The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, November 19, 1987, Image 10

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Student Government Academic Affairs Committee Page 10/The Battalion/ Thursday, November 19,1987 Metcalf enters 25th season £ as A&M’s basketball coach ° By Tom Mulos Reporter Texas A&M Head Basketball Coach Shelby Metcalf sounds like a government advertisement for the armed forces when talking about his job. “With me, coaching at Texas A&M is not just a job, it’s a way of li fe,” Metcalf said. A way of life adds up to 30 years at Texas A&M and 25 years as head coach of the Aggie hoopsters. This basketball season is being coined as the “Silver Anniversary of the Silver Fox” because it is Metcalf’s 25th season as head basketball coach. Will 25 years be enough for the silver-haired, witty and laid-back coach who has been termed the “Dean of Southwest Conference coa ches”? “As long as the thrill of coaching is there, my health is there, and I can give the Aggies the kind of basket ball they want, I’ll keep coaching,” Metcalf said. “I’m not coaching to re tire. I’m coaching to keep from re tiring.” In fact, just this summer, Metcalf signed a new four-year contract. Metcalf was the starting point guard at East Texas State University for three years. He led ETSU to the NAIA National Tournament three years and finally won the championship his senior year in 1955. That same year, Metcalf grad uated with both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in philosophy. He spent one year coaching in Cayuga where he led it to a 33-10 re cord and a district championship. From 1956-58 he was an athletic officer in the Air Force in Germany. He coached a team to a 78-17 record and an All-Germany championship twice. r players that I coached the year before and I When he came back from Ger many, he became the freshman head coach and assistant varsity coach for A&M. He was 41-19 in five years be fore Bob Rogers left and Metcalf was promoted to head coach. His first varsity team, in 1964, went 18-7 overall and 13-1 in SWC play and won the conference championship for the first time in 41 years. “I had four as freshmen brought in two junior college guys from Lon Morris,” Metcalf said. “Those two additions added to what we already had, made for a good basketball team.” &-> Since 1964, A&M basketball teams have had winning seasons 21 of Met calfs 24 years and never back-to- back losing seasons. They have won the conference title six times and gone to the NCAA playoffs five times. Metcalfs overall record is 397-267, a 59.8 percentage, which places him 20th on the list of win- ningest active coaches in Division I. Other accomplishments include the SWC record for years at one school and a conference record of 221-139, the most wins by an SWC coach. With just three wins this season, Metcalf will surpass the 400-win mark, a milestone that he never really thought about. “Up until this year, I never really thought about, or cared about, how many wins I had,” Metcalf said. “It’s something that others figure up, but not me.” The satisfaction that Metcalf gets from coaching is the success that his players have after they graduate along with the lifelong friendships that he gains. “When a player comes here, I’m gaining a lifetime friendship,” Met calf said. “I try to keep up with all players and see their success in life.” To some, success after college bas ketball means playing in the Na tional Basketball Association, but that is not the way Metcalf sees it. He has coached only one player before this year that ended up in the NBA, and that was Sonny Parker who played for seven seasons. This year, though, Winston Crite was the third round pick of the Phoenix Suns, sur vived all cuts and will play this sea son. Metcalfs teams have a history of A&M Basketball Coach Shelby Metcalf not having a lot of talent but playing above their heads and defeating op ponents with more talent. 1 o him, it’s also a sign of the whole Univer sity. “I think it’s kind of a trademark of A&M teams and not just the basket ball team,” Metcalf said. “This whole University takes pride in overachiev ing. The school can take a loss, but not a lack of effort and that is what I try to get our teams to do. I just want my teams to go out and give it their best.” Last season, A&M finished 17-14 overall and just 6-10 for an eighth place finish in the conference. But the team overcame adversity and won the conference tournament ad vancing to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1980. “Last season was tough. We had injuries and illnesses all through the season. How many times do you have a player go out with chicken- pox? We also had to suspend one player for missing classes,” Metcalf said, “That team went through a lot of adversity. They never complained or stopped working hard. It was a just reward to win the tournament,” Metcalf said. In the tournament the Aggies went to Indianapolis to play in the first round of the Midwest regional against Duke, who was a Final Four team the year before. A&M kept the game close in losing 58-51. “We were a little awed