SPORTS COMMENTARY

Scheier truly interesting choice for BG

12/15/2013
BY DAVE HACKENBERG
BLADE SPORTS COLUMNIST

A few days back, within hours of being named interim head football coach at Bowling Green, Adam Scheier and one of his young daughters walked through the Stroh Center before a BGSU basketball game. Countless people waved, said hello, offered a hand in greeting, or nodded at Scheier.

“Daddy,” said 8-year-old Maddie, with a touch of wide-eyed awe in her voice, “everybody knows you.”

Scheier chuckled and said, “It’s OK honey. It’s still just me, dad.”

Truthfully, it’s never been “just” Adam Scheier. After all, with apologies, or perhaps gratitude, to Dos Equis, he is the most interesting man in the world.

At least that’s what former BG assistant coach Sean Spencer, now at Vanderbilt, dubbed Scheier a few years back.

That may have stemmed from his two Ivy League degrees. Or, perhaps, his penchant for writing poetry. Or his talent as an artist.

Or, just maybe, it’s the veterinarian wife, the four young kids and the 18 pets in the house.

That’s right; 18. It used to be 19, but a one-eyed hamster named BooBoo Gates moved on to that big cage in the sky recently.

“I was bummed,” said the human BooBoo Gates, the Falcons’ two-time All-MAC safety.

“Most all are named for players I’ve coached,” said Scheier, who until his promotion was special teams coordinator and tight ends coach. “We have a kitten named Ronnie Moore [after a BG receiver] and my son just got a chameleon for his birthday he named Travis Greene for our running back.

“I tell our players that being named all-league is one thing, but you haven’t really made it until you’ve had a pet in the Scheier house named for you.”

Scheier might even welcome a reality TV show into his home.

“It might not last past the second episode, but I bet there would be some laughs,” he said.

It’s a safe bet. Scheier is, by his own description, “cut from a little different cloth.”

He first met his wife, Erica, when both were at Dartmouth, back when he said “I wasn’t boyfriend material.” But it worked out over time, numerous stops and multiple degrees for both, and now they have the family thing down pat. He says that to do what he does for a living and have a healthy home life is “impossible without a strong, supportive woman, although this one probably knows too much about football.”

Daughters Callie, Riley, and Maddie are into basketball and/‚Äčor dance. And son Brady?

“He’s at home with four women and 18 animals,” Scheier said. “He’s pretty much crazy.”

Like father, like son?

“He’s a good guy and a great coach,” Gates said of Scheier. “He fits the bill for us and he has stepped right in. He’s very aggressive and we have a lot of respect for him.”

So, too, did athletic director Chris Kingston, who selected Scheier over fellow coordinators Warren Ruggiero (offense) and Mike Elko (defense), both of whom have moved on to Wake Forest with former head coach Dave Clawson, although both will return to help coach against Pitt in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.

“I was a little surprised, I guess,” Scheier said. “The staff dynamic was such that [Kingston] could have gone in a different direction. But I certainly feel capable and that I deserve the opportunity. Coach Clawson’s blueprint has certainly proved effective and it’s what we’ll stick to for the bowl game.

“The difference, I guess, is that I’m different. I think I got the job because of who I am. It’s not the X’s and O’s or the success of my position players. I think it’s just a matter of being genuine and being able to connect with and motivate the student-athletes.”

At a luncheon in Detroit on Friday, Scheier met and sat next to former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr, a member of the bowl game’s board of directors.

“We have something in common,” Carr said. “We were both interim coaches. Adam will bring great enthusiasm and excitement to the game because he has a chance to be a head coach and that’s what we all aspire to.”

It turned into a pretty good full-time gig for Carr at UM and Scheier would be lying if he said he wouldn’t embrace the same chance at BG.

“I have aspirations,” Scheier said, “and this opportunity will be an invaluable experience whether it translates to something fairly immediately or down the road.

“Right now, it isn’t about me. It’s about our players. I’m just the glue to keep it together for them. The team is what’s special to all of us on the staff.

“At the same time, I know that the experiences are not mutually exclusive. How I carry myself, how I prepare the team, how we play, it might all have some effect at my chances. So we’ll see. [The interim tag] doesn’t make it my program. But I would welcome the opportunity to put my stamp on it.”

In the meantime, bring on a national coaching search. The most interesting man in the world isn’t afraid of a little competition.

Contact Blade sports columnist Dave Hackenberg at: dhack@theblade.com or 419-724-6398.