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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Good moves made, more on horizon

Tom King

Here’s a few tids and bits that have gone through this scribe’s mind while tossing and turning at night over Brett Favre’s latest retirement flip-flop ... yeah, right:

 • First, Bishop Guertin High School athletic director Tony Johnson may have hit a home run with the hiring of Scott Painter. Painter has been a fixture around local baseball circles, and his reputation as a coach is excellent.

Painter is also very realistic. He knows the Guertin program is going to take some time to revitalize, and that it will take some time for the players to adjust to him and vice-versa.

His best comment in a recent interview when asked what kind of team he’d like to have: “It’s obviously an interesting question,” he said. “The first year, maybe even the second year, you kind of learn and see what you’ve got.”

Johnson loves coaches with BG connections, be it alums, teachers in the building, etc. But Painter was just too good a candidate to pass up. Great move.

 • Speaking of moves, let’s not go overboard on the Celtics signing Shaquille O’Neal. The guy is 38 and injury prone. If you watched him during the playoffs he could barely get up and down the floor for long stretches at a time. He won’t need to be on the floor that much for the C’s, he does give them depth and six more fouls.

His signing has been compared to that of when the C’s inked Bill Walton back in 1985-86. Walton was much more athletic and useful at that stage in his career than O’Neal is and will be. In fact, we’re surprised he got two years from the C’s, when no one else was really looking to sign him.

That being said – hey, if you’re Danny Ainge, may as well take a chance, nothing to really lose.

 • Good things happen for good people. Former Daniel Webster College head men’s baseketball coach Jeremy Currier, who left a couple of years ago to be an assistant coach at Division II Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, N.C., has just been named head coach at the school. It’s one of the top Division II programs in the country. Currier was a standout scorer at Pinkerton Academy and was statistically the nation’s best 3-point shooter while at Endicott College. Also, during his time at Webster as both a head man – he was the youngest head men’s coach in the country at age 25 – and an assistant, he proved to be a top-notch recruiter. He was ranked as the sixth best recruiter in the country by College Bound Hoops.

And he’s never forgotten his roots.

“I’ve been blessed to have great mentors throughout my life, beginning with my parents, and extending to the many outstanding teachers, coaches and administrators at Pinkerton Academy, Endicott College, Daniel Webster College and now Pfeiffer University,” he said in a prepared statement. “I was fortunate to be taught that hard work pays off, and blessed that so many people invested their time in helping me to reach my goals.”

Think about this: Currier’s ascension, as well as the hiring of former DWC women’s coach Heather Jacobs to the same job at Adelphi, is a testament to the quality of coaches former DWC vice president Phil Rowe (now coaching at Endicott) and athletic director John Griffith have brought on campus the last few years.

Oh, by the way, Currier’s first game as head coach – albeit it’s more of an exhibition – will be against North Carolina State on Nov. 9. Yikes.

 • Keep an eye on the Logan Mankins situation with the New England Patriots. Nothing may happen soon, but the Patriots are mixing and matching and shuffling people around on their offensive line looking for the right combos.

Mankins was that good, he was an anchor at guard. It looks like they’re realizing Nick Kaczur isn’t the answer there, and they may not have a suitable replacement on the current roster. They may have no choice but to work out some kind of a contract with Mankins. Stay tuned.

 • Question: Why, after the team posted one of the best, most dominant seasons in the history of New Hampshire high school football, is there only one Bishop Guertin football player on the Granite State Shrine team?

Answer: A few reasons, mainly just a matter of some of the choices not being able/available to play. Linebacker Nick Phillips was to join fellow former Cardinal Mike Flynn on the team, but he had to leave for his commitment to Coast Guard Academy. Lineman Brett Kana and running back Adam Hall were considered, but according to Cardinals head coach Tony Johnson they, too, had conflicts.

Also, Division II is limited by rule to just eight players on the team.

“It was just an unfortunate situation,” Johnson said. “We definitely could have had two players on the team, but it just didn’t work out that way.”

Tom King can be reached at 594-6468 or tking@nashuatelegraph.com.