Veggie Tales: The Cale Jefferson story

William Black, Johnson County CC Asst. Coach

Postby 3manweave » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:22 pm

[April 13th, 2015 - Johnson County CC Athletic Offices, Overland Park, KS (11:27 PM)]

I decided to take the head coaching position at Johnson County that Cale left behind today. I interviewed for it yesterday, and Tom Myers said it was mine if I wanted it. Cale also offered me a spot on his staff as well a few days ago, but I told him that I would sleep on it; obviously hoping to get his old job. When I told him that I was taking the head coaching job, he was disappointed but happy for me that I was going to get an opportunity.

He also stopped in the office today to finally submit the resignation letter that Gene gave him nearly THREE weeks ago. Fortunately, he's still on vacation cut off from the outside world, and Tom is in a good mood today. He let it slide.
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Cale Jefferson

Postby 3manweave » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:48 pm

[April 16th, 2015 - Cale's office, Kansas City, MO]

I spent the first week on the job trying to figure out my staff. I wasn't in any rush to fill the open spot left by Andre McGee, so I set to work feeling out the two assistants that were obviously fearful of losing their jobs before working on finding an assistant to fill the open spot. They deserved to know where they stood.

The top holdover assistant coach is Angres Thorpe (50). He seems to really know his stuff and is a very clear, precise communicator (which is great for teaching and coaching); but seems to lack charisma and doesn't have very much advance scouting experience.

The other assistant is Chris Hollender (38). He's basically a younger version of Torres, but I do like his potential to be a top assistant someday. What was readily apparent after interviewing those two is that I needed a polished recruiter to help in that area. I'll probably end up doing the heavy lifting with higher-end prospects, but the assistant can handle a portion of the calls, film review and tracking of the recruiting budget.

In the end, after putting out feelers for assistant coaches around other college staffs in the area, I decided to retain both Angres and Chris in their current positions. Obviously, they were relieved, but I got the feeling that Angres wasn't thrilled with getting little consideration for the head-coaching position. Chances are I'm going to need a lead assistant next season.

To fill the open spot on my staff, I hired Kris LaFlem (38), a local-area high school coach who is going to do very little outside of recruit. However, he only agreed to come on board if he was the second assistant. He's also being paid more than Angres is, which is another point of contention, but recruiting is more valuable to me than coaching from the bench.
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Cale Jefferson

Postby 3manweave » Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:10 pm

[April 23rd, 2015 - Cale's office, Kansas City, MO (11:55 AM)]

In the past week with my staff set, we were able to convince the two signees left over from the previous head coach to stay. Swingman Lance Hemphill was impressive on film, and is a kid I would have offered if I were the previous head coach as well. Six-foot-eight, athleticism out the wazoo, but really raw as a basketball player. He's from Raytown South HS in the Kansas City area. The other kid was Justin Smith from St. Joseph, Mo., and had some Power 5 interest but is really thin and would probably get pushed around on the high-major level for a year or two. It may be a year before he'll get many minutes here, but he can really shoot the ball. I'll always have room for someone that can hit from mid-range on out.

While we met as a team soon after I took the job to lay out my vision of the program, I also took the time this week to individually talk to each of the thirteen returning players on the roster which included the two walk-ons. No one is in any serious academic trouble, but there are some guys who I feel could be academic risks down the road. One of them is six-foot-ten senior-to-be center Will Bedard, who after watching film on each player, I believe is our best overall player. I stressed the importance to him of finishing out the semester strong academically, and "encouraged" him to find a tutor for the summer and fall sessions.

The other is Smith, who was admitted to the school for the fall semester despite a 2.1 GPA. His SAT was 1050, well above the minimum 940 for admittance. He's a talented player, but that's a situation I'm going to have to monitor.
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Cale Jefferson

Postby 3manweave » Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:34 pm

[April 30th, 2015 - Cale's office, Kansas City, MO (8:17 AM)]

"He's late," I whispered to Kris LaFlem as we sat in Charles Roast's office, waiting for him to arrive to discuss the recruiting plan for the summer. We were supposed to have an 8 A.M. sharp (his words) meeting. Down the hall, we could hear the quick shuffle of footsteps as what we presumed to be Charles headed down the hall towards his office.

"Good morning, gents," he said as he strode in, flinging his briefcase in the chair adjacent to an old, wooden bookshelf. He was in his late fifties, tall with graying hair, a beard, and a slight beer gut. "Sorry that I'm running a bit late. I spilled some of my coffee on my undershirt, and I had to change it before I left the house." He paused for a moment. "So...let's talk recruiting, huh?"

Kris then handed Charles the proposal for the year. "We're going to spend $13,300 combined on reports and summer AAU travel. It's broken down by line item, as we would like to purchase the basic Great Plains Report and travel to the Houston Classic. We'd also like to travel to the Indianpolis AAU showcase, as well," he said.

