Alley, The Heart of Saturday Night, Sheer Heart Attack, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Fire on the Mountain, Heart Like a Wheel,  Blood on the Tracks, Rock-n-Roll, Physical Graffiti, That’s the Way of the World, Blow-by-Blow, Katy Lied, Journey, Willo Wisp, Toys in the Atic, Red Headed Stranger, Cut the Cake, Dream Weaver, Fleetwood Mac, Outlaws, Abandon Luncheonette, Wish You were Here, Face the Music, Still Crazy After All these Years, Northern Lights, Schoolboys in Disguise, A Night at the Opera, The Hissing of Summer Lawns, We Sold our Souls for Rock and Roll, French Kiss, the list goes on and on. I could name a thousand albums. No better time for popular music, and there was no autotune, no drum machines, no manufactured beats. Just real music.

Several years ago, my niece Penny and her boyfriend did a cross country trip before her senior year in college. They checked all the travel websites on the internet and made a plan to see all the sights. Each night they stayed in a nice hotel, ate in all the best restaurants. 

They didn’t sleep one night in their car, didn’t pull the sleeping bags out and slept under the stars in a rest area off a freeway somewhere. They had a game plan and stuck to it. And that was the problem. Nothing was spontaneous, nothing out of the ordinary was explored.  They followed all the travel advice they found on the interent.

Forty years ago we didn’t have the internet to guide us, our travel adventures, as well as our lives in general, were guided by the albums we listened to, the movies we watched, the books we read, the stories we heard from both strangers and friends in bars and parties. They didn’t give us set instructions to guide us in our adventures but gave us a sense of adventure that caused us to search out our own thrills, not the same old stuff everyone else did. Those places to go and things to do my niece and her friend read about on the internet were someone else’s adventures and experiences done over and over by thousands of travelers.

Books I and thousands of other college kids read for the first time back in the Seventies included On the Road by Jack Kouriac, The Princess Bride by William Goldman, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig, Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises (He was going through a renaissance at the time)The Drifters by James Michener, I’ve been down so long it seemed like up by Richard Farina, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins, Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut, Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon, The World Accoding to Garp by John Irving, Fear and Lothing in Las Vegas by Hunter Thompson, Roots by Alex Haley. Again, the list could go on and on.

Throw all of that together along with what was the state of athletics at most small colleges at the time, and you could see why a lot of guys, including myself and many of my teammates, walked away from football. There were so many other things to do than play for coaches who the game had passed by, in stadiums that didn’t even compare to many high school stadiums, wearing equipment that was new sometime in the Fifties. It just wasn’t worth it.

Sure we drank too much, smoked too much dope, stayed up too late and always looked for a reason not to go to a class. It was the best of time and walking away from the game we all loved become easy to do. And we did things on campus that students would never get away with today. My fraternity had the Thursday night special, a buck for girls, two for guy, for all the draft beer you could drink. The frat next door had a illegal bar set up on Tuesday called Scroungers Lounge, with fifty cent cocktails and beers for a  quarter.

After I quit the football team I was never far away from the game I loved. It was during those years away from football that I started my coaching career. For two summers I quit my job early and spent a week or two volunteering at Padua, mostly helping with the freshmen team.

And at school I coached my fraternity team. We played in a Friday afternoon touch league. After games we would have a cookout at our frat house with our little sisters, we would have a bonfire going in the Midwest autumn air, a keg or two would be tapped, and we would be enjoying life. Those experiences were a whole lot better than getting on a bus for a two hour drive up to Berea or down to Springfield to get our asses cleaned by either Baldwin Wallace or Wittenburg.

No better place for an impressionable suburban boy from Cleveland than central Ohio. Ohio State was Columbus when Columbus was still the best college town in America and not a metropolitan area. Delaware, Granville and Westerville were still college towns instead of suburbs. Central Ohio was filled with picturesque campuses, pretty girls, and lead to all sorts of adventures.

         I did make it through my freshmen season, then sometime in the beginning of my sophomore year it hit me. Something happened to me that had never happened before, I knew going into a game that there was no way we were ever going to win, or even be competitive. All through CYO and high school, in all the different sports I had played officially and unofficially, in organized leagues or sandlot pickup games, I always thought my team had a chance to win. But that fall, with games coming up against Wittenburg and Baldwin Wallace, two teams that out talented us not only on the field but on the sidelines, I questioned why I was doing it. 

