Great Big Shoes for a Great Big Cause

The Ronald McDonald House of Charleston (pictured above) has been giving seriously ill children and their families a home away from home in the Lowcountry for 30 years.

The Ronald McDonald House of Charleston (pictured above) has been giving seriously ill children and their families a home away from home in the Lowcountry for 30 years.

For anyone who has driven Interstate 26 or 526 through Charleston of late they may have seen photos of musician Darius Rucker, meteorologist Bill Walsh, mayor Joe Riley and New York Yankees standout Brett Gardner wearing oversized shoes with the website beneath their likeness.

Citadel coaches are excited to give back, and with your help, can join Brett Gardner as one of the many local Charleston celebrities who can be seen on the billboards wearing the big red shoes.

Citadel coaches are excited to give back, and with your help, can join Brett Gardner as one of the many local Charleston celebrities who can be seen on the billboards wearing the big red shoes.

In case you haven’t visited the link yet, it highlights the 30th anniversary of the Ronald McDonald House of Charleston. The efforts of the Ronald McDonald House are focused on giving seriously ill children and their families an opportunity to have a home away from home. It has expanded to 27 bedrooms, after including just 12 at its inception, and is open around the clock, all year long.

In 1994, the older brother of Citadel Multimedia Specialist Melissa Egan was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of eight while her family was living in South Florida.  To get the best treatment available, they traveled to Gainesville for treatment at Shands Children’s Hospital. Fortunately, while her brother was receiving his treatments and her dad traveled for work, the Ronald McDonald House was available for them to stay at.

The Ronald McDonald House of Gainesville (pictured above) is one of the many around the country that have provided comfort and care to children and their families.

The Ronald McDonald House of Gainesville (pictured above) is one of the many around the country that have provided comfort and care to children and their families.

Not only did the Ronald McDonald House offer a place to call home after the long hours at Shands, but there were many activities for siblings, snacks and even home-cooked meals.  The Ronald McDonald House helped her parents and many other families make a very hard time a little easier.The Charleston Ronald McDonald House is giving everyone an opportunity to put their likeness on a billboard for one month as part of a photo contest which can include family, friends and co-workers wearing red shoes. Therefore, we thought that it would be a great idea to get Spike, Fred Jordan, Kevin Higgins and Chuck Driesell in these shoes to help show The Citadel’s effort in a very worthy cause.

Between now and August 1st we will submit a photo of the four individuals. If they are selected by the contest committee, then we will look to all of you to submit the most ‘likes’ at the end of September.

– Jon Cole & Melissa Egan –


A Tree Grows in Charleston: The Coaching Bloodline of Citadel Football

Coaching Tree

Almost every family has sat down to discuss their lineage.  Some even have it charted out in what is commonly known as a ‘family tree’. The structure generally shapes itself into a ‘tree’ which maps out the years, decades and even centuries of the bloodline of one’s ancestors.

Listen to just one football game on television and you’ve most likely heard the commonly used sports version called the ‘coaching tree’. With a similar structure to the family tree, the coaching tree maps out a coach’s (or school’s) relationship to one another.

But what do some household sports names such as Al Davis, who spent 29 years as the principle owner of the Oakland Raiders, or Bobby Ross, who led Georgia Tech to a share of the 1990 national championship with an 11-0-1 record before guiding the San Diego Chargers to their first Super Bowl appearance in 1994, have in common?

What about Frank Beamer, who enters his 26th season at the helm of Virginia Tech’s football team as the winningest active coach (and longest tenured coach) in the FBS, or Ralph Friedgen, who led a struggling Maryland Terps football squad to six winning seasons in his 10-year tenure?

One might have to do some digging to find the common bond between these greats, but when they do they will find one place: The Citadel.

That’s right. The Military College of the South, whose enrollment has never exceeded much past 2,000 cadets since its inception back in 1842, has been churning out football coaches for decades, building one of the most decorated college coaching trees in the game.

Citadel Football Huddle

Over the next few months I will be highlighting a number of these coaches as they share with me their experiences gained while working at The Citadel, the challenges they faced and how “El Cid” helped shape the successful careers that arose from their time inside these historic walls.

The weekly series of posts will kickoff next week as I share a one-on-one interview with Coach Bobby Ross, who led the Bulldogs from 1973-77.

For today, I will leave you with an extensive list of some of the best ‘branches’ on The Citadel’s coaching tree who are still actively coaching today.  If there is a coach that is unlisted on here that you feel should be or if you have any information on a former coach that you think would be a good fit for this series of posts,  please reach out to me via email at with some information and I would be happy to help the tree grow!

