These are strange days for Bob Shoup, a man who has spent the past 28 fall seasons at the same place doing the same thing: coaching football at Cal Lutheran.
The routine of film sessions, meetings and practice, which usually was followed by more of the same, has been replaced by a fairly chaotic schedule that includes traveling, scouting and speaking engagements.
“There isn’t anything that is very well patterned in what I’m doing now,” Shoup said this week. “In the past, the fall of the year was always pretty well geared to Friday nights or Saturday afternoons.”
Shoup, 58, coached the Kingsmen from 1962 through last season, compiling a 185-87-6 record and providing Cal Lutheran, a small private university, with a royal flush of publicity and support during the toughest of financial times.
Cal Lutheran’s first and only football coach was fired in August, 1989. Why? Officially, CLU has given no CLUE.
Shoup, who is on sabbatical, still is contending his dismissal as football coach. He has a contract that calls for his to return to Cal Lutheran as an associate professor Jan. 2.
Until then, he has found more than enough activities to stay busy.
Shoup spent much of this spring at the University of New Mexico, helping Lobo football Coach Mike Sheppard, a former Kingsmen wide receiver. In the summer, he spent five weeks traveling in Europe.
This fall, Shoup is scouting, speaking and acting as a consultant for several projects, including Walt Disney Production’s “Hull High,” a series that airs on Sunday evenings.
Despite his hectic schedule, Shoup found time to attend last Saturday’s Cal Lutheran football home opener against UC Santa Barbara. Shoup, a running back at Santa Barbara during his college playing days, says he rooted for both teams.
Was it tough returning to his old stomping grounds?
“Oh, I don’t know,” he said. “You make choices in life of what you want to do. That wasn’t anything I had to do. . . . it was a pleasurable thing.”
The Cal Lutheran team he witnessed is a far cry from many he coached. The Kingsmen lost, 22-6, and failed to score a touchdown for the second consecutive week. Still, their former coach saw positives.
“I thought they played pretty well. They got over 300 yards (in offense),” Shoup said. “I thought it was a courageous performance.”
Shoup says he is “exploring a lot of different possibilities” for the future--including being a coach, at Cal Lutheran or elsewhere.
A job in the World League of American Football, which has four franchises in Europe, another in Canada and one in Sacramento, is among possible options.
His time away from the Kingsmen, as it turns out, has not been time wasted.
“I’m sure whatever comes out of this will be positive,” he said.
Whitewashed: Cal tailback Russell White, former state player of the year while at Crespi High, was corralled by Miami last Saturday and finished with a net of minus-one yard in three carries before leaving the game because of an injury. White said he was bothered by a pulled right quadriceps, which he injured during a practice the week before the game.
It did not seem to bother him on one particular play, though. White almost effortlessly sliced through the Hurricane defense on a 99-yard kickoff return in the first quarter.
After sitting out the final three quarters because of the injury, White had plenty of energy to talk after the game.
Miami, White said, is “not very good. Take the scoreboard down and we beat them up and down the field.”
Unfortunately for White, the scoreboard stayed up and showed a lopsided score: Miami 52, Cal 24.
Silver lining: The play of Valley College’s special teams was horrible last week in a 50-18 football loss to Mt. San Antonio.
Mt. SAC gained 46, 47 and 49 yards on its first three kick returns. Later, the Mounties blocked two punts, and, when Valley managed to get one off, Mt. SAC returned it 51 yards for a touchdown.
“We just had a total special teams breakdown,” said Chuck Ferrero, Valley’s coach.
On the bright side, Valley came away without any major injuries. The same could not be said for Mt. SAC, which lost its starting fullback and had several other players helped off the field.
“Their guys were going down like flies,” Ferrero said. “I think they were all running over each other trying to block our punts.”
Briefly: Every time I look at the Northridge men’s basketball schedule and see USC on tap Feb. 4 at the Sports Arena, I have the same thought: Who’s going to (try to) guard Harold Miner?
If there was an NCAA record for most substitutions by a basketball team, Northridge might challenge it this season. Look for the Matadors to play at a faster pace than ever before with Coach Pete Cassidy sending in fresh players in waves. Cassidy knows CSUN will be routinely outmanned, so he wants the Matadors to force the action at both ends of the floor.
Todd Bowser, who currently tips (literally) the scales at more than 300 pounds, fits into Cassidy’s running plans. The 6-foot-8 senior might not look like he can move, but he is very agile when he is at a playing weight of about 285.
Former Chaminade kicker Chris Noonan was given kickoff duties for Cal for the first time last Saturday so teammate Robbie Keen could concentrate on punting and field-goal kicking. Todd Steussie of Agoura High was a starter for the first time at guard for Cal.
Brian Madlangbayan has stepped in for Gary Little as Occidental’s tailback and the offense has not skipped a beat. Little, Occidental’s leading rusher last season, sustained a broken fibula during a preseason practice and is out for the season. But Madlangbayan has been impressive, rushing for 157 yards against San Diego and scoring four touchdowns against Whittier.