Monday, January 29, 2007

Meadville in Da House; Steelers hire Fichtner as new WR coach

Remember during the cheesy rock movie Rock Star with Mark Wahlberg, when Wahlberg's character "Izzy" gets the gig with Steel Dragon and is holding their press conference ??

Then they go back to his old bandmates in the 'Burgh and his buddy simply says, "Holy Shit !".

Well, I have to admit, that was me this afternoon.

I checked my regular sites after getting home from work today, and I came upon KDKA's story about the Steelers finishing up with their assistant coach hires.

And it was there when I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Steelers have hired Randy Fichtner as their new wide receivers coach.

The reason for the "holy shit", you may ask ??

Well, you see, Randy is a friend of mine, we both graduated from Meadville H.S. in '82. We were also teammates on several baseball teams before we went our separate ways, him to Purdue on a full ride and me to the Navy on a full ride.

Go ahead, Google it.

WANNABE BUDDY OF A PRO FOOTBALL COACH DISCLAIMER: Let me admit right now, I have not spoken to Randy probably since I left town in '83. So it's not like I have his cell number or something like that. It's not like I have visions of 50 yard line tickets for life.

But you have to admit, this is some cool shit.

Stan reported it briefly on Sportsbeat tonight, only mentioning that this will be Randy's 1st pro coaching job.

OK, noted.

But it's not like this is his 1st rodeo.

Randy was an outstanding athlete, certainly the best one that my sorry ass had the pleasure to be around. He earned the scholarship to Purdue, even though his dad Russ went there (as well as playing for the Browns in the '60's). His college career was just starting to blossom, but he had to hang up his cleats after a couple of years due to back problems.

His coaching jobs that I've found are as follows: Fichtner, 43, spent the last six seasons (2001-06) as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at the Memphis, where he had also previously coached from 1990-93. Prior to joining Memphis for the second time, Fichtner was the offensive coordinator at Arkansas State (1997-00) and the wide receivers coach at his alma mater Purdue (1994-96). He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Purdue (1985-86) and Michigan (1986-87), before joining Southern California as a volunteer coach in 1988. In 1989, Fichtner earned his first full-time coaching position when he coached tight ends at UNLV.

But it's the Arkansas State job that's the key right now, 'cause it was there that he coached with, you guessed it, one Mike Tomlin. According to this Memphis online site, "Tiger offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner also worked with Tomlin at Arkansas State during the same period and played a role in getting Tomlin on the Indians staff after he'd served a brief stint at UT-Martin".

Nice to see that Mike's rewarding those that helped him along the way.

Anyway, congrats to Randy and his family.

1 comment:

Cory said...

Great post, Tony. Friends in high places, eh?

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