Monthly Archives: April 2011

FHSU men’s soccer signs 31 in first recruiting class


Fort Hays State men’s soccer coach Brett Parker made a big splash last week with his first recruiting class — the school’s first recruiting class — made up of 31 players, including 12 with ties to Kansas as the Tigers get ready for their first season in 2011-2012 (they also added a women’s team). Here’s my story on it that ran in today’s paper. Big props to FHSU for getting ahead of the curve — I feel pretty confident that within 10 years all the teams in the MIAA will have both men’s and women’s soccer. Getting that drop on the competition and that extra foothold, especially in in-state recruiting, will be invaluable in the long run.

Parker’s big pick ups, in my opinion, were a trio of Wichita kids in Kapaun Mount Carmel’s Michael Sheets and Luke Campbell and Wichita Southeast goalie Merrick Rhodes. Sheets is a scorer, which makes him a commodity, and Rhodes, with his 6-foot-1 frame, could be an impact player on the next level.

Here’s the full signing list for your perusal:

Fort Hays State
2011 men’s soccer signings
Name, Pos., Ht., Yr., Hometown, Prev. School

Omar Aguilar, MF/F, 5-9, Fr., Dallas, J.J. Pearce; Jared Bailey, D, 6-1, Jr., Lee’s Summit, Mo., Metropolitan (Mo.) CC-Blue River; Tanner Barrand, D, 6-0, Jr., Topeka, Neosho CC; Cody Black, MF, 6-1, Fr., Denber, Collegiate Academy; Bryan Bott, GK, 6-0, Fr., Johnstown, Colo., Roosevelt; Tanner Brock, MF, 5-10, Fr., Winfield, Winfield; Luke Campbell, D, 5-9, Fr., Wichita, Kapaun Mount Carmel; Daniel Davila, D, 5-11, Fr., Garland, Texas, North Garland; William Davis, MF, 5-11, Fr., Parker, Colo., Chaparral;  Kaden Downing, MF, 5-8, Fr., Englewood, Colo., Englewood; Dula Fadis, MF, 6-1, Jr., Minneapolis, Minn., Barton CC; Kent Freund, GK, 6-1, Fr., Garland, Texas, North Garland; Jonathan Hernandez, MF, 6-0, Fr., Oklahoma City, Okla., Putnam North; Eric Hymer, D, 6-2, Fr., Overland Park, Olathe East; Andre Learned, MF/F, 5-9, Fr., Manhattan, Manhattan; Tomas Mares, F, 5-11, Jr., Tulasa, Okla., N. Oklahoma; Hunter Nail, D/MF, 6-3, Fr., Centennial, Colo., Chaparral; Matthew O’Rell, D/MF, 6-1, Fr., Longmont, Colo., Silver Creek; Ryan Pakieser, GK, 6-1, Fr., Lakewood, Colo., D’Evelyn; Daniel Peralta, MF/F, 5-10, Jr., Tulsa, N. Oklahoma; Adrian Ramirez, MF, 6-0, Jr., Garden City, Barton CC; Jacob Rangel, F, 5-9, Fr., Oklahoma City, Putnam North; Chris Rathjen, MF/F, 5-10, Fr., Leavenworth, Lansing; Merrick Rhodes, GK, 6-1, Fr., Wichita, Wichita Southeast; Roman Rodriguez, MF/F, 5-9, Fr., Dallas, JJ Pearce; Jacob Sayre, MF, Fr., Wichita, Maize South; Devin Schmidt, MF/F, 6-1, Fr., Hays, Hays; Michael Sheets, F, 6-0, Fr., Wichita, Kapaun Mount Carmel; Remington Stitt, F, 5-8, Fr., Greeley, Colo., Northridge; Nathan Walker, D, 5-5, Jr., Goddard, Barton CC; Ricardo Yeverino, F, 5-9, Jr., Garden City, Barton CC.

I’m out. TA

Chance Lindley named women’s basketball coach at Nebraska-Omaha


Wichita native and Arizona assistant Chance Lindley has been named the women’s basketball coach at Nebraska-Omaha. A month ago, kind of a big deal. Now? A huge deal, because the Mavericks are now a Division I basketball program. They announced the hiring on Saturday – just last month UNO dropped a bombshell on the MIAA by jetting to the D1 Summit League and dropping football and wrestling.

