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Troubles for Sac State


Well-known member
Aren't we all gald we had people knocking down the doors for our head coaching job? And as for facilities - we need to maintain our support for the University so we don't fall into this kind of trouble!

Lack of new facilities hindering the process

Quwan Spears
Sacramento Bee
24 Dec 2002

Nearly a month after Sacramento State fired football coach John Volek, the university is still looking for a replacement.

It was expected a new coach would be hired by Christmas. But because of the J Street campus' inadequate facilities, the position hasn't been an easy sell to candidates.

As a result, the football program is stuck in idle. Recruiting has been
greatly slowed. Some players have considered transferring.

Assistant coaches wonder if they should take a chance at being hired by the new coach or consider jobs elsewhere.

"I think most of the coaches are frustrated," Sac State offensive
coordinator Bruce Pielstick said. "There is no direction or leadership right
now, making it hard to get things accomplished."

Sac State athletic director Terry Wanless said he hopes to have a new coach by early January. He wouldn't comment on the candidates.

"Unfortunately, our original timetable to have a new coach didn't work out," he said. "However, I'm considering three people at this time. Two are in the NFL, waiting for their seasons to end, and I'm going to interview a coach this week in the Midwest."

The next coach will inherit a talented team, led by All-Big Sky Conference
receiver Fred Amey and honorable mention quarterback Ryan Leadingham.

But he also will take over a program with some of the worst athletic
facilities in the conference.

While a majority of schools in the eight-team Big Sky have substantially
improved their facilities over the last 15 years, Sac State has been slow to
make similar progress.

Because of the facilities, some Hornets assistant coaches believe candidates have balked at the job, including Sac State's top choice, University of North Dakota coach Dale Lennon.

"Facilities are a big deal," Pielstick said. "We've not only lost potential
recruits because of facilities, but I think it's a key factor in us not
having coach at this time. It's not like our facilities are (awful), but
they ain't where they need to be."

Big Sky schools making recent facility improvements include Montana State, Weber State and Montana.

Montana State, this season's co-champion with Montana and Idaho State, spent $12 million in 1998 to build a fieldhouse, administrative offices, equipment room, trainers room and locker room.

Weber State opened a 38,000-square-foot, six-story complex last year. Part of Stewart Stadium, the facility includes a press box, 26 luxury suites and conference rooms for players and coaches. Perennial power Montana built a training facility that doubled the size of its previous weight room.

Eastern Washington and Northern Arizona also have substantial facilities.
Those schools are the NFL training-camp sites of the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals, respectively.

Sac State added a football practice field two years ago. A new weight room was constructed in 1998, though it is small compared to those of other conference schools.

"Since we can't fit all 80-plus players in our weight room, we have to
divide our weight-training sessions into three or four shifts," assistant
coach Angus McClure said.

"That's time-consuming. The NCAA gives us only 20 hours a week to work with our players. I find we're using the time in one area instead of spreading it evenly to do things like film study. And game-planning is sometimes difficult because we don't have enough classrooms to accommodate all of our players at the same time. People don't realize all the hurdles we have to cross here at Sac State."

Although it has just 14 scholarships to fill, Sac State is behind in
recruiting. Normally, the Hornets would have had at least two recruiting
weekends. So far, they've had none.

"The longer we don't have a coach, the harder it is to recruit and get
quality players." Pielstick said. "People don't understand that to get 14
players you have to recruit 28 to 30 guys. There is no guarantee the top
recruits we want will take our offer. Last year, we needed a transfer
defensive lineman. We brought in 12 guys to get one."

Pielstick, McClure and nine other assistant coaches are under contract until
June. They're working with mixed emotions. Most have families and are from the Sacramento area. They say they would like to remain in the area, but there is no guarantee the next coach will retain them.

"I will always be loyal to Sac State and John Volek because I've been here
for eight years" Pielstick said. "But my first loyalty is to my family. I
have to take care of them, and I have to consider other opportunities out
there. I know the other coaches are in the same boat."

The players also are considering their options. Amey set several school
receiving records last season. The wide receiver said he has talked to other schools.

