The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

June 7, 2008

COLUMN: Tranghese won’t forget Georgia night

MORGANTOWN — He was, by his own admission, an unlikely candidate for greatness.

“A little Italian kid from Springfield, Mass.,” is the term he used to describe himself.

He was too small to make the team, so he became the trainer.

A humble beginning for Mike Tranghese, who now says his future brought him to the point where “I walked with kings.”

He talks not of Louis XIV, Henry VIII or Kong, all great in their own way.

No, he talks of Louie Carnesecca and John Thompson and Jim Boeheim and Jim Calhoun, kings in the sport of college basketball.

But there was no king present that night in Atlanta when he walked home from the Georgia Dome, his greatest moment now complete and requiring lonely contemplation.

What better time to recall that contemplation for a man who was the first hire of the Big East Conference and its second commissioner on the day he announced that he would be leaving the job on June 30, 2009.

West Virginia had just completed the resurrection of his football league, defeating Georgia of the Southeastern Conference in the Sugar Bowl, giving his conference that had been savaged and left for dead by the Atlantic Coast Conference, who snuck off in the night with its three top football members — Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College.

You ask him his greatest achievement and it comes back to the way he handled that crisis, coming at the time when he first was considering retiring.

“I’d been thinking about it,” Tranghese admitted. “I thought about leaving four or five years ago. That’s when we went through losing schools, but I wasn’t about to leave at that point. I wanted to leave when I felt the conference was in good shape.”

He wasn’t the only one thinking of leaving. The remaining schools like West Virginia, Syracuse and Pittsburgh were facing unsure futures.

Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: NCAA football is thriving in the digital age

    The other day Baylor football coach Art Briles walked into his graduate assistants’ office and had to laugh at what he saw.
    “There’s five guys sitting in there — a couple of GA’s and some office personnel — and they all are within a foot and a half of each other and not a one of them is talking to each other,” Briles said, describing the scene “Every one of them is on the phone.”

    April 24, 2014

  • O’Brien leads WVU baseball past Marshall

    Catcher Cam O’Brien made a bid at becoming only the second West Virginia University player to hit for the cycle as the Mountaineers jumped on Marshall early and routed their in-state rival, 10-3, behind strong pitching from Corey Walter and a pair of relievers.

    April 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- WVU faithful again have a reason to root against Vick

    It would be one final indignation, that’s what it would be if Michael Vick were to beat out Geno Smith and win the starting quarterback job with the New York Jets.

    April 23, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Luck open to WVU fans’ suggestions

    West Virginia’s fans have spoken, perhaps not verbally but nonetheless have had their voices heard, over the past few years as attendance has fallen at the Mountaineers’ football and basketball games.

    April 22, 2014

  • Mountaineers ready for slate of rivalry games

    Looking to put together a late-season run to get into the NCAA championships, West Virginia faces a pair of midweek rivalry games in a crucial five-game week coming off winning two of three games at Oklahoma.

    April 22, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Summer, Alabama will be used to get WVU’s mind right

    The ink had barely dried on the final reports out of West Virginia’s spring practice when thoughts turned forward toward the lazy, hazy days of late summer, days that will bring us into football season with a game that can either change the entire image of WVU football or sour it even further.

    April 21, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Watson tees off a new century at The Greenbrier

    You knew this was going to be one of those unpredictable, memorable days when you drove into the Greenbrier Resort and headed to the Old White Golf Course and found the best parking place in the joint.
    As Bob Uecker would say, right there in the front rooooow.

    April 20, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules

    At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.

    April 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads