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Report: Wichita State assistant to join Grant’s staff at Dayton

Published: Monday, July 09, 2018 @ 1:04 PM

Coach Donnie Jones of the Central Florida Knights directs play against the Florida Gators November 23, 2012 at Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Coach Donnie Jones of the Central Florida Knights directs play against the Florida Gators November 23, 2012 at Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)(Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Donnie Jones, who worked with Anthony Grant at Marshall and Florida, will join Grant’s staff as an assistant coach with the Dayton Flyers, according to a report by Jeff Goodman on Monday. Dayton has not officially announced the hiring.

Jones would replace James Kane, who left Dayton in June after one season for Iowa State.

Jones and Grant worked together at Marshall on Billy Donovan’s staff in the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons and followed Donovan to Florida when he got the job in Gainesville in 1996. Grant remained at Florida through the 2005-06 season, when the Gators won their first national championship, and Jones stayed on Donovan’s staff for another season as the Gators won their second title.

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» ALUMNI NEWS: Brian Roberts finds a new job in Europe

Dayton assistant coach Darren Hertz was also on Donovan’s staff during the time Grant and Jones were there.

Jones spent last season at Wichita State. The previous year, he worked as a scout for the Los Angeles Clippers.

From 2010-16, Jones was the head coach at Central Florida, compiling a record of 100-88 in six seasons. Central Florida fired Jones in March 2016 after a third-straight 18-loss season.

Prior to coaching at Central Florida, Jones spent three seasons as the head coach at Marshall. He was 55-41.

Jones is a native of Point Pleasant, W.Va. He played basketball at Pikeville College in Kentucky and was inducted into the Pikeville Hall of Fame in 2004. He finished second in the NAIA in assists as a senior with 10.7 per game.

Jones started his coaching career as an assistant coach at Pikeville for two seasons and then spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Marshall (1990-96).

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BREAKING: Area high school football heavyweights to face off in Week 3

Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 12:54 PM
Updated: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 1:31 PM

Centerville’s Jon Overstreet (with ball) tucks behind Elks Michael Hale (33) and Chris Barr during a 24-7 defeat of visiting Alter in 2010. FILE
Ron Alvey
Centerville’s Jon Overstreet (with ball) tucks behind Elks Michael Hale (33) and Chris Barr during a 24-7 defeat of visiting Alter in 2010. FILE(Ron Alvey)

Two Canadian high school football teams scuttled plans to play here in Week 3 of this coming season. That’s not a bad thing, because Alter and Centerville have agreed to meet in a rare showdown instead.

Centerville athletic director Rob Dement confirmed on Wednesday the non-league game will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, at Centerville. They last met in 2010, with host Centerville winning 24-7 also in Week 3.

The Knights and Elks were to have played a Week 3 doubleheader against the Canadian teams at Centerville. Alter was matched against London South Collegiate Institute of Ontario, Canada and Centerville was to have played Oakridge Secondary School, a government-operated high school also at London, Ontario.

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“It’ll certainly be a fun week for everyone,” said Centerville coach Brent Ullery, who was returning from Georgetown University in Kentucky where the Elks held their summer camp. “It was going to be an Ohio vs. Canada deal, which would have been fun. Now, it’s Centerville vs. Centerville.”

Although Alter is located in Kettering off East David Road, many of its students reside at Centerville, making this as close to a neighboring rivalry as Alter vs. Fairmont, the Knights’ traditional season opener. The distance between Alter and Centerville high schools is five miles.

Both Alter and Centerville are established powers, but have played just five times. Alter, 9-2 last season, has had unprecedented success under coach Ed Domsitz, who was inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association hall of fame last month. 

The Knights (Division III) will open the season with a streak of 17 straight playoff appearances and 23 overall. Alter won D-IV state championships in 2008-09 and placed runner-up twice, including the 2014 season.

Centerville has been to the big-school playoffs 16 times, including 10 appearances since 2004. That included the 2017 team (10-2), Ullery’s first as head coach.

The 2010 Alter at Centerville game drew a capacity crowd of 8,000-plus. Domsitz was in place at Alter, but Centerville’s head coach was Ron Ullery, Brent’s father. Ron is now an assistant at Springboro.

The Canadian teams shared a letter to the area teams in late June about canceling the trip. School officials cited a “secondary, system-wide professional learning initiative,” that was scheduled the same weekend as the Week 3 games and were “not able to approve excursions that will limit attendance.”

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Lakota West to open football season at home of the Bengals

Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 1:42 PM

            Lakota West quarterback MyJaden Horton (3) hands the ball off to David Afari (4) during their game against Lakota East Friday, Sept. 29 at Lakota West High School in West Chester Township. Lakota East won 35-0. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Lakota West quarterback MyJaden Horton (3) hands the ball off to David Afari (4) during their game against Lakota East Friday, Sept. 29 at Lakota West High School in West Chester Township. Lakota East won 35-0. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The Lakota West Firebirds will open up the high school football season at the home of the Cincinnati Bengals.

The NFL team announced today that Lakota West will meet St. Xavier at 7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 24, at Paul Brown Staidum.

»RELATED: Wadl takes reins of West football program

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The game originally was scheduled for the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium, but had to be moved because of NCAA conflicts.