going into the Hoosierdome, especially when Indiana had 20,000 people just to watch them practice. It’s tough to shoot in a big arena because of all the open space behind the basket.” “The big factor was the fact that Duke had a lot of tournament expe rience from the year before,” Met calf said. “Duke played great pres sure defense and really pressured our guards Todd (Holloway) and Darryl (McDonald). They weren’t used to that kind of pressure and we didn’t have a lot of depth to give them a rest.” On the surface this year looks like it will be different. Crite, Holloway, Mike Clifford and John Trezvant all are gone. Metcalf gained six junior-college transfers, one incoming freshman and four players that were redshirted last year to join five returning lettermenb eluding one returning starter. “We had our best practice of tin season last week, and 1 didn’t sleep wink that night because I wassoei cited,” Metcalf said. “There comesi time before the first game eachs» son when the team really seems come together and you begin toseei little hope. That’s what happenei last week. “We will be the smallest team it the league. The conference will!* tough this year. It’s tough even year, but this year will be better that last. Arkansas has Final Foul material, not that they will get that but they have the material. Houstct had a real good recruiting seasot and Texas Tech got a seven-footei along with two players that were to to Proposition 48 last season.” Will Metcalf be able to surprisf teams like they have in the past? “Different teams have differec personalities,” Metcalf said. “Nt coach has a secret word to get ate® to win. All a coach can do is gettkf team into a position to win, then I# the players win.” Metcalf feels that he has asseu bled the best group of assistam coaches that he has ever had. “John Thornton is a great teaditt and Larry Cockrum is new, butlif has already contacted more playeti since August than we have in tit past three, possibly four years. Tit next few years, our talent level basketball program will go up in mensely.” To Metcalf, coaching is the saint year after year. He takes coaching* a way of life and in a laid back man ner. “I was born during the depress? so nobody could take life too sf riously. My attitude goes back ton" parents. They enjoyed life andle" joy life. I’m not envious of anyone don’t have an ego problem. I fed that it’s healthy to be proud of wb< you have. “You coach to your own persona? ity. I still get butterflies each time walk onto the floor for a game. Bas ketball is very important to me. love to compete. I feel that I cat compete with anyone. I also belie' 1 that my best basketball is ahead Oilers angered at choice of announcers for Sunday’s televised game with Browns HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Oil ers officials are miffed that Sunday’s NFL game with the Cleveland Browns, with first place at stake in the American Conference Central Division, will feature two Cleveland- based announcers on the NBC tele cast. Jim Donovan of Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC-TV is slated for the play-by-play with Reggie Rucker, a former Browns wide receiver, doing the analysis. “We weren’t expressing questions about competency of the an nouncers,” Oilers spokesman Chip Namias said Wednesday. “Both of them do a good job or they wouldn’t be at the network level. “The only thing we were talking about is they were Cleveland sports- casters and the game is being seen in large portion of Texas. In no way are we questioning their abilities as announcers.” iNctmids »cuU it was unlikely NBC would change their announcer team for the game in Houston. “As tar as I know, it’s a fact of life,” he said. “Once they make the assignment, that’s it.” NBC spokesman Kevin Monag han said Oiler General Manager Ladd Herzeg called network football coordinator Ted Nathanson on Wednesday to complain about the announcer assignments but was told NBC would not change. “NBC Sports is disappointed Oilers have publicly complain" about Donovan and Tucker,” Weisman, executive producer NBC Sports, said. “Our announcers are not bias" toward one team versus another, don’t tell the Oilers who to play quarterback. They shouldn’t tell who to put as announcers.” “I think they would have bigger things to be worried about,” Monag han said of the Oilers. “I’ve never heard this one before. It’s a first.” Both teams are 6-3. The game is being touted in Houston, where the Oilers in recent years have been among the league’s worst teams, as the club’s most important since 1980, when the Oilers challenged the Pittsburgh Steelers for the divi sion title. Monaghan said the Oiler c<# plaint was the first ever lod| against the network and said ot NBC games had similar situatio" where both announcers are fronit? 1 ' cities of one of the teams. “This weekend, we have the B"* falo-New York Jets game, usi" Marv Albert, who is from New Yof* and worked for WNBC in Nc" York, and Joe Namath (former ^ quarterback),” Monaghan said. “W haven’t heard one thing from " falo.” just said, thin; Ir thre had pass 19 y T opei seer son. an tii