I know I'm still going to see Earl Schunk in high school gyms.
But now he'll be scouting for D'Youville College instead of coaching.
Schunk was announced today as the Spartans' new coach. He had a great run at Grover Cleveland before doing an excellent job in one year at Tapestry Charter last year.
Schunk's Grover teams were talented and often exciting to watch, including one of the most memorable teams in my 11 seasons covering Western New York high school basketball -- the 2004 team featuring do-it-all big man Ace Narvaez and whiz kid point guard Jairo Hernandez. Last year he had a top player in Dazmon Knight at Tapestry, but he did a great job incorporating a run-and-gun style with a deep bench, helping the Thunderhawks to the Section VI Class C final (where they ended up losing to some of Shunk's former players at the newly named I-Prep at Grover).
Schunk was a example of the many coaches in the city that go beyond the the job in caring for his players, driving them to games to play or to check out other teams in Western New York.
His legacy will also include one of the most entertaining sideline shows I've witnessed. Regardless of how the game was going to go, you always knew you'd be in for some fun thanks to his regular, easy-going, smiling shtick.
He'd have wisecracks for his players, the scorer's table (maybe even a sportswriter or two), the officials, even the opposing coaches.
He got fired up as well, but his overall attitude was a great one for high school sports: teach your players as best you can, compete your butt off, but make sure you're having fun and keeping things in perspective.
I'm sure he'll be doing the same for D'Youville. If you check out a game, be sure to enjoy the sideline show.
taggedBasketball | Grover Cleveland