‘Nutty’ sets bar for success at Wisconsin high

first_imgEd Nuttycombe is no stranger to success. He has been the head coach of the Wisconsin men’s track and field team for the past 24 years — longer than many of his present runners have been alive. But one thing fans of any age can appreciate is what he has led the Badger harriers to do.After winning 22 Big Ten titles and the school’s first NCAA indoor track national championship, Nuttycombe was named the NCAA Division I indoor Coach of the Year.”It’s a great honor,” Nuttycombe said. “I never thought when I first came here that we could get to this point, but it’s here, and it’s something to be proud of.”Highlighting Nuttycombe’s 24-year tenure is an astounding 22 Big Ten titles between the indoor and outdoor track seasons. With one more title he would tie the late-Indiana swimming coach James Counsilman for the Big Ten’s all-time record for conference championships won, something he could accomplish within the next two months with the Big Ten Outdoor Championships just right around the corner.”I’ve been fortunate to have some great guys around me over the years,” Nuttycombe said. “We’ve had so many guys come through here. … That’s what you remember. The student-athletes I’ve had the pleasure of coaching and the assistants that have worked with us over the years — they’re the reason we’ve been so successful over the years.”A lot of people chip in in a lot of different areas, and our formula has been to have some good athletes at the top and to kind of overwhelm with numbers and depth.”That type of formula has become synonymous with Nuttycombe. Having a team with that sort of depth is one of the biggest reasons the cardinal and white have won 10 of the last 12 indoor Big Ten titles and nine of the last 12 outdoor titles. It also helps to have talented athletes on the team. In 24-plus years, Nuttycombe has coached 140 individual Big Ten champions, seven Big Ten Indoor or Outdoor Athletes of the Year and two Big Ten Freshmen of the Year.Because of the success his athletes have had, Nuttycombe has garnered his own accolades over the years. Nuttycombe has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year 18 times and Great Lakes Regional Coach of the Year seven times. With all the success he has had in the conference, however, it wasn’t until this year that the he truly put Wisconsin in the national spotlight.Having scored in the past 13 indoor NCAA championships and 20 of the past 23 outdoor is something some teams would be proud of. But for a team that has dominated one of the best conferences around, why was it so hard to take that next step and bring home a national title?”This year was our best year by far,” Nuttycombe said. “We had so much depth in our events. I think that was what helped us take this step and win it all. We’ve had great teams in the past, but the combination of athletes and a new assistant coach this year was probably what pushed us over the top.”Nuttycombe could not have asked for a more qualified new assistant when Mark Guthrie landed on his doorstep. Guthrie had spent the last 19 years as the head coach at UW-La Crosse, where he was a force to be reckoned with. If you thought Nuttycombe’s numbers were good, wait for this.While coaching the in-state Eagles, Guthrie’s teams won 21 Division III titles, sweeping the indoor and outdoor meets in 1988, 1991-93, 1997, 2001-04 and 2006. He was named National Coach of the Year eight times, as well as Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year 16 times. “I heard Ed needed another assistant,” Guthrie said. “So I called up and talked to Jerry (Schumacher, head cross country coach) first. I had already accomplished so much up at La Crosse that I felt I was ready to make take the step to Division I.”So I moved to Madison and started here. I didn’t really know what to expect at first, but Ed is such a great guy that it was easy from day one. Some head coaches like to dictate the whole team, but Ed trusts his assistants so much to let them coach. He brings us in to help set the foundation for what he wants. He’s the true architect of this program.”The program this architect has built is the best in school history. After winning the schools and the Big Ten’s first ever NCAA championship two weeks ago, Nuttycombe took a moment to reflect back at everything that has happened to him during his very successful career.”It’s amazing when you think about it,” Nuttycombe said. “I came here 27 years ago with my wife, not knowing where we would be in two years let alone 20. We didn’t know anything about Wisconsin. But after those first few years and even now … it’s home. We’ve raised our kids here, and now we’ve got a grandson here. Above anything else, this place is home.”last_img read more

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D’Tigress Crush DR Congo to Reach AfroBasket Semi final

first_imgDR Congo, a very athletic and physical team, put the agility of the 19th placed team to the test but D’Tigress proved capable of soaking all they had in their armory.D’Tigress started the first quarter on a slow note with DR Congo getting the first basket of the quarter, commanding the tempo of the game.Nigeria’s senior women’s team Coach Otis Hughley however was unfazed as he conjured up tricks that got D’Tigress together, stepped up the game and took commanding lead of the first two quarters.The first quarter was however the biggest scoring run of 14 points (22) – (06), the first and second quarter ended (22) – (09) and (38) – (23), respectively.Half way through the quarter final game, D’Tigress came out smoking with top performance from Ezinne Kalu leading the pack. She commanded the floor, ending up with 18% efficiency, 17points, 5 Steals and 2 Assists.Her teammates Victoria Macaulay and Adaora Elonu also puts up 14 points and 11 points respectively to ensure Nigeria was cruising to the last two stage of the tournament.Thirty-three points difference between Nigeria and DR Congo tell the story of the determination of D’Tigress to secure a semi final.With third and fourth quarter ending (61) – (32) and (79) – (46) respectively, no one needed to be told that Nigeria has a mission in Dakar.D’Tigress whipped Tunisia 75-26 in the group’s opening match and also in the second match, the 2017 AfroBasket defending champions walloped Cameroon 106-39 to book the quarter final place in the continental basketball competition against DR Congo.D’Tigress are to face either Mali or Ivory Coast in one of the semi finals.Meanwhile, Captain of Nigeria’s senior men’s team, Ike Diogu, has revealed that the current players in the team are pumped up to give a good account of themselves at the 2019 FIBA Men’s World Cup in China.With all 15 players in camp set to make their World Cup debut if selected as part of the final 12-man rooster, Diogu said the chance to be in China means everything to the members of the squad.“It means a lot because none of us has played in the World Cup before. The one time we had a chance of qualifying was in 2013 and we lost in the quarter finals of the men’s Afrobasket. This is the first time for us all and we want to make sure we do something special.”He thumbed up the high quality of training programme for the team which he said has really improved the team’s overall performance as evident in the four friendlies played so far.“We have got a lot of good young players and we are all excited to represent Nigeria in the right way. We are preparing very well and we expect to have a successful outing at the World Cup.”Diogu said that the series of friendlies and the training camps in New York, Canada and Lagos have given the team ample time to blend and get familiar with each other“We just have to make sure we play as a team. Individually we know how good we are. We have a good collection of NBA talents and high level Europe-based talents. We just have to play collectively as a group and I guess we should be fine against everybody else.”Nigeria made her debut at the 1998 World Cup in Athens, Greece while the last appearance was in 2006 where the team got eliminated in the Round of 16.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Diogu says the men’s team fired up to make impact at the World CupDuro IkhazuagbeDefending champions D’Tigress of Nigeria continued their good run at the ongoing FIBA Women’s AfroBasket Tournament in Dakar, Senegal yesterday morning, defeating Democratic Republic of Congo 79-46 to book a semi final spot.The Nigerian ladies consolidated on their two Group B victories over Tunisia and Cameroon with the defeat of the Congolese yesterday.last_img read more

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