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Archive for January, 2018

Ohio State Football adds former Mount Union standout Alex Grinch to football coaching staff

Alex Grinch (courtesy Washington State)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Alex Grinch, defensive coordinator and secondary coach the past three years at Washington State University and a Broyles Award semifinalist this season, has joined the Ohio State football coaching staff. His specific responsibilities will be announced at a later date.

Grinch, who is from Grove City, Ohio, and who is a 2002 graduate of Mount Union, is considered one of the most respected up-and-coming young defensive coaches in college football after turning around a Washington State defense in his three years on staff.

“I am pleased to announce the addition of Alex Grinch to our coaching staff,” Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said. “I am very impressed with his body of work while at Washington State, as many others were, and am happy he chose to come home to Ohio to become a part of our Buckeye coaching staff.”

Grinch, who is 37 and is married to the former Rebecca Blaser, of Alliance, Ohio, turned a Washington State defense that was ranked 97th nationally prior to his arrival into a unit ranked 16th nationally this past season. His 2017 unit, known as the “Speed D,” was seventh nationally in pass efficiency defense, ninth with 28 turnovers forced and it allowed just 11 touchdown passes, fifth-fewest nationally. It also had 103 tackles for loss, the second highest total in Cougar history.

Grinch’s Washington State defensive units improved on scoring defense for three consecutive years and, after having just eight turnovers forced the year before he arrived, followed that up with 24, 23 and 28 the past three seasons.

A full-time collegiate coach for 13 seasons, and for 15 seasons when counting two years as a defensive graduate assistant at Missouri, Grinch has coached the secondary at all four of his previous coaching assignments: Missouri (from 2012-14), Wyoming (2009-11) and New Hampshire (2005-08), in addition to at Washington State.

Grinch, who has been nominated for the Broyles Award as national assistant coach of the year three times, is a winner. Starting with a 54-1 record with three national championships as a player at Mount Union (1998-2001) and including records of 37-14 at New Hampshire, 28-12 at Missouri and 26-13 at Washington State, teams he has been associated with are a combined 176-69.

Grinch is among a trio of Mount Union teammates/classmates making waves in the college football coaching profession. Matt Campbell is head coach at Iowa State and Jason Candle is the head coach at Toledo. Campbell is 46-29 in six seasons as a head coach while Candle is 21-7 through two seasons.

Grinch and his wife are the parents of two children: a son, Tyler, and a daughter, Corbi.




OSU’s Barrett awarded Pat Tillman Award at 2018 East-West Shrine Game

J.T. Barrett FTB

Jan. 19, 2018


Each year, the East-West Shrine Game presents the Pat Tillman Award to recognize the player who best exemplifies intelligence, sportsmanship, and service. The award celebrates a student athlete’s achievements and conduct on and off the football field. The 2018 recipient is Ohio State quarterback, J.T. Barrett.

A Texas native, Barrett capped an outstanding four-year career with the Buckeyes by leading the team to its second Big Ten title in his four years as a starting quarterback in 2017 and to a Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic victory over USC. The only three-time captain in school history, Barrett started 44 games in his Ohio State career and set the school record with 38 victories, set a total of 39 Ohio State (34) or Big Ten Conference (five) records, including some of the most prestigious for a quarterback. He was responsible for 147 passing and rushing touchdowns to rank fourth in NCAA history in that category, and was a Top 10 vote-getter in the Heisman Trophy race twice, including finishing fifth in 2014.

Barrett started his Shrine Game experience with a visit to Shriners Hospitals for Children-Tampa where he played with patients on the basketball court, pushing them on swings, taking photos and signing autographs. He spent the week practicing with his teammates under East head coach Jonathan Hayes, tight ends coach of the Cincinnati Bengals.

“It is an honor to receive this award that holds Pat Tillman’s name,” said Barrett. “The people that he impacted during his career and the sacrifice he made says a lot about the kind of man he was.”




Devils’ Hall fined by NHL Department of Player Safety

Taylor Hall

NEW YORK (Jan. 31, 2018) – New Jersey Devils forward Taylor Hall has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for boarding Buffalo Sabres forward Kyle Okposo during NHL Game No. 762 in Buffalo on Tuesday, Jan. 30, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.


The incident occurred at 7:40 of the first period. Hall was assessed a minor penalty for boarding.


