This is probably the easiest interview I have ever conducted. He has
read most of my interviews, so he knows what I like to ask and he is
great at answering the exact question asked. It is safe to say since
we are pretty good friends there is a pretty high comfort level
The picture on the left is from a post-game press conference. The
one in front of the car is from a trip we took down to Nashville to go
to Bethel World Outreach Center. The other three were when I barged
into a planning meeting with Wright State Assistant Coach Will Rey when
they were preparing for the South Florida game. He is probably the
only coach in the country that would let me interrupt him for 15
minutes while I took photos for this story just 24 hours before a big
game. It would probably be more representative to show a picture of
him stealing food off my plate. That is the real Ed Schilling. But he
is so quick and so sneaky that he will never get caught on film in the
act of stealing my food.
So here is a in-depth interview with the man entrusted with the
Wright State Basketball Program.
CigarBoy: As the Raiders work their way through their December
schedule can you give a little scouting report on the Wright State
Schilling: Well I think right now we are trying to figure out
the identity of the team, loosing Cain Doliboa and Jesse Deister, both
to graduation. We are trying to figure out, OK, what do we need to do
to be able to win? How do we need to play in order to win? We have two
players that are probably our go to guys in Vernard Hollins and Seth
Doliboa. I think with those two guys, the offense is going to flow
through them. I think we have other guys that can score, but I think
Vernard and Seth will be the guys that weíll play through to get other
guys shots and things like that. I think defensively we are
predominantly a man-to-man team. I think our defense is significantly
improved over last year. In offense we are really looking to share the
basketball, a lot of motion, a lot of movement. Defensively we are
going to try and get after people and really create stops defensively.
Thatís probably our primary focus right now is to become a consistent
CigarBoy: Whatís this team known for, or will be known for I
guess I should say?
Schilling: I think we play together a lot like the big league
Princeton teams and stuff like that. Hopefully we are going to be a
team that shares the basketball, and weíll be difficult to defend
possession after possession. Weíre going to make you guard us. If you
break down early, well, hopefully we can score early in the shot clock
but weíll also be able to have the patience and consistency together
to be able to grind teams out at the offensive end. Defensively,
hopefully we are going to make every pass and every play difficult. We
are going to be very solid fundamental team on the defensive end.
CigarBoy: Describe for me the Horizon League this year.
Schilling: The Horizon League. Iíve been in the league 6 years.
This is my sixth year now and I think itís going to be by far the best
this league has ever been, top to bottom. I think on any given night,
thereís really no cupcakes. Thereís no easy game, especially among the
top 6 or 7 teams. For example last year, UIC finished sixth in our
league. They go and win the conference tournament and take Oklahoma to
an 8-point game in the NCAA. That was our sixth seed last year!
Theyíve got about everybody back. Milwaukee, who finished third, has
everybody back. Perennially Butler and Detroit are always post-season
tournament type teams. So I think itís one of those seasons that,
going into it, you donít know who the number one team is, or who the
number four team is, or the five team. You could almost put them in a
hat and shake them up. Weíll just have to see how things play out, but
I think itís going to be the most competitive, most exciting Horizon
League in history.
CigarBoy: You played four years, as a starter in the MAC.
Whatís the difference between MAC basketball and Horizon basketball?
Schilling: Probably just the tradition and the name
recognition. I think a lot more people are familiar with the MAC just
because of the name and the schools have been around a long time. Look
at Miami, theyíve been there since 1809. Look at Wright State itís 35
years old. So I think just the ages and the name recognition. One
other thing, the MAC is pretty much made up of smaller towns. You
donít have the major metropolitan media markets in areas that the
Horizon League has. Look at the Horizon League. Youíve got Dayton a
city or metro area of nearly a million people, Detroit, Indianapolis,
Cleveland, two teams in Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay, cities like
that which are major cities. The thing that makes that good is that as
this league continues to improve and gets better name recognition.
Itís going to be a league, I think, that doesnít have a ceiling in
terms of the exposure and how great this league can be. Whereas the
MAC is as good at basketball that theyíve had over the yearsÖ. I
played with Ron Harper, you see the Wally Szerbiakís and guys like
that. The cities are so small that you are never going to quite get
the major recognition that maybe you deserve just because of the size
of the city. Thatís not a limitation for the Horizon League in terms
of future growth.
