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Archive for April 6th, 2017

Dayton Flyers Spring Football Game this Sunday at 1:00 pm; Marshall & McDonald to be honorary coaches

Both Were Teammates On UD’s 2007 I-AA Mid-Major National Championship Team

DAYTON – Two members of the University of Dayton’s 2007 Pioneer Football League champions, Gridiron Classic champs and I-AA Mid-Major national championship team – Matt Marshall and Steve McDonald – will serve as Honorary Coaches for Sunday’s Flyer football Spring Game. Marshall will coach the White Team, while McDonald will cover the Red Team.

Sunday’s kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET at Welcome Stadium.  Admission is free and the first 200 fans will receive free ice cream. Gates will be open at 12:15 p.m. ET.

In addition, the game will be broadcast live on 1290 WHIO Radio and streamed on 

Marshall and McDonald were both mainstays of the 2007 championship season.  Marshall played in all 13 games at running back in UD’s newly retooled one-back offense, while McDonald started at the Flyer position.  The Flyers went 12-1 in 2007, the only loss coming by a touchdown at Morehead State.  UD outscored its opponents by nearly 30 points a game during its season-ending seven game win streak.
It’s somewhat appropriate that the 2007 team is the team to be honored at the Spring Game, because Sunday will also be the first time new quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Kevin Hoyng will be “in action.”  Hoyng was the quarterback on the 2007 team, and was named the PFL’s Offensive Player of the Year.
A two-time captain, Hoyng holds the Flyer career records for total yardage (9,528), passing yards (8,862), and touchdown passes (59). He began his college coaching career at UD in 2009, and spent five seasons on the Flyer staff before serving as Wittenberg’s offensive coordinator in 2014, 2015 and 2016. caught up to both Honorary Coaches and asked each four questions in advance of their returning to UD for this year’s spring game.

DAYTONFLYERS.COM: What are you doing now?

MARSHALL: I’m married to my wife Ariel and we have four kids. Three boys and one girl — Mikah (9), Shae (7), Julian (4), and baby Leo (5 months).  We live in Bellbrook.  I’ve been in consulting since graduation and I’m an Account Executive helping some of the biggest companies across the globe.  My job is to build relationships, negotiate services contracts, and define solutions to address business and IT challenges.  I’ve had the opportunity to work with companies like P&G, Amtrak, LexisNexis, 5/3 and most recently I’m focused on helping Kroger expand their sales, customer experience, and operations.

McDONALD: I reside in Centerville with my wife Colleen (UD class of ‘09) and two-year-old daughter Sydney. I teach Economics and U.S. History at Kettering Fairmont where I am also currently the head track coach. In the fall, I coach defensive backs at Huber Heights Wayne and have also coached middle school wrestling the last eight seasons.

DAYTONFLYERS.COM: What is your best memory of Dayton football?

MARSHALL: Has to be the running beasts on the real Astroturf…maybe 7 on 7 on the Astroturf (I have the turf burn scars to prove it)…watching films with coach Ochs…coach Kelly’s pregame speeches…listening to coach Whilding go nuts when running backs would make too many cuts (probably the reason he shaved his mustache our senior year)…getting the bus ride movies approved “seeing how long before they got turned off”…away game pregame meals/meetings…but seriously after we had a losing season our true senior year (the first one in a while at UD), we all deciding to come back a 5th year where we put in a brand new offense and beat Albany in the national championship.  We were all playing for something knowing none of us would ever play football again.

McDONALD: Although I didn’t know it at the time it was the last game of football I ever played in 2008.  We came back from a 22-6 first-half deficit to beat San Diego 30-22 and snap their four-year, 28-game home win streak.  Our defense played an unbelievable game and the combination of exhaustion and euphoria I felt afterwards was indescribable.

DAYTONFLYERS.COM: What are you most looking forward to about coming back to the Spring Game?

MARSHALL: I’m excited to talk to the kids.  I remember being in their shoes trying to earn a spot my freshman year and how important that spring game was for the rest of my career.  I’m looking forward to sharing what being a Flyer and tradition means to me. I want to get the kids to relax and enjoy playing the game.  I’m looking forward to some big hits which was one of my favorite things to do!  (Editor’s note:  This is from an offensive player!)

