Big Ten Season Begins – Wolverine Coaching Connections

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Fergodsakes.com previews the college football games each weekend involving University of Michigan Wolverine coaching connections. Former Michigan players, assistant coaches, and former Coach Brady Hoke assistant coaches are roaming the sidelines as coaches of various college programs (for Fergodsakes.com’s University of Michigan Coaching Trees, click here). Their schedules for this weekend:

Former Michigan Players and Coaches

Anthony Thomas (running back 1991-94): Now Assistant Head Coach and Special Teams Coordinator for the Division II West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats. A senior on Team 115, Thomas left Michigan as the all-time leading rusher in program history. The 1-3 Bobcats host Urbana in a noon ET game.

Doug Mallory (defensive back 1983-87 and Captain in ‘87) and Greg Frey (OL Coach 2008-10): Indiana Hoosiers. Mallory is co-Defensive Coordinator and Frey is Offensive Line Coach. The 2-1 Hoosiers visit Northwestern to take on the Wildcats in a noon ET game on the Big Ten Network.

Erik Campbell (wide receiver 1984-87 and WR Coach 1995-2007): A senior on Team 108, Campbell is now Iowa Hawkeyes Wide Receivers Coach. The 2-2 Hawkeyes host the Minnesota Golden Gophers in a noon ET game on ESPN2.

Matt Dyson (linebacker 1990-94): A senior on Team 115, Dyson is now Head Coach for George Mason University, a club football team. The 1-1 Patriots head to Pennsylvania to take on Valley Forge Military in a 1:00pm ET game.

Marcus Knight (wide receiver 1996-99): A senior on Team 120, Knight is now Northern Michigan University Wide Receivers Coach. The Division II Wildcats, 1-3, visit Hillsdale in a 1:30pm ET matchup.

Jay Hopson (Linebackers Coach 2008-09): Now Head Coach of Alcorn State. The FCS division Braves, 1-3, host Alabama State at 3:00pm ET.

Roy Manning, (linebacker 2000-04); and Steve Stripling (Defensive Line Coach 2005-07): University of Cincinnati. Manning is Running Backs Coach, and Stripling is Defensive Line Coach. The 2-0 Bearcats, who have already had two bye weeks, host Virginia Tech in a 3:30pm ET game on ESPNU.

Jim Lyall (defensive lineman 1970-73); and Robert Thornbladh (fullback 2006): Lyall is now Head Coach of Siena Heights Saints; Thornbladh is Outside Linebackers Coach. The 2-2 Saints host Taylor in a 6:00pm ET game. This looks like it should be an interesting game – Taylor is ranked #40 in NAIA, while Siena Heights is ranked #41.

Adam Braithwaite (Safeties Coach, 2010): Now UT Chattanooga Safeties Coach. In the FCS division, the 1-3 Mocs travel to Charleston to take on the Citadel in a 6:00pm ET game.

Nick Sheridan (quarterback 2006-09): Now Western Kentucky University Quarterbacks Coach. The Hilltoppers, 3-1, visit Arkansas State in a 7:00pm ET kickoff on ESPN3.

Les Miles (offensive lineman 1972-75 and Offensive Line Coach 1987-94): A senior on Team 96, Miles is now Head Coach of LSU. Number 3 in the country, the Tigers host Towson at 7:00pm ET on ESPNU.

Vance Bedford (DB Coach 1995-98, and in 2007): Now University of Louisville Defensive Coordinator. The 4-0 Cardinals look to remain undefeated when they travel to play Southern Mississippi at 8:00pm ET on the CBS Sports Network.

Tony Dews (WR Coach 2008-10); Tony Gibson (Secondary Coach 2008-10); Calvin McGee (Offensive Coordinator 2008-10); and Rod Smith (QB Coach 2008-10): All with the Arizona Wildcats – Dews as WR Coach; Gibson as Safeties Coach; McGee as O Coordinator; and Smith as QB Coach. The Wildcats, 3-1, host Oregon State at 10:00pm ET on the Pac 12 Network.

Chuck Heater (running back 1971-74): Now Temple Owls Defensive Coordinator. Temple, 1-2, has a bye this week.

