College Basketball Moeller High-School ‘80 Rio Grande University ’80-‘82 Urbana University ’83-‘85
After attending Moeller High-School, I was given a full scholarship to play basketball at Rio Grande University though I really didn’t take life seriously. I would sleep in, miss classes and rarely applied myself. I barely got by! If I needed a 70, I would work to get a 71. If a paper was due in 3 weeks, instead of turning it in early, I’d be up all night the day before it was due to turn it in. This kind of attitude was one that eventually got me suspended for a semester. I wanted to wait the semester until I could get back in, but my dad knew better. He recommended that I go somewhere else. In the meantime, a coach from Urbana University contacted me and offered me a scholarship, and though I was torn, my dad knew what was best for me. He knew that if I sat around for a semester waiting to get back into Rio Grande that it wouldn’t be best for me and so I made the choice to attend Urbana. Listening to your parents or others isn’t always easy to do, but many times they are much wiser. When looking back, I can’t say that it was just me alone that looked at the overall situation and changed schools, but I can say that through some humility, I did open my eyes and ears to listen to my dad in order to make the right choice. Check Your Game isn’t always about what you want to do, but it can be about listening to advice and direction from others and heeding their advice. Listening to my dad’s advice worked out best for me.
I have a few areas that I’d like to give advice for current athletes. After transferring to my Urbana, I realized that this was my last hoorah and that I better start applying myself and thinking about my future. I finally made some positive changes, starting with good friendships which helped me to stay away from the party scene as well as other areas so I could focus more on my studies. My advice on this note is really simple! Surround yourself with good influences so that you can be successful in school. After graduating, I got my first job in education at Indian Hill, HS and started to teach and coach where I was able to be a role model and continue to do the same today.
Secondly, as a student athlete, there are many temptations out there that pull us in. We are always under a microscope and you never know who’s keeping tabs on you, so take this into consideration before you make decisions and always be in alignment with your school policy. If you live life with high integrity and character, you won’t have to worry who’s watching you. Although not necessarily illegal, social media is a new area that also pulls athlete’s further away from where they should be.
As a teacher, I see so much going on with social media that isn’t healthy. Kids are bullying others, there’s smack talk and it’s all being done through texting and tweeting, but I also see a problem because kids are on their phones 24/7. I recommend a limit for time on a phone but also what we are communicating too. When kids get a job and have a problem with their boss, a text isn’t a good means to communicate so why not learn how to deal with issues face to face. In my classroom, I help kids out but asking them to put their phones in a box and then pick them up after class. It’s better for everyone!
Coach Jutze, thanks to being humble enough to share some things that when we were young, probably wouldn't have come out of your mouth. Just getting by and not applying yourself in school and dabbling a bit with things that weren't always the best for you as a student athlete seem to be common among many athletes but it isn't talked about too much. We all think when we're young that we're invincible and that sports lasts forever but as wiser men, we know better. Thank-you so much for not only being a good role model when you coached me, but also to be able to share some of the things you dealt with in your past. I know your story will ring a bell with other student athletes and I do appreciate your time, story and advice. -Gary Rogers