Dave's Sports Views

Analysis, humor and opinion on the sports world

Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Props to Eric Mangini

I have to give my congratulations to new Jets coach Eric Mangini. Those of us who went to a NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference) school have to recognize our own. Mangini graduated from Wesleyan University (also Bill Belichick's alma mater) in 1994, where he played nose tackle on the football team. Two years earlier, I graduated from Bowdoin College, where I covered the football team for the school newspaper.

Bowdoin never played Wesleyan during the four years I was there, due to the NESCAC's schedule rotation. So I never saw him play. But it's worth noting that Mangini made the New England Division III all-star team twice and helped lead the Cardinals to 6-2 seasons in 1990 and 1993. Interestingly, he took 1991 off to spend the year studying and coaching football in Australia.

That's what athletics at those schools were all about -- playing for the love of the game while expanding your horizons in the classroom and in life. Most of his teammates and my classmates are successful in medicine, law, business, whatever. Mangini chose to stay in coaching, and today he's reached the pinnacle of that profession. Congratulations!



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