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(Podcast) 7:20-a.m. Sports, 1/1/14

Podcasts, Sports

January 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

With KJAN News Director Ric Hanson….

Chiefs veterans have been through highs, lows

Sports

January 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — There are only seven players left on the Kansas City Chiefs roster who’ve been with the team since the 2008 season, who have enjoyed scant few highs and unimaginable lows. In that time span, there have been four coaching changes. There’s been two seasons in which the Chiefs went 2-14, matching the franchise mark for futility. There was a murder-suicide that involved a teammate, and a fan revolt that came to symbolize a lost season a year ago.

Yet for Jamaal Charles, Brandon Flowers and the rest of those hardy souls, all of those years of disappointment have been worth it now that Kansas City is back in the playoffs. The Chiefs visit Indianapolis on Saturday searching for their first postseason win since 2003.

Mother of Belcher sues Chiefs for wrongful death

Sports

January 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The mother of former Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the team after exhuming his body so that his brain could be examined. The lawsuit, filed by Cheryl Shepherd in Jackson County circuit court Tuesday, alleges that Belcher was subjected to “repetitive head trauma” and that the Chiefs failed to provide adequate medical care before he killed his girlfriend and then committed suicide last December.

Belcher’s body was exhumed this month at his family’s request so his brain could be studied for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative condition found in some former players. Shepherd is seeking a jury trial and $15,000 in damages.

A spokesman for the Chiefs told The Associated Press that the team was aware of the lawsuit but could not comment on pending litigation.

Governors of Iowa, Louisiana make Outback wager

Sports

January 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal have made a friendly wager over who wins the Outback Bowl. The governors announced Tuesday that food from their respective state may be sent to food banks in both Iowa and Louisiana. The game Wednesday in Tampa, Fla., will help determine if it’s pork or seafood.

If the Iowa Hawkeyes beat the LSU Tigers, Jindal will donate 100 pounds of Louisiana seafood to a food bank in Iowa and another 100 pounds to a food bank in Louisiana. If the Tigers win, Branstad will donate the same amount to the same food banks. Except the food will be pork from Iowa.

The governors say the wager is aimed at helping the hungry in both states. Coverage of the Outback Bowl begins today at 10-a.m., on KJAN.

No. 13 Iowa State beats Northern Illinois 99-63

Sports

January 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State capped one of the saddest days in program history with a reminder of why its future looks so bright. DeAndre Kane had 16 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds and No. 13 Iowa State blew past Northern Illinois 99-63 on Tuesday night for its 12th straight win. Melvin Ejim and Naz Long both had a team-high 17 points for the Cyclones (12-0), who rolled past the Huskies just hours after learning of the death of longtime former coach Johnny Orr. Orr, who was 86, spent 29 years as a Division I coach, with current Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg among his many star players. Orr won a school-record 218 games at Iowa State from 1980-94.

“This has been as hard a day as I’ve had in coaching. I talked to our guys just about what Johnny meant to the entire community, to the state, to college basketball in general,” Hoiberg said. “I told (the team), ‘Guys, I’m going to need you. This is going to be a rough one for me to get through.’ And they did that for us, and they did that for him.”

Dontel Highsmith had 19 points for Northern Illinois, (5-6), which had its two-game winning streak snapped. Tuesday night’s matchup against the lowly Huskies was supposed to be a coronation of the best non-conference run in recent memory for Iowa State. It instead became a side note to a celebration of Orr’s career.

The Cyclones shined a single spotlight on the banner honoring Orr in the rafters. Their players entered the arena in T-shirts emblazoned with “JO” on their shoulders, and fans left flowers at the foot of a statue of Orr inside the Hilton Coliseum concourse. A capacity crowd — which was nearly unheard of in Ames before Orr breathed life into a once-dormant program in the early 1980s — stood for a video tribute and a moment of silence before tipoff. Orr is also the winningest coach in Michigan history, winning 209 games in Ann Arbor before leaving for Ames. Orr’s last trip to Hilton Coliseum came last month, when he was introduced to a standing ovation before Iowa State’s game against Michigan.