Scot Loeffler (quarterback 1993-96 and QB Coach 2002-07): Now Auburn University Offensive Coordinator. Auburn, 1-3, has a bye this week. Does Loeffler have a quarterback controversy on his hands? Here’s WRBL TV of Columbus, Georgia, with Loeffler discussing the situation.

Tyrone Wheatley (running back 1991-94); Steve Morrison (linebacker 1990-94); and Scott Shafer (D Coordinator 2008): Syracuse University. Wheatley in Running Backs Coach; Morrison is Linebackers Coach; and Shafer is Defensive Coordinator. Syracuse, 1-3, has a bye this week. Wheatley shares his thoughts on Michigan-Notre Dame – from before last weekend’s game – with the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Kurt Anderson (offensive lineman 1997-2001); Mike Hart (running back 2004-07); Ron English (DB Coach and Def Coord 2003-07): All 3 now at Eastern Michigan – Anderson the OL Coach, Hart the RB Coach, and English the Head Coach. The 0-4 Eagles have a bye this week.

Bruce Tall (Defensive Line Coach 2008-10): Now UNC Charlotte Defensive Coordinator. The 49ers will begin play in 2013.

Brady Hoke Coaching Tree

Don Treadwell (Hoke’s first Offensive Coordinator at Ball State in 2003); and Ed Stults (variety of coaching positions under Hoke from 2003-08 at Ball State): Miami University Redhawks. Treadwell is Head Coach; Stults is Offensive Line Coach. Trent Boykin (Brady Hoke’s Running Backs Coach at Ball State in 2003 and 2004): Running Backs Coach for Akron Zips. It will be a reunion of former Brady Hoke assistant coaches in Akron as the 2-2 Miami Redhawks visit the 1-3 Zips at 3:00pm ET on ESPN3. Hoke’s 2003 Ball State Offensive Coordinator, Running Backs Coach, and Tight Ends Coach will gather on the same field.

Sidney Powell (Secondary Coach for three seasons for Hoke at Ball State): Now Tennessee Tech Secondary Coach in the FCS division. The 2-2 Golden Eagles visit Murray State in a 6:00pm contest.

John Powers (assistant coach to Brady Hoke at Ball State from 2006-08). Now Bethune-Cookman’s Offensive Line Coach in the FCS division. At 2-2, Bethune-Cookman visits Hampton in a 6:00pm ET game.

Eddie Faulkner (Running Backs Coach for Hoke at Ball State 2005-08): Now Wisconsin Badgers Tight Ends Coach. The 3-1 Badgers head to Nebraska to take on the Cornhuskers in the Big Ten opener for both teams. Prime time – 8:00pm ET on ABC.

Rocky Long, Brian Sipe, Tony White, and LeCharls McDaniel (all on Hoke’s staff at San Diego State) remain with San Diego State. Long is Head Coach; Sipe is QB Coach; White is Cornerbacks Coach; and McDaniel is WR Coach. The 2-2 Aztecs head to Fresno State to take on the Bulldogs in a 10:00pm ET game. Writer Stefanie Loh discusses the defensive struggles of the Aztecs.

Eric Lewis (Hoke’s Defensive Backs Coach at Ball State): Now Weber State’s Cornerbacks Coach in the FCS division. The 0-4 Wildcats visit UC Davis in a 10:00pm ET kickoff.

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Wolverine Coaching Connection Weekend College Football Games

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Fergodsakes.com previews the college football games each weekend involving a University of Michigan coaching connection. Roaming the sidelines as coaches of various college programs are former Michigan players, former Michigan assistant coaches, and former Coach Hoke assistant coaches (For more on Michigan Coaching Trees, click here). Their schedules for this weekend:

Thursday Night College Football

The 0-1 Northern Michigan Wildcats and Wide Receivers Coach Marcus Knight have their home opener Thursday at 7:00pm ET against the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Knight was a wide receiver for Michigan from 1996-99. Also at 7:00pm ET, former Brady Hoke Secondary Coach at Ball State, Sidney Powell, and Tennessee Tech (1-0) host North Carolina Greenville. Powell is the Secondary Coach for the Golden Eagles, who may be looking ahead to next week’s matchup at Oregon.

