Thursday, September 28, 2006

Friday, September 15, 2006

Midconfans News 9/15/2006

Huth takes over OU athletics from Kampe--The Detroit News

Kampe will lead OU capital campaign, while Huth takes role as interim athletic director
By CRYSTAL EVOLA Of The Oakland Press

Greg Kampe has traded in one job title in for another.
The Oakland University men’s basketball coach will no longer have to worry about serving as the school’s interim athletic director. However, Kampe will shift gears to head up a $55 million fund-raising campaign to support OU athletics.
Tracy Huth, a former swimmer and 1985 OU graduate, will take over as the interim AD.
“Tracy Huth was a student, (Oakland) Hall of Fame swimmer, a Hall of Fame coach and has been in administration,” Kampe said. “Surely he’s in a position where he’s not only qualified, he’s earned the right to get a chance to run his alma mater. I feel very comfortable turning the day-to-day operations over to him.”
The changes will be effective today.
Kampe took over as interim athletic director in September 2005.
The university hopes to complete a search for a permanent AD by fall of 2007.
Kampe will try to raise funds to complete plans that include a new track and field facility, an indoor training complex for outdoor sports teams, baseball and softball stadiums and locker room renovations.
“We realize the impact intercollegiate athletics can have in raising the regional and national profile of the university in general,” OU president Gary D. Russi said. “Our run in the NCAA tournament the past two years with our men’s and women’s basketball teams clearly shows that. So, we want to continue to make progress through adding improvements to our athletic facilities, while not missing a beat with the competitive success of our teams.”
Kampe will also oversee efforts to raise money to increase endowments for total athletic scholarships from 115 to the NCAA maximum level of 125.
Kampe said it requires approximately $25 million to endow 125 scholarships.
“I was given the opportunity to come up with the plan as an interim athletic director,” said Kampe, who will also continue his duties as the men’s basketball coach. “Now I get an opportunity to complete the plan as the head of this capital campaign. For a 23-year veteran of the university, that’s an exciting opportunity.”

Huth named Interim Athletic Director at

Friday, September 01, 2006

Midconfans News 9/1/2006

COLLEGE HOOPS: Canadian tour will benefit Golden Grizzlies--The Detroit Free Press

BRIEFS--The Oakland Press

Mid-Con expands to 10-team league
Oakland University will now have three more Mid-Continent Conference foes to face beginning in the 2007-08 season.
The conference has elected to become a 10-team league by inviting Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, North Dakota State and South Dakota State.
IPFW will replace Valparaiso University, which is moving to the Horizon League in 2007-08.
Beginning in 2007-08 the Mid-Con will include IPFW, OU, Centenary, IUPUI, University of Missouri Kansas City, Oral Roberts, Southern Utah, Western Illinois, North Dakota State and South Dakota State.
Tassin makes verbal commitment to OU
If you’re a college basketball coach still putting together a 2007-08 roster, you can eliminate Jonathan Tassin from your wish list.
The Orchard Lake St. Mary’s standout has given a verbal commitment to Oakland University.
The 6-foot-7, 180-pound perimeter player was a Class A All-State honorable mention pick in last season’s Associated Press team. He plans to study sports management/communications at Oakland.

STEVE T. GORCHES COMMENTARY: Great season shaping up for VU women’s basketball team--The Post-Tribune

Sept. 1, 2006

Excuse me while I pour another glass of brown and gold Kool-Aid.

What? You’ve never heard of that flavor. It sounds like it combines chocolate and butterscotch, but that would be too fattening and not very tasty.

That brown and gold Kool-Aid tastes more like victory. Lots and lots of victories for the Valparaiso University women’s basketball team this year.

It’s the taste of a Mid-Continent Conference title — regular season and tournament — in the final year of membership before moving to the Horizon League.

Why not go out in style?

This rush of optimism isn’t just about the Crusaders’ schedule that was released this week, though it did refresh my eternal optimism.

Knowing the leadership returning for VU — seniors Betsy Rietema, Tamra Braun and Carrie Myers — and the sophomores who contributed last year as freshmen — Launa Hochstetler and Aimee Litka — and the talented freshmen coming in — Chesterton grad Kelly Peller and Kokomo’s Whitney Farris — how can you not ask for a glass of that Kool-Aid?

The schedule, though, looks like it’s set up for VU in near perfect fashion.

A pair of Big Ten teams on the road to start serves as a perfect baptism by fire. And VU will probably win at IU. In the other 10 non-conference games, or “preseason” as coach Keith Freeman always calls them, the longest trips are to Northern Iowa and Akron (Ohio).

So being travel-weary before the conference season starts, which has been an issue once or twice in recent years for the women, will not be an issue.

Once the Crusaders get into the Mid-Con campaign, there will be plenty of advantages on the court to pounce on.

When those games against Western Illinois roll around on Jan. 20 and Feb. 17, perennial thorn in VU’s side, Zane Teilane, will not be dominating in the middle.

She’s now roaming the paint for the Washington Mystics in the WNBA, leading them to the playoffs.

Not that Braun, now the tallest player in the conference at 6-foot-5, struggled immensely against Teilane, but now it will be much easier for Braun to dominate.

IUPUI, which has also been a tough game for VU, lost Valparaiso High grad Brooke McAfee, one of the top shot-blockers in NCAA history. So that’s another post presence Braun doesn’t have to worry about.

As for the Mid-Con schedule itself, it sets up perfect with three home games to finish and only one tough road trip travel-wise. That comes right away at Oral Roberts on Jan. 6, then at Centenary two days later.

And how about the options Freeman has on offense with an athletic 6-4 Evva Comans probably joining the regular rotation in the post and Aggie Kulaga, Sanna Helenius, Peller and both Hochstetler twins (Launa and Leah) providing potency and versatility.

Yeah, there’s still more than two months until the season starts, but that just means more time to drink brown and gold Kool-Aid.

Yum yum.

Contact Steve T. Gorches at 648-3141 or

Mid-Con adds more schools--The Peoria Journal Star

Dakota schools make it 10 for Mid-Continent--The Spectrum

South Dakota State University accepts invitation to join Mid-Continent

Zane Teilane has busy off season planned--Western Illinois Athletics