About BTiell Sports Reports

Dr. Bonnie Tiell writes a monthly column for the Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Sports Department (http://www.advertiser-tribune.com/). This blog archives each column and dates back to the 2008 Olympic Academic Experience in Beijing, China. Check out the Blog Archives to read more. Check out info about the TU Olympic Academic Experience at http://www.tuolympics.blogspot.com/ and contact Dr. Tiell at btiell@tiffin.edu

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Calvert High School is on their third Athletic Director and has [or had] head coaching vacancies this year in football, girls’ basketball, volleyball, wrestling, golf, and cheerleading. One of the few head coaches remaining is Stewart Behm who led the life-saving team effort when Rush Arbogast’s heart stopped beating a few weeks ago.

Stewart receives relatively the same small stipend he started with as head boys and girls track and cross country coach 15 years ago. He is a proud Heidelberg alum. Just check out the tattoo on his lower right calf. You can also find him in an official’s shirt running the clock for Berg’s home basketball games, just as his father did for 50 years before him. Head over to his house on a Sunday evening in the summer and you might find a handful of runners finishing their workout and cooling down in the family pool. Truly, Stewart Behm is one of the good guys in sport....not just for helping save the life of one of his athletes, but for being a role model, mentor, and inspiration to so many runners in the community.

Another good guy in sports is Jon LeCrone, Commissioner of the Horizon League in Indianapolis. LeCrone was in Salt Lake City following the tiny Butler Bulldogs regional tournament games when I paid a visit to their headquarters a few weeks ago at 201 S. Capitol Avenue. Their board room was temporarily transformed into a “war room” with interns busily sorting final four tickets for Lucas Oil Stadium located three doors down from the League headquarters. How convenient.

Jon is one of the good guys for what he contributes to the NCAA Women’s Leadership Symposium in Intercollegiate athletics [WLS] which has operated through Tiffin University since 2001. Through the years, LeCrone has donated his time, his staff, and over $30,000 to enhance the professional development and growth of women in athletics. In a few weeks, the WLS will be in Tampa, Florida with headline speakers from Major League Baseball, the NCAA, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Florida State University. Jon was responsible for initially implementing the WLS and continues to finance two females from every member institution to attend the event when it is held in the Midwest.

The Big Ten, MAC, GLIAC, SEC, and GLVC Conferences are also financial supporters of the NCAA Women’s Leadership Symposium. Unfortunately, one of the commissioners who opted not to contribute to the WLS in Tampa next month is another John – John Swofford of the ACC. Duke competes in the ACC which just earned the conference at least $6 million from their men’s tournament run. The ACC’s take is at least double that number with appearances from six of its members.

The “good guy” Jon – [LeCrone] is as genuine as anyone I have met. He takes the time to know his staff and share his success. He is personable and charitable. One success he is surely proud of is that of 33-year old Brad Stephens, another good guy who led the Cinderella storied Butler University to the 2010 men’s basketball championship game. Yes, tiny Butler is one of the Horizon League’s ten members. All the Horizon league staffers talk about what a “nice” guy Brad is to his family, players, community, and of course, to his university.

Stephens quit a job at Eli Lilly to volunteer as an assistant to Butler's basketball coach in 2000. He was instituted as Butler’s newest head coach only three years ago. USA-Today reported his base salary at $396,602. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski earns a base of $4,095,909 while West Virginia’s Bobby Huggins earns $1,700,000 and Michigan State’s Tom Izzo rakes in $2,640,000. Those head coaches may be good guys too, but Brad’s personal demeanor, graduation rates (over 90%), and his approach to pit David against Goliath – ALMOST successfully, is what separates him from the pack.

The world of professional sports has plenty of characters who fit the bill as good guys. Consider Alonzo Mourning, an orphan who rose to spectacular NBA fame primarily with the Miami Heat. Mourning annually contributes millions of dollars and donates personal time to aid numerous projects in South Florida. One of his prized charities is the Children’s Home Society which provides services designed to protect children at risk of abuse, neglect or abandonment.

Professional athletes have stepped up to aid relief in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and to help the efforts in Haiti following massive earthquakes this year. It’s too bad that a few sport icons have succumbed to personal indiscretions which have tarnished what once was a very public “good guy” image. Ben Roethlisberger and Tiger Woods immediately come to mind.
Today it is easy to leave Tiger and Ben behind to say “hooray” and usher in a few new names as truly good guys in sports. Thanks for all you do Stewart Behm, Jon LecCone, Brad Stephens, and Alonzo Mourning.

Stay tune next month for more interesting notes and news in the world of sports. Maybe it will be a rendering of the Good “Women” in Sport!

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