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.
This was a particulary good “Morning Brew” email I received today. So I thought I’d save the information in a place where all can see.
“Considering that we just finished the final weekend of the summer, take 30 seconds to revisit the past three months. What were the highlights? Who were the people you met? What are the experiences you hope to build upon?”
Here are 40 Concepts to Understand from @G_S_Bhogal‘s MEGATHREAD on 9/17/21. This list start with ideas like “Abstraction” and “Scope Neglect”. It’s a great read to remind you why people might think so differently than you.
The Rimington Award honors the top center in FCS, DII, DIII and NAIA levels not just for the contributions on the field but off the field as well. This year’s selection process veered out of our normal evaluation techniques due to the lack of games played in all divisions. This year’s selection relied heavily on each center’s career prior to the 2020 shortened season.
North Dakota State’s Tanner Volson Wins Third Rimington Award in School History
New York, NY – December 2018: Tanner Volson of North Dakota State University headlines the 2018 Rimington Award winners for the FCS, DII, DIII and NAIA divisions. This year’s selections mark the 16th time the top center of each respective level has received the 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 →
Craig Mullins will be honored this week as Georgetown College plays Lindsey Wilson College. Mullen passed away last May from cancer. (News-Graphic Photo)
Last week seemed as though every game was either a knockdown drag-out fight to the end or a blowout. The top games in the NAIA proved to be just that while 13 other games ended with the losers scoring 8 points or less. The GPAC/KCAC challenge was that in name and not in substance as the GPAC went 8-1 against their opponents from the south with the lone KCAC win being Kansas Wesleyan over Midland.
Needless to say this week should be a lot different across the country as there are seven featured games.
Morningside answered any questions their might be about their offense not being able to function without newly named Carolina Panther Brandon Wegher by putting up 897 yards of total offense against Sterling. The Mustangs had two rushers over 100 yards in the win.
Carroll College topped Southern Oregon 26-20 and even though the Saints won the game I was impressed by the talent SOU has on roster. The Raiders have a lot of guys who haven’t played together and they will only get stronger throughout the season. Mac Roche threw for 283 yards and three touchdowns in the victory. Continue reading →
Well hey lookie there. . .the NAIA football has started and there has already been a round of upsets. But if you are like me, you start off initially shocked before talking yourself back into reality that it is essentially Week 0 and we don’t really know what anyone really has for a team.
I mean we can do some guess work and determine who some of the best teams in the country are but we don’t really know how they stack up. That’s the tough part but interesting part about NAIA football. Every team out there has some pretty good players, that goes without saying. But what do they have behind them and next to them are the real questions.
If you are going to be good at this level you have to have depth and you have to be able to sustain your success throughout the entire season. And to cap it off, you’d better be able to overcome some adversity. That’s ultimately why Marian University found themselves vying for a national title instead of missing the postseason. Continue reading →
When you cover NAIA football, you definitely meet some characters. Every year it seemed like there was a new player on my radar because of they were reaching out to me or I met them randomly during one of my stops. Cameron Horton was an offensive lineman at the University of Sioux Falls from 2005-2007 and is easily one of the most memorable NAIA football players I was around.
He wasn’t an NFL prospect and he wasn’t some guy that coaches trotted out in front of the media to be a spokesperson for the team. Cam was Richie Incognito before people knew who Incognito was. The only difference being Cam was hilarious. I can’t tell you the amount of times I received Facebook messages from him randomly over the years that made my stomach hurt.
I’m not going to write a long memorial blog on Cam because one of the best writers I have ever met already did that. The link to Matt Zimmer’s article is below.
Also below is the link to the GoFundMe account that was set up by some of Cam’s former teammates to aid in the travel expenses for Cam’s family.
It’s always sad when a person as young as Cam goes before their time. But I’ve always believed that death should be a celebration of a person’s life and given Cam’s personality and our memories of him that shouldn’t be a problem. Please check out the following links.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the first time since the NAIA moved to one division in 1997, two teams enter the season tied atop the NAIA Football Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. Defending national champion Southern Oregon and national runner-up Marian (Ind.) share the post, with the Raiders grabbing eight first-place votes and 304 points, while the Knights collected five first-place votes and 304 points.
Southern Oregon enters the year looking to build off a historical 2014 campaign that concluded with the Raiders winning their first-ever NAIA national title. Prior to last season, Southern Oregon had never advanced past the quarterfinals of the Football Championship Series.
The Raiders return six starters on offense and seven on defense, highlighted by junior running back Melvin Mason and junior wide receiver Matt Retzlaff. Mason ran for 1,013 yards and 17 touchdowns last season with seven of those scores coming during the playoffs. Retzlaff was a key cog in Southern Oregon’s top-ranked passing attack with 56 catches for 785 yards and six touchdowns en route to Second Team All-Frontier Conference accolades in 2014. Continue reading →