– Brian Gargone –
Assistant Media Relations Director

The Citadel’s Current Coaching’ Tree
* Denotes Citadel Alum

Name – Current Position – Current Team
Frank Beamer –  Head Coach – Virginia Tech
Jim Bridge – Offensive Line – Purdue
Shane Burnham – Defensive Tackles – Iowa State
*Kenny Carter – Running Backs/Special Teams – Louisville
David Cecchini – Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator – Lehigh
Isaac Collins – Head Coach – Seton Hill (PA)
Josh Conklin – Defensive Coordinator – Florida International
Sean Cronin – Defensive Ends – Marshall
*Jeff Farrington – Head Coach – North Greenville
Bob Fello – Defensive Coordinator – Hardin Simmons University (TX)
*Frank Gansz Jr. – Special Teams – Southern Methodist
Paul Hamilton – Head Coach – Brevard College
*Raleigh Jackson – Linebackers  – Arkansas Tech
*Ellis Johnson – Defensive Coordinator – Auburn
*Keith Jones – Secondary – Navy
Tommy Laurendine – Head Coach – Sewanee
Jimmye Laycock – Head Coach – William & Mary
Daniel Lewis – Running Backs – South Carolina State
Steven Loney – Assistant Offensive Line – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
*Marty Long – Defensive Line – Northwestern
*Stump Mitchell – Running Backs – Arizona Cardinals
*Omar Nesbit – Offensive Line – Chowan
Wes Nurse – Cornerbacks – North Dakota
Mike O’Cain – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks – James Madison
Jim Popp – General Manager – Montreal Alouettes
*Everette Sands –  Running Backs – South Carolina
Al Seamonson – Outside Linebackers – Illinois
Steve Shankweiler – Offensive Line – Florida International
George Sehl – Head Coach – West Virginia Wesleyan
Willie Simmons – Offensive Coordinator – Alcorn State
Danny Smith – Special Teams Coordinator – Pittsburgh Steelers
*David Sollazzo – Defensive Line – Massachusetts
Charlie Taaffe – Offensive Coordinator – Central Florida
*Lance Thompson – Outside Linebackers – Alabama
Nick Toth – Defensive Coordinator – Fresno State
Mark Tucker – Quarterbacks – Charleston Southern
*Cam Turner – Quarterbacks/Wide Receivers – Florida International
Joe Whitt, Jr. – Cornerbacks – Green Bay Packers

Jackson Family Can Hit, Shoes or Not

Unlike his great-great-great uncle, The Citadel's Joe Jackson wears cleats

Unlike his great-great-great uncle, The Citadel’s Joe Jackson does indeed wear cleats

In a 1908 game in Anderson, S.C., a young Joe Jackson removed a new pair of cleats that were causing blisters on his feet and promptly tripled. A heckler shouted “You shoeless son of a gun, you,” and a legend was born.

More than a century later, another Joe Jackson is creating quite a story for himself.

Bulldog junior catcher Joe Jackson is turning in a season that recalls the greatness of his great-great-great uncle, helping to lead The Citadel to within two wins of a Southern Conference tournament championship at Fluor Field in Greenville.

Joe enters Saturday morning’s game against Appalachian State as the hottest hitter on a red-hot ballclub. He has reached base in all 10 of his plate appearances, including a walk-off home run in the opening round win over the Mountaineers that will echo in school history long after he plays his last game in a Bulldog uniform.

But it’s not what he’s doing rather than where it’s happening that makes this story worthy of a Hollywood script. You see, Joe is from nearby Mauldin and Fluor Field is located directly across the street from a museum that honors his famous relative.

But how much can the exploits of a baseball player from a long-past era influence the younger Jackson? More than you’d think.

“It was kinda cool as I was growing up to start learning about it and what it meant to be part of the family history,” said Joe. “It didn’t really start hitting me how important he was and how big a figure he was in the history of the game until I started playing. His 1917 World Series ring has been passed down within the family, and hopefully I will have it one day.”

And what about the postseason run taking place in Greenville and particularly at Fluor Field?

“I’m in my comfort zone here. It’s nice to be able to play in front of a lot of family and friends. I used to work at this field, and it’s like a second home to me.”

“Shoeless Joe” was the featured player in the classic movie Field of Dreams, and his name will live on as long as baseball is played. Hollywood may never put the story of our Joe Jackson on the big screen, but to Bulldog fans what he’s doing in 2013 is Oscar worthy.