McDONALD: It will be awesome to be able to speak to the team before the game and to be able to “coach” beside many of the coaches who I have always looked up to and who I continue to seek guidance from today.
DAYTONFLYERS.COM: What was your reaction when Coach Chamberlin asked you to come back?
MARSHALL:  It was my birthday when I got the call!  I said I couldn’t have thought of a better surprise.  I then said “Coach Chamberlain you recruited me so it all makes sense now!” :)
McDONALD: I typically try to make it back for a game or two every season but was thrilled to be asked to participate in the Spring Game and did not hesitate to say yes.  I am honored to be able to represent our national championship team and am very excited to see some old faces and get to know a few new folks as well.

Both coaches’ most important role at the Spring Game will be sharing their experiences with the team and connecting Flyer football’s past with its present, but they are also looking forward to making each call – to go for it or to kick – on fourth down.
Following the scrimmage, the Flyer recruiting class of 2021 will join their new teammates on the field in the first step together toward the 2017 season, which will be less than 150 days away.

Akron hires John Groce as men’s basketball coach

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AKRON, Ohio– University of Akron President Matthew J. Wilson and Director of Athletics Larry Williams introduced John Groce as the Zips’ next men’s basketball head coach on Thursday at the Student Union.

Groce’s appointment is effective immediately, pending approval by the University’s Board of Trustees.

Leading his teams to 19 postseason appearances, including two Mid-American Conference championships and an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance, Groce becomes the 22nd head coach of Akron men’s basketball. He takes over a Zips’ team that posted a school record 27 wins in 2016-17 and made its 13th postseason appearance in Akron’s Division I era.

John Groce

“From the enviable position of much sustained success in our men’s basketball program, we concentrated our search on finding a Division I coach with a proven track record of excellence, winning, and post-season appearances, combined with a focus on academics and discipline. Coach Groce has that combination.” Williams said. “We’re extraordinarily pleased that he will be bringing his impressive experience and background to our Zips basketball program.”

“Coach Groce has the commitment to excellence that has been instilled in our program, and I am confident that he will continue to build on that core and achieve even greater successes in the years ahead,” President Wilson stated. “He is passionate about winning the right way, and I know our student-athletes and UA fans and supporters will be excited to see his energy, enthusiasm, and coaching skill on our side of the court.”

Prior to joining the Zips, Groce was head men’s basketball coach at the University of Illinois for five seasons. He led the Illini to an average of 19 wins per season during his tenure along with postseason appearances in three of his first four years in Champaign, owning a record of 95-75.

Groce pursued building a championship program in all phases. There were signature wins on the court, player development improvements, recruiting success, and achievement in the classroom as well. Illinois carried a team GPA over 3.0 for five consecutive semesters, highlighted by a 3.27 in fall 2015 – tied for the highest among all UI men’s teams – and a 3.07 in spring 2016. A team-record six players earned 2015-16 Academic All-Big Ten accolades, and the program’s most recent NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) multiyear score of 990 ranked third in the Big Ten.

He arrived at Illinois after four seasons as head coach at Ohio University, where he led the Bobcats to an 85-56 overall record as well as Mid-American Conference Tournament titles and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2010 and 2012.

Ohio was the story of the 2012 Tournament, advancing to the Sweet 16 as a No. 13 seed with victories over No. 4 seed Michigan followed by No. 12 seed South Florida. The Bobcats made a strong push for the Elite Eight before falling to No. 1 seed North Carolina in overtime in the regional semifinal. It marked just the second time in Ohio’s school history and first since 1964 that the Bobcats won multiple games in the NCAA Tournament. Ohio finished the 2012 season with a school-record 29 wins and was known for its pressure defense, ranking second nationally in turnover percentage and third in steals percentage.

Ohio also made noise in the 2010 postseason. Playing in the school’s first NCAA Tournament game in five seasons, the Bobcats received a No. 14 seed and defeated No. 3 seed Georgetown. With the 2010 and 2012 NCAA performances, Ohio became just the sixth school ever to win Tournament games as both a 13 and 14 seed.

Groce has a total of 24 years in the coaching profession and has been part of teams that have made 19 postseason appearances. His record in 15 years as an assistant was an impressive 349-156, giving him a combined record of 511-273.

Groce earned his first head-coaching job at Ohio following four seasons on Thad Matta’s staff at Ohio State from 2005-08, the first two as assistant coach and last two as associate head coach. During Groce’s time in Columbus the Buckeyes amassed a record of 105-35, advanced to the NCAA Championship game in 2007 and second round in 2006, claimed back-to-back outright Big Ten Championships in 2006 and 2007 and won the NIT in 2008. Groce played a key role in recruiting many of the top players at Ohio State and was named Rivals’ 2006 National Recruiter of the Year.

