Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Larry, We'll Miss You at Lunch

Larry, we'll miss you.

At the Wednesday lunches, I mean.

I just noticed that Andy Katz of says you're going to be named the head basketball coach at Southern Mississippi tomorrow.

I'm happy for you, but also a bit disappointed that you won't be around to join Buck, Raff, Dave, me and the rest of the guys at our lunch group in West Des Moines.

Some folks might say we're going to miss you because you always picked up the tab for the whole table when you were still collecting your paychecks at Iowa State but, heck, we offered to buy your Chinese lunch the next time you showed up. At least that's what I told your attorney.

Katz said Eustachy, who was fired as the Cyclones' coach 10 months ago, will be named the head coach at Southern Mississippi to replace James Green, who resigned March 5. Green is a former Iowa State assistant coach.

Southern Mississippi athletic director Richard Giannini called other candidates today to tell them Eustachy was getting the job. A news conference is planned for 3 p.m. tomorrow.

Eustachy said he was an alcoholic when he left Iowa State, and has been dealing with the problem since leaving as the Cyclones' coach.

No Way the Cyclones Can Lose, Right?

Hey, New York, are you ready for the Cyclones?

I doubt there's any way Wayne Morgan and his Iowa State team can screw this one up now.

The Cyclones play Marquette at 8:30 p.m. tomorrow in the NIT at sold-out Hilton Coliseum, and I'm betting they'll win and then be on their way to Madison Square Garden in New York for the rest of the tournament.

If the Clones can win at Florida State, they can beat Marquette at Ames.

This is one of the biggest moments in Iowa State basketball history, and I don't expect Jake Sullivan and the gang to miss out on the opportunity.

Parker and Campbell

My eastern Iowa sources tell me that John Campbell of KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids did a wonderful job with a feature about Jeff Parker, 33, who died the other day in Iowa City.

Parker was the son of Norm Parker, the defensive coordinator on Iowa's football team.

"In John Campbell's piece, he showed Jeff with his dad at Kinnick Stadium and showed him in the locker room leading the football players in the Iowa Fight Song.," a reader tells me.

"He had Kirk Ferentz saying some nice things about him. Greg Morris, the equipment manager, talked about what a great help he was and how happy he always was. It was a nice tribute to Jeff."

Jeff, who had Down's Syndrome, had suffered a number of strokes recently and died Saturday as a result of the strokes.

He counted Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr, former Michigan State football coach George Perles, Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo, former Spartans and Los Angeles Lakers standout Magic Johnson and former major league baseball manager Sparky Anderson as his friends.

"We're all deeply saddened by the loss of Jeff," Ferentz said. "Jeff was truly a part of our football family, and there wasn't a person connected with Iowa football that he hasn't touched."

Ferentz attended the visitation Tuesday and the funeral services today in Chelsea, Mich.

Vol. 4, No. 226
March 24, 2004