Mike HoffmanSports Information Director

The Citadel Celebrates Employee Appreciation Day at the Beach House.

The Citadel Beach House located on Isle of Palms

The Citadel Beach House located on Isle of Palms

The 14th Annual Citadel Employee Appreciation Day occurred yesterday at The Citadel Beach House at the Isle of Palms. It was my first Citadel Employee Appreciation Day and I was lucky enough to be on the planning committee that put on this special event. Close to 400 Citadel employees came out to enjoy the annual festivities including food, music, basketball, sand volleyball, horse shoes, free T-shirts, plenty of giveaways, service pinning ceremony, oh and the beach of course.  It was beautiful day in the morning and then the rain came in the afternoon.  Employees who attended the event said that they can never remember it raining before but either way everyone had a great time.  The employees that I spoke to really enjoyed just being able to relax and enjoy each other’s company outside of the regular work setting.

Did you know the actual name for the beach house is The Citadel McCormick Beach House?   Colonel Robert R. McCormick, who started a relationship with General Summerall in World War I, deeded his estate in 1941 to The Citadel with the stipulation that General Summerall would live there.  After General Summeralls passing in 1955, The Citadel sold the estate and purchased what is now the property where The Citadel McCormick Beach House resides.  After, hurricane Hugo in 1989 the Citadel rebuilt the property using the same structure that was there in 1958.

Citadel employees enjoying their time at the party

Citadel employees enjoying their time at the party

The beach house overlooks the beautiful scenery of the Atlantic Ocean making it a terrific place to host special events.  Anyone can rent the beach house for that special occasion even if you did not go to The Citadel. This five acre house sits right on the beach to make it perfect for outdoor events and has great indoor facilities to make it the total package. If you would like to contact the beach house for renting you can email or call 843-953-BOOK.

The beautiful view from the house

The beautiful view from the house

Up In Smoke: Memorial Day Ribs Recipe!

A couple of Bulldog fans tailgating some ribs at the football game!

A couple of Bulldog fans tailgating and grilling some ribs at the football game!

Ahhh, Memorial Day weekend in Charleston!  While we take time to honor those who have given their service and lives so we could have our freedom, I know for sure the Petrini duo will stick to our tradition of a day at the beach and bbq.

Waiting for us at home after the beach are two racks of baby back ribs (gotta love BOGO ribs from The Pig) marinating in my classic rub (recipe below), homemade chipotle lime slaw, refreshments and of course some much need Aloe Vera with burn relief.

Ribs can be pretty intimidating to cook, but, I guarantee tender juicy ribs every time if you follow these easy instructions!

Preparation Instructions:

On Sunday (a day ahead of cooking) I pull the ribs from the fridge, remove the package, rinse under cool water, blot dry with a paper towel and let them get to about room temp on a baking sheet. In the meantime, I prepare my rub (after I wash my hands, food poisoning is no joke) an eye-balled combination of brown sugar, onion, garlic, and chili powder, with ground mustard, cumin, chipotle chili, salt, pepper, thyme, paprika and red pepper, to taste (my indicator is when I ask my wife to try it and she keeps eating it). By this time the ribs should be around room temp and dry (I like them around room temp because my hands can get really cold during this next step), now apply a generous amount of yellow mustard to the ribs using your hands to spread it around on both sides, next apply a liberal amount of the rub on every inch of the ribs and mat down with your hands (I would suggest washing your hands again) my wife helps me with this part so the rub mix isn’t contaminated. Finally, wrap the ribs in tin foil and let sit in fridge on a baking sheet overnight.

Cooking instructions:

  1. Remove ribs from the fridge and let them come to room temp, Pre- heat oven to 225 degrees and enjoy a beverage.
  2. Leaving the ribs wrapped in tin foil place them on the middle rack of the oven (I suggest lining the oven rack with tin foil and placing a baking sheet under the ribs to catch any dripping juices) cook for 1hr 30min
  3. While those are cooking, it’s time to relax! My wife steps in and makes the bbq sauce, using the same ingredients above plus, molasses, ketchup or catsup, apple cider vinegar, a dash of balsamic vinegar and sweated onions and garlic.
  4. With 20 min to go preheat your grill to medium or around 275-300 degrees
  5. Remove ribs from oven, coat in bbq sauce (homemade or your favorite brand) and place ribs on the grill 4 min a side applying bbq sauce often.
  6. Remove from grill let rest for 10 min and enjoy with your favorite side

As you enjoy your three day weekend, please don’t forget to reflect on what this day is all about, to honor the men and women who laid down their lives in defense of our Country and our freedoms!