CigarBoy: Describe for me in a few sentences, whatís your
Schilling: Well, my coaching philosophy is Iím going to try and
make the players I coach the best players, the best people, and the
best students they can possibly be. Iím going to try and impart that
on a daily basis. Must of that in terms of basketball, is teaching
about sacrifice, about dedications, and unselfishness. Those types of
ideas are the ones that are going to make us a successful basketball
teams and in the end, going to help them become successful men that
are going to be ready to be successful in a job, and being prepared to
lead a family. So ultimately thatís what Iím about. Thatís my
philosophy to try and help our players become the best men, the best
students, and the best basketball players they can possibly be. In
terms of Xís and Oís basketball wise, offensively we want to be a team
that really shares the basketball and are difficult to defend. Guys
that are going to take good shots and have some freedom to play but at
the same time, we donít have guys that are going to be selfish. I want
to have an unselfish basketball team. Defensively we are going to be a
team that each possession matters to us. We are going to try and guard
people. Obviously you arenít going to pitch a shut out but we want to
be a team thatís difficult to score against. Sometimes we do that by
mixing up the defensive plans man-to-man then switch it up playing
some junk defensives as well. Pressing some, just every time making
the team have to play well to beat us.
CigarBoy: What is your recruiting philosophy? Do you have a
base? Do you start in Dayton or maybe the area of Ohio/ Indiana and go
out from there?
Schilling: If you were to take a compass on a map and draw
anywhere from a 4 to 5 hour radius, thatís where we are really going
to try and primarily recruit. You are going to get into Indiana,
obviously all of Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky. You take that 4-5 hour
range, and we want to make sure we know every player in that
area/radius given the positions that we need to recruit. Obviously
some years you are going to need one position, the next year you may
not need that position. We are going to recruit that 4-5 hour radius
extremely hard and I think as you look just over the last year or two,
thatís where we are predominately getting our players. Now if you have
the time or we need to go get a Junior College or something thatís
different, but just in terms of straight recruiting, we are looking to
go within a 4-5 hr radius.
CigarBoy: Can you talk about the type of players you recruit
and how you recruit them?
Schilling: The first thing obviously before you can do
anything, they have to have the ability to play and help us win at
this level, in trying to win our league. When I look at a player I
say, is he the type of player that can help us win the Horizon League?
Then if thatís true, we begin to look into their character, as much as
you possibly can given the NCAA rules. So we are going to look and
talk to the coaches and the counselors, talk to anybody we can talk
to. The AAU coach, anybody we can find that can give some insight into
a player's character. Are they going to be the type of young men that
are serious about academics? Are they serious about getting a degree?
Are they coachable? Are they the types of guys who love to play the
game? Those are the basic four things we are going to look at. In
terms of athletically, how does he play? Is he a selfish player? If he
is, then heís probably not going to fit in real well here. If youíve
got a guy that does not want to be coached, and there are a lot of
guys like that out there that now, they just want to play and they
donít really have a desire to be corrected. Well, that playerís not
going to fit in real well. A guy, whose vision of college is coming to
party and do those types of things, is probably not going to fit in.
So what we are really looking for is a guy thatís really interested in
getting his degree. The academics are important to him. Somebody that
loves the game, that wants to become great, that wants to be coached.
When they have those ingredients, then we go after them with
everything we have. We are not giving in on that criteria. Our
recruiting pool is probably a little less than others. We are not
recruiting hundreds of guys. We get fairly narrow on who we are going
after. Eventually, for each position we have, weíll end up offering
3-4 players, per position, that we have a scholarship for. Then
whichever one of those accepts the scholarship first, thatís who we
take. Obviously we are willing to extend a scholarship to somebody
that we believe can come in and help us, at some point during their
career, lead us to a Horizon League championship.
CigarBoy: Who helped you form your coaching philosophy? Howíd
you become the coach you are? What lead you to those philosophies and
how you do things?
Schilling: I think first, probably my dad. He was a college
coach when I was growing up. So I was going and watching him play when
I was real young when he was playing some professional basketball,
industrial league type stuff. Iíd always be tagging along and watched.
Then my dad was a college coach so I would go with him and he would
recruit. He was a NAIA coach back in the day. So I would go with him
to recruit. I remember, as we would sit there, he would quiz me, as
weíd watch. My dad lived in Indianapolis, played at Butler so weíd go
to the Butler games. Heíd say, ďall right they are in a zone, how do
you attack a 2/3 zone?Ē I would say, ďYou want to go with the one
guard, dad.Ē So weíd go through those type things. Then growing up
playing high school basketball, I played for two guys that are both
Indiana High School Hall of Fame Coaches: They both have completely
different styles. One coach really got the most out of his talent.