         After playing for the coaching staff we had at Padua, the coaches at OWU didn’t seem to have it. I think most of them were decent people, but at least the coaches on offense were really out of touch. The plays and schemes they designed weren’t very sound, they didn’t get along with the players very well, and they didn’t do much to instill confidence in the team.

Like I had said, some of our lack of success was the fault of a team that had to many players drinking and partying way too much. But the 50 year old stadium in shambles, the equipment that was too old and too unsafe, not enough talent to compete with the better teams in our league, not enough coaches who were respected by the men they were suppose to lead.

From the two years I played I did acquire some great friends, some of them became life-long friends. But over the years, whether it was a life-long friend or someone from those teams who I would run into at a reunion or someplace else, I have always been surprised at the amount of anger many of them had, even after many years, towards one or several of the coaches. From guys who played, and from guys who sat on the bench.

It wasn’t until years later I realized maybe because I got to coach all these years since then, my football dreams did not end during college. Most of my college teammates had their football dreams finished ugly and disappointingly. And many of them never forgot it.

         Those guys I played with at OWU football dreams were filled with nothing but disappointment. Most of them never coached, some saw a son or two play, but their football dreams ended in losing seasons and ass kicking by better teams. The guys in my class that played all four years had their careers end in a pair of 1-9 seasons.

         One topic always seems to come up when I see someone from my football days at OWU, Coach Les Michaels. By the time I had gotten to the college Coach Michaels' better days were behind him. He was a long-time receiver coach as well as the Head Baseball Coach. He definitely was marching to his own beat by the time I got to Wesleyan.

         Coach Michaels will always be remembered for the scouting report he gave before the Wittenburg game one year. The ‘Berg were defending national champs and they were loaded. They had a stud it seemed at every position, why these guys were playing DIII I, or Coach Michaels for that matter, had no idea.

         Coach Michaels gave the report in front of team in one of those tiered classrooms in the new science building. He was standing in front, the team squeezed into the desks, and our Head Coach was sitting in the last row on the top tier.

         As Coach Michaels went on describing Wittenburg’s personnel the more excited he got. “They got this tailback Davey Merritt, he runs right, he runs left, no one can tackle him!” “They have a flanker named Masoon Moon, runs like a dear, you can’t cover him.” ”They have this linebacker named Foster, runs side line to side line making tackles, he can’t be blocked…” it was at that moment at the peak of his excitement that Coach Michael paused for a moment, then looked up at our head coach in the top row, threw the scouting report in the air and said, “Jack, I don’t know why we are playing them, there is no way we can beat them.”

         But I really think that guys remembered Coach Michaels because he was just a good guy, with no ego about him. He taught health classes (public health, community health, personal heath) which were all the same class filled with Coach Michael’s stories about World War II and growing up in a small Ohio town. I also remembered that he didn’t dress for practice with the other coaches in the office in the stadium. He’d dress in his teaching office which was up in the old gym and drive over to the practice field. He’d always get there early, sit in his car and smoke his pipe and listen to 40’s music on some station out of Columbus. He coached the receivers, and they were taught that when a plane flew over the practice field they were told to hit the dirt, because “the hymies are coming.”

         The last time I saw Coach Michaels was at the Brown Jug Harness race a few years out of college. I snuck down to Delaware for the festivities even though it was during football season and had a great time hopping from party to party in and around the grandstand and track. After I had placed a bet I went up into the grandstand looking for an old friend, and when I looked up I saw Coach Michaels sitting there. He had his arm around his wife, a big corsage pinned to her chest, his ever present pipe in his mouth. .

         “Coach Michaels, how are you?’ I asked.

         With a big smile on his face he replied, “Never better, son. Never better.”

I should’ve quit at the beginning. The first weeks of summer practice stunk. I had a helmet that was probably made during the Johnson administration that gave me constant headaches. I had a line coach who couldn’t coach the freshmen at Padua. I just wasn’t into it. Tom Fedele, who’s locker was near mine kept telling me, “Don’t worry, the good life starts a week from Thursday.” He counted down each day until the Thursday came, the day before the first day of school. I was unsure what he meant.

         I did know there was an all-school picnic that night, and we were the last to arrive because of practice. I remember walking up Spring Street towards the residential campus with some of my fellow freshmen players, hearing noise and music way off in the distance. You couldn’t see what was going on, Smith Hall was blocking our view.