Roy Manning, University of Michigan linebacker from 2000-04, is now Running Backs Coach for the University of Cincinnati. The Bearcats open their season Thursday night at 8:00pm ET on ESPN. Also coaching for Cincinnati is Steve Stripling, Michigan Defensive Line Coach from 2005-07, who now has the same position with the Bearcats.

Saturday College Football

Anthony Thomas, the A-Train himself, currently Special Teams Coordinator at West Virginia Wesleyan (0-1). The Bobcats’ home opener against Bentley at noon ET. West Virginia Wesleyan offers a preview of the game here.

Chuck Heater, Michigan running back from 1971-74, is now the Defensive Coordinator for the Temple Owls (1-0). Temple hosts Maryland in a noon ET game on ESPNU.

Auburn (0-1) visits Mississippi State in an SEC matchup. Auburn’s Offensive Coordinator is former Michigan quarterback and Quarterbacks Coach Scot Loeffler. The game will be televised on ESPN at noon ET.

Jim Lyall, defensive lineman at Michigan in the early 1970′s, is currently Head Coach at Siena Heights University (1-1) in Adrian, Michigan. His Saints will host Marian (Ind.) at 1:00pm ET. Having played double-overtime and triple-overtime in their first two games, Siena Heights looks to improve to 2-1 on the season. They also have former Wolverine Rob Thornbladh as Outside Linebackers Coach.

The Eastern Michigan Eagles (0-1), with former Michigan Defensive Coordinator Ron English as Head Coach, former Michigan running back Mike Hart as Running Backs Coach, and former Michigan offensive lineman Kurt Anderson as Offensive Line Coach, host Illinois State. The game is at 1:00pm ET on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

At 1:00pm ET on the ESPN3, the Miami University Redhawks (0-1) will open their home season against Southern Illinois. Don Treadwell was Hoke’s first Offensive Coordinator at Ball State in 2003 and is now Miami’s Head Coach. Ed Stults is Offensive Line Coach for the Redhawks. He succeeded Treadwell as Hoke’s Offensive Coordinator in 2004 and 2005 and held a variety of coaching positions under Hoke from 2003 – 2008 at Ball State.

At 3:00pm ET, Weber State (0-1) visits Salt Lake City to take on BYU. Former Hoke Defensive Backs Coach at Ball State Eric Lewis is in his first season as Cornerbacks Coach at Weber State. The game will be broadcast on BYUtv.

Watching tape of his alma mater this week is Nick Sheridan, Quarterbacks Coach at Western Kentucky (1-0). The Hilltoppers visit Tuscaloosa to play Alabama. The game is on ESPN3 at 3:30pm ET.

The Indiana Hoosiers (1-0) will travel to Massachusetts to take on the Minutemen in a game on ESPN3 at 3:30pm. While this game may not register high on the national radar, Michigan does play UMass next week. On the coaching staff of the Hoosiers is co-Defensive Coordinator Doug Mallory. Doug’s brother, Curt, is the Secondary Coach at Michigan. Curt may be calling his older brother a little more often than usual after the Indiana-UMass game to get a scouting report on the UMass offense. Also on Indiana’s staff is Offensive Line Coach Greg Frey, who faced UMass in 2010 when he was Michigan’s Offensive Line Coach. That was a game the Wolverines narrowly won, 42-37. Incidentally, while Frey was Offensive Line Coach at Michigan, a running back for the Wolverines was Michael Cox. Cox is now playing for UMass.

Former Wolverines Tyrone Wheatley and Steve Morrison are now coaching for Syracuse. Also on the Orange staff as Defensive Coordinator is former Wolverine Defensive Coordinator Scott Shafer. Syracuse hosts the #2 team in the land, the University of Southern California Trojans, at 3:30pm ET on ABC/ESPN2.

At 3:30pm ET the Hawkeyes (0-1) and current Iowa Wide Receivers Coach (and former Michigan wide receiver and Wide Receivers Coach) Erik Campbell face their in-state rival, the Cyclones of Iowa State. The game will be televised on the Big 10 Network.