Really worked on individual improvement, things like that. Where the
other one was a team coach. It was all about a system. An
offensive/defensive system. The players needed to fit the system way.
So it was a great blend for me. Even when I was in college, I knew I
wanted to become a coach when I couldnít play any longer. Each year
Iíd work the Five Star Camp and had an opportunity to coach against
and learn from the best coaches in the game, the John Calipariís, the
Rick Patinoís, to guys like Will Rey and Jerry Wainwright and those
type guys. So those were kind of my mentors coming up as I got into
coaching. Then as a high school coach, I began to transform and shape
my philosophies given my personality. Then obviously working for John
Calipari gave me a completely different look at the game. The biggest
thing I got from him is work can be accomplished when teams play
extremely hard and what can be accomplished when the intensity is
great and the passion is great. John Calipari, in my opinion, is about
as good there is in the game at getting his teams to play hard. So I
think thereís a lot of players and a lot of people that have helped
form the philosophy, none the less being Will Rey my number one
assistant. Heís really helped shape my philosophy too. Bringing his
experience as a high school coach, a Division I head coach, a Division
III head coach, heís helped shape my philosophy as well.
CigarBoy: You are probably known for two things, being a
basketball coach and also for being a Christian. How do your Christian
beliefs, your Christian faith, impact what you do as a basketball
coach and anything else you might do in your life?
Schilling: Everything I do goes through that. Everything that I
am, everything I try to do, everything I try to be comes through the
lens of trying to serve the Lord. I think as I coach my basketball
team, I think of the scripture, that says, "do all things for the
glory of God, serving unto God not as to Man." In another place in the
Bible it says, whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly at unto the Lord.
So, whether Iím coaching a game or a practice or Iím speaking to a
Rotary Club, or whatever club it might be, Iím going to do it to serve
God and the Lord is my audience. Thatís who Iím trying to please and I
think if I do that, if I treat people the way I want to be treated, if
I coach each practice, or regardless of what Iím doing. If Iím doing
it with my whole heart, then in turn, Iím going to become the best
coach thatís possible. Everything Iím doing from the start of my day,
Iím trying to see okay, what does the bible say? How am I to act? How
am I to talk? What is my personality to be like? Whatís my character
supposed to be like? Then as I continue to read that word, and pray, I
spend time with other believers, which will hopefully happen is I will
become more like Christ. My vision of how Jesus would be, he would be
a guy who would be tremendously passionate, he would care about his
players, he would try to make them the best that they could be,
correct them when they needed correcting, and encouraging them when
they needed encouragement. So, everything I do as a coach, as a father
and as a husband, Iím trying to do it to please God. Fortunately by
Jesusí work on the cross and by his giving of the holy spirit, we can
continue to improve and continue to become more and more like the
example that Jesus set for us.
CigarBoy: You are one of the few coaches that actually have a
web page. Itís a pretty unique web page. Iíve seen a lot of coachesí
web page and itís I won this, I did this, I did this, I did this and
contact me here if you want to congratulate me. How did you get an
idea to do a web page and how did you get an idea to do a web page
that is so unique? Iíve never seen one like it.
Schilling: Itís kind of funny. I was actually sitting in on a
staff meeting for Bethel World Outreach Center in Tennessee. Itís the
church Morningstar. Youíve heard Champions for Christ and things like
that, but Rice Brookes is kind of the President, or whatever, of
Morningstar International. So Iím sitting in on the staff meeting and
the Catinaís were there. I donít know if you are familiar with the
music group the Catinas but they are actually going to be performing
at the Final Four this year fin New Orleans, but they are one of the
hot groups out there in Christian music. They were talking about some
of their fans-type stuff and their web site and I thought, man, why
donít I have a web page? This is an opportunity because I get lots of
calls from high school coaches, players, and young kids who ask me,
ďhey what do I need to do.Ē And I thought this would give me an
opportunity to do some basketball stuff for high school coaches but
yet at the same time, I can share my faith. Everything from a verse
for the day to different articles and things are on there. I was an
English teacher for a little while when I was a high school coach and
I actually really love to write. I donít have a lot of time for it
with three kids now, but this give me a platform and a place/arena to
actually to do some writing when I have the time. One of the other
things is, that just very practically, I can put my bio up there so
when I do speaking engagements instead of having to go fax the bio
every time, I can just send them to the web site. But more than
anything, itís just an opportunity to share my faith, share whatís
important to me and just pray the Lord would use it for his glory and
not my glory.
