Friday, February 25, 2005

Reader Suggests Alford for D.M. North Coaching Job

The basketball fortunes at Iowa and Iowa State continue to be hot topics with readers of my columns.

The first e-mailer suggests that Hawkeye coach Steve Alford might fit in as the next coach at Des Moines North High School.

For that and more, here we go:


I agree with all of your comments about the Iowa State men's program. However, I wonder why people are questioning Wayne Morgan for keeping Curtis Stinson on the bench to start games. The team is winning. Winning starts with the coach, and if Wayne is keeping Stinson on the bench to begin games, that should be his prerogative, and he should not be criticized for not saying anything.

As for Alford, his time is up. We have had some so-so players at Iowa through the years, but the coaches we have had, from Lute Olson to George Raveling, they have all been able to produce winning teams. Steve comes in as this big-name all -star from years gone by, has to bring his father in as an assistant coach. That was a big mistake, and then he thinks just because he was so great other teams would lay down and let Iowa beat them. Alford needs to learn the difference between small colleges [Southwest Missouri State] and big-time college sports

Bye-bye, Alford. Maybe he could come to Des Moines and coach Des Moines North to some victories.


[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Alford hasn't earned any kind of reputation as a builder of basketball programs, but North High would definitely give him the opportunity to do just that. North has a 3-16 overall record and is 0-10 at the bottom of the Metro Division of the CIML. Who knows, in a few weeks maybe Alford will be available for the job. I really think Alford's credentials would be strong enough to get himself a preliminary interview. After receiving the original e-mail from "Facs50ter," I messaged him back to see if he cared if I used his comments in this column. He wrote, "Thank you for your reply. I have no problems with you including anything that I wrote. Your columns have been in the papers for a long time, and they are great to read and share. Thanks again."]



Nice comments concerning ISU's win over KU. Thanks for the observations. I wish you would lay off Alford, though. He is exactly the kind of pompous, overblown phony that eastern Iowa school deserves. We Cyclone fans hope he stays there forever. Go, Cyclones!

Dan Conrad

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: I checked with Dan Conrad to see if he wanted me to print his e-mail in the column. He wrote: "Sure. If I'd have known I would be quoted, I would have told you how I really felt, rather than sugar-coating it."]


To the Editor, Iowa City Press-Citizen:

I am a transplanted Iowan (City High, Class of 1960), now living in Palos Verdes, CA. In recent years, I have watched most Iowa basketball games on ESPN Plus. But [Wednesday] night's Iowa vs. Minnesota game was in the same time slot as several hours of re-runs of the Andy Griffith Show.

So I had to choose between two hours of Steve Alford or two hours of Barney Fife. It wasn't even close. Barney and Opie and Aunt Bee would win that one every time.

If and when Iowa shows Steve Alford the door, there is another Lute Olson-type now coaching at Fresno City College. His name is Vance Walberg. His 2005 team is 29-0 and averages 105 points per game. His 2004 team was 28-3 and his 2003 team was 38-2. Prior to that, his Clovis West High School teams won 10 league championships in 11 years. Those numbers sure look like Lute Olson's high school and junior college coaching records.

Coach Walberg's teams use the full-court press every minute of every game, as he interchanges ten players. Truly exciting basketball that would bring back the sellout crowds to Carver Hawkeye Arena.

--Al Schallau

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Al Schallau, a frequent contributor to this column, is the man who is given credit for calling Iowa's attention to Lute Olson a number of years ago. Olson went on to become The World's Greatest Collegiate Basketball Coach, but he didn't become really famous until after leaving the Hawkeyes and going to Arizona. Schallau sent his e-mail about Steve Alford, Barney Fife, Opie, Aunt Bee and Vance Walberg to the Iowa City Press-Citizen, and forwarded a copy of it to me. Great hearing from you, Al. Keep us up to date on Vance Walberg's progress].


I can't believe this would ever happen but.....

The Boulder (Colo.) Daily Camera is reporting that Ceal Barry will resign as Colorado's women's basketball coach at the end of the season and that Bill Fennelly of Iowa State is on the list of possible replacements.

--Women’s Basketball Fan

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Fennelly has certainly made his mark as the Cyclones' coach and will be mentioned as a likely candidate for just about any job that opens at a school in a major conference. So far, he's seemed happy at Iowa State, and I don't expect him to leave anytime soon. Then again, Boulder, Colo., is a beautiful city, and those mountains are sure pretty out there].


A sad day in Iowa football history. Like his booming punts, news of Reggie Roby's untimely death takes your breath away.

--Richard Hayman

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: I totally agree with you, Richard. The death of Reggie Roby at 43 was a shock. My thoughts and prayers go out to Reggie's family].


Who does Mark Robinson think he is? Give Dolph a break. He didn't plan on the most unexpected play in Iowa football history to take place and have planned his response accordingly. Tell Mark to listen to Frosty Mitchell from now on.

--Brian Fleming

[RON MALY'S [AND GARY DOLPHIN'S] COMMENTS: Brian Fleming's e-mail was in response to reader Mark Robinson's comments about how Iowa play-by-play announcer Gary Dolphin described Hawkeye quarterback Drew Tate's game-winning pass to Warren Holloway in the Capital One Bowl. Robinson said Dolphin "regurgitated" Jack Buck's description of Kirk Gibson's home run in the 1988 World Series. "I could care less what [Robinson] thinks of my call, and if someone wants to accuse me of extolling Jack Buck's name, great, because he was one of my all-time heroes in the industry," Dolphin told me in an e-mail. "Does this guy really think we sit around for YEARS rehearsing a book full of planned endings????? When someone pointed the Buck correlation out to me, I vaguely recalled Jack saying that when Gibson hit the home run. But does Mark really believe Jack Buck was the first announcer EVER to utter, 'I can't believe what I just saw"????' It's a commonly used phrase--not exactly, 'Do you believe in miracles? YES!!!!!!' Oh well, fans are what make the world go round, huh? I've been at this 33 years, and I certainly wasn't worried about Tate throwing a 55-yard TD pass with no time on the clock. If you go back and listen sequentially, I'm wondering more about why in the world we aren't calling a timeout when we only need three points, not six. That's why I went from despair and anger to anxiety to excitement to utter disbelief. Maybe Mark wanted a, 'So there you have, it ladies and gentlemen, a rather routine ending to this year's Cap One Bowl. As we all expected, Drew Tate picks up another ho-hum LSU blitz and fires a TD pass to Warren over.....back with the postgame after this.' Take care, Ronnie, and always good visiting with you." --Dolph. By the way, some of you may recall the name Frosty Mitchell that Brian Fleming brought up. Mitchell was the play-by-play announcer for Iowa football and basketball games at KGRN in Grinnell and WMT in Cedar Rapids. He's now in retirement, but gets back to Iowa City for the Hawkeyes' home games each fall].

Vol. 4, No. 311

Feb. 25, 2005