         When we did get around Smith Hall it all hit me like a hurricane…A big barbque cooking everyone dinner, a country rock band playing songs by the Marshall Tucker Band and the Grateful Dead, hundreds of kids sitting in clusters on both sides of Sty Glenn, the slight smell of pot in the air, beer coolers everywhere filled with Little Kings, and girls in all directions wearing their summer halter tops. 

         Out of nowhere a beautiful blond came up to me and asked, “Are you Greg Cielec?”

         “Yes,” I responded and she gave me a great big kiss on my lips. She told me her name and then she said, “We have some mutual friends back in Parma and they wanted me to make sure I welcomed you to college life.”

         Football aside, I was hooked.

I loved my OWU years, all my college dreams, except football, came true. Great friends, wonderful girls, big adventures, everyday was a holiday, every meal was a banquet. It was just too much fun, at the most perfect time to go to college. And if football was the only thing that didn’t work out the way I had envisioned it, I could live with that.

And I am happy to report that football program at OWU is up to speed with most of the other DIII programs in Ohio. They finally finished rehabbing the stadium and I think it is the best one in DIII in the country. They have a solid coaching staff, and everything from the weight room to the uniforms are first class. And the school’s campus, as well as the town of Delaware, Ohio, have never looked better. And it safe to say that their current students take academics way more seriously than those of us who were in college back in the day.





Thursday, December 2, 2021

Introduction to my Next Book

(Most of the entries on this blog over the last few years are notes and photos pertaining to coaching at Thomas More University and St. Thomas University. I've used the blog as kinda work in progress about the great American coaching book that I was going to one day write. 

That one day is hopefully now. Over the next year or so I'm going to plug away at it, and occasionally I will post chapters or parts of chapters on this blog. Below is the first draft of the introduction.)

    When reading this book I want you to think about, for a moment, the Beatles’ Abbey Road album. They recorded it at the end of their time together, and even though it followed a string of releases that could be considered concept albums (Revolver, St. Peppers, Magical Mystery Tour, Yellow Submarine). Abbey Road really is a mismatch of songs and sounds. If you know the album well, and many music lovers of a certain age do, there is no real continuity or theme to it. But the album, despite this, really does work in its own magical way, and it does contain more than a few great songs. But because many of those songs don’t fit together it makes the Abbey Road work in a very strange and Beatlistic way.

    Like another Beatle album recorded during the same time period The White AlbumAbbey Road finds each Beatle going off in his own direction. There are obvious Paul songs (“Oh Darling”); obvious John songs (“Come Together”); and probably for the first time in their recording history the best songs are George songs (“Something,” “Here Comes the Sun”). There is a Ringo song that masquerades as a children’s story (“Octopus Garden”), and there is a string of bits and pieces of songs strung together that has been known over the years as the “Golden Slumbers Medley.” And then the album finishes with a tribute to Queen Elizabeth “Her Majesty.” Pretty goofy ending to a rock classic.

    Yes, Abbey Road is all over the place, but still today a great listen and even the youngest of Beatles fans can sing along to most of the songs.

    Now I’m not trying to compare this book to one of the great albums of the rock era. Heck, even every era of recorded music. But it was put together in much the same way. The format and content have constantly changed over the years. I don’t know how many times one of my fellow coaches asked me when I was going to write my coaching book. At different times it was going to be a novel, then a memoir, a diary of one season, then a diary of two. It was going to be something lighthearted and funny, then it was going to be something deeply personable. Somehow I wanted to include some of the pieces I wrote for publications and websites over the years, but which ones I was unsure of. All I knew was I wanted to write a book about coaching small college football, but everything else I couldn’t decide.

    When I’m home in Cleveland during the summer and breaks from school I try to listen to an album a day from the thousands I have in my house. One day last summer I randomly pulled out Abbey Road and gave it a listen. It was an old scratchy copy that probably goes back to when I shared a bedroom with my brother. Somewhere between “Something” and “Octopus’s Garden” the structure of the book came to me. Heck, if it could work for the Beatles, it could work for me. I figured before I was finished with it, it would go off in all different directions and touch upon all sorts of things. 

    What follows is the coaching small time college football book I have been threatening to write for the last 20 years. In a profession that is highly competitive and transient I’ve been able, for the most part, to coach at good schools with great kids and fellow coaches. This is the story of those coaches. 

     First, but definitely not the last, aside…

    Now even though this is my coaching book it is going to be about a lot of other things beside coaching football, such as music, food, traveling, relationships (who better to talk about relationships than a 60 something college coach who has never been married?), the state of education today, and who knows what else.

