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Belt Loops: Tom Matukewicz Leaves Toledo for Southeast Missouri State

Toledo's defensive coordinator is gone, Ohio volleyball players make history and Western Michigan installs the new way to recruit young talent.



Tom Matukewicz, the former Toledo defensive coordinator, took his talents to Southeast Missouri State (SEMO), where he will be the new coach of the Redhawks, the university announced in a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

During his 2012-2013 stint as coordinator for the Rockets, Matukewicz struggled to mold together a forceful defense. Following the announcement of his departure, Toledo coach Matt Campbell said he was in no hurry to replace the first coach he brought to his staff. Matukewicz's defense gave up an average of 28 points per game in each of his two seasons with the Rockets, hardly shutting down the high-octane offenses of the Mid-American Conference West division. Even more startling was his defense allowed 83 points in the second half alone in the last three weeks of the regular season, which ultimately led to the crash and burn of any Toledo bowl bid.

Coach "Tukes" will replace Tony Samuel at SEMO, who was let go on Nov. 26 after guiding the Redhawks to a 31-60 overall record under his eight year regime, including a 3-9 record in 2013.

If you think Matukewizc left for huge financial benefits, think again. The 40-year-old Matukewicz signed a four year contract at SEMO which has a base salary $130,000, with an opportunity make an additional $57,000 through compensation. For those wondering what Southeast Missouri State is (it exists?), SEMO is an FCS school that finished seventh in the Ohio Valley Conference last season. Their Director of Athletics, Mark Alnutt, told Heartland Sports he wanted to find a new coach for the Redhawks by the end of the calendar year. Their season ended three days ago.

Born To Run

Apparently the recruiting process starts young for the Western Michigan track and field team. The Broncos announced Wednesday they are looking for the "fastest kid in Kalamazoo" between fourth and sixth grade to run in the Ice Breaker Dual against Toledo on Jan. 5. The promotion is obviously a push to increase the attendance at the free event inside Read Fieldhouse, but could the Broncos be up to something?

What if this was a ploy to scout the young talent of Kalamazoo, Mich.? For those wondering, no, the kids won't actually compete in the indoor track meet, but their participation is considered part of the opening activities. They will join alumni in the 4x200m relay prior to the first official heats in the dual. Then again, that doesn't mean coaches won't be on the lookout for homegrown talent.

Point, Ohio!

For the first time in Ohio history, two members of the volleyball program made the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America honorable mention. Sophomore Abby Gilleland and junior Kelly Lamberti were both recognized Wednesday. Gilleland became the first Ohio player to be both the MAC Player of the Year as well as MAC Setter of the Year. Lamberti recorded a team-high 14 double-doubles throughout the year. The last time a Bobcat made the list came in 2009 with Ellen Herman.

Ohio was dominant in MAC play, snatching up both the regular season and tournament titles. In addition, the Green and White made their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2010, wrapping up the season with a 27-6 overall record.

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