Conversation with Trev: Part One

Sunday, June 7, 2009 - 3 Responses

Recently, I paid a visit to the University of Nebraska-Omaha to chat with Trev Alberts. My interview with the athletic director was rescheduled three times because of issues that popped up that he had to attend to. That should give you an idea of just how busy he is… which is how I began our fireside chat.

Part one of my interview deals with the search for a new hockey coach. I will post the other parts in the coming days.

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Schick: What’s been the most challenging part of your first six weeks on the job?

Trev: Trying to keep everything straight. Trying to figure out what day it is, what time it is. It gets to be three o’clock and I think , gee I forgot to have lunch today. But it’s a blast. It’s a lot of hard work. I enjoy working with the people in this department and the coaches. We’re really gonna enjoy it once we begin to see the fruits of our labor.

Schick: What is the status of the search for a hockey coach?

Trev: We’ve had great response for our opening. We decided to wade through all of the applicants and maybe pick a few that were really qualified folks. Then there’s gonna be a process of reaching out to see how much interest there is. Some of those people didn’t apply, and some did. We have not had any on-campus interviews, and going forward we don’t have any on-campus interviews scheduled. We need to find out the interest-level and then see if we can hire them.

Schick: How many applicants?

Trev: I don’t know the exact number. It’s a lot. I will tell you there’s a couple of folks that no one can figure out exactly who they are (laughing). So I’m not sure that they count. We’ve done some research, trying to properly vet some of the candidates, and we don’t find any evidence they actually coached hockey. That’s a bit of a disqualifier.

Schick: Have you narrowed it down to a list of finalists?

Trev: We don’t have finalists. I don’t think we have to get to a point where we name finalists. I’m a little different. I don’t want to have a parade of folks come in. That’s just not in my being. I just want the committee to come together and find a list of folks that they are interested in and maybe find a person and see if we can sign that person to be our hockey coach.

Schick: When do you expect to name a coach?

Trev: I would like it to happen tomorrow because that could be one thing I could check off. It’s a process, it takes time. We’d like it to be in the middle of the month of June. We will not rush this decision. It’s too important for our future. We will do all of our due diligence. We’re going to aim for the moon, and try to get the best possible candidate that we can to try to convince him to be our head coach. If that happens soon, great. If it’s later, that’s okay too. We need to get the right fit.

Schick: Is it safe to say that if you don’t name a coach before the College World Series that you will do if after the College World Series?

Trev: I don’t want to take anything away from the College World Series by naming a hockey coach. Is that what you mean? (laughing) No, I know what you meant. The College World Series is very important to Omaha. It’s important to gain energy with the announcement of a new hockey coach. But we don’t want to overthink it. Would it make a lot of sense to sit on it for two or three weeks if we’ve found someone?

Schick: What will be your expectations for a new hockey coach?

Trev: One of the things that we can do as an athletic department is sit down with all of our coaches and establish our expectations. I don’t know that we’ve done a very good job at that. Obviously, championships are fun. But I’m also a realist. I’ve always thought that you oughta finish in the top-half of your conference and you oughta win a conference championship every five years. At least be making progress towards that. You don’t wanna make a statement that that’s all we wanna do. We want to win a national championship every year. But we also understand the reality of our situation. I just want all of our programs to be making progress. Part of them getting better is giving them the tools and resources to get better. We can’t have unreasonable expectations on our staff and then not allow them to be successful. I assure you that we will reinvest in hockey and we will get the resources in place we need to allow said coach to be successful. There will be expectations probably different with hockey. With resources come expectations. You pick your poison, right? We’ll see what happens. I truly am looking for someone who one day will hang a banner for UNO. If we are not in the business of those expectations, Matt, then I clearly am in the wrong business.

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Mannywood Coming to Rosenblatt?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009 - 4 Responses

There’s an interesting story looming on the horizon. If it happens, it will be one of the biggest stories to hit Omaha since Michael Phelps hit the water.

Manny Ramirez is serving his 50-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy. He will be back in the Dodgers lineup on July 3rd. Under the league’s policy, a player is permitted to play in ten minor league games before the suspension ends.

Here is where it gets juicy.

As I first told you Wednesday night on KETV Newswatch 7 at Ten, the Albuquerque Isotopes are scheduled to come to Omaha for a four game series from June 27th through the 30th. Albuquerque is the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

You see where I’m going with this.

