dennis raetz...some perspective

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The JSW Level
i know that some people like to look at dennis raetz won-loss record at indiana state and say that he didn't do a good job. so let's just take a closer look at his time there.

he ended his overall coaching record from 1980 to 1997 with a 94-105-1 record. of those 105 losses, 31 came to NCAA Division I-A schools in so-called "money games." he had a 6-31 record against I-A schools, with wins over Ball State, Louisville, and Cincinnati. And, among the 31 losses, were games against Kansas State (26-25, 1991) and Florida (17-13, 1983).

if you were to take out those 31 losses to I-A schools, his record would be 94-74-1 with two NCAA I-AA playoff appearances and a No.-1 national ranking for most of the 1984 season. His record devoid of wins and losses against I-A schools would be 88-74-1.

Raetz had six winning seasons and seven seasons with a .500 or better record. he averaged nearly six wins a season during his 18 years as the head coach.

now from some additional perspective: he won more games than any other football coach in school history. among those who were head coaches for 10 or more seasons, his six winning seasons is second best among all isu head coaches (behind wally marks' nine and just ahead jerry huntsman's five and bill jones' four). only five coaches total in the 111-year history of isu football have winning career records.

Raetz also had 33 All-Gateway Conference selections, 32 All-Missouri Valley Conference selections, 19 I-AA All-America selections, five college all-star game participants, four Missouri Valley Conference Players of the Year, one Gateway Conference Player of the Year and 41 players sign professional contracts. And he was named as the Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year once.

Six of his former assistant coaches are now in the NFL ranks -- David McGinnis (Tennessee), Pete Hoener (San Francisco), Sean Payton (New Orleans), Dave Magazu (Carolina), Alvin Reynolds (Atlanta) and Bobby Turner (Denver). Two have been/are NFL head coaches, McGinnis (Arizona) and Payton (New Orleans).

by the way, raetz had winning records in two of his final three seasons as head coach (7-4, 6-5) in 1995 and 1996. has anybody even come close to a winning season since then?

since dennis left as the head coach in 1997, the sycamores are a whopping 25-75 and have lost 39 of their last 40 games (or 39 of their last 44 games overall). Four of those five wins were early in the 2004 season.

oh. and before anybody points out that dennis was the interim coach last year and didn't win a game, those losses go on Lou West's record. He was the guy that recruited the team and put the coaching staff in place. raetz was just there to try and make the best of a very bad situation with little help.

just some things for people to chew on before they decide to question raetz' coaching skills.


The Odum Level
I remember a lot of people being ready to move on to a new coach because they wanted to see someone do even better than Raetz had. It's really sad to see a decade later we're the worst football team in Div. 1.


1980 Dennis Raetz 6- 5
1981 Dennis Raetz 5-5-1
1982 Dennis Raetz 5- 6
1983 Dennis Raetz 9- 4 1-1
1984 Dennis Raetz 9- 3 0-1
1985 Dennis Raetz 4- 6
1986 Dennis Raetz 3- 8
1987 Dennis Raetz 5- 6
1988 Dennis Raetz 5- 6
1989 Dennis Raetz 4- 7
1990 Dennis Raetz 4- 7
1991 Dennis Raetz 5- 6
1992 Dennis Raetz 6- 5
1993 Dennis Raetz 4- 7
1994 Dennis Raetz 5- 6
1995 Dennis Raetz 7- 4
1996 Dennis Raetz 6- 5
1997 Dennis Raetz 3- 8

Most of the time he was right around .500. '83 and '84 were good seasons, but no double digit wins during the regular season.

My comment was one of mediocrity, not that he was a terrible head coach. As has been said, Raetz was fantastic at turning boys in to men and judging a player's character. I have no idea what his teams looked like on the field because I wasn't born when they were playing their best football. Under Raetz, minus '83 and '84, ISU was a medicore football team.
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The JSW Level
just wondering?

how many double-digit winning seasons has indiana state had in its history? none, nada, zero.

how many nine-win seasons has isu had in its history? two, both coming under dennis raetz.

sometimes you have to dig and look beyond the numbers. find out what was going on when he was coaching there, like how he was lied to by the athletic administration as to his recruiting budget.

after the 1984 season, raetz was offered two major head coaching jobs -- louisville and oregon state. both times he was talked out of taking those jobs by the athletic administration with promises of upgrading his budget and facilities at indiana state.

as we all know, neither happened. in fact, the budget was trimmed and the facilities never got any better. in fact, there was talk of isu going to Division I-A in football. again, it didn't happen. monies were taken out of the football budget and given to other sports.

and during raetz' coaching tenure, he wasn't playing teams on an even playing field. that's what i was trying to point out in my earlier post. if you take out the I-A schools he was forced to play, he was 14 games over the .500 mark.

that's the thing about playing Division I teams. you have to play them on their field and you are playing teams with more players on scholarship.

i once heard a gateway conference coach make a good point when he said that playing division I schools hurts you in two ways -- the game you lose to them and you have a good chance to lose the next game against a team at your own level because of the injuries sustained when playing a division I team. so its pretty much of a double whammy.

isu has never had a great history of real successful football. the best they've been, on a year-to-year basis, came under raetz. in fact, probably the best three head football coaches to work at isu were raetz, jerry huntsman and dick jamieson. huntsman retired and jamieson coached for two seasons before taking an assistant coaching job in the nfl.

talk to the players who toiled under him. ask them if he was a mediocre coach. i'll bet 99.9 percent of them will tell you that he wasn't.