    This first aside will be my final thoughts on Abbey Road…

    I recently went back and read some of the original reviews on it. It was not very well received. However, most reviewers, as it often happens, changed their minds over the years and now call it a classic. All those so called experts.

    It spawned three of the more popular Beatle covers, Shirley Bassey’s version of “Something”; Joe Cocker’s “She Came in through the Bathroom Window”; and Aerosmith’s “Come Together.” Along with “Yesterday,” “Something” is often cited as the most covered Beatles’ song. Frank Sinatra considered “Something” his favorite Beatle song and George Harrison his favorite Beatle songwriter. 

Just some of the miscellaneous information that has floated in my brain over the years…

            I probably started this book five or six times. I was never sure whether it was going to be fiction or nonfiction or a combination of the two. I was totally convinced that the 2018 season was going to be my last. It was going to be my fourth season at Thomas More University in Northern Kentucky, not far from Cincinnati. I had had a very good run there, and it was time to turn my position over to a younger guy. It was going to be time to take my book writing seriously.

            I was retired already when my old friend Dave Armstrong dragged me down to Kentucky. I hadn’t coached for a couple of years, as how things had ended at John Carroll University several seasons earlier had left a bad taste in my mouth. 

            However, I had just finished two of the most enjoyable football seasons I had ever had. Instead of coaching football, I became a Vanderbilt Commadore fan, that is where my niece Allyson was cheerleading. Instead of coaching on Saturdays I was usually off to wherever her game was, whether it was Texas A&M or Columbia, South Crolina, or down in Nashville, and I was having a ball.  Plus, for the first time in a long time, Vandy was pretty good. Those years they won more than they lost, even played in a few bowl games, I and whomever I dragged to the games with me, were  having a ball.

            I went to Thomas More because Dave had just hired Regis Scafe as the head coach. I had been with Regis for, I think, 17 seasons, two at Case Western Reserve University and the rest at John Caroll University, all in Clevelsand.  And since it had not ended good at JCU for either of us, especially him, I said what the hell I'd give it a shot.

            Regis coached at Thomas More for three successful seasons, including two league championships followed by two playoff appearances, and I stayed one more. Once again my friend Dave Armstrong threw me a curveball and took the presidency of St. Thomas University in Miami Florida. A school very similar to TMC with one big exception, they did not have a football team. And Dave was going to start a football team. An opportunity to be in on the ground level of a college football team was too big of a temptation and I agreed to accompany Dave to Florida. 

            You are going to read a lot of names of a whole bunch of different coaches at a bunch of different school and to most readers, and to most football fans, they will be unfamiliar. People only hear about when Nick Saban signs a new six million dollar contract, or when Urban Myers gets caught dry humping a girl on dance floor somewhere.

     In the college football world I was in the job of the coaches has not been to get players ready for the NFL, it was to get them ready for life, for the real world. Taking boys and girls out of high school and turning them into young men and women entering the real world, a very important and honorable endeavor in this crazy world.

Christmas Book Event 2021


It is time to take a trip back to the fabulous 80’s. I first encountered the NOOZ guys when they attended the Opening Day Baseball Parties we threw in the Donald Gray Gardens by the old stadium. Those parties you can file away under ‘you could never do that nowadays.’ They had started their own magazine/newspaper and they would pass out copies of it at the party. The first issue I saw was filled with the coolest stuff, poetry, sports, music, anything and everything about what was hip at the time in Northern Ohio. They would go on and do thirty issues before things like finances (or lack thereof), careers (or lack thereof), relationships, and other adult activities would cause them to go out of the NOOZ business. 

Each issue looked exactly like it was, something made on the kitchen table cut and pasted from all sorts of sources. This was before computers and desktop publishing entered the world for most of us. 

Over the last twenty years or so Dave Hostetler and I have published a variety of projects, from novels written by friends; memoirs of local legends; a book of poetry written by homeless men; to a cookbook featuring recipes from the place I worked at in college. Almost every project we have done has been unique and fun to do. Over the years, on and off, I have told Dave about the NOOZ guys, and one thing led to another and it has all led to The NOOZ Chronicles. We have taken all thirty copies of the NOOZ, stretching from 1987-1991; scanned each page and cleaned them up; and have published them in one volume.  