CigarBoy: Tell me a little about Champions for Christ. Youíve
gone on a couple sports related, overseas mission trips. I guess they
figure itís two things you love, God, and basketball, then put them
together. Youíve gone to the Philippines and youíve gone to Lithuania.
Talk to me about what Champions for Christ does and what those two
trips did for you.
Schilling: Just this year in the spring, I went to the
Philippines and later in the summer I went to Latvia and Lithuania on
the same trip. What it does is we are just using the vehicle of
basketball, we sell into them taking a team of current or former
professional players and we go play against their top teams. Hopefully
what we are trying to do is say, ďhey, you can be excellent and be a
Christian.Ē Then hopefully, as we gain their respect through
basketball, then they can see something different in us and we said
itís the Christ in us is the reason we do what we do. Then when
something happens, we get a bad call or when this happens or whatever,
you donít hear the normal things coming out of our mouths. You donít
see the actions that you would maybe see in someone whoís not a
believer. So going and doing that is one way. The other thing is we do
a lot of clinics whether it is coaching clinics or clinics for young
people. We really serve these people then in turn; we get a chance to
tell them what makes us tick. I think after they see us play, after
they see that we are there to serve them and to help them and give
them what we have, then they are receptive to the gospel. Ultimately,
that is what we want to do is share with them what it is that makes
us, what makes our lives, and whatís important to us. Then out of
that, about everything that Champions does, the vision is to
ultimately to plant a church or to sell into an existing Morningstar
church, a Christian church. There have been a lot of things birthed
out of these type things. In Lithuania, we are hoping to birth a
church there. When we went to Latvia there was already a church there
so we really tried to strengthen that church, encourage them, and
build it up. In the Philippines, it started with no church there and
now itís about a 6,000-member church right in Manila. Thereís a big
article in Charisma magazine about Champions for Christ, a big 12 page
article about all the NFL guys like Mark Brunell and all these guys at
Jacksonville that started with a Bible study out Champions for Christ
and it actually birthed into churches. So just out of the little Bible
study in Jacksonville with Mark Brunell now itís almost a 1,000-member
church. So thatís kind of a vision of Champions is to use athletics to
share the gospel and to ultimately to plant a church or to sell into a
CigarBoy: You donít actually play? Are you coaching or are you
Schilling: I have played, yeah, I can still play a little bit
but the teams we played in Lithuania that year, those teams are close
to NBA type teams. They were really, really good and so I just
coached. I let other guys who are still in their prime do it. I would
still like to play but I just donít have the time to continue to play
and with different injuries . . .
CigarBoy: Did you play in the Philippines, where they are about
5í7Ē . . .
Schilling: Believe it or not, thatís pretty good basketball
there but I did play in the Philippines. Of course the heat is about
1000ļ there with the humidity and everything but I did play a little
CigarBoy: Let me go back to Miami University. Why did you
choose Miami University to play basketball?
Schilling: One I wanted to stay close to home where my parents
could come watch me play. I wanted a school that was recognized as a
good academic school and I wanted a place where I could play right
away. All though I had Big 10 schools and schools like that recruiting
me some, I wanted to go where I could play right away and my decision
was a few other things. I actually went to Miamiís basketball camp
when I was like in 7th grade. I went there and thought, man; this
would be a great place to play, so I had something formed into me at
the time that kind of drew me to Miami. Then when I was offered a
scholarship there, I went there on an unofficial visit and saw Miami
on a beautiful fall day and looked at my position, as the Senior point
guard, was graduating, I would have an opportunity to contend for a
starting job and thatís what happened. I ended up being a four-year
starter there and things like that. So it turned out to be a very good
decision for me.
CigarBoy: I guess the obvious questions is, since your dadís in
the Butler Hall of Fame, your father-in-law is in the Hall of Fame,
your mom was a cute Butler cheerleader, and you married a Butler
cheerleaderÖÖÖdidnít Butler recruit you?
Schilling: They didnít really recruit me for some reason. I
would have been very interested. I donít know if they didnít need my
position that year or what. They ended up not recruiting me. Purdue
was recruiting me. I had home visits with Iowa, Navy, Miami, and
schools like that. Navy when they had David Robinson but Butler didnít
recruit me. Itís hard to go someplace where they donít recruit you.
