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University of Akron Zips blog

Some insight into Porten's decision

By mrasor Published: June 23, 2007

Men's golf
The departure of coach Tom Porten to Kent State is still a mystery, even to some of his closest friends.
I spoke with a few people in the know, and nobody knows anything. They could only speculate why the man who turned around Akron's program would bolt to be the assistant of a cross-town rival.
A similar thing happened last season when Donnie Darr went to be an assistant at Oklahoma State, but the Cowboys are a national powerhouse. Akron actually finished higher than the Golden Flashes in the MAC Tournament.
Porten, from what I hear, is an introvert. He enjoys teaching the game, but some of the tasks that go along with being a head coach are cumbersome. But that wouldn't make sense as being the reason, considering he led Cleveland State's program for 14 years and even successfully lobbied for the Vikings' home course to host an NCAA Regional tournament.
Another line of thought is that Porten really wanted to work with Kent State's coach Herb Page, and perhaps he even has inside information Page is nearing retirement. From what I hear, the retirement talk also is false. And if it were true, current KSU women's coach Mike Morrow probably has the leg-up on Porten.
Now that the mystery is swirling in golf circles, rumors are popping up that possibly Akron is not adequately funding its golf team. Take one look at the golf facilities (including the Stile Field House and Firestone Country Club) and tell me that isn't adequate.
The guessing will end on Monday when Porten addresses his players and future recruits. From what I understand, the recruits are all staying but not very pleased. The players have to feel betrayed.
Knowing Mack Rhoades, I'm sure he's diligently finding a replacement. From what I hear, Rhoades is just as perplexed as you and me. One name that has surfaced is Darr, who might be coaxed to return.
It's a real shame the program will take a step back after progressing in one season under Porten. If they can bring back Darr, however, it could be a good thing. I hope to have more about this in the coming week.

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