I talked to Lindley on Saturday afternoon, and he was … psyched. Can’t blame him. He’s 35 and he’s reached a major career goal.

“I’m a midwest guy so getting to come back home is a huge thrill,” Lindley said. “Honestly, this did happen for me a little sooner than I thought it would … I’m fortunate to have moved up so quickly.”

“We had strong interest in this position from coaches around the nation, and there were many strong candidates,” said UNO AD Trev Alberts in a statement.  “In the end, we were impressed by Chance’s energy and passion as well as his proven track record as a head coach. We think he will be a significant asset in our transition to Division I.”

Lindley won a Region VI title at Barton CC in 2008 and came there after winning a Class 3A state title at Collegiate in 2006. He told me he’s going to aggressively pursue Jayhawk Conference and Wichita-area recruits. With that kind of background here and a Division I program to sell … he could make life hard on the three in-state schools pretty quickly.

Saturday, his phone was ringing off the hook with calls from well-wishers.

“It’s an exciting time,” Lindley said. “And it’s cool for me that people back home, where I grew up, get to hear about this and know what I’m doing. That’s huge for me.”

Make sure to read the full story in Sunday’s Eagle.

I’m out. TA

Butler CC forward Andre Ingram signs with Minnesota


Big day at Butler Community College as men’s forward Andre Ingram signed a letter of intent to play for Minnesota and Tubby Smith. Even better? The 6-foot-7, 235-pound  sophomore is from Minneapolis.

“It’s just amazing to think that I get to go home,” Ingram said. “I went to visit the campus and was just blown away by how nice everything was, and my family has never been able to watch me play the last two years but they’re going to now.”

And what did Smith tell him?

“He said he thought the way I played fit their system  and he thought I could make an impact,” Ingram said. “He’s definitely a hard person to say ‘no’ to.”

This marks the second year in a row that the Grizzlies and coach Mike Bargen have sent a forward to a high-major school, with Ingram following Caleb Walker, the Region VI player of the year who signed with Nebraska last year and had a nice season for the Huskers, who just missed out on the NCAA Tournament.

“We’re awfully excited for Andre to get the opportunity to play in the Big Ten, to get to got home,” Bargen said. “I’m not sure he understood what college basketball was all about, about the hard work it took to succeed when he first came here. He’s a different person now than he was then though … you could see the change.”

Full story in Wednesday’s Eagle.

I’m out. TA.


Coach Eck is the man

ESU tabs Shaun Vandiver as men’s basketball coach


Interesting bit of hiring news today out of the MIAA today as Emporia State names Boise State assistant coach Shaun Vandiver as its new men’s basketball coach. For those of you who have been around these parts long enough, that name might be familiar because Vandiver helped lead Hutchinson Community College to a national championship in 1988 and then was a star player at Colorado for the next three years, earning Big Eight newcomer of the year honors his first season and All-Big Eight kudos the last two.

Vandiver was a first-round pick by Golden State in 1991, but never played in the NBA, instead spending nine seasons playing for some of the top-level clubs in Europe. He’s been back in the states coaching for the last 10 years, including stints as an assistant at Wyoming, Bowling Green State University, and Northern Colorado.

I just spoke with Vandiver a few minutes ago and he told me he’s already been on the phone recruiting today. Big props on that, because the Hornets will need it. ESU has been stuck in the middle of the pack in the MIAA the last couple of years, and with the MIAA reforming into what should be the premiere NCAA Division II conference in the country by expanding to 16 (er, 15 right now, but that’s another subject) teams. There’s no dominant men’s basketball program in this league, unlike some other sports. And at ESU, with the football team as bad as it has been, there’s an impetus on sports like baseball, softball and basketball performing at high levels. Helps make those ugly, ugly falls a little easier to deal with, I’d guess.

I’d hesitate to even say there is a hierarchy in the MIAA in men’s hoops because the teams at the top are so different from year to year. So it’s anybody’s game. What Vandiver has working for him is a massive network of connections  plus his own experience as a player and a coach. What he’s got working against him is he’s never been a head coach before. Which can be a bigger deal then you think. I don’t care what level you’re at, once you become The Man things change. Check Tuesday’s Eagle for our article on the hiring.

I’m out.


PS. One month away? Had to hit it right on the dot, I guess.