CigarBoy: What was playing at Miami like?
Schilling: It was a great experience especially given the
opportunity to play with a guy like Ron Harper. Obviously you play
with the guy, maybe one of the best ever to play in the MAC. He was
just a phenomenal player and being able to play in some high level
games early in my career was special. I remember in my second game as
a college player, playing at Purdue, only 20 minutes from home, and
beating them in Mackey Arena. Some of the different experiences,
playing against Bias at Maryland was great.
CigarBoy: Is that the Purdue game you and Harper combined for
Schilling: Thatís right. He had 39 (laughing). But, so it was a
great experience for me, getting a chance to compete and play against
some of the best teams in the country and also being able to compete
for the championship. We didnít win the championship every year, but
yet at the same time we had opportunity. We were competitive and
thatís one thing weíre trying to do here; give our guys an opportunity
to play against some of the best teams in the country like a Michigan
State or Louisville, or whomever, but to also be in the thick of it
for a conference championship. Weíve been right there in the upper
echelon the last couple of years and that makes it fun. When you are
actually playing with the eyes on being a champion and winning a
championship it is just something that makes the college experience
just so much better.
CigarBoy: I want to come back to Wright State. Whatís your
philosophy on scheduling? I guess itís a lot trickier now than it was
15 years ago. Itís really becoming an art as much as a science
Schilling: Itís one of the most challenging things for a
mid-major type program that are trying to move up. Scheduling is one
of the hardest things we do as coaches. To be able to get one of those
top 20 type teams on your schedule is next to impossible. We got
Michigan State on a two-for-one because they had a player from the
area on their team, Andre Hutson so we were able to get that. Itís
very, very challenging. Itís very difficult to put together a schedule
if you want to play some home games. If you want to just go on the
road, you can play everybody but that doesnít help your teams, it
doesnít help your fans, doesnít help you build the program. Weíre
trying to get a blend of playing some high level teams and then
playing some local rivalry type games. Weíre fortunate, we get a
chance to play Miami, Toledo, Akron, Ball State, some teams like that
I think have increased and helped our schedule. Playing a team like
South Florida, who is kind of like one of those top 30 teams.
Fortunately Seth Greenberg is willing to come here and play then weíll
return the game next year. Itís hard to get those types game. Then I
like to give them a chance to compete. I always try to play at least
the one, top 10-type team. Last year it was Cincinnati, year before it
was Michigan State, weíve played Kentucky in the past, but this year
we are going to Louisvilleís tournament. Weíll get a change to play
against Manhattan who went to the NIT last year, won 20 games. Then
hopefully if we can beat them we get a chance to play Louisville who
should be a top 20-type team.
CigarBoy: The NCAA selection committee I guess has clearly come
down on the side of strong RPI, which no one knows exactly how the RPI
is configured because they donít release that information. How does
that complicate scheduling? Has that changed how you scheduled in the
last two years?
Schilling: Oh definitely. It used to be one of those things
where if you could get 20 wins, you put yourself in a position to get
an NCAA tournament bid. Look at Miami my first two years, we were
at-large both years. Now days, given the RPI and all that stuff, Iím
not sure weíd be able to get in. So itís no longer just win 20 years
or win your league championship. Look at Butler last year. They won
the league but loose in the first round of the tournament. Itís one of
those things that you could spend all night trying to figure out. But
the bottom line is, you got to win and youíve got to play good games
and you have to win those games. Planning a great schedule and not
beating any of those great teams doesnít help you any more than
playing all really low Division 1 times and winning them. Thereís a
blend there. The bottom line you gottaí be prepared to try and win 3
or 4 games in March and if you do that then you put yourself in a
position to for sure go to the NCAA tournament. You try and
strategically plan and schedule but the bottom line is thereís no
exact formula for how to do it. Thereís no formula other than being in
the Big 10 or the ACC or something like that and finishing with an
above a 500 records. (chuckle) So itís really very difficult so we
just have to do our best and schedule the best teams we can and try to
win those games.
CigarBoy: What are your long-term goals for the team? How far
up the basketball ladder can you take a Wright State?
