Niagara Gazette

Tim's Take

September 4, 2010

TIM'S TAKE: Lee Wallace leaves behind legacy

— —  

The telephone. That’s what Lee Wallace was trying to escape when the longtime Niagara County Community College athletics director finally hung it up at the end of last month after more than a decade on the job.

Wallace, whose list of accomplishments are numerous at the Sanborn school, will stay on at the college part-time, teaching an occasional class or two and helping the transition to a new AD whenever he or she is hired.

Wallace said he’ll miss the games, the bonds with coaches, and the challenge of expanding the small school into a power, but he won’t mind putting an end to the incessant phone calls that became a daily part of his life.

“This,” he said holding up his cell phone, “will not be missed.”

While we’ve had our differences with Wallace at times, he has certainly been a champion for Niagara County sports, going back to his time at Niagara-Wheatfield High School.

And in pushing the NCCC program to new heights in the past few years, Wallace has created a sturdy foundation for the next AD to build on. The coaching staffs are as good as they’ve been in years, with standouts like Matt Clingersmith (baseball), Bill Beilein (men’s basketball), Joe Daigler (women’s volleyball) and, of course, longtime wrestling coach Eric Knuutila. The fields have been upgraded. The school added men’s lacrosse, and hired former Buffalo Bandit Rich Kilgour as the first coach.

And the program’s name has been changed from Trail Blazers to Thunder Wolves, complete with a new logo.

Maybe it’s fitting. Wallace, who recently celebrated his 30th anniversary with his wife, Patti, has been a trailblazer. But all trailblazers must leave at some point.

Manuel, NT and Ransomville

Speaking of ADs, don’t be surprised if Warde Manuel steps up what has been a never-ending job search since he got to Buffalo just over five years ago. With the departure of UB President John Simpson, who has been firmly in Manuel’s corner, and the uncertainty that surrounds the campus after the failure to get the UB 2020 plan financed by the state government, we bet he doesn’t last the year. Manuel came to Buffalo with grand plans, hoping to position himself as the next power conference AD. But he didn’t get hired at Michigan, the school from which he played football and later served as Associate AD. In fact, one source insisted Manuel was never higher than the school’s third choice for the spot, and had little chance of landing the position. He has also interviewed at spots like Washington and, as was most recently reported, Maryland. Surely, Manuel expected the football team’s stellar 2008 season — in which UB upset 12th-ranked Ball State and earned a bid to the International Bowl — to be the springboard to bigger things at the school. Instead, season ticket sales have stalled, the team regressed last year before losing coach Turner Gill to Kansas, and the setback of UB 2020 means the school’s fieldhouse project remains in limbo. Before, Manuel was swinging for home runs, content with his current job, but looking for bigger challenges. We expect he’d be more open to a lateral move now than before. ...

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Tim's Take
  • TIM'S TAKE: ‘Stevie’ gives Bills piece to grow on

    Sorry to sound skeptical, but as I slink down into the mancave’s easy chair to take in the masochistic experience we call a Sunday Bills game, I’m looking for three things, some of which you’d rarely expect while rooting for the home team.

    November 7, 2010

  • Bills 1 TIM'S TAKE: Late round Bills picks making their mark

    As easy as it is to get caught up in an electrifying offensive performance against a Baltimore defense which long held the title of most feared, something kept rubbing me the wrong way during Sunday’s 37-34 overtime thriller.

    October 24, 2010 1 Photo

  • TIM'S TAKE: Women’s soccer timing might be right

    It got us talking. Sure, the news that a Women’s Professional Soccer franchise is reportedly playing half its home games at Niagara University is hardly a national headline, but having Niagara County’s first-ever, top-level pro sports team makes the tidbit an interesting one.

    September 25, 2010

  • TIM'S TAKES: Lew-Port scandal sheds light on union work

     

    This is a sad place we’ve reached, where we continue to protect teachers rather than informing parents about the actions of those who deal with our children. 

    September 11, 2010

  • TIM'S TAKE: Lee Wallace leaves behind legacy

    The telephone. That’s what Lee Wallace was trying to escape when the longtime Niagara County Community College athletics director finally hung it up at the end of last month after more than a decade on the job.

    September 4, 2010

  • TIM'S TAKE: Can Hamilton learn from our mistakes?

    The Canadian city is attempting to use the blunders from previous Western New York projects as a harbinger of potential pitfalls that come from failed urban planning

    August 21, 2010

  • TIM'S TAKE: Cooley case

    Let’s just say we’re saddened, but not entirely surprised, by the news that Austin Cooley has been told he can’t return to Niagara University.Cooley has, by all accounts, physical attributes to his game that should have made him an All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference player. Instead, he struggled to get playing time with Alpha dogs like Bilal Benn and Tyrone Lewis in the lineup.

    August 14, 2010

  • TIM'S TAKES: Late notes from Porter Cup

    So we’re a week late, but with some Porter Cup thoughts still lingering, why not get them out, right?

    August 7, 2010

  • TIM'S TAKE: Finally, Sabres keep foot on gas

    The Sabres have had a knack for taking it easy once they get in front this series. Coasting for a shift or two. Allowing the plodding Bruins a chance to get back in the race. But on Friday, with locker cleanout penciled in to the weekend’s to-do list, Buffalo kept the accelerator fully engaged after scoring twice in the first period.

    April 23, 2010

  • TIM'S TAKE: Playoffs can turn just that quickly

    Wanna know just how small the margin of error is come playoff time in the National Hockey League?
    About six inches, according to Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.

    April 17, 2010

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page