Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What is the dream college Ultimate program?

Yesterday, I gave some preliminary thoughts on my Ultimate playing future on the field. Some great discussion has kept me thinking about my playing options. On the other side of the coin is coaching Ultimate. In this aspect, being at a University is a great opportunity to help work with a program and move into a coaching role.

So first, the University I'll be taking a position at (if everything continues as planned) is Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) in the Computer Engineering department. That being said, tenure track positions demand time, and the goal of tenure will be my first priority.

The Ultimate team at Miami University has their web presence here. So, from my perspective, they appear to be a strong team with a stable program in place. That's both good and bad. Good in that they're successful and keen, but bad in that it's quite possible they're not looking for high-level management. I haven't contacted anyone from the team for a number of reasons given the current time and other details I need to work out.

My dream, however, is to help Miami Ohio build a college program into a dream program in the region. With the resources in the area, it's easy to imagine building a program that includes some of these ideas:

  • Includes an A and B team ... the real goal being A through C.
  • Includes a summer camp for employment and finances.
  • Is recognized team on campus.
  • A scholarship of some sort for team members (maybe as a housing allowance).
  • Academic success for the team.
  • A club team or associated club system in the area to promote year round development.
  • Regional high school involvement for recruiting and improvement.
At first, however, I'll start slow and see if the team is interested. Then from there, hopefully, we can build the dream college Ultimate program.

Any other ideas what would make a great college program based on existing models or your imagination?

Beyond the local University team, my other goals are to impact the region. I would like to help strengthen the Great Lakes Region in college and the Central Region in clubs. How to do that? Well, I'll have to make friends and discuss first. Then maybe some sort of plan will emerge.



Doc said...

Drop me a line sometime ... lakotaultimate (at) yahoo (dot) com. I am heavily involved in the ultimate scene in and around Cincinnati....youth ultimate in particular. I have several former players that play with Miami. I can help you get hooked up with what is going on around here.

The Cruise said...

Somebody else out there might disagree, but Twirly (sandblast TD), Bob Batty and me (re)started that program in the mid 90s from nothing. Pretty much because Oxford is the kind of town that people leave after graduation, so there's not much continuity there once senior leaders graduate. I personally think that's what keeps the top college teams at the top year after year, being in places where the graduating class sticks around in the same town. With someone like you there adding stability year to year, they could greatly improve.
Cincinnati is growing youth ultimate nicely, but that doesn't help you find a competitive team now. It only helps down the road.

As far as masters goes, check the rosters for the Chicago teams, they usually have a few Cinti guys from back in my time on those teams. Masters don't practice, so that's not a problem.

Talk to the ultimate club sponsor, professor Tom Dutton. He's a great guy.

And to the previous commenter, I worked for the firm that designed the Lakota high schools. Those are nice buildings.

Sticks said...

A position at Miami? Minus your excursion across the pond, looks like we've switched spots.

Enjoy Ohio, it's...ummm...different. As for Miami itself, I think I'll withhold my comments on the student population, since I have a couple friends there. *cough* preppy *cough*

Z said...

good to hear, good luck

Doc said...

I would have to agree with Cruise. The biggest problem that Miami has is lack of stability that can come from having a coach or alum around. For example, Miami had a fairly strong team last year (5th in the region), but that was largely due to a very strong senior class. The captains this year are good guys, but don't have the kind of drive that Mastro had last year. In my opinion, the best thing that could happen to Miami ultimate is a coach who could keep the guys feet to the fire....recruiting, conditioning, training etc. There is a lot of potential there. I know the university provides their club programs with free use of school vans (with gas) for trips, which is a HUGE help. Miami is a decent sized school, with a decent high school system nearby and there really isn't all that much to do in Oxford. Seems like a good recipe for a decent ultimate program.

Miami also started a club football team last year and that hurt recruiting in a a big way.

As far as the club scene, it is notably lacking in cincy, which is really inexcusable. Two years ago, Hustle (open) was decent but really only had about 10 dedicated players, which hurt their performance. Steamboat (mixed) has some good players and, in my opinion, underperformed last year. They may have had too many people on their roster....started with 32. Enigma plays out of Dayton and was a new team last year...composed mostly of college players from Oxford, Cincy and Dayton. At the masters level, Age against the machine appears to be moving up to grand masters level....bunch of old guys. They may also play as masters. They really don't practice much. Chico's Bail Bonds didn't play last year due to a number of defections to Real Huck out of Chicago. Both those teams made nationals.

Given that we have 6 area college teams and 500-600 summer league players, it would seem that we should be able to field more area club teams.

Dubs said...

I am a current player at Miami University and will be one of 3 players on Miami's team next year who has more then a rookie season under their belt. This article was passed along to me by Mastro. I would love to talk to you more about this and how we can get some of these things done. My email is StohreNT at MuOhio dot edu. I look forward to hearing from you.

As far as some of the other comments go... we tied for 5th last year in our region and graduated a group of 8 seniors who were the backbone of our team. As a Freshman last year, I learned a great deal from those players, especially Mastro who I remain in contact with. This year is a similar situation in that respect. We have 10 seniors on the team, but are not the squad we were in Spring of 2008. With freshmen this year rushing frats we don't know how many we are going to be able to retain and next year rely, for the second year in a row, on a big recruiting class. I was one of two rookies last year, the other is a senior this year. We have 2 current Juniors and Myself as a Sophomore to lead the team next year.

... and our campus is preppy but the team is everything but.