Friday, February 19, 2016

Phoenix Glazier Clinic, College Senior Talks, Donated Gear, Troubling News from Poland and the Los Angeles Marathon


One of the things that I miss when coaching overseas each Winter/Spring is the chance to attend football coaching clinics in order to keep up with the latest trends in our great game.

With the late start of our season in Poland this Spring, I had a chance to attend the Glazier Clinic in Mesa, Arizona a few weekends ago.

I attended my first Glazier Clinic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in ca. 1987 with Dan Murphy. We found the organization that legendary coach Frank Glazier put into then East Coast clinics to be way ahead of anything that we had experienced before and I have continued to attend these clinics when they were expanded West. They continue to be excellent clinics 30 years later, in my opinion.

After speaking to the Seniors at La Verne University on a Thursday afternoon about playing in EuroBall (more on this in just a minute), I continued to drive through the night to the greater Phoenix, Arizona area and, specifically, the desert community of Mesa for this year's Glazier Clinic in the Desert.

Overall, it was a another good clinic with Tony Annese, the Head Coach at Michigan's Ferris State University talking for seven hours on all phases of his Spread Option Pistol Offense on Friday, GREAT STUFF!!!

On Saturday, the clinic highlight for me was listening to Rick Darlington, the Head Coach at Apopka H.S. in Florida. With two topics like "Apopka Death Squad Defense" and "Guerrilla Training: Apopka Off-Season Program - Building Warriors From Elves and Trolls" . . . 


Since returning from my first season coaching in EuroBall (Italy's Catania Elephants in 2008), I have made it a point to try to talk to as many college Seniors in Southern California as possible about the possibility of extending their careers for at least another season by taking their game overseas.

I am happy to report that over the past years many have indeed taken the plunge and have enjoyed many seasons on the Continent and in Australia as well.

First stop on the 2016 tour . . .

 University of La Verne Leopards

A Good Turnout at ULV

The next week, it was just a short drive over the hill to California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks . . .

Home of the Kingsmen

GREAT Football Tradition at CLU

Good Turnout at Kingsmen

Finally, this week it was on to Los Angeles' Eagle Rock area to meet . . .

The Tiger Seniors

The Drum

This is the trophy that annually goes to the winner of the Occidental vs. Pomona-Pitzer football game. This is the oldest collegiate football rivalry west of the Mississippi having started in 1895. Occidental leads the 118 game series 67-48-3.

The Battle for the Shoes

This trophy, a bronzed pair of football cleats, goes to the winner of the Occidental vs. Whittier football game. This series is, of course, a younger one having started in 1907. The Tigers lead this 108 game series too by a margin of 56-50-2.

Small Group of Tigers

A small group to be sure but they were definitely into the talk. From left to right, we have OL Jim Partee, Oxy Head Coach Doug Semones and WR Devin Bullock.

Jim and Devon were both First Team All-Conference in 2015.

These talks always leave me pumped up about the next wave of import players for teams in EuroBall.


Ten Shoulder Pads

My old team in Spain, the Murcia Cobras, let me know that they were in need of shoulder pads and after a little probing, Chaminade H.S. donated ten.

That was easy.


This week I was given worrisome news from the Polish League of Football American (PLFA).

Apparently, my soon to be team, the Gdańsk Wikingowie, are in arrears having not paid their dues and other financial issues unknown to me from the Wikingowie's inaugural 2015 season.

Thus on Wednesday, the PLFA decided that enough is enough and has decided that the Winkingowie will not be allowed to play in the PLFA's 2016 Division II season.

Where does this leave me and the players? Not sure at this time, as the team's leadership group is exploring other options including combining our players with another PLFA II team and also participating in the Baltic Sea League ( which is really more of an international tournament than a league.

Stay posted, when I know, you'll know.


Our Son, Michael Contreras

Genetically, we can NOT explain this, but our youngest son likes to run really long distances all the time.

Once a year, on line, we follow with equal shares of excitement and parental pride as he runs the 26.2 mile Dodger Stadium to the Sea course.

Third Consecutive Year
in the L.A. Marathon for Mike

Mike's main goal this year was to complete the Marathon in 3:15:00 or better which was the minimum time necessary for men in his age group to qualify for possible entry into the Boston Marathon.

In 2014's L.A. Marathon, his first ever Marathon, he finished in a time of 3:51:53.

In the 2015 L.A. Marathon he improved over 25 minutes with a finishing time of 3:26:35.

This year he knocked off another five minutes in the unseasonable heat by finishing in 3:21:44.

He was a bit disappointed in not qualifying for the Boston Marathon but Laurie and I were both simply amazed and proud of his accomplishment.


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