“What an amazing opportunity for our kids and community. These are the kinds of memories that last a lifetime for kids and their families” said West Athletic Director Scott Kaufman. “We are grateful to the Cincinnati Bengals and Hamilton County for making this possible.”

»RELATED: Top 7 players in West football history

Tickets for the game will be available in advance at each school for $10. Children under 4 will be admitted for free. Tickets will be available on game at PBS for $12.

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Hartman: Should MLB consider split-season division champions?

Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 10:48 AM

2018 Cincinnati Reds: 10 things to know

With the All-Star break ongoing, here’s something to ponder to help pass the time: 

Should Major League Baseball consider first and second half division champions? 

The thought crossed my mind as I wondered what might have been for the 2018 Cincinnati Reds, who lost an astounding 18 of their first 21 games but have recently been one of the best teams in either league

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RELATED: Riggleman’s Reds are persistent and fun

It’s too bad April was so bad nothing that followed could possibly include the Reds really getting back into contention, right? 

Well, maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. 

Since there are minor leagues (including the Midwest League) that have split-season champions, I can’t say this is exactly a novel idea, but that’s a testing ground for lots of changes at the top level. 

It makes more sense for the MWL since rosters tend to change drastically through the course of the season, but there is probably some merit to the idea for MLB as its powers that be look for ways to increase fan interest late in the season. 

RELATED: 3 reasons the Reds can climb out of last place

That said… 

Although I am posing the question, I have to admit my answer would be no. 

I’d rather keep things the way they are. 

I am still a traditionalist, after all. 


As interesting as it might be for a team like the Reds, whose terrible start can partly be attributed to injuries to Scott Schebler and Eugenio Suarez, to get a mulligan, the long season is part of MLB’s identity. 

Triumphing over 162 games is important, and I don’t want that to go away — even though the expansion of the postseason has already drastically changed things not just from the days when the team with the best record in each league played in the World Series but also even 25 years ago when there were no wild cards. 

(Ironically, the 1981 Reds had the best record in the National League but missed the postseason because they did not have the best record in either half of a season that was split because of a work stoppage.) 

Nonetheless, don’t be too shocked if it does happen some day. Or at least if it gets some serious discussion. 


MLB, like every other major sports league in the country, has already shown a willingness to consider and even adopt terrible ideas to drum up business (Like the Big 12 creating a football championship game despite already playing a round-robin schedule. And have you seen how the NHL chooses playoff teams now? Remember when the winner of the All-Star Game got home-field advantage in the World Series?) so just about anything is possible. 

How would it work? 

Good question. 

The regular season would be watered down, but that was already done with the wild cards. 

Perhaps we trade in the wild cards for dual division champions? 

Yes, the team that goes wire-to-wire would get a raw deal, but that already happens. 

(Maybe if a team wins both halves we could try a series in which it only has to win three games while the opponent has to win four or something like that.) 

For baseball, a sport that depends more on strength at the local level than football, it might be a worthwhile trade to keep more localities interested for a longer period of time. 

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Dayton Flyers to open season on a Wednesday

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 11:13 AM

Dayton Flyers interview: Trey Landers

Two more non-conference games for the Dayton Flyers have become known in recent days.

The University of North Florida published its non-conference schedule on its website, and its first game is at Dayton on Wednesday, Nov. 7. That will be the 2018-19 season opener for both teams.

» SCHEDULE NEWS: A look at A-10 pairings

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The first day teams can play is Nov. 6. The NCAA moved up the start date from Friday to Tuesday this season so the teams can play their season openers during the week and not on a busy weekend for football.

“The start of the season had become so compressed with the holidays and exams,” Dan Gavitt, the NCAA’s senior vice president for basketball, told, “that the additional three days allows schools to better schedule the start of the season and it’s the benefit for the student athletes and coaches.”

North Florida finished 14-19 last season and ranked 282nd out of 351 teams in the Pomeroy ratings. It was one of the youngest teams in the country, ranking 331st in experience. It returns 10 of 12 players and its six top scorers.

Dayton beat the Osprey 86-71 at UD Arena on Dec. 5, 2015. That was the first meeting between the programs.

» DAYTON FEATURES: Donnie JonesJosh CunninghamTrey Landers | Ryan Mikesell

Another game that hasn’t been officially announced will be against Presbyterian. Jon Rothstein, of CBS Sports, reported that game last week, though a date was not announced.

Presbyterian, located in Clinton, S.C., finished 11-21 last season and ranked 334th in the Pomeroy ratings. It was a Division II school until 2007. It has not had a winning season since moving to Division I.

Dayton played Presbyterian once before, winning 71-52 at UD Arena on Dec. 19, 2009.

Presbyterian’s football program will join Dayton in the Pioneer Football League in 2021.

Here are the other known non-conference games:

Nov. 21: Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. Possible opponents: Virginia, Middle Tennessee State, Butler, Florida, Oklahoma, Stanford and Wisconsin.

Nov. 22: Battle 4 Atlantis.

Nov. 23: Battle 4 Atlantis.

Nov. 30: Mississippi State at Dayton.

Dec. 8: Dayton at Auburn (reported by Rothstein).

Dec. 16: Dayton vs. Tulsa at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

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