Coach Jodi Kest hired an assistant with local roots this week.
Bob Bolden will join the Zips staff immediately.
Bolden was head coach at Arkansas-Monticello, where he was 30-27 in two seasons. He played at Walsh University.
Bolden also worked under Kest at Gannon University in Erie, Pa.
I know this isn't a message board, but I really like the following discussions...
- Who will be better in 2006: Akron or Northern Illinois?
- Should the Zips want to move from the MAC? And if so, where?
My answers are...
- Akron. As The_VP wrote in my comments section, Akron gave up 270 yards on the ground to Garrett Wolfe and still won last year. I think that really says it all. Someone mentioned we lost Domenik Hixon, but they lost top receiver Sam Hurd, who has a shot to make the Cowboys this summer.
- I have a tremendous amount of respect for NIU coach Joe Novak. He is one of the very few coaches in the country I can think of who would call the opposing school's student newspaper back for an interview right after practice, three days before the game. (USC's Pete Carroll is another.)
- Anyhow, I have watched NIU play live three times in the past two years and I give the slight edge to the Zips. Despite that, Akron and NIU will be the best two teams in the league and both should be glad they won't face each other until the MAC Championship, if they make it that far.
- As for the second question - yes. Big East preferrably. That is unlikely, however. If the Big East won't take us, Conference USA might.
- Don't get me wrong. I love the MAC. But we can't always assume it will be here, especially in its present form. Once Bowling Green, Toledo and/or Miami bolt, the league will be much weaker and less exciting than it is now.
- From what I have heard, the Big East is in for a shake-up. The football-playing teams are likely to find or create their own league. This new conference might call on Memphis or Central Florida to join. Once that happens, Akron and those other MAC schools are in position to move into Conference USA.
Speaking of our beloved MAC, it named seven Zips to the all-conference academic team this week.
They are Randall Hafner, David Pykare, Matt Yankie, Lisa Ravn, Brandi Schoeppner, Jenna Strouse and Morgan Sulzener. Other nominees include Gina DiAntonio, Jennifer Peck and Rachel Zubricky.
Twenty-one Zips will compete in this weekends NCAA Regional Championships in Knoxville, Tenn. Hopefully we can send several to the NCAA Championships in Sacramento two weeks later.