Schilling: Thatís one of the things you donít really know. You
look at Wright State and the potential thatís there, its such a young
university. I think we have a very nice facility that can continue to
grow. When people come here, we know we arenít going to loose a player
because of our facilities. Certainly our basketball arena is going to
be one of the attractions here. I think our city is a big enough city
with quality fans that we are going draw people. The league is very
good so I look at it a little bit like what John Calipari did at UMass
when I joined him at the end of that run. He took a program that was
at the very bottom of the barrel and over a period of eight years they
were number one in the country. If you look at some of the things,
obviously what he did has never been done before and has never been
done since. But I see Wright State as a type school that doesnít have
the feeling that it is stuck with where it is like lot of other jobs.
We are in a conference thatís in major metropolitan areas. I think
also that we are a type university that can continue to grow and as
the name gets out, I think more and more people are going to say, hey,
you know what? They really have a lot to offer with their medical
school, their engineering school, things like that. So, my long-term
goal is to continue to be part of the building of Wright State
basketball. Each year we become a little bit better and hopefully we
get into the NCAA tournament and begin to knock off some people. I
look at UMass as kind of the blue print and say, hey; can we do what
they did? Obviously it hasnít been done since and had never really
been done before, but you know what, thatís my vision and we are going
to shoot high. Thatís the goal we are after.
CigarBoy: So when you wind up somewhere, where do you think it
will be? Do you have a ÖÖ..
Schilling: I donít know. Thatís one of those things that Iím
going to continue to seek the Lord and obviously you have to have
opportunities and offers before you can do anything. Iím very content
here. I love Dayton. My family loves it here. Itís close to my in-laws
and my parents so itís not a place Iím looking to get out of but if an
opportunity came open and I would certainly commit it to prayer and
see if I felt led by the Lord. Is this would be a place where the Lord
would have me to be, at a place where Iíd have a greater platform to
serve him? Then that would be certainly something I would entertain
but itís not something Iím looking for.
CigarBoy: Iím going to name a coach and you give me a few words
about him. Tim Buckley?
Schilling: Heís a great guy. He has a great sense of humor. He
is just a terrific worker. Really gets after the recruiting. A guy I
have a whole lot of respect for.
CigarBoy: Scott Drew?
Schilling: Young coach. A very good friend. Iíve known him
since I was a high school coach. Iím so excited to see him get an
opportunity as a head coach. Heís signed some great players already. I
think the skyís the limit for him. Heís just a terrific young man, a
terrific Christian and I think when itís all said and done heís going
to be as great a coach as his dad was.
CigarBoy: You know, I couldnít get him to say anything bad
about you? I tried. I tried to get him to give me just a little
scandal but he couldnít. They couldnít do it, both he and his father.
OK, Larry Farmer?
Schilling: Quality man. Has great presence about him. Just a
CigarBoy: Todd Lickliter?
Schilling: Another great friend. A guy Iíve known for years.
Good at basketball as Iíve ever seen. Just in terms of Xís and Oís,
and teaching of the game, heís a superstar. Itís neat to see him
through the adversity that heís had as a coach from the different,
crazy things that heís had, the tough breaks that heís had, to see him
in the situation that heís always dreamed of and making the most of
it. Just a great friend and again, I think heís brilliant as a coach.
CigarBoy: Phil Martelli?
Schilling: Phil Martelli is hilarious. I think heís very funny
but at the same time has a great level of intensity. A silly guy that
is certainly doing great things with that program.
CigarBoy: Oliver Purnell?
Schilling: I donít know him particularly well as a person but
yet I know him well enough to speak to him and to talk. I think heís
very solid in his approach to basketball. He keeps the game simple.
His teams play hard. Obviously that program is doing great things and
heís been right in the middle of making it happen.
CigarBoy: Thad Matta?
Schilling: I think heís another guy thatís a rising star in the
game. Talk about a guy thatís made the most of every opportunity. He
gets an opportunity at Butler. They give him an opportunity and he
strikes gold. Then he goes and gets one of the top jobs in the country
with Xavier and hires a tremendous staff that really compliments him
well. I think they are going to be a team that, for years and years to
come, are going to be contending for a national championship.
CigarBoy: Now would you say anything different if I told you he
has been reluctant to do an interview with me?
Schilling: (chuckling) Well, heís not perfect. Itís a good
thing that we all have room to improve. He might be a little
intimidated actuallyÖ.of you.
CigarBoy: I keep it toned down. John Calipari?
