Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday Grab Bag: Football is back

Finally, for the first time since my final year of college, I am a resident of Boulder, CO.  Not Boulder County, or unincorporated Boulder, but proper City of Boulder... and I couldn't be more excited.

My new house is a short walk from nearly everything, including the Coors Events Center, and within a few minutes drive of everything else.  Convenience, thy name is BoCO!

Of course, there are some drawbacks.  My tax bill will go up, traffic - with students moving back into town - is already a nightmare, and nanny state weirdness (like a 10 cent fee per grocery bag) is pinging my BS meter.  But, if that's the price I have to pay to live in the heart of the greatest town west of the Mississippi, then so be it. 

I'm just so damn glad to be back!


Today in the bag, I'm talking a new assistant for the basketball team, the start of football camp, and Clint Dempsey moving back to America.

Click below for the bag...

Boyle fills open assistant slot –

The CU coaching staff is finally back up to full strength.

With less than 100 days left to go before the season starts, Coach Boyle reached out to the world of basketball lifers, and dug up the name Sean Kearney, a former assistant with Notre Dame, among others, to replace departed assistant Tom Abatemarco.  Kearney is scheduled to join the rest of the staff at the start of September as the director of player development.

Coach Kearney had been out of the profession for the past three years, focusing on family life, and taking odd jobs throughout college basketball. Said the Pennsylvania native "It's just been going around and watching other coaches and growing my game as a coach and learning from some different guys. It was a really neat experience for me." (-link)  Sabbatical now over, and with his children all now graduated from high school, he's ready to get back in the coaching game.

With three assistants already out on the recruiting trail (Mike Rohn, Jean Prioleau, and Rodney Billups), Kearney will be restricted to a desk, for now.  His role will be entirely behind the scenes, with the new assistant looking forward to a still developing position.

I think it’s a solid move for the program. While not the kind of sexy assistant grab that will make headlines, he easily fills the hole left by Coach A.  One of Coach Abatemarco’s greatest assets was his experience and contacts within the world of basketball, and Kearney brings over two decades of experience and contacts with him to Boulder.  

Welcome aboard, coach Kearney!

Fall camp starts tomorrow -

Ready or not, football starts tomorrow.

The Buffs, with new head coach Mike MacIntyre out in front, will begin fall practices Tuesday, jumpstarting their march to Sept 1st in earnest.  It's been a busy few months for the program - including Fulmer Cup qualifying events, defections, and firings - so I imagine the first hits of fall will come as a welcome relief to everyone involved.

With the player run practices of the summer closed to everyone, media included, there has been little-to-no performance information leaking out into the public. As a result, even this football denier is excited to see how the team has developed to the new system.  Accordingly, I'll have my first preview post up later this week.

Dempsey makes surprise move back to MLS -

In a shocking move, Clint Dempsey, the fiery star forward from the US national team, decided to leave English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur for the Seattle Sounders of MLS.  The transfer is reported to have cost Seattle about $9 million, while Dempsey will receive $32 million over four years in pay.  It's a step down in prestige and challenge, but a massive step forward in pay and stateside media exposure.
'Deuce-face' is coming home.
Many immediately jumped to question the move, including Dempsey's national team coach, Jurgen Klinsmann.  But a few were just as quick to jump to his defense, citing how improved the play in MLS is over that of the league that Dempsey first left in 2007, and how much more playing time he'll get in Seattle.

I think those questioning this move from a challenge standpoint are mistaken. With this move, he has supplanted Landon Donovan, as good as he still is, as USA's #1 soccer star, and he'll be expected to live up to that mantle. 'Deuce' will have to score nearly every night to keep up with the hype (and cash) surrounding this move, and will be under nearly incessant pressure to perform, both on and off the pitch.   While MLS may not be the 'Prem,' for Dempsey, the daily spotlight will shine a lot brighter in Seattle than anywhere else in the world. 

For MLS, this is just another step forward for a league that has grown leaps and bounds since I was first introduced to it in 1998.  'Deuce' is still at the height of his talents, and should be able to play at a level that justifies the attention paid.  Considering the exposure he'll get as team leader and goal-scorer in next year's World Cup, having Dempsey back in America could be a boon for the sport in the good ole USofA.

Happy Monday!


Anonymous said...

Of course Kearny's "sabbatical" was funded at $250K per year courtesy Holy Cross, his impatient former employer!

New recruiting areas are in the offing with this hire. The old 'easy pickins' on the Left Coast could be getting more challenging with the new set of coachs in LA. Never hurts to show an East Coast of Midwest boy a good time in Boulder, with the promise of fast times in AZ and SoCal.

RumblinBuff said...

Fair point about Kearney. I didn't really get into it, but Holy Cross fired him after only one year, which seems a little absurd.

If we start hauling in recruits from the east coast, we're a full-blown basketball power.