The Louisville Cardinals (1-0) take on the Missouri State in a 3:30pm ET game on ESPN3. Vance Bedford, Michigan Defensive Backs Coach from 1995-98, and again in 2007, is now Defensive Coordinator for Louisville.

Eddie Faulkner, Running Backs Coach for Hoke at Ball State (2005-08) is now Tight Ends Coach for the Wisconsin (1-0). The Badgers travel to Corvallis to take on Oregon State at 4:00pm ET on FX Network.

Bethune-Cookman (1-0) travels to Orangeburg to play South Carolina State University at 6:00pm ET. Offensive Line Coach for Bethune-Cookman is John Powers, who coached for Brady Hoke at Ball State from 2006-08.

Brady Hoke’s Running Backs Coach for two seasons at Ball State, Trent Boykin, now holds the same position for Akron (0-1), and the Zips travel to Florida to play FIU 6:00pm ET on ESPN3.

At 7:00pm ET, former Wolverine Safeties Coach (2010) Adam Braithwaite and the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Mocs (0-1) head to Florida to take on Jacksonville State. Braithwaite is now the Safeties Coach for the Mocs.

Former Michigan Linebackers Coach (2008-09) Jay Hopson is now Head Coach for Alcorn State (1-0). The Braves visit James Madison in a 7:00pm ET game.

The Number Three team in the country, LSU (1-0), and former Wolverine player and Offensive Line Coach Les Miles will host Washington on ESPN at 7:00pm ET.

At 7:30pm ET, the San Diego State Aztecs (0-1) will open their home season when they play Army. Former Hoke assistant coaches Rocky Long, Brian Sipe, Tony White, and LeCharls McDaniel remain with San Diego State. The game will be televised on the NBC Sports Network.

In what could be a wide-open affair, the Arizona Wildcats (1-0) contingent – Rich Rodriguez, Calvin McGee, Tony Dews, Tony Gibson, and Rod Smith – host Oklahoma State at 10:30pm ET on the Pac-12 Network. Oklahoma State scored 80 points in their season opener, and Arizona is in the Top 7 in the nation in yardage on the young season.

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Michigan Coaching Connection Games Labor Day Weekend

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Fergodsakes.com previews the college football games on Labor Day Weekend involving a Michigan coaching connection. Roaming the sidelines as coaches of various college programs are former Michigan players, former Michigan assistant coaches, and former Coach Hoke assistant coaches. Here are their schedules for this weekend:

Thursday Games, August 30

Eastern Michigan, with former Michigan Defensive Coordinator Ron English as Head Coach, former Michigan running back Mike Hart as Running Backs Coach, and former Michigan offensive lineman Kurt Anderson as Offensive Line Coach, travel to Muncie, Indiana to take on the Ball State Cardinals. The game is at 7:00pm ET on ESPN3. Also at 7:00pm ET Northern Michigan University, with former Wolverine wide receiver Marcus Knight as Wide Receivers Coach, hosts Findlay in the season opener for both teams. Brady Hoke’s Running Backs Coach for two seasons at Ball State, Trent Boykin, now holds the same position for Akron, and the Zips will host Central Florida at 7:00pm ET on ESPN3. Tennessee Tech and Secondary Coach, Sidney Powell (Secondary Coach for three seasons for Hoke at Ball State), will host Hampton.

Friday Games, August 31

Only one game on Friday with Michigan coaching ties. Chuck Heater, Michigan running back from 1971-74, is now the Defensive Coordinator for the Temple Owls. Temple hosts Villanova in the season opener for both teams. The game will be on ESPN3 at 7:00pm ET.

Saturday Games, September 1

At noon ET on the Big Ten Network, the Miami University Redhawks take on the Buckeyes in Columbus. Among those getting the first look at Urban Meyer’s new team will be Don Treadwell and Ed Stults. Treadwell was Hoke’s first Offensive Coordinator at Ball State in 2003 and is now Miami’s Head Coach. Stults is Offensive Line Coach for the Redhawks. He succeeded Treadwell as Hoke’s Offensive Coordinator in 2004 and 2005 and held a variety of coaching positions under Hoke from 2003 – 2008 at Ball State. Wonder if any phone calls will be made from Miami to Ann Arbor after that game?