Schilling: Oh gosh, I would not be where I am today without
him. He gave me the break of my life. Hired me and let me go with him
to UMass and then to the New Jersey Nets. Heís probably the primary
mentor guy that I know that is as loyal as the day is long. Right now,
if I picked up the phone and said coach I need you; he would be here
today. Heís a great example of loyalty. Heís a great friend and for my
money, there is no better coach in the country. Obviously Iím biased,
but if you say whoís the best coach in the country? Itís John Calipari.
CigarBoy: Seth Greenberg?
Schilling: Sethís a guy I go way back to Five Star with. Just a
savvy basketball mind. Heís got so much on the ball. Heís got great
charisma. I just remember him at Five Star one time taking over a
team. The coach wasnít there, he had to leave and he takes over. Heís
got them pressing, and he makes the guys play better than they are. He
did that when he was working the Five Star camp. Heís got great
intensity and passion and he just wills his team to play above their
potential, above their abilities.
CigarBoy: Rick Pitino?
Schilling: Rick Pitino is a guy that Iíve looked up to in my
entire coaching career. Heís the guy that you point to and say, man
Iíd love to be like Rick Pitino some day as a basketball coach. He is
the one that as I got into coach, that this is the guy that everyone
pointed to as THE coach of our time. I got to spend a few days with
him. Iíve known him from a distance at Five Star. Just a motivator, a
great coach, he just has the whole package. Being able to lecture, to
speak, to teach, to coach, heís got the whole package obviously.
Wherever he goes, he wins.
CigarBoy: Steve Alford?
Schilling: Steve Alford, one of my best friends in the world.
We talk at least once a week. Tremendous man, a great Christian, loves
his family. Heís in the game for the right reasons. He wants to make a
difference in peopleís lives. A very, very good coach. A tremendous
worker. He gets out there and heís always willing to learn and wants
to get better. I think heís a man thatís going to be able to go
through adversity and come out on the other side. Thereís a handful of
guys that that you would say, if I my son ever became a player, who
would I want him to play for, and I would say if Steve Alford wanted
to coach my son, my son would go there.
CigarBoy: Buzz Peterson?
Schilling: Buzz is a guy thatís hilarious. Heís funny, heís
just as personable and caring a man as Iíve been around. He truly
treats people like he wants to be treated. He will sit down with
anyone. Heís not a respecter of positions. Heíll treat a guy off the
street the same as he would treat the president of his university. He
just cares about people. Obviously has a great pedigree as a coach,
playing under Dean Smith (and the experience heís had as a coach. But
above and beyond all the basketball accolades and all that stuff, the
thing about Buzz is just what a solid, fun, caring person he is.
CigarBoy: I get the idea that you, he, and Steve are almost
like the Three Musketeers. You hang out, talk all the time.
CigarBoy: Youíre all about the same age, you all played pretty
big-time basketball, and you all got three kids.
Schilling: Yep thatís us (laughing)
CigarBoy: Bob Huggins?
Schilling: I donít think anyone in basketball gets his team to
play harder than he does. There are a lot of things you can look at as
a coach. One of the main things I look at is how hard to their teams
play. Nobody are teams play any harder than Coach Hugginsí teams. Heís
always treated me very well. Heís a guy that motivates a different
type of kid and gets them all to play hard. Thatís a tremendous asset.
Heís parlayed that into the highest level of coaching.
CigarBoy: Perry Watson?
Schilling: I think the thing that makes Perry Watson great is
that he has great control of his team and his program. Those players
do what he wants them to do and night in and night out, you are going
to play well to beat his team. I have just great respect for him. He
keeps the local players home and heís really capitalized on his
Detroit City contacts and kept good players home to play for him. Then
when he gets them, he has great control over them and they play
CigarBoy: Bruiser Flint?
Schilling: Bru is a guy that helped me tremendously when I was
at UMass. I think heís got great charisma but the thing that really
impressed me when I worked with him at UMass was, he could jump and
get on those guys. Yell at them and all that and he was able to do
that because they knew that Bruiser Flint cared about them as human
beings. Bruiser Flint cares about his players. He will do anything for
his guys. I think, as part of the Coach Calipari family is that
Bruiser is loyal, he cares, and heís a good person.
CigarBoy: Barry Collier?
Schilling: Excellent Xís and Oís guy. A great tactician. Really
gets his teams to defend. Theyíre no nonsense. Itís very blue collar.
Theyíre going to guard you; they are going to execute on offense. He
built the program the right way at Butler, has good kids that do the
right things, and in a very blue collar way, goes about winning.
CigarBoy: OK Coach, the important things now. What are your
five favorite restaurants?