Please be safe this holiday weekend!


Michael J. Petrini

Marketing Assistant

Share with us your Memorial Day traditions and recipes on facebook ( or on twitter (@citadel sports).

Behind the Scenes: Dog Bites

Let’s face it. There is just not enough time in today’s hectic lifestyle to get everything done.   As Bulldog fans, we’d all like to know how Coach Kevin Higgins thought his players performed during the spring scrimmage, how Coach Jordan feels about an upcoming weekend series and all the events going on in Citadel Sports.  But, if you can’t even get dinner in by 8 pm, why would you sit and watch a 15-minute interview with Coach?  What we don’t want – or need – is the long, boring interviews.  (No offense, Coach!)

Dog Bites posts every Wednesday on and on our YouTube page for everyone to enjoy.

Dog Bites posts every Wednesday on and on our YouTube page for everyone to enjoy.

That’s why there’s “Dog Bites.”   Launched in March, the short eight to ten minute show covers all aspects of Citadel sports throughout the week.  This ranges from baseball previews, to the soccer team’s community service over the weekend to the wrestling team’s trip to the NCAAs.  The content for the show is relatively easy to come by, as I work with the latest sports news and happenings around campus.  It may be a little extra “running around” on my part to get that 12-second sound bite (clip from an interview) with SoCon Pitcher of the Week Austin Pritcher, but the real work comes in the editing process, done with Adobe Premiere Pro 6.

A look at the 'guts' of the whole operation using Adobe Premiere

A look at the ‘guts’ of the whole operation using Adobe Premiere

Here’s a picture of the workspace I use for editing and producing the entire show.  I import all the footage and graphics into the show’s project space and go from there.  On the sequence, I can add animations, graphics and video or audio effects.  I place the “shell” of the show on first – Intro video, commercials and sponsors – then, add in footage and interviews based on the script I create earlier in the week.

The last few steps are shooting stand-ups (which are the intros into the stories throughout the show) and recording voiceovers for the schedules or game footage, if necessary.

After a final viewing of the show, I export it and post it every Wednesday afternoon for your viewing pleasure!

We are always looking for content to add to the shows, so if you have an idea, event or want to see something in the next “Dog Bites,” I’d love to hear it!

Shooting the stand-up around different athletic facilities.

Shooting the stand-up around different athletic facilities.

“That’ll do it for now. Have a great week…and as always, Go Bulldogs!”

– Melissa Egan –
Multimedia Specialist

Just Tell Us a Time and We’ll Be There!

The rain fell in sheets last night at Fluor Field, creating quite the scheduling problem for the tournament

The rain fell in sheets last night at Fluor Field, creating quite the scheduling problem for the tournament

Baseball schedules can be a funny thing, especially during a tournament when as many as four games are scheduled at a single facility. The Bulldogs have learned that lesson over the past 24 hours.

After defeating Appalachian State on Joe Jackson’s walk-off home run yesterday, The Citadel had to wait until later in the day to find out its next opponent and time of first pitch. The first matter was decided when Western Carolina dispatched Samford, creating a second round game against the Catamounts. When tournament host Furman knocked off Elon, it meant The Citadel would play at 8:30 Thursday night.

Or so they thought. Wednesday’s final game between College of Charleston and Georgia Southern was rained out, forcing the schedule to be reconfigured. Just that quickly the Bulldogs and Catamounts were now playing at 5:00.

The person most affected by these changes was not head coach Fred Jordan or any of the players but rather Matt Smith, The Citadel’s athletic trainer for baseball and coordinator of travel. Among his many responsibilities is arranging for all meals – something that’s difficult to do when you don’t know from hour-to-hour when your team is going to play.

The Bulldogs usually eat about three hours before first pitch, so it would seem obvious that the pregame meal would be at 2:00. But what if the two earlier games run late, forcing a starting time considerably later than 5:00?

“We are having our pregame meal at our hotel (the Hilton in Greenville), and I have the cell number of the managing caterer in case we need to change anything on the fly,” said Smith. “I will make an adjustment after the first game if necessary. We have a good relationship with this hotel, which is why we like staying here.”

So make sure you plan on listening to Danny Reed’s broadcast on 1450 in Charleston or on the web at Just don’t be surprised if it’s later than what the schedule says.

Mike Hoffman
Sports Information Director