Homecoming for Scots' Yurcich
It's kind of ironic for Edinboro University offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich that his Scots will be California University's Homecom-ing opp- onent Saturday afternoon at Adamson Stadium.
It wasn't that long ago Yurcich was one of the Vulcans' quarterbacks.
He spent three seasons (1996-98) at Cal after transferring from perennial NCAA Division III power Mount Union College.
Yurcich played for both Kevin Donley and Mike Kolakowski when the Vulcans were a PSAC West patsy with an overall 2-16 record against league opponents and won only eight of 32 games.
Despite Cal's regular poor showings in the 1990s, Yurcich went out a winner.
"The highlight of my days at California was my last game," he smiled.
He was referring to the Vulcans' season finale at Clarion where Yurcich completed 11 of 21 passes for 284 yards and three touchdowns as the Vulcans came from behind to shade the Golden Eagles, 30-28, for Cal's lone conference win in '98.
"My senior year I had been sharing the quarterback job with Shawn McClelland because Mike wanted to go with a running game," he said. "They were building for the future with Wes Cates coming in. "
After graduating from Cal with a bachelor's degree in psychology, Yurcich didn't know what the future held for him.
"I had no idea what I was going to do until I ran into Kevin Donley's son, Pat, at Lagerheads," he recalled. "He told me to call his dad."
The elder Donley was the athletic director and football coach at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Ind. where he started the grid program in 1999.
"Kevin created a position for me and the rest is history," he said.
Yurcich coached four years with Donley where the Cougars went 38-8 and made the NAIA playoffs each season.
He then moved up to the major college ranks at Indiana University in Bloomington where he was graduate assistant for two seasons.
Yurcich, however, was out of a job as were the other Hoosiers aides when Gerry DiNardo was fired.
Yurcich ended up at Edinboro under Lou Tepper, the former Illinois coach and a DiNardo friend.
Yurcich has spent the week looking at film of the Vulcans' defense which is ranked first in the country in a number of categories.
"It's the best defense I've ever seen at the Division II level," he said. "Their ability to defend the run dan pass rush are the strong points. There's no doubt they're the best team we've ever faced."