Former Wolverines Tyrone Wheatley and Steve Morrison are now coaching for Syracuse. Also on the Orange staff as Defensive Coordinator is former Wolverine Defensive Coordinator Scott Shafer. Syracuse will host Northwestern at noon on ESPN2.

Jim Lyall, defensive lineman at Michigan in the early 1970’s, is currently Head Coach at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan. His Saints will travel to Iowa to take on Iowa Wesleyan at 2:00pm. The Saints are 1-0 on the young season, and also have former Wolverine Rob Thornbladh as Outside Linebackers Coach.

At 3:30pm ET, from Soldier Field in Chicago, current Iowa Wide Receivers Coach (and former Michigan wide receiver and Wide Receivers Coach) Erik Campbell and the Hawkeyes take on Northern Illinois on ESPNU. Another game at 3:30pm ET, on the Big Ten Network, has Wisconsin hosting Northern Iowa. Eddie Faulkner, Running Backs Coach for Hoke at Ball State (2005-08) is now Tight Ends Coach for the Badgers.

Anthony Thomas, the A-Train himself, currently Special Teams Coordinator at West Virginia Wesleyan, and the Bobcats travel to Millersville to kick off their season at 6:00pm ET.

Auburn will take on Clemson at 7:00pm ET in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta. In his first game as Auburn’s Offensive Coordinator is former Michigan quarterback and Quarterbacks Coach Scot Loeffler. The game will be televised on ESPN.

Preseason Number Three team in the country LSU and former Wolverine player and Offensive Line Coach Les Miles will take on North Texas State on ESPNU at 7:00pm ET. Also at 7:00pm ET, former Wolverine quarterback Nick Sheridan makes his debut as Quarterbacks Coach for Western Kentucky, as the Hilltoppers take on Austin Peay. The game is scheduled to be on ESPN3. At the same time in Shreveport, Louisiana, former Michigan Linebackers Coach (2008-09) Jay Hopson makes his debut as Head Coach for Alcorn State as the Braves take on Grambling State in a SWAC matchup. Finally at 7:00pm ET, former Wolverine Safeties Coach (2010) Adam Braithwaite and the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Mocs head to Florida to take on the University of South Florida. Braithwaite is now the Safeties Coach for the Mocs. The game will be on ESPN3.

At 8:00pm Eastern Time, while former Wolverine player and current Secondary Coach Curt Mallory and Michigan take on the Alabama Crimson Tide, his brother Doug Mallory and the Indiana Hoosiers will host Indiana State. Doug is co-Defensive Coordinator for the Hoosiers, and the game against the Sycamores will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

The Arizona Wildcats contingent – Rich Rodriguez, Calvin McGee, Tony Dews, Tony Gibson, and Rod Smith – open their season at home against the Toledo Rockets at 10:30pm ET on ESPNU. Interestingly, a former Michigan defensive back under Rodriguez and company, Vladimir Emilien, now plays for the Rockets. Also at 10:30pm ET, the San Diego State Aztecs travel to Washington to take on the Huskies. Former Hoke assistant coaches Rocky Long, Brian Sipe, Tony White, and LeCharls McDaniel remain with San Diego State. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.

At 11:00pm ET, Weber State visits Fresno State. Former Hoke Defensive Backs Coach at Ball State Eric Lewis is in his first season as Cornerbacks Coach at Weber State.

Sunday Games, September 2

At noon ET on ESPN, Bethune-Cookman plays Alabama State in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge in Orlando’s Florida Citrus Bowl. Offensive Line Coach for Bethune-Cookman is John Powers, who coached for Brady Hoke at Ball State from 2006-08.

In the final game of the holiday weekend involving a Michigan coaching connection, the Louisville Cardinals take on the Kentucky Wildcats in an intra-state rivalry game at 3:30pm ET on ESPN. Vance Bedford, Michigan Defensive Backs Coach from 1995-98, and again in 2007, is now Defensive Coordinator for Louisville.