Charles, who by this time had poured himself and us a cup of coffee, looked skeptically at the report. "Indianapolis? You don't say," he said. "We've never sent a coach there. Why should we start now?" He paused, taking a drink of his coffee before resuming. "Look, Cale, I know that you're a young guy that wants to get out and recruit. I get that. But this AD barely operates in the black as it is. It's why we play in an arena that's owned by the city...to keep our overhead low."

Tell me something I don't know. I PLAYED at this goddamn university!

"Trust me, it will be worth the expense," I said. "It's not that far from here, and there will be local-area kids that will be there."

Charles snorted. "I'm not going to put that in front of the board," he said. "If you can prove that you can recruit high-end kids, we'll consider it. Right now, it's just not feasible. I'll approve the basic Great Plains report and the Houston trip...but that's it right now."

He paused before continuing on. "Oh, and Cale...I'm going to be hiring an associate AD for men's and women's basketball in the coming weeks to help you with PR, academics, and all that. I'll let you know who we hire."

Time to hit the trail!
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Charles Roast, UMKC AD

Postby 3manweave » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:13 am

[June 19th, 2015 - UMKC athletic offices, Kansas City, MO (9:08 AM)]

This search for an associate AD has been harder than I thought, so I've enlisted Cale's help. He's not terribly happy that I've put this on his plate with so much going on and it only being a week away from the first day of recruiting for the 2016 class, but I want him to assist in this search since he's going to be interacting with this person on a semi-daily, if not daily, basis. I've interviewed a half-dozen people in the past month, and none of them have panned out for one reason or another.

He begrudgingly agreed though, and even with the budget limitations for this position set by the board, I've managed to find a few more candidates to interview this week. I really want this for him because while he's an extremely tireless worker, he's going to burn himself out in a year or two. If someone could help him handle his press interactions, releases, and oversee the academic side of things, it might take some of the pressure off him.

His background has kind of lended to this, as at Johnson County, he handled the budget, recruiting, and public relations. He might not like it at first, but I think he'll thank me later down the line. Plus, that guy needs to go on a date or something, get out more, meet someone.
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Kris LaFlem, UMKC Assistant (2nd)

Postby 3manweave » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:34 am

[June 26th, 2015 - Kris' office, Kansas City, MO (2:36 PM)]

Cale and I just met to go over the recruiting plan for the 2016 class. Ten of our thirteen scholarship players for the upcoming season are juniors and seniors, so there's going to be a lot of roster turnover over the next several seasons. With just one sophomore and two true freshmen, we decided that it would be best to hit the junior college ranks and hope to balance out the classes over the next few years.

At the same time, we didn't want to ignore the high school ranks, but if the five best players we signed were junior college guys, he said so be it.

There's also a frightening lack of size in the underclassmen ranks, so we decided to make it a point to get the best junior college bigs we could get our hands on. Cale was hopeful that he could use his connections with Johnson County just across the state line to land one or two of their prospects, as he has remained good friends with their new head coach, who was previously on his staff there.

He gave me a list of prospects from the master list that we compiled, and told me to start calling them and figure out initial interest, and then provide a report next week. There were at least fifty on the list, so I had some work to do. In addition, he said he'd chip in on calling.

He's a pretty demanding guy, but I'm really grateful to get the chance to work with him and get a shot in this business. He's a great dude and even though he's six years younger than me, the guy knows basketball like he's sixty-two and not thirty-two.

By the way, while getting something out of my car fifteen minutes ago or so, I ran into a young woman in the parking lot that was interviewing for the assistant AD position that Charles has been ranting and raving about for most of the past month; as she was dressed very professionally, and asking questions about where to find Cale Jefferson and Charles Roast for a 3 PM interview. I think Cale is going to be rather impressed, if you catch my drift.
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Cale Jefferson

Postby 3manweave » Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:14 pm

[July 10th, 2015 - Downtown Kansas City, MO (6:56 PM)]

Before heading home, I decided to stop at the Whole Foods down the street from the office to pick up some things to make homemade alfredo sauce. One of the perks of living in Italy for six years is that you learn how to cook REAL italian food, not the mediocre offerings you get at Olive Garden or Macaroni Grill (albeit, they have SOME good stuff).

As I was checking out in the line, the cashier kept giving me funny looks. It was several more moments when she finally piped up. "You're Cale Jefferson, the new basketball coach at UMKC, right?" She asked. Seriously? Of all the dumb luck...

I paused for a moment, looking around, before going on. "Yeah, that's me. Who wants to know?" I said, somewhat shocked-slash-annoyed. She continued to ring up my groceries while smirking at me. "Sorry, I didn't mean to come off as an ass, but I'm just a little surprised someone recognized me," I said sheepishly. She was in her late twenties, I suppose; and she was rather gorgeous. However, she gave off a hipster vibe. Not that there's anything wrong with that; and it's not always the case, but college and professional sports generally isn't within their spectrum.