Schilling: First of all, any place that YOUíD be willing to
pick up the tab would be my favorite, but thatís just not going to
happen so I think Iíll leave those out. Any Ruth Chris, Montgomery Inn
- The Boathouse in Cincinnati. Whatís the one in Boston? Grill 23
thatís it. The Blue Moon Cafť in Dayton in the downtown Oregon
District, and the Carnegie Deli in New York City, preferably with
Howard Garfinkel having any number of things.
CigarBoy: Whatís on your CD player right now?
Schilling: Right now thereís the Lakewood Live CD which was
made from a Church in Lakewood, TX. Anything Israel Horton does. He
does a lot of things with the Champions. Theyíve got about 5 different
CDís from the conferences, the Champions for Christ conferences, so
thereís a bunch of those I listen to. Also the Catinas. Theyíve got
several good ones. I love the new worship one. Michael W. Smith, I
love that CD called Worship
CigarBoy: Heís got Worship 2 out now. Do you have it yet?
Schilling: I donít have it yet but I saw it. Then I like the
Passion CDís, Passion One Day was the first one and now theyíve got a
new one out, Our Love is Loud, thatís good. Probably the Championís CD
series are my favorites.
CigarBoy: As you wake up tomorrow morning and you are looking
at your day, what is that day like with you? What do you do from the
time you get up until the time you go to bed?
Schilling: Oh geez. On a normal day I get up at about 6am, I go
downstairs, I do my pull-up trainer, and in between each set I read
the Bible so I get a couple chapters of reading in as I do my pull-up
trainer. Back upstairs, shower, get dressed, get the kids up, make
breakfast for them, make sure they get ready. I drop my daughter off
at school at East Dayton Christian and I usually take Little Eddie
with me to give my wife a few more minutes. Drop him back off at home
and then Iím here at the office by 8:15/8:30. Spend about an hour or
so with prayer and worship. I am praying through the day, praying for
my family, praying for my team and friends, stuff like that. Then Iím
on with the day. I work straight through to practice. Plan practice
with my staff, whatever things I have to do - meetings, appointments
all that kind of stuff during the course of the day. Practice at 3:45
during this quarter. As soon as practice is over Iíll go home so I get
home between 6:00/6:30, and we eat dinner. I usually clean up the
kitchen after dinner then Iím with my family until we get the kids to
bed around 8:30, Eddie about 8:00 and Christiana at 8:30. Then I make
recruiting calls, write recruiting letters, anything that I still need
to do. Then an hour or so with my wife talking, we pray before we go
to bed, get some time in the Word before I go to sleep and I start
over the next day.
CigarBoy: One of the first things you do and the last things
Schilling: I try to get at least an hour, hour and a half in of
uninterrupted time with the Lord. Prayer, worship, I keep a prayer
CigarBoy: So the stuff you are doing with the pull-up trainer
is kind of extra reading?
Schilling: Oh thatís recreational.
CigarBoy: (chuckling) Recreational Bible readingÖ.
Schilling: Then at night I at least read whatever the Proverb
is for that day so if itís the 13th, Iíll read Proverb 13. If itís the
14th, Iíll read Proverbs 14. I think thereís basically one perÖ.how
may Proverbs are there, 31 or 30? Hold on Iíve got it right here. Iíll
tell you here quick.
CigarBoy: I think 31?
Schilling: Thirty-one Proverbs so one for each day of the month
and then Iíll so some other reading as well. So thatís my day.
Obviously some days are subject to change but thatís kind of the
outline of the day. Some days I might have to make a lot more phone
calls at night or write more letters but during the course of the day,
unless I have a lunch appointment, I usually bring my lunch so I can
work right through.
CigarBoy: Final question, when you get up in the morning, what
Schilling: Just getting with the Lord, serving my family,
trying to grow my relationship with God. As an outpouring of that,
trying to make a difference in the people I coach. Trying to do the
best I can in regards to what I do. I want to become the best coach I
can possibly be and that fires me up. I want to be the best husband I
can be, the best father I can be. So just a general quest to try and
be excellent in whatever it is I find my hand doing. If itís at home
with my family I want to try and do it the best that I can. So more
than anything, just trying to serve God regardless of what it is Iím
CigarBoy: Itís a wrap. I think somewhere in all those words we
have a good interview
Schilling: Well at least I didnít have to feed you. That was
CigarBoy: You lucked out!