Belt Loops: RIP Tom Lichtenberg, Cullen Finnerty

Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

It's the triumphant return of our links post!

Assorted Mid-American-Conference sports news from the day:

φ Tom Lichtenberg passed away at 72 — Lichtenberg was the head coach at Ohio for five years in the '90s. He coached everywhere from high school, small colleges, big colleges and arena football. His other MAC gig was as offensive coordinator for Bowling Green in 2000. The Columbus Dispatch added that Lichtenberg was battling cancer was battling cancer.

He didn't have the best record (8-45-2, including an 0-11 campaign in 1994 during which he was fired/reassigned/whatever), but from all accounts he coached with integrity and looked out for his players, which is all you can ask from a coach that isn't winning.

φ Cullen Finnerty was found dead at 30 — More sad news out of Michigan, where the three-time Division II championship quarterback for Grand Valley State's body was located near a fishing river north of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Prior to transferring to GVSU, Finnerty signed with the Rockets in 2001, and at one time was higher on the depth chart than Bruce Gradkowski.

φ Alabama quarterback Phillip Ely will transfer to Toledo — He announced it on Twitter, but unlike Kyle Vinales, it sounds like this one's going to stick. Ely chatted with CBSSports' Bruce Feldman on his decision, noting that he considered Vanderbilt, Illinois (Tim Beckman!) and USF before settling on Toledo, noting how their coaches reminded him of his high school in Tampa.

Once Ely sits out a year, Terrance Owens will have graduated and best case scenario for him, he starts for two seasons. It's a long distance to go for playing time, but hopefully he enjoys the cold and the Tony Packo's.

φ Doing anything in Louisville on Thursday?

φ Western Michigan is re-turfing their turf — You can see a photo here of them in the process of laying down the new FieldTurf, although I am assuming the green stuff is the finished product. They are not switching to brown turf, even though brown is one of their colors, but they totally should. MudTurf for Western!

Send any news tips or neat tweets to @HustleBelt or FanShot them. You're also welcome to write a FanPost if you have a cool opinion on something that affects the MAC.

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