Colorful, loyal, profane, rough around the edges, honest…real—no wonder I like Randy Dreiling so much
End of an era---
When Randy Dreiling came to Hutchinson, the Salthawks had lost every game for the better part of three seasons—he leaves 17 years later in the discussion as the best high school football coach in the history of Kansas. His seven state titles in nine years moving effortlessly from 6A to 5A and back is unprecedented and who’s to say that more don’t await him at St. Thomas Aquinas. Dreiling not only elevated Hutchinson, but, in a true sign of greatness, he made everyone around him better. Hutch football has long been the gold standard in south central Kansas, for many years at Carroll Alan Schuckman described Hutch as ‘that which we all aspire to’.
In talking to him today it’s clear that Randy needed a new challenge. Some will point to missing the playoffs for the first time in 13 years, or the hazing incident which rocked the program at season’s end and maybe those things played a factor in the decision to leave. But more than anything Dreiling talked about the redundancy in his life, how every year was starting to look the same to him. I can personally attest to the rejuvenating qualities of a fresh start, I hope it’s the same for Randy and his family.
How big does the Chiefs loss to the Chargers look now? If they keep Philip River out of the end zone in the waning seconds KC would be in charge of its own destiny and would still be riding the inside track for home field advantage.
Shocks on Rocky Top---
Saturday’s ESPN game with Tennessee should put a lot of eyes on Wichita State. What do you hope hoop fans see when they tune in? For one—not too much orange, it’s such a hard color to do anything with. Texas’ burnt orange is good because it’s understated, but Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Oregon State…yikes. In all seriousness, it would be good to see the Shockers play a game that’s closer to forty minutes, instead of the twenty we’ve been seeing from them for most of the season. Continued development of their big men, who are going to be challenged much harder tomorrow and next weekend at Alabama, would be helpful—as would the development of some quality depth.
This has the look of a team that we haven’t seen under Gregg Marshall at Wichita State, one which gets most of its minutes from four players. The Shocks need to get productive minutes from Evan Wessel and Nick Wiggins, neither of whom have shot the ball well so far. Even with those two, it appears that Marshall will only go eight deep which is fine as long as you avoid a key injury. More than any of his recent teams, this group really needs to stay healthy.
One of my favorites will be working the game for ESPN tomorrow. Jimmy Dykes is doing the color for ESPN and there are very few people I’ve ever worked with that are as prepared as Dykes. I did the Arkansas spring football game with him this year and was amazed by his knowledge of what is a second sport for him. You will not have the same complaints of Jimmy Dykes that you had a couple of weeks ago with Doug Gottlieb.