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Siena Heights 2012 Season Preview with Jim Lyall, Team 94

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Jim Lyall, University of Michigan defensive lineman under Bo Schembechler from 1970-73, is currently the Head Coach of the Siena Heights University Saints, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) program in Adrian, Michigan. Also on staff at Siena Heights is Rob Thornbladh, a player on the 2006 Michigan squad. Fergodsakes.com spoke with Coach Lyall regarding his team and his time at Michigan.

The first season of Siena Heights Saints football was 2011, and Michigan Man Jim Lyall led the way. Lyall, who spent 20 years as Head Coach at Adrian College, was tapped to bring the Siena Heights program to fruition. The only Catholic University in the state of Michigan to offer football, the Saints in 2011 went 8-1 against a mixture of varsity, junior varisty and club football teams. The new 2012 season will mark Siena Heights’ first full year of varsity status, and the schedule is certainly a few steps up in competition from 2011. Playing in the top NAIA conference in the nation (The Mid States Football Assocation), the Saints are slated to face the NAIA number 1, 3, 6, and 11 teams in the country.

“There was never a more intense man than Bo Schembechler, and there will never be another Bo Schembechler.” Coach Lyall calls Schembechler and his position coach at Michigan, Frank Maloney, “the two biggest influences on me.” Those influences permeate his Siena Heights program. “We are building the program based on what Bo taught us – Character and Integrity. We have recruited as many high school captains as we could. We provide an education and a chance to be a part of history. We sell kids on the fact that it’s ‘our’ team. Everything we do adds or subtracts to our tradition. Hopefully that transcends sport and permeates their lives.”

Coach Lyall says, “I have a great coaching staff, which allows me to develop relationships with young men and develop something special with these kids.” As for style and playcalling, the Saints use aspects of the spread offense. “We think in terms of players first, formations second, and then we call plays.” As an NAIA program, Siena Heights is able to combine athletic and academic scholarships, and the Saints recruit to the system. “We want the best linemen we can find, the best quarterback we can find, and the most speed at every position that we can find.”

In talking about the 1973 Michigan team, Team 94, the team on which he was a senior, the pride in Lyall is evident. The Wolverines went 10-0-1, with the one tie of course being the 10-10 game against the Buckeyes. The next day the Big Ten Athletic Directors voted to send the Buckeyes to Pasadena to play in the Rose Bowl, even though they were Big 10 representatives in Pasadena the year before. Big Ten rules at that time prevented Michigan from going to a bowl game. How did Lyall find out about the vote? “I was pulling into the library, and was listening to CKLW. Ewan McGregor said that Michigan’s season was over. It was just a shock. Very difficult to put into words the emotions that were felt. For me personally, my career was over. I wasn’t going to play in the pros.” How big of a shock was it? “As we walked off the field after the game, the players from OSU congratulated us, wished us luck in Pasadena. Our entire feeling in the locker room after the game was celebration – we were going to California. I was sitting on Bo’s lap!”

“Bo talked to us at every reunion about how he never forgot what happened.” In large part because of that 1973 team, and Schembechler’s lobbying, the rules were changed to allow more than one Big Ten team to go to a bowl game in a given season. The 1975 team was the first Michigan team to benefit from the change, playing in the Orange Bowl against Oklahoma at the conclusion of the season. But for Lyall, part of what would end up the number 6 team in the country according to UPI, he sat home on New Years Day, 1974.

The Siena Heights University Saints open their season this Saturday, August 25 with a home game at 7:00pm against Robert Morris at O’Laughlin Stadium in Adrian, Michigan. Other home games are September 8 against Marian, September 29 against Taylor, October 6 against Olivet Nazarene, and on October 13 Siena Heights will host the preseason number 1 NAIA team in the country, St. Xavier. Road games are September 1 at Iowa Wesleyan, September 15 at Concordia (in Ann Arbor), October 20 at Grand View, October 27 at Saint Francis, and November 3 at Waldorf.

The Siena Heights Saints football website can be found here. Follow the Saints on twitter @SienaHeightsFB.

Where are former Michigan players and coaches coaching today? Fergodsakes.com will have 2012 season previews on some of the teams that have a former Wolverine player or coach as part of their staff.

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