In all, Groce spent eight years as an assistant under Matta. Prior to his time at Ohio State, Groce served three years on Matta’s staff at Xavier from 2002-04 and one season at Butler in 2001. The Musketeers went 78-23 and made three straight NCAA appearances, advancing to the second round in 2002 and 2003 and the Elite Eight in 2004. Xavier also won consecutive Atlantic 10 titles in 2002 and 2003. Butler, meanwhile, went 24-8 and won a conference crown in 2001 while also advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Groce entered the Division I coaching ranks as a member of Herb Sendek’s staff at North Carolina State from 1997-2000. The Wolfpack went 73-58 overall and advanced to the NIT in each of the four seasons Groce was in Raleigh, including a trip to the semifinals in 2000.

Groce got his start in coaching as an assistant at his alma mater, Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. Groce spent three years on Paul Patterson’s staff from 1994-96, helping lead the Trojans to a 69-32 record and pair of trips to the NAIA national tournament. Groce played for Patterson for three years from 1991-93 before making the transition to a student assistant role as a senior. Taylor compiled a 90-16 record and made three trips to the NAIA Tournament during Groce’s playing career, including a 1991 Final Four appearance during his freshman season.

Groce, 45, earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Taylor in 1994. He and his wife, Allison, have two sons, Conner and Camden, and a daughter, Cate.

The C.P. and Cornelia S. Chima Athletics Ticket Office at InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field is accepting non-refundable deposits for 2017-18 basketball season tickets at $50 per seat. Limited lower level chair back seats are available, starting at $410 per seat. Renewal invoices for existing season ticket holders will be sent out in mid-summer. To place a deposit, or for further information, call 1-888-99-AKRON (25766) or visit from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET on Mondays through Fridays. Ticket office is located at 375 E. Exchange Street, near Gate 1 at the southwest corner of the venue, at the corner of E. Exchange and S. Union streets.


The John Groce File


Season School
Overall Conference
2008-09 Ohio 15-17 7-9 6th East
2009-10 Ohio 22-15 7-9 5th East NCAA Second Round
2010-11 Ohio 19-16 9-7 3rd East CIT Quarterfinals
2011-12 Ohio 29-8 11-5 3rd East NCAA Sweet 16
4 seasons 85-56 (.603) 34-30 (.531)
2012-13 Illinois 23-13 8-10 T7th NCAA Third Round
2013-14 Illinois 20-15 7-11 T8th NIT Second Round
2014-15 Illinois 19-14 9-9 T7th NIT First Round
2015-16 Illinois 15-19 5-13 12th
2016-17 Illinois 18-14 8-10 9th
5 seasons 95-75 (.559) 37-53 (.411)
CAREER TOTAL 9 yrs. 180-131 (.579)

2017-present Akron, Head Coach
2013-17 Illinois , Head Coach
2009-12 Ohio, Head Coach
2007-08 Ohio State, Associate Head Coach
2005-06 Ohio State, Assistant Coach
2002-04 Xavier, Assistant Coach
2001 Butler, Assistant Coach
1997-00 N.C. State, Assistant Coach
1994-96 Taylor, Assistant Coach
Sept. 7, 1971
Danville, Ind.
Taylor University, B.S. in mathematics, 1994
1991-93 Basketball (Taylor)
Wife- Allison
Children- Conner (11), Camden (7), and Cate (2)


What They’re Saying About John Groce …

“I am so happy for John and his family. John and I have spent a lot of time together, and I have the utmost respect for him and the job he does as a coach and a mentor of young men. This is a great opportunity for him and a fantastic hire by the University of Akron.”
– Thad Matta, Ohio State Head Coach


“John is a terrific basketball coach, a tireless worker, and a proven recruiter. He’s a great hire to build on Akron’s tradition and recent success. And nobody will attack the job with more vigor and enthusiasm than John.”
– Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics Head Coach

“John Groce is an excellent basketball coach. His successful background as the head coach at Ohio U., coupled with the tremendous job he did at Illinois – in spite of the unprecedented rash of injuries that he experienced – prepares him for this opportunity at Akron. There isn’t a more determined or prepared coach in college basketball right now than John Groce. Akron will continue its great tradition under John’s leadership.”
– Sean Miller, Arizona Head Coach




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