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Sports Then and Now



Avoid Sports Withdrawals: Vintage Final Four Action on YouTube 0

Posted on April 04, 2020 by Dean Hybl

Given how much things have changed in just the last three weeks, it seems hard to believe that if it were not for the global pandemic we would be preparing this weekend to watch the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Final Four and Championship Games.

Though it has only been a few weeks, the 2019-2020 college basketball season seems like a distant memory. The excitement over which teams were on the bubble and who would be the top seeds seeming to be part of a long ago time.

It may seem hard to imagine right now, but I have great confidence that next year we will be back to enjoying March Madness and all the drama and excitement of college sports.

However, for right now in our time of social distancing and staying at home, we are fortunate that YouTube provides us with access to a plethora of vintage sporting events that can help pass the time before live sports return.

In part three of a multi-part series, Sports Then and Now has selected ten college basketball Final Four and Championship games that include some of the all-time moments and players in college basketball history. In the first two parts we shared great conference tournament games and early round NCAA Tournament action.

In this edition, we have chosen Final Four and Championship Games that include some of the iconic moments, teams and players in NCAA history. For each one we have included the records, rankings, coaches and notable players at the time of the game, but are not spoiling the game with a summary in case you don’t remember the outcome and want to enjoy the moment without spoilers.

Among the players you can check out during their college days are all-time greats Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Bill Walton, David Thompson, Michael Jordan, Walter Davis, James Worthy, Grant Hill, Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Christian Laettner, Larry Johnson, Patrick Ewing and many more.

There are certainly other great games to watch on YouTube, but we have chosen these party because the entire game is available on YouTube and the game epitomized the excitement of March Madness.

Enjoy!

1979 NCAA Championship Game – Indiana State vs. Michigan State

Records Entering Game: Indiana State: 33-0; Michigan State: 25-6

National Ranking: Indiana State #1; Michigan State: #3

Coaches: Indiana State: Bill Hodges; Michigan State: Jud Heathcote

Notable Players: Indiana State: Larry Bird, Carl Nicks, Alex Gilbert, Bob Heaton; Michigan State: Magic Johnson, Greg Kelser, Terry Donnelly

Read the rest of this entry →

3 Coaching Tips To Help Your Team Succeed 0

Posted on June 28, 2019 by Blake Childress

Coaching little league for the first time? Have you been asked to volunteer? Maybe your kid is part of a team! Read our list below and if you follow these essential little league coaching tips it will only help you to have success.

Did you know that the first Little League was established by a man named Carl E. Stotz in 1939. Stotz always had a dream and he was always set on adult supervision to stop bickering on the sandlot. After being turned down by over fifty businesses, Carl finally convinced a lumber company, a dairy, and a pretzel maker to sponsor some of the teams, for $30 each. On June 6, 1939, the first Little League Baseball game was played at Park Point in Williamsport. In 1939, he officially started up the league. The bases were placed 60 ft apart and the pitcher’s mound was placed 40 ft from home plate.

That was a long time ago, but look how far little league baseball has come today. Without further delay coaching is something you should take pride in and below are three ways you can have an impact on your team.

Coaches Listen

Ever heard the saying that we have two ears and one mouth? Well it is so true and something that coaches need to do. Yes as a coach you must get your point across, but you have to understand your players needs and wants. Good coaches listen to their athletes. They take time to understand their athletes and what’s motivating them.  It’s by listening to their athletes and through understanding what’s motivating them that good coaches are able to build strong connections. Listening will in return actually help you as a coach learn and you may not even realize it at the time. Developing connections and listening will allow for trust and respect to be established between you and the players on your team.

Read the rest of this entry →

Death of a Legend: Goodbye Coach Wooden 1

Posted on June 04, 2010 by Dean Hybl

John Wooden was a great player and coach, but he is best knwon for being a man of impeccable character.

The World is a little emptier tonight following the news that legendary basketball coach John Wooden has passed away at the age of 99.

There will be much discussion in coming days about his incredible coaching records and accomplishments. Without a doubt, winning 10 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National titles in 12 years is an accomplishment that will never be duplicated.

However, while I never met Coach Wooden, what I have read and heard from many others about him is that he was a better man and teacher than he ever was a basketball coach.

When his former players talk about Coach Wooden they do not necessarily talk about the on-the-court accomplishments. Instead, they talk about he helped mold them into the people that they would become.

The fact that he coached his last game in 1975 yet still had significant influence over college basketball for the next 35 years as a teacher and speaker is a testament to his greatness.

What is to me most amazing about Coach Wooden is that he was truly one of the first great superstar players of college basketball. During his tenure at Purdue from 1930-32 he was the first player ever to be named a consensus All-American for three straight years. Though no NCAA Tournament was played at the time, Wooden and the Boilermakers were selected as the NCAA Champions in 1932.

I find it a great illustration of his great talent as a player that Wooden was selected to the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1960, well before he started winning championships as a coach. Read the rest of this entry →

John Wooden Walked Away On Top 6

Posted on October 14, 2009 by Dean Hybl

Happy 99th Birthday to John Wooden, the greatest coach of all-time.

Happy 99th Birthday to John Wooden, the greatest coach of all-time.

Today marks the 99th birthday of coaching legend John Wooden. Unlike some current coaching greats, Wooden knew when it was time to walk away. It is a legacy that others may want to consider emulating.

When Wooden announced following an emotional 75-74 victory over former assistant Denny Crum and the Louisville Cardinals in the semifinals of the 1975 NCAA Tournament that the upcoming championship game would be his last on the bench, it caught most people by surprise.

But, sure enough, after the Bruins defeated Kentucky for their 10th title in 12 years, Wooden walked away with his legacy secure.

In the ensuing 34 years, the legend of the “Wizard of Westwood” has grown in stature as no coach has come close to matching Wooden’s amazing resume of success.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rocky Colavito: Super Slugger
      March 30, 2020 | 7:24 pm
      Rocky Colavito

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      In some sense, the legend of Rocco “Rocky” Colavito Jr. began long before he ever started pounding home runs at the major league level.

      Born and raised as a New York Yankees fan in The Bronx, Colavito was playing semipro baseball before he was a teenager and dropped out of high school at 16 after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career. The major league rule at the time said a player could not sign with a pro team until his high school class graduated, but after sitting out for one year, Colavito was allowed to sign at age 17.

      Read more »

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