There is a distinct possibility that Manny Ramirez could be playing with Albuquerque when the team plays in Omaha.

I asked Omaha’s general manager Martie Cordaro about this on Wednesday. “We’re very excited about any opportunity that we may even have to have a Manny Ramirez play left field at Rosenblatt, especially with Rosenblatt going away in a couple years. But right now it’s just pure speculation. Until we get closer to that date I can’t comment on it. It’s not that I don’t want to, I would love to comment on it, but I really can’t at this time because it’s just pure speculation.”

I jokingly asked him if ESPN had sent in its request for media credentials yet. “We haven’t got those requests yet,” he said. ” But I think that if they come in that’s gonna tip me off as to they may know something about him showing up in Omaha that I don’t.”

Last week, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt told the Los Angeles Times that he expects Ramirez to play in minor league games to prepare for his activation.

It’s all speculation at this point. But could you imagine the scene? Not a bad way to chase away those post-CWS sorrows.

Since they call it “Mannywood” in Los Angeles, would we call it “Mannyha?”

A Month? Really? Wow. Shame on Me.

Monday, June 1, 2009 - 4 Responses

I was perusing the Internet recently and came upon a page entitled, “Schick’s Shtick.”  It was a link I found through ketv.com.  I couldn’t believe that the author’s last post came in the first week of May.  I was prepared to inform this “blogger” of his laziness by sending an email laced with hate and juvenile vitriol, signing it “anonymous”… until it dawned on me.  The page is mine. 

I also checked the number of “clicks”.  It turns out that despite my lack of posts, I’m still getting about 50 clicks per day.  My, how fruitless those mouse-clicks turned out to be.  My apologies.

Forgive me for my lack of contact recently.  Sometimes the ambition simply drains out of my body, much like my sweat does while peeling an orange.

I also need to apologize to the blog itself.  My dear blog,  I have forsaken you for your cousin “Facebook”, and your step-child “Twitter.”  While I cannot promise I will be able to restore our relationship to what it once was, I will commit to bringing back the trust that made our relationship so special.

Manny Tests Positive

Thursday, May 7, 2009 - Leave a Response

Manny Ramirez has reportedly tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, and will be suspended for 50 games.  The LA Times broke the story on Thursday.

This is surprising in that Manny is one of the best hitters in the game.  This is also not surprising in that Manny is one of the best hitters in the game.  Once Alex Rodriguez tested positive, all of the shock of any future positive tests was removed.

The top two salaried MLB stars have now tested positive.  A-Rod was number one ($33,000,000).  Manny was number two ($24,000,000).

Number three is Derek Jeter.

Now THAT would actually be surprising.

Trev Takes the Helm

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - Leave a Response

Trev Alberts became the new athletic director at Nebraska-Omaha on Wednesday. Something that would’ve seemed like a pipe dream three years ago, let alone three weeks ago.

Say what you will about his lack of experience, the guy can command a room. You had media members from Lincoln making the drive. More than 125 people packed the alumni center. For one day, UNO was the epicenter for the biggest news in the state (in a positive way). That doesn’t happen a whole heckuva lot. Hopefully it won’t be the last time.

Alberts has already told us that Mike Kemp will be the head coach of the hockey program next fall. Do you agree with the decision? It makes sense to me, considering there are plenty of intestinal issues that need to be fixed inside the UNO athletic department. Issues that can’t be fixed with plastic surgery. Once UNO is on the right track internally, then coaches can be judged a little more fairly. Plus, Trev’s admitted lack of hockey knowledge would make any rash decision look somewhat foolish. This program has just gone through a heart transplant. It doesn’t need to go under the knife again just yet.

Time will tell as to whether or not Trev Alberts can take this program to new heights.

You can feel a pulse returning to UNO athletics.

But the rehab has just begun.

All Signs Point to Trev Alberts

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - Leave a Response

KETV has confirmed (by process of elimination) that Trev Alberts will be named the new athletic director at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.  The school has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday at 11a.m.

The three other finalists for the position all received phone calls from UNO Chancellor John Christensen Tuesday morning informing them they were no longer candidates for the position.

When reached by telephone, Sunshine State Conference commissioner Mike Marcil explained that he had a “very nice conversation” with Christensen, whereupon he was informed he was no longer being considered for the job. “To have someone that brings so much visibility to the program is important when you’re trying to capture the attention of a market,” said Marcil.

