ShareThis Page

New Pitt coach to be in area

| Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cleaning out the notebook:

• In recent years, the Mon Valley Panther Club Chapter didn't have any luck when it came to getting Pitt football coach Dave Wannstedt to att-end its annual sports banquet.

That may not be a problem with Wannstedt's successor, Todd Graham, at the 28th annual affair. Instead of being held in late April as had been the case, the banquet was moved back to May 18 at The Willow Room in Rostraver to accommodate Graham.

While Graham will be making his debut in the Mid-Mon Valley next month, Pitt basketball coach Jamie Dixon won't be able to attend.

Dixon, however, will be on hand for the chapter's annual golf outing, scheduled May 13 at Champion Lakes in Ligonier. The golf course is owned by former Pittsburgh Pirates great Dick Groat, who has been doing Pitt basketball broadcasts with Bill Hillgrove for 32 years.

• Don't be surprised if you see Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton at some California University football games next season.

No, Retton, who at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles became the first female gymnast from outside Eastern Europe to win the Olympic all-around title, isn't connected with the university.

Her husband, Shannon Kelley, is. A former real estate developer from Houston, Texas, Kelley is California's newest athletic fundraiser.

Kelley has a football background. He was a quarterback at the University of Texas from 1984-89. He was on the 1987 Texas team that beat Pitt, 32-27, in the Bluebonnet Bowl at The Astrodome in Houston.

The '87 Panthers, coached by Mike Gottfried, featured Craig Heyward at running back and Darnell Dickerson at quarterback.

The last two years Kelley doubled as the Fairmont State quarterbacks coach and director of the Fairmont State Athletic Association.

The Kelleys reside in Fairmont with four daughters: Shayla (16), McKenna (14), Skyla (11) and Emma (9).

• Two former California University teammates, Gary Butler and Kirby Griffin, will be going against each other in tonight's televised Arena Football League game between the Pittsburgh Power and Jacksonville Sharks.

Butler, a linebacker, is one of the team's top tacklers with 18, including 14 for losses. Kirby is the Sharks' fullback and leading rusher; he also plays linebacker on defense.

There would have been three Vulcans in the game if Power starting quarterback Kevin McCabe hadn't landed on the injured reserve list with a partially herniated disc.

• Sorry to hear that Lawrence Skurcenski, who's better known as "Deuce" to high school coaches, athletes and fans, suffered a stroke earlier this week and will be sidelined for the summer. No one has been to more high school football and basketball games over the last 50 years than the 69-year-old Skurcenski.

• And thanks to Jim Stump, of Rostraver Township, who says your hometown is where they can't figure out how you did so well!

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.