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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  • MUTKA: Paul Condry: Once a working Brickie, always a Brickie

    In the cluttered mix of memorabilia at the Hobart Historical Society rests a wide variety of objects. Search its musty recesses and you’ll find scattered traces of a football program that defines this bedroom community. “Once a Brickie, always a Brickie, work, work, work” is …Read More

  • MUTKA: RIP: Remembering Tom Stokes’ single wing mastery

    Hurry-up offense. No huddle. Not so fast. Aren’t we just talking about a disguised variation of the single wing? In the 1960s and ’70s, when they were thumbing their noses at that offense, Tom Stokes stuck to his guns. Result? The late, great coach rolled …

  • MUTKA: VU’s offense in a rush, but Pumas already have arrived

    VALPARAISO — Running the football won’t cure what ails Valparaiso University’s long-suffering program, but coach Dave Cecchini is determined to instill that philosophy. It just may take a while. He’s not a three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust kinda guy, though, especially not when running backs Jake Hutson (knee injury) …Read More

  • MUTKA: St. Joseph’s running back Braxton Shelton shapes up for 1,000-yard repeat

    Physically fit? You betcha. St. Joseph’s running back Braxton Shelton has never felt better. “Best shape I’ve been in for three years,” he declared. The fifth-year senior’s offseason approach to conditioning was unorthodox, one that most coaches probably would not embrace. Working out in Kokomo …

  • MUTKA: VU needs defensive upgrade on gridiron to revive

    All things considered, solid defense thrives more on instinctive play than swirling gray matter, which can be hazardous to third-down stops. Valparaiso University middle linebacker Alex Green keeps reminding himself of that. “That’s something I’ve had trouble with in the past,” he said, nodding. “Thinking …Read More

  • MUTKA: QB-by-committee no longer an option for Indiana

    Quarterback-by-committee no longer an option for IU And then there was one. His name is Nate Sudfeld. And his game is to quarterback Indiana to a winning season, something that happens in Bloomington about as often as an endangered species makes a comeback. Three years …

  • MUTKA: Football assistant Mark Deal has stayed true to his Indiana roots

    Mark Deal bleeds Cream and Crimson. He’s been doing so for Indiana University football ever since he put on a uniform for Lee Corso in the mid-’70s. Deal’s playing career spanned from 1975-78. Being a graduate assistant for IU in 1979 jump-started him in coaching. …Read More

  • MUTKA: Once-proud Wallace football died from benign neglect

    From the very beginning Lew Wallace was a football school. What I remember most about the Glen Park-based program was its hardy rosters forged from Eastern European roots. The early birds who experienced the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression didn’t rave about hoops until …Read More

  • MUTKA: Oakland blockbuster makes Lloyd McClendon’s job tougher

    CHICAGO — “Trade? What trade?” Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon was being facetious, of course. All weekend he’s been asked that question, ever since Oakland acquired pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the endlessly rebuilding Cubs. Already pitching-rich with innings-eaters Scott Kazmir (10-3, 2.53 ERA), …Read More

  • MUTKA: Big Ten, 12, 14 officially welcomes Maryland, Rutgers

    Roll out the welcome wagon for Maryland and Rutgers. For reasons which escape me, other than basic greed, they officially become members of the Big Ten, Eleven, Twelve or Fourteen on Tuesday. Cynics, pick your number. Toss out tradition. Forget Midwest values. Heartland? What heartland? …

  • MUTKA: Craig Dedelow blooms from Indiana walk-on to part-time starter

    Craig Dedelow didn’t expect to set the world on fire going into his freshman year at Indiana University. “Being a walk-on I didn’t think I’d get much playing time at all,” he said before flaring up with the Northwest Indiana Oilmen last week. Understandable since …Read More

  • MUTKA: Jerrick Suiter skipped Blue Jays to spur Horned Frogs

    In his senior year of high school Jerrick Suiter was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays. Tempting though it was, he opted to refine his skills elsewhere. “I felt like I needed to go to college and get some experience,” said Suiter, now a junior …

  • MUTKA: Gary’s nomadic Uzelac thrived as gridiron coach

    Most football coaches work their way up from high school to college. Elliot Uzelac chose a round-about route by sandwiching Division I experience between high school stints. During his 45 years of football Uzelac was named high school coach of the year in two states …Read More

  • Mutka: Matt Painter, Purdue seeking a coming of age

    MERRILLVILLE — Getting old — that’s Coach Matt Painter’s objective. Not him, silly. Just his Purdue basketball team. In the present Division I climate, that’s difficult. Long-term planning can be a waste of time when transfers or the NBA can sabotage your efforts at the …Read More

  • Mutka: Locals add pop to Indiana baseball

    Consider the DeMuth family well-traveled. Belonging to a family of educators almost guaranteed it. In Indiana third baseman Dustin DeMuth’s case, his siblings have cast their footprints all over Northwest Indiana. His brother, David, was a three-sport star at Highland High School. His sister, Jenny, …

  • Mutka: ‘D’ priority for VU: eliminate big plays

    Incoming Valparaiso University football coach Dave Cecchini understands the problem. How soon he can correct it is the question. He inherited a defense that frequently self-destructed, giving up big play after big play on its way to a third straight 1-and-10 meltdown. Hoping to plug …Read More

  • MUTKA: Tailback riches shift Valparaiso’s offensive outlook

    VALPARAISO — Valparaiso University football fans — what few are left — would like to forget about the last three years. If not for Campbell’s three contributions the Crusaders would be 0-and-33 since 2011. One of those victories snapped a 29-game losing streak, but none …Read More