No. 22 Iowa beats Nebraska 67-57

Sports

January 1st, 2014 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa looked shaky at times but Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery will take the win. Devyn Marble had 15 points and eight rebounds and No. 22 Iowa opened its Big Ten season with a win for the first time since 2006 with a 67-57 victory over Nebraska on Tuesday night. Aaron White scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half for the Hawkeyes (12-2, 1-0), who led by as many as 20 points in the second half. For McCaffery, the late struggle doesn’t matter. Iowa preserved the win and he knows the Big Ten gauntlet continues on Sunday with No. 4 Wisconsin.

Terran Petteway had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Nebraska (8-5, 0-1), which shot a season-low 29.9 percent from the field as it lost its 14th straight game to a ranked opponent.

Freshman QB leads LSU into Outback against Iowa

Sports

December 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — No. 14 LSU has no qualms about Anthony Jennings making his first college start against Iowa in the Outback Bowl. The true freshman quarterback came off the bench to lead a 99-yard drive in the closing minutes of the Tigers’ regular season finale to beat Arkansas, so LSU coach Les Miles feels his offense will be in good hands against the Hawkeyes on Wednesday.

Miles says poise is one of Jennings’ strongest assets, which is one of the reasons LSU didn’t blink when senior Zach Mettenberger, who’s thrown for nearly 5,800 yards in his career, injured his knee with his team trailing 27-24 and seemingly running out of time against Arkansas.

ISU Legend Johnny Orr Dies at Age 86

Sports

December 31st, 2013 by Jim Field

Orr-colormugAMES, Iowa – Johnny Orr, the man credited with resurrecting a once-dormant Iowa State men’s basketball program and energizing an entire fan base, passed away today. He was 86 years old.

Orr was one of the nation’s most successful basketball coaches during his 29-year head coaching career (1964-66, 1969-94). He compiled a 466-346 career coaching mark and led 10 teams to NCAA Championship berths while at Massachusetts, Michigan and Iowa State.

“He was my hero,” said Iowa State head basketball coach Fred Hoiberg, who played three years for Orr. “As a kid, just to see him walk out of that tunnel was what you waited for on game nights. Just to see his enthusiasm and passion. He was a father figure to so many of us. He impacted so many lives and made all of us better people. Not only was he a great basketball coach, he was even a better person.”

Orr inherited a downtrodden Iowa State program that had produced losing seasons in five of the last six years prior to his arrival in 1980-81. He spent 14 years roaming the sidelines at Hilton Coliseum, making steady improvement and leading the Cyclones to a school-record six NCAA Championship appearances and five 20-win seasons. Orr retired in 1994 as Iowa State’s all-time winningest coach with a 218-200 record.

Orr was a winner at Iowa State, but his legacy in Ames was achieved by more than wins and losses. The ever-popular Orr was the perfect coach at the perfect time for Iowa State. His exciting, up-tempo style of play – combined with his infectious personality – created a tidal wave of excitement throughout the state of Iowa.

An Iowa State game in Hilton Coliseum became the hottest ticket in the state, as Orr’s teams steamrolled over their opponents for a 76.7 percent winning percentage at home.

Fans came in droves to watch the Cyclones. Iowa State averaged 6,470 fans the year before Orr arrived. Six years later (1985-86), Hilton Coliseum swelled to 14,024 fans per game, selling out all 13 home games. The top eight single-season attendance marks in school history occurred in the Orr era.

Hilton Coliseum erupted when Orr made his entrance fist-pumping to the “Tonight Show” theme. It usually spelled doom to the opposing team, even if the Cyclones weren’t the favorites. Orr’s Cyclones defeated top-25 opponents 20 times at home and he owns 12 of Iowa State’s 29 all-time victories vs. top-10 opponents.

Iowa State’s home-court dominance in sold-out Hilton Coliseum under Orr created a frenzied atmosphere that was second to none. The local and national media picked up on it, and soon the term “Hilton Magic” was created when Des Moines Register writer Buck Turnbull used it in one of his stories after another huge Cyclone victory at home. The moniker still is prevalent today.

Orr’s 1983-84 team turned the corner with a National Invitation Tournament (NIT) appearance, followed by an NCAA Championship berth in 1985, Iowa State’s first NCAA bid in 41 years.

