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Ferris State hired Smith with Michigan State blueprint dreams

Ferris State hired Smith with Michigan State blueprint dreams

The Michigan State Mafia was an affectionate term for the number of assistants Biggie Munn and Duffy Daugherty placed in jobs around the country in their time as Spartans head coaches – Munn from 1947 to 1953 and Daugherty 1954 to 1972. Men such as Earle Edwards were named the...

Duffy called QB option for final upset of Ohio State in 1972

Duffy called QB option for final upset of Ohio State in 1972

Forty-plus years later it’s a moment Michigan State’s 1972 football team can celebrate despite an otherwise underachieving season that turned out to be their College Hall of Fame coach’s final season. The Spartans finished with a 5-5-1 record, but when the record had slipped to...

Elsworth shares his moment with Thornhill family

Elsworth shares his moment with Thornhill family

In this age of social media you would think Kyler Elsworth and Nay Thornhill would have talked by now. Elsworth is the Michigan State’s Rose Bowl Defensive MVP from the 2013 the New Year’s Day win over Stanford in Pasadena. Nay is the younger brother of the late Charlie “Mad...

MSU and UNC enlightened South 50 years ago

MSU and UNC enlightened South 50 years ago

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”    ...

Duffy steered unlikely Akers Raye pairing at Wyoming

Duffy steered unlikely Akers Raye pairing at Wyoming

Some of the highest praise in the coaching profession for Jimmy Raye is offered by former Texas coach Fred Akers, an unlikely source considering their backgrounds. They grew up on opposite sides of segregation as athletes and later as young coaches, but their paths did cross in...

Man of Sparta blazed trail for Polynesian football players

Man of Sparta blazed trail for Polynesian football players

My interview began with a question for Bob Apisa following news he was named a finalist for the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame’s second class. The inductees will be announced on Oct. 8 and enshrined on Jan. 24 in Hawaii during the NFL’s Pro Bowl weekend. Apisa was the first...

Michigan State homecoming for Hawaiian Pipeline father and son

Michigan State homecoming for Hawaiian Pipeline father and son

Tim Kamana grew up donning the green-and-white of his father’s alma mater on fall Saturdays as they watched Michigan State football from paradise five time zones away. He could only imagine as a kid who lived in Hawaii the emotions of running out of the Spartan Stadium...

Football newcomer Johnson climbs learning curve at Army

Football newcomer Johnson climbs learning curve at Army

Among the issues battering the NFL Shield in recent days and years have been safety concerns surrounding concussions and other injuries that have debilitated former players at an early age. The league and groups such as USA Football have responded by implementing education and...

SDSU Super fan with nations longest streak visits Kenan

SDSU Super fan with nations longest streak visits Kenan

San Diego State brings to North Carolina’s ACC college football atmosphere Saturday afternoon at Kenan Stadium more than a West Coast flavor. The Aztecs have reserved a seat – as they have every game dating to 1964 -- for their Super Fan, Tom Ables. Their 88-year-old alumnus has...

Michigan State QB Cook learns and reads like a pro

Michigan State QB Cook learns and reads like a pro

Quarterbacks who annually migrate to the San Diego in the winter and spring to work with renowned guru George Whitfield often are those from college spread offenses. They need instruction to adapt pro-style skills they can demonstrate to NFL scouts. Whitfield’s...