"You don't look like the type that is interested in sports," I added. Just shut it, Cale!

She sarcastically chuckled and rolled her eyes before totalling up my purchase. "That'll be $16.54." There was a long, awkward pause as I pulled out a $20. As I handed her the bill, she continued on. "Look, I'm off work here in just a few minutes. Can you wait outside for me? I need to talk to you." Okay, this just got really awkward. She grabbed the "Lane Closed" sign near her register and placed it on the conveyor, much the annoyance of the man with a cartful of stuff who was wheeling his cart towards the belt.

"Sure," I said nervously as she handed me the $3.46 in change, and I grabbed my bags to go wait. About ten minutes later, she walked out and began to introduce herself. "Hi, I'm --" I cut her off, putting my hand up to stop her.

"Look, this is all just really weird and strange. What is this about?" I said.

"As I was going to say, my name is Kristin Jacobs," she said. "My friend, Aislin Luna, just interviewed with you a week or two ago." Dun-dun-dun-dun. "Look, the advertising firm she works for just cut her work schedule, and she's really upset about it. The only reason I know who you are is that I happened to run across an article that talked about your hiring, and a big picture of you was splashed below the tagline. She really, really wants this job. I've seen her in action. She's amazing at what she does."

"Does she know you're talking to me about this?" I asked. "I mean, you're kinda putting me on the spot here."

"No, she doesn't know, and she'd kill me if she knew," Kristin said frankly. "Please, if you have any pull with this Charles Roast guy, see what you can do. And yes, I know it's a tough ask."

"I'll see what I can do, but a decision hasn't been made yet. It's not my call in the end anyway. I have some input, but since it's an athletic department position and not a coaching position, it's the department's call," I said. Technically, this person would be my boss."

"That's all I ask," she said. "And don't worry, I won't say anything to her." I nodded, and began to walk back towards my car, goods in hand. I didn't get ten yards away when....

"You know, my dad has season tickets to UMKC basketball, and I attend almost every home game with him," she said. I stopped and turned around. "He also donates a small amount to the program, so I don't think that's any way to treat the daughter of a booster, don't you think?" She sheepishly grinned at me and began to walk away, presumably towards her home. Oooof. Not my finest moment.

"Do you need a ride home?" I yelled after her as she walked away, but she waved me off without turning around. I chuckled to myself, and shook my head in disbelief as I put my things in the car to head home.
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Kris LaFlem

Postby 3manweave » Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:15 pm

[July 12th, 2015 - Houston Classic, Houston, TX (4:43 PM]

I went with Cale down to Houston to scout Brian Smith, a center from the Kansas City area. We had been scouting him and reviewing game film from this past high school season for the past several months, but had yet to see him against elevated competition. Overall, there was a lot to like, but ultimately we're going to pass on offering him for now. I coached against this kid last year, and while you can't teach his size; you can neutralize him with a 2-1-2 or 1-3-1 zone and beat them with jumpers and outside shooting, which we had in spades.

To give you a summary, he's a nice player; but until he sheds some bad weight, he's probably not a guy that could play extended minutes as he got winded easily against smaller, quicker players. He's listed on his AAU roster at six-foot-nine and 276 pounds, which is more suited for playing left tackle on the gridiron in college.

In his first game yesterday, he scored seven points in sixteen minutes with four rebounds and two blocks as his team lost 67-56. He's also incredibly raw offensively, which likely stems from a lack of technique due to just out-sizing people in high school.

However, this Chris Burch kid from Salem, Mo., who apparently is among the top 100 players in the country, really catches our eyes in the second game against Smith's team. He's a six-foot-three, 200-pound point guard who also plays down low at times because of the lack of depth on his high school team. He scored twenty points and had six dimes, and all of them looked easy.
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Kristin Jacobs, cashier at Whole Foods

Postby 3manweave » Sat Apr 02, 2016 3:16 pm

[July 15th, 2015 - Kristin's condo, Kansas City, MO (2:18 PM]

Aislin just sent me a text. She finally received a callback from UMKC, but unfortunately it was a call to say that they chose someone else for the job. I guess Cale's convincing didn't work - if he even tried to. While she was upset about it, but said it was nothing a night out on the town and some drinks with friends wouldn't take care of.

She asked if I wanted to go, but I had to work late tonight and wouldn't be able to get off work in time. But honestly, I wasn't feeling too well, and really didn't want to go anyway. Ever since she and I went out for Thai last night, I had been feeling a little wonky.

Speaking of Cale, I haven't seen him come into the store since I talked to him several days ago. I hope I didn't freak him out TOO much...
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Re: Veggie Tales: The Cale Jefferson story

Postby Wayne23 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 3:22 pm

Great work here. Keep writing!
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