Looking at these issues again from a distance of over thirty years brought a big smile to my face. Some of the contents are pretty good, some of it is pretty bad, some of it is pretty original, some of it is pretty weird. I got to write a column for about half the issues, it was my first regular writing gig. I wrote about the Browns, McGuffey Lane, Jimmy Buffett, Opening Day, things I was doing at school. It was all too cool at the time. 

Each issue listed the subscribers on the back cover. Starting out with just a handful, it progressed to the point where there was hundreds of “NOOZaholics.” 

Before Covid hit we held some sort of holiday party at Visible Voice Books or at Sokolowski’s in Tremont. Sadly Sokolowski’s is no more, but Visible Voice is going strong. We will celebrate the publishing of The NOOZ Chronicles, as well as getting through another year, On Wednesday, December 22, from 6:00 to 10:00, at the Visible Voice. Live music by Cats on Holiday, beer and wine specials, and hopefully, a lot of good people. You are definitely invited. Come meet the guys behind the NOOZ, and take home a copy of The NOOZ Chronicles for your library. No home should be without one. 

We are back doing what we do best…
You are invited to a holiday party in honor of the publishing of
The NOOZ Chronicles
Hosted by Pink Flamingo Press and Creative Endeavors
Wednesday, December 22, 6:00-10:00 p.m.
Visible Voice Books
2258 Professor Avenue in Tremont
Cleveland, Ohio
Beer and Wine Specials
Music by Cats on Holiday
                                                                      Please Spread the Word to our Many Friends

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Finish with a Win


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (November 16, 2019) – The St. Thomas University Bobcats Football team (4-6, 1-4 MSC) concluded the programs inaugural season, defeating Faulkner University (3-6, 1-4 MSC) 24-14 from Jones Field at Monsignor Pace HS on Hispanic Heritage Day.

STU won the program's first home game, finishing "Bobcat1" with four wins.

The Bobcats were led by a dominant defensive effort from the first quarter and on for the entire game, holding the Eagles offense to 240-yards on 77-plays for an average of 3.1 yards-per-play. St. Thomas forced three Faulkner "three-and-outs", limiting the Eagles to nineteen yards in the first quarter.

Faulkner scored the only points of the first quarter, recovering a blocked punt for a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead. St. Thomas began the second quarter with the ball, as Kalani Ilimaleota – Adams (10/31, 76 passing yards, 2 TDs; 13 rushes/72 rushing yards, TD) capped off an eight-play/60-yard drive with a ten-yard touchdown run on a Quarterback draw to tie the game at 7-7.

St. Thomas's defense continued to roll in the second quarter, as Jhaqwori Austin returned an interception 29-yards to the Faulkner 21-yardline, giving STU the ball inside Faulkner territory. Ilimaleota – Adams found D'Amaunte Oliver(6/48/TD) in the end zone from 16-yards away to give the Bobcats a 14-7 lead.

Cyrus Turnquest added the second STU interception of the first half, giving the Bobcats back the ball on the following Faulkner possession and with less than two minutes remaining in the first half. Ilimaleota – Adams connected with Jordan Addie, for Addie's only catch, in the end zone, as St. Thomas took a 21-7 lead into the halftime break.

Neither team scored in the third, as the Bobcats began the fourth quarter with possession of the football.

In the fourth quarter, Faulkner scored their second touchdown of the game, with eight minutes remaining to cut the STU lead to 21-14. The Eagles returned a Bobcat punt 43-yards, into STU territory. Within two plays, Jayson Contreras (13 tackles) forced a fumble, which Kahlil Bryan (seven tackles) returned 67-yards and gave the Bobcats possession inside the Faulkner 10-yardline.

Billy McConell added a 23-yard field goal, extending the Bobcat lead to 24-14 with three minutes remaining in the game. Dre Dames sealed the first-ever home win, with an interception and returned it 34-yards to five the Bobcats the football at mid-field.

St. Thomas ended their inaugural season with the win, the Bobcats finished the initial campaign with a 4-6 record; featuring wins over Union (first win in program history), Allen, Warner (first Mid-South win) and Faulkner (first home win).
In-game Ceremonies
Following the first quarter, St. Thomas University honored Gus and Lilliam Machado received the "Bobcat Community Service Award", for the efforts in the Miami Gardens community. The "Gus Machado School of Business" is expected to open in 2020.

St. Thomas University partnered with the Knights of Columbus, in an effort to raise money for local families for Thanksgiving dinner. The organizations combined to raise $440, $200 from an in-game collection and $240 ($10 per-point) and will provide dinners to local parishoners in the area.