Aardvark Alley

Lutheran Aardvark

Confessional Lutheran theology, hagiography, philosophy, music, culture, sports, education, and whatever else is on the fevered mind of Orycteropus Afer

03 December 2005
  The Color Purple
No, this ain't no Dave and Oprah review.

The big news from my little corner of Big 12 Conference country is that Kansas State University is on the verge of announcing the hiring of a new football coach. He'll replace Bill Snyder, who rebuilt the Wildcat program from its abysmal state of 17 years ago into a perennial title contender. Snyder took a team so bad that even "Mildcat" seemed a compliment and slowly, steadily sharpened the Cats' teeth and claws.

Ron PrinceSo, okay, still ... what's the big deal. Don't coaches retire (as did Snyder), get fired, or move on to other jobs? Don't others get interviewed, rejected, or chosen? Well, yeah. But all of a sudden, here's the traditional "Ag" school interviewing a young (35) black coach from an Eastern school. And even as many sharp observers were speculating as to the line-up for the parade of "real" candidates after the token minority interview, K-State appears poised to announce Mr. Ron Prince, offensive coordinator at the University of Virginia, as its next head football coach.

For the non-Americans and non-sports-minded Americans who haven't quit reading out of sheer boredom, this is truly significant: As of now, I probably have enough fingers on one hand to tally up all the current black head football coaches in top tier of college football; in fact, I'd have a finger or two left over. And funny of funnies, it wasn't some "progressive" school in the Northeast or on the Left Coast eschewing tokenism, nor was it a place surrounded by hundreds of thousands of blacks or with a large, rich minority alumni association — it was the farm school out on the stereotypically flat Kansas prairie.

Is K-State colorblind? Probably not entirely. It helps that Prince grew up in Junction City, a short flip of a buffalo chip away from the "Little Apple," Manhattan, Kansas. He knows the area, the values and ideals of the state's citizens, and all that. But most of all, he seems to be intellectually bright (a history major), "football smart," and a hard worker. No one's going to forget that it ain't Snow White sitting in the living room, trying to get little Johnnie to come to Manhattan and rip heads off of rival quarterbacks. However, Snow White probably couldn't coach her way into the Toilet Bowl, so this Ron Prince hire sounds like a good thing, people.

In some way, I think that K-State Athletic Director Tim Weiser, President Jon Wefald, and the school's administration really understand vocation. Whatever colorblindness they may have stops at PURPLE: They want what's best — and who's best — for Kansas State University.

Here's to hoping that the somewhat obscure Ron Prince will continue a tradition begun by a somewhat obscure Bill Snyder seventeen seasons ago. May he leave the shadows of the unknown through dedication, integrity, hard work, and success as coach, recruiter, and molder of young men's lives.
 
Comments:
Thanks for making me a part of your blog and I'll proudly add you to my list of Cube Heads. Also, check out my contest.

http://thecubiclereverend.blogspot.com/2005/11/contest-help-cubicle-reverend-come-up.html
 
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