BOWLING GREEN - On the eve of one of her team's biggest games of the year, Bowling Green State University women's basketball coach Dee Knoblauch had a lot on her mind. The Falcons (11-17) hoped to put a positive ending on an up and down season with a first-round win on the road Saturday at Western Michigan - a win that would put them in Mid-American Conference Tournament quarterfinals at the Gund Arena.
But on her way to catch the team bus to Kalamazoo Friday evening, Knoblauch was involved in an automobile accident that gave her a pretty good scare, and a lot more to think about. A car with two young men in it failed to stop at a stop sign and hit Knoblauch's vehicle on a country road north of Bowling Green. Both cars were totaled and ended up in an adjacent corn field.
Knoblauch was shaken but not seriously injured after her vehicle did at least two 360-degree spins. The airbags deployed and she was able to quickly exit the car and check on the youths, whose vehicle had flipped several times and landed on its top. One of the young men was thrown from the car into a nearby ditch and had to be taken by helicopter to a Toledo hospital.
“I got a pretty good scare, but I was mostly just very worried about those kids,” Knoblauch said. “I wasn't at fault, but it's just an awful feeling to think someone might be seriously injured or even killed in an accident like that. I was so relieved when the police called later that night and told me he was OK.”
Knoblauch stayed home Friday night and joined the team in Kalamazoo on Saturday. The Falcons were 78-75 winners and now face MAC champ Toledo tomorrow in Cleveland.
“Once the game started I was all right, but it was quite a weekend all the way around,” Knoblauch said. “I feel very fortunate to come through an accident that serious and just be a little bit sore, but that's it. You don't forget something like that, but knowing the other persons were going to be OK made it a lot easier to concentrate on winning our tournament game. It was an unusual weekend, but things didn't turn out bad at all in the end.”
Knoblauch, a BGSU grad, is in her third season as coach of the Falcons.