Dana College athletic director Bill Danenhauer, as well as Millard South High School athletic director Nolan Beyer both confirmed they had received phone calls from Christensen informing them of the school’s decision to move in another direction.

Trev Alberts was the only finalist invited to visit the UNO campus, and was part of a public forum last week.  

Alberts was a linebacker for the Nebraska Cornhuskers from 1990-93.  He has served as a college football analyst since his retirement from the NFL in 1997.

Alberts sent me a text on Tuesday that read:  “I can’t wait to talk to u!”

That chance will come on Wednesday.

Are All These Guys Better Than Ganz?

Monday, April 27, 2009 - Leave a Response

I’m not saying Joe Ganz will be an NFL Pro-Bowler. Nor am I saying he will even make an NFL roster or even the practice squad.

That being said, here are the twelve quarterbacks taken in the 2009 NFL Draft:

Matthew Stafford, Georgia (1st Round, Detroit)

Mark Sanchez, USC (1st Round, Jets)

Josh Freeman, Kansas State (1st Round, Tampa Bay)

Pat White, West Virginia (2nd Round, Dolphins)

Stephen McGee, Texas A&M (4th Round, Dallas)

Rhett Bomar, Sam Houston State (5th Round, Giants)

Nate Davis, Ball State (5th Round, 49ers)

Tom Brandstater, Fresno State (6th Round, Broncos)

Mike Teel, Rutgers (6th Round, Seahawks)

Keith Null, West Texas A&M (6th Round, Rams)

Curtis Painter, Purdue (6th Round, Colts)

Julian Edelman, Kent State (7th Round, Patriots)

I would take Ganz over five of these guys.

Would you?

Ganz Gets His Shot in D.C.

Monday, April 27, 2009 - Leave a Response

Former Husker quarterback Joe Ganz will get a chance to prove himself in the NFL, agreeing to a free agent contract with the Washington Redskins.

Coincidentally, Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel also signed with the Redskins. So, I suppose you could say that Ganz has a shot at revenge. Remember, Daniel lit up the Huskers for 253 passing yards and three touchdowns at Memorial Stadium. Ganz, on the other hand, was less than spectacular, throwing for two touchdowns and an interception in a 52-17 blowout loss.

A few usually-reliable lists of free agent signings had Ganz headed to Tampa Bay Sunday night, but that is not the case. I now wonder which team offers Ganz a better chance to make an NFL roster: Tampa or Washington?

Tampa Bay quarterbacks:

Josh Freeman, Byron Leftwich, Brian Griese, Luke McCown, Josh Johnson.

Washington quarterbacks:

Jason Campbell, Todd Collins, Colt Brennan

Obviously, Ganz appears to be a good place, but it will still be a tough competition. There was talk that the Redskins might trade up to get USC’s Mark Sanchez. They didn’t, and are now taking free agents instead.

Will Ganz make the team? Or even the practice squad?  The odds are stacked against him.

Regardless, there are plenty of people pulling for him.

Huskers Signing as Free Agents

Monday, April 27, 2009 - One Response

A poster asked me to post a link to Huskers who had signed as NFL free agents.

This is one place that is usually (read: usually) reliable:

NFL Free Agents

Huskers.com also has a list. This is from their website:

“Several other Huskers have agreed to free agent contract with various NFL teams, including, I-back Marlon Lucky (Cincinnati), defensive end Zach Potter (New York Jets), wide receiver Todd Peterson (Jacksonville) receiver Nate Swift (Denver), defensive tackle Ty Steinkuhler (Cincinnati) and quarterback Joe Ganz (Washington).”

Glenn First Husker Taken

Sunday, April 26, 2009 - 2 Responses

According to the so-called experts, offensive tackle Lydon Murtha would likely be the first Husker to go in the NFL Draft.

Instead, the first Husker selected was a player who didn’t even finish his senior season with the Big Red.

The Washington Redskins scooped up linebacker Cody Glenn with the 22nd pick of the fifth round on Sunday.  Glenn switched from running back to linebacker last Spring and racked up 51 tackles in nine games, before beign suspended for the final four games for a violation of team rules.

Glenn was the 158th overall pick, making it the latest that the first Husker had been taken in an NFL draft since 1970.

There may not be a better factoid than that to describe Nebraska’s fall from dominance.