The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.




Reds add veteran arm to bullpen with signing of David Hernandez to 2-year deal

David Hernandez with D-Backs 2011 photo by Mwinog2777 - Own work via wikipedia commons

The Reds bullpen improved a great deal in 2017. But the team is looking for even better results this coming season.

They signed Jared Hughes in December and today David Hernandez.

The righty signs a two-year deal, meaning he will earn a $2.5 million base salary over each of the next two seasons.

The 32-year-old Hernandez, had one of the best seasons of his career in 2017, posting a 3.11 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP with 52 strikeouts and nine walks in 55 innings. He was particularly good in 38 appearances with the Angels, posting a 2.23 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP while allowing no home runs over 36.1 innings. Hernandez continued to strike out batters at a respectable rate and keep runners off base after being traded to the D-Backs on July 31, but he allowed four homers in 18.2 innings and ended up with a 4.82 ERA over 26 appearances with Arizona.

Hernandez joins a Reds bullpen that is young and has some fireballers in closer Raisel Iglesias, Wandy Peralta, Michael Lorenzen but definitely needed some veteran leadership. Thus the signings of Hernandez and Hughes.

Capital’s Dixie Jeffers continues to reach milestones in a remarkable Women’s Basketball career




Dixie Jeffers

COLUMBUS, Ohio – On Wednesday, January 10, 2018, Capital University head women’s basketball coach Dixie Jeffers became just the 16th NCAA women’s basketball coach and just the fifth at the Division III level to earn 700 career victories.

Capital, now 8-6 overall and 4-3 in Ohio Athletic Conference action, hit the road for a conference tilt against the Student Princes of Heidelberg University in Seiberling Gymnasium (Tiffin, Ohio) on Wednesday night. The Crusaders built two different double-digit leads over the course of the game, but shot out of a cannon offensively in the fourth quarter to fuel the team’s victory. With a 9-1 run to begin the frame plus a pair of exclamation points with buckets from Elli and Annika Wachtman, the Crusaders went on the cruise to a 69-53 victory.

Jeffers, a two-time national champion now in her 32nd year as the head coach of the women’s basketball team at Capital University, is currently ranked second among active Division III coaches in total victories and possesses the fifth-most overall victories among Division III coaches, all-time. With the Crusaders’ 57-53 win over Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) on Nov. 27, 2017, Jeffers surpassed Rene Portland (Saint Joseph’s 1977-78, Colorado 1979-80, Penn St. 1981-2007) to become the 27th all-time winningest women’s basketball coach. She is now seven wins away from entering the top 25 in that category.

It has taken Jeffers just 943 games to hit 700 wins, making her the 14th-fastest to reach this milestone among women’s basketball coaches across all three divisions.

“I am so proud of my kids’ performance on the road tonight,” said an excited Coach Jeffers. “The milestone win is a privilege for me to have done it with this group of young people as well as my amazing staff!”

Jeffers began her collegiate head coaching career in 1983 at the University of Rio Grande (NAIA) where she accumulated a 52-21 overall record. She was hired to lead the Crusaders in 1986 and in her first season led Cap to a 21-5 overall record, an OAC regular season and tournament championship, and NCAA Tournament appearance. In her time she and her teams have won two national titles (1993-94, 1994-95), have one national runner-up finish (1992-93), one NCAA third-place finish (1996-97), 10 OAC regular season championships, and nine OAC tournament championships.

On Jan. 31, 2015, Coach Jeffers became the Ohio Athletic Conference’s all-time wins leader among all OAC coaches. She defeated the University of Mount Union, on the road, 79-69, to achieve career win number 654 that evening. – link to story


100th career win – Jan. 31, 1989 vs. Wooster, 87-64

200th career win – March 6, 1993 vs. Wittenberg, 93-50 (NCAA Tournament game, NCAA runners-up)

300th career win – Jan. 14, 1997 at John Carroll, 76-45 (NCAA third place finish)

400th career win – Jan. 31, 2001 vs. Marietta, 69-45

500th career win – Nov. 25, 2006 at Wittenberg, 72-64

600th career win – Jan. 2, 2012 at Ohio Wesleyan, 67-56

700th career win – Jan. 10, 2018 at Heidelberg, 69-53



PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Ryan Gasser, sports information director; courtesy Capital Athletics





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