Last summer on July 2nd the world, the NAIA, college athletics, and most importantly the Parker family, lost a great man. His name was Bruce Parker and he was my friend. At the time when he passed away, I stated on social media that I would give Bruce his due down the road. I’ve always been a bit miffed on how we honor someone when they pass away and then we hear nary a word about them until some posthumous award is given to them or a building is named in their honor.
So many people knew, loved, and respected Bruce. If I would’ve written about him last summer my experiences would’ve been lost in the outpouring of love and grief displayed for Bruce. So I am being a bit selfish writing this down the road and wanting people to pay attention to what I have to say. There are a ton of stories I would like to share about Bruce, but for now I want to focus on a few things that made him special and how he helped me personally.
Bruce understood what I was trying to do when I owned the Victory Sports Network and he saw what it meant to schools, athletes and alumni. He was a trusted advisor to my business and did everything he could to help me grow it into the national media for NAIA athletics. He also understood the struggles that I had with NAIA national office early in my career. I was the young kid poking them in the side all the time. I’d ask them questions they didn’t want to answer and often times did not following their protocols. They didn’t hate me but they didn’t exactly like me. The NAIA tolerated me. Then a moment in November of 2007 changed it all.
While I can appreciate the “Big J” journalists doing their best to understand small college football, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out they are doing a terrible job.
Recently ESPN published their attempt at “The 50 best college football programs over the last 150 years.” They characterized the list as being put together as “college football’s greatest programs across all divisions” while in the same breath leaving out the NAIA. Ahh, the “Big J” journalists doing their finest work.
I’m sure they will make the argument, “Well we counted the NAIA championships for teams in DII and DIII.” But nevertheless, there isn’t one current NAIA program on the list.
South Dakota State’s Jacob Ohnesorge Wins First Rimington Award in School History
New York, NY – Jacob Ohnesorge of South Dakota State University headlines the 2017 Rimington Award winners for the FCS, DII, DIII and NAIA divisions. This year’s selections mark the 15th time the top center of each respective level has received the award.
Ohnesorge, a senior from Waunakee, Wis. is a three-time All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honoree, earning first team honors in both his junior and senior seasons. Additionally, Ohnesorge excelled in the classroom being named to the MVFC Academic Honor Roll in 2013, 2014 and 2016. Jacob has started 53 consecutive games which ties a record for the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits and has already graduated with his degree in Mechanical Engineering. After starting all four seasons, Ohnesorge was part of one of the best offenses in SDSU school history this year averaging 38.8 points per game. Ohnesorge is the first Jackrabbit to ever receive the Rimington Award. Continue reading →
Somethings you just can’t get out of your blood and covering NAIA football in some shape or form is one of those things for me. I don’t have the time these days to follow every team in the NAIA like I used to back in the day but I still keep track of it enough to feel like I can make a few predictions heading into this weekend’s first round of the Championship Series. Continue reading →
Yesterday it was announced that the NAIA has decided to move the NAIA DII Men’s Basketball Tournament from Branson, Mo. after 18 years. This comes after College of the Ozarks became upset that the national office wouldn’t require all student athletes to stand for the national anthem. (Full Story – pay no attention to my comment trolling in the section below the story, haha)
I’ll let you read the story for the full details. However, after 24 hours and seeing all the interactions I felt it was necessary to dust off my NAIA media credentials and comment. Continue reading →
Early last summer I was approached by Rob Brandt of the Victory Sports Network. You see, Rob is the guy I sold VSN to (the second time) and he is the guy responsible for the site’s contents. He and Barry Fouts asked me to write something for the 15 year aniversary of VSN.
I said, “Sure.”
Admittedly I forgot about writing that piece until one night last month when I posted a few photos for nostalgia sake and said, “Crap, forgot to write that.”
But as nostalgia goes. . .it got me thinking. Why not write 15 brief stories that no one knows about the behind the scenes stuff that happened at VSN? There has probably been enough time and distance from these stories to not incriminate anyone, so why not.
So without a big long drawn out explanation, here are the 15 stories from the VSN years you never knew about, sorry mom and dad (again). Continue reading →
Anyone who has talked to me this summer understands I’ve had a lot of windshield time. During a recent long drive and because college football season is about to start I went down my annual spiral of thinking about different teams in the NAIA and reminiscing about my friends and I when I played at Dana College.
Sure we lost a lot of games but I made a lot of friends and memories back in those days. Some people have come and gone over the years but there was one guy who I am eternally grateful for the chance to be around him and his profession.
Mark Kwikkel, former head athletic trainer at Dana College, saved my life and I want to thank him for it. Continue reading →