John Mutka

John Mutka worked full-time at the Post-Tribune for 40 years, covering such events as the 1980 Olympics in Los Angeles, three Final Fours, including Indiana’s …Read More

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  • Schmack makes a pitch for Valpo baseball

    Please don’t confuse first-year Valparaiso University baseball coach Brian Schmack with the new kid on the block. Hardly. Not when he spent the previous seven years as Tracy Woodson’s pitching coach. When Woodson departed for Richmond after guiding the Horizon League Tournament champs to their …Read More

  • MUTKA: March Madness infects balanced Big Ten

    March Madness is creeping up on us. Whether or not the weatherman cooperates the silly season is less than five weeks away. If nothing else, it gives us something to think about besides snow and below-zero temperatures. Going into Saturday’s games only Syracuse and Wichita …

  • MUTKA: Valpo, St. Joe’s hit football recruiting jackpot

    Apparently defense is a foreign concept to high school football teams in Central Indiana. How else do you explain ridiculous scores like 83-78 and 43-35? Quarterbacked by Conner Smith, Perry Meridian put up those winning numbers against Decatur Central and Terre Haute South last season. …Read More

  • MUTKA: German all-star Chris Ensminger helped launch Valpo hoops

    Most career basketball records are made to be broken. Others? Maybe not. At Valparaiso University a few that seem secure include Bryce Drew’s total of 2,142 points and Chris Ensminger’s 910 rebounds. That inside-outside combination figured in a VU dynasty, which started with the first …

  • MUTKA: Lindner recalls high-octane days with Bartow

    In Bruce Lindner’s senior year at Valparaiso University, basketball coach Gene Bartow asked him to shoot more. Lindner was only too happy to oblige. Being a gunner paid off. Lindner averaged 27.8 points in the 1969-70 season, a school record that has withstood the test …Read More

  • Mutka: NWI talent elevates Michigan basketball duo

    No doubt about it, the state of Michigan rocks in basketball. Give Indiana imports an assist for the Big Ten’s dual dynasty. Leading off the M&M show: Michigan State is off to its best start in history with the help of Gary’s Branden Dawson and …

  • Mutka: College bowl season brought more mediocrity

    No doubt about it, couch potatoes never had it better over the holidays. Unfortunately, college fans will no longer have Johnny Football to kick around. Many bowl games were wildly exciting, none more so than Manziel’s grand finale in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. In a 52-48 …Read More

  • MUTKA: Len Schmidt’s athletic roots leave Merrillville imprint

    Total left knee replacement aside, Len Schmidt is walking with a spring in his step nowadays. It took multiple cortisone shots to convince him to undergo the procedure on Nov. 18, but the former coach/athletic director is looking forward to appearing at Avalon Manor Wednesday …Read More

  • Valpo’s Karp closing in on SXU scoring record

    In 48 years of coaching — the last 17 at St. Xavier University — Tom O’Malley boiled down his basketball philosophy to two sentences: Coaches coach. Players play. “They deserve the credit,” said O’Malley, who has guided the Cougars to 406 victories and 11 appearances …Read More

  • Mutka: Ball State football putting IU, Purdue on back burner

    While Indiana and Purdue continue to languish in never-never land, not an easy accomplishment given the 70 bowl-eligibles who came out of the woodwork, Ball State will be making its second straight postseason appearance. The Cardinals have piled up 19 victories in the last two …

  • MUTKA: Chesterton’s John Snyder likes VU’s direction in football

    John Snyder’s return to college coaching wasn’t what he’d hoped for. Valparaiso went 1-10 for the third straight year, his boss got fired and his future in coaching is uncertain. Fortunately, the former Chesterton football coach didn’t give up his day job, which is teaching. …Read More

  • Mutka: Phoenix living up to preseason Horizon hype

    Change is inevitable, but not neccessarily welcome. Ask any old-timer. Chances are he’ll be delighted to remind you of the good old days. In the Horizon League, Butler’s departure raised shock waves two years ago. Loyola exiting for the Missouri Valley Conference? Not so much. …

  • MUTKA: Can Michigan State buck the Big Ten odds?

    Back in the neanderthal age, grind-it-out football advocates were fond of quoting this from the Big Ten bible: offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships. That was before Urban Meyer revised the blueprint at Ohio State. Under Meyer, the Buckeyes have rolled to a school-record …Read More

  • MUTKA: Cory Sanders’ Pumas primed for next gridiron grind

    Less than a decade ago Cory Sanders was playing for his third coach in four years at St. Joseph’s College, where he earned defensive MVP honors in 2005. Now he’s presiding over the same program. “Yeah, time flies,” he said a week after SJC produced …Read More

  • John Mutka: Michigan State’s Adrien Payne, Branden Dawson flex their muscles

    Remember that popular TV commercial “where’s the beef?” several years ago? If the meat is still missing try checking out the Breslin Center, home of Michigan State basketball. “We’re No. 1” discussions are premature, but beating Kentucky’s NBA farm team with its stockpiled McDonald All-Americans …

  • Mutka: Michigan basketball roomies on same wave length

    Being roommates at Michigan and former AAU teammates Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III established an undeniable comfort zone in their freshman year with the NCAA runner-up. “We’ve been best friends for a while,” said McGary, who came out of Chesterton by way of Brewster …Read More

  • Mutka: Yogi believes young Hoosiers can (w) hoop it up

    Questions ... So many questions. Having lost three-fourths of their offensive production and 70 percent of their rebounding, Tom Crean’s Hoosiers face an uncertain future. In the Big Ten only Illinois is younger than Indiana, which is why middle-of-the-pack seems a safe choice for those …Read More