The 1985-86 Cyclone squad was possibly his best. Led by future NBA all-star Jeff Hornacek and Iowa State’s all-time leading scorer Jeff Grayer, the Cyclones finished with a then-school-record 22 wins and placed second in the Big Eight Conference at 9-5. After securing its second-straight NCAA berth, the Cyclones advanced to the Sweet Sixteen with a victory over No. 2 seed Michigan, Orr’s former school.

The win over the fifth-ranked Wolverines was, “the greatest of my career” Orr beamed afterwards and cemented his already enormous popularity among the Iowa State faithful.

Orr’s Cyclone teams would later make NCAA appearances in 1988, 1989, 1992 and 1993 and annually ranked in the top 25 nationally in scoring. Iowa State averaged over 80 points per season six times in the Orr era, including a school-record 90.2 ppg in 1987-88, which ranked ninth nationally. The top four scorers in Iowa State history were coached by Orr (Grayer, Barry Stevens, Hoiberg, Victor Alexander).

Orr coached six Cyclones who earned first-team all-Big Eight honors 10 times. He mentored a total of six Cyclones who went on to a career in the NBA (Grayer, Hornacek, Stevens, Alexander, Hoiberg, Loren Meyer). Grayer was an All-American and is the only Cyclone men’s hoopster to compete on a United States Olympic Basketball team, earning a Bronze Medal at the 1988 Olympics.

A native of Taylorville, Ill., Orr graduated from Beloit (Wisconsin) College in 1949, where he was a two-time All-American in basketball. He coached at the high school level throughout the 1950s, including a stop at Dubuque (Iowa) Senior High School from 1951-59.

His first move into collegiate coaching was as an assistant at Wisconsin for four seasons. Orr became a collegiate head coach in 1963, when he was handed the reins at Massachusetts for three seasons.

After UMass, Orr assisted Dave Strack at Michigan for one season before taking over head coaching duties at Michigan prior to the 1968-69 season.

Orr led the Wolverines to four NCAA Championship appearances in 12 seasons, amassing a school-record 209 victories. He is one of the few coaches to be the all-time leader in career wins at two high-major schools.

Orr’s Michigan squads finished second in the Big Ten Conference three times and captured the 1977 Big Ten title. In 1976, Michigan advanced to the NCAA Championship title game, falling to Indiana in the national final. He was named National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) National Coach of the Year in 1976 and was Big Ten Coach of the Year twice (1974, 1977).

Throughout his 29-year head coaching career, Orr tutored 18 players who were drafted by the NBA.

Orr remained an active supporter of Iowa State after his retirement in 1994. His immense popularity among Cyclone fans never waned, either. Orr always was the life of the party at Cyclone outings, pep rallies and reunions. He had a special ability to make people laugh.

Orr was inducted into the Iowa State Letterwinners Club Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2011, the Iowa State Athletics Department opened a large sports bar-themed gathering area in the east concourse of Hilton Coliseum, naming it “Johnny’s” as a tribute to the coaching legend.

Outside the entrance of “Johnny’s”, a larger-than-life statue of Orr with his trademark fist-pump is permanently on display, along with memorabilia of his coaching tenure at Iowa State. His legacy is preserved for future generations of Cyclone fans.

Orr is survived by his wife, Romie, and three daughters; Jennifer, Leslie and Rebecca. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Robin, who passed away in 2010. The Orrs have five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

8AM Sportscast 12-31-2013

Podcasts, Sports

December 31st, 2013 by Chris Parks

w/ Jim Field

Iowa State lands McKay

Sports

December 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Standout junior college forward Jameel McKay has committed to Iowa State. McKay, a 6-foot-8 forward, spent two seasons at Indian Hills Community College in Iowa. He was a two-time, first-team NJCAA All-American who averaged 16.8 points last season.

McKay committed to Marquette in his native Milwaukee, but he quit the team before playing in a game this season. McKay signed his admission acceptance letter Monday at Iowa State. He’ll be eligible to play 1½ years for the Cyclones starting on Dec. 20, 2014.