"I'm thinking of sending some tapes out to a few schools, but I'm planning
on staying at Sac State," he said. "I hear a few guys on the team saying
this and that about maybe leaving if this coaching thing doesn't get settled
quickly. But the majority of the guys I've talked to say they plan on being
here next year."
Sounds like a typical Cal State school. I question why they were ever admitted into the Big Sky in the first place. That article doesn't even mention their basketball gym, and that is a notoriously bad facility. I can see Sac State eventually going the way of the Big West like Northridge did. Let's hope so.
Guys, don't believe everything you read and half of what you hear. There is nothing wrong with our football stadium. It was home of two professional teams and the grass is soft. Sure, we don't have the world's greatest facilities, but Quwan Spears is the MOST NEGATIVE writer in the world and constantly bashes Sac State. We broke over $1,000,000 in annual corporate sponsorships recently and we will have a new basketball facility and athletic building that will rival anything in the Big Sky Conference at some point in the future. Comparing us with Northridge is like comparing Boise State with Idaho. Please. Hell haven't some of the most exciting games in Griz stadium been with us the past few years? 1999, 2000 and 2002 were incredible games. I can't believe you wouldn't want us in the Big Sky Conference and don't think most fans feel that way. Maybe you as a fan would prefer to be in a conference by yourself with no other schools.
One last point Volek and his close friends on the staff, such as Pielstick are very, very bitter and angry over being fired. So "stick" would of course, bash us in the local paper. Volek should have fired this guy and his DC 4 years ago and he'd still have a job.
One more thing, I spoke with the AD, Terry Wanless, myself last week to wish him a Merry Christmas. He said his phone is ringing off the hook with awesome head coaching candidates and he is taking his time to make sure he gets it right. He has three leading candidates. Two are current NFL assistant coaches with very strong college backgrounds and the third is a very strong DII head coach. Bring a winner here and better facilities will follow. There is NO TROUBLE AT SAC STATE!
Yes, those were great games in recent years (I would have like to seen the 2002 game without PAMgate), and Sac State was 2nd in the Big Sky in attendence in 2001, but I can't say I've ever been as up for a game against the Hornets as I have for an MSU, ISU, or even a Portland State game. Whenever we play them it always seems like a non-conference game. Maybe I miss the good old days when Idaho and Boise State were still in the league.

Why wouldn't Sac State go to the Big West? The whole conference is almost entirely California schools.

And what about their men's basketball team? Have they ever even been to the Big Sky Tournament?
Big West is a non-football conference. That is what UC Davis is joining, but they will be independent in football. So you feel playing Sac State is like a non-conference game? That is a pathetic, condescending comment. I've met many Griz fans when in Montana, in fact had breakfast with one before the game this year and I've never heard anyone say anything like that. In fact, after the double overtime 1999 game, many fans told us that was the greatest game they had ever seen at Griz stadium. We were stopped at dinner that night, at breakfast and even in the SLC airport the next day by Griz fans wanting to talk with us about the game. I hope we get a great coach because that is all that is standing between us and a Big Sky Championship. We have the athletes to compete, we just haven't had the coaching quality.
Why is it so insulting to you that I say that a game against Sac State seems like a non-conference game? That's a new one. Non-connference games can be good games, believe it or not. And I had never realized that being a Griz fan required me to be in love with CSUS athletics. Care to explain that?

Montana and MSU were against adding them to the Big Sky in the first place. Sacramento is not a regional school and travel is difficult. I'm not opposed to playing them, but there is no great history or rivalry between our schools.
HHD said:
I hope we get a great coach because that is all that is standing between us and a Big Sky Championship.

Ummm. have you forgotten about a certain 2-time National Championship School located in Missoula, Montana? :fist:
Jimus, you aren't required to "love" CSUS schools so I don't have to explain that besides you said it not me. Given the competitive nature of recent UM-CSUS games classifying us as a non-conference foe is a complete insult and shows a lack of respect on your part. My point is that the great majority of Griz fans do not share your opinion. I could care less if you like us or "love" us, but every BSC member should be respectful of the other conference institutions.
djonevers, good point. The road does continue to go through Missoula and this past year through Bozeman and Pocatello. We will see what the future holds. Coaching is huge though...look at Tedford at Cal, Willingham at Notre Dame, Hotz at South Carolina. We have the talent to play with anyone in the BSC. We found ways to lose to St. Marys, UCD, ISU, MSU, and PSU rather than getting beat. I thought we were close against UM, but they executed and beat us in the last 5 minutes of the game.
You're right about those coaches. I just thought i'd give you a little ribbing. In reality, though nobody stays on top forever and who knows in a couple of decades :D er, I mean years, maybe Sac. State will be the team to beat. Bigger miracles have happened, just look at the boobcats this year. :p
Good point. The sun shines on every dog's ass at some point. Just ask the 7-5 Bobcats who scabbed out and grabbed a share of the conference title.

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