Carlin B. Carpenter story goes to AP
Associated Press features Carpenter in weekly previewSeptember 11, 2002
The following article appeared in Ohio media outlets state-wide last Friday as part
of the weekly Associated Press weekend preview series.
Bluffton coach Carpenter carries a clipboard and a tuneBy ANDY RESNIK
Associated Press Writer
September 6, 2002
|Head Coach Carlin Carpenter was featured in an Associated Press weekly preview article
last week (Sept. 6).
Bluffton football coach Carlin Carpenter knows more than Xs and Os. Also included in his playbook are Do, Re and Mi.
"This year we had an officials' meeting with the league and he was the entertainment," said Greg Pscodna, the coach at rival Defiance. "He got up and sang and got a standing ovation."
Carpenter, who also plays the guitar, has a favorite song: "A Five Pound Box of Cheese." He performed the novelty tune years ago at a coaches' convention in Dallas and won an all-expenses paid trip for two to Nashville, Tenn.
"I can be serious when I want to be, but life is too short to be serious all the time," Carpenter said.
Maybe there's something to that. No current Ohio college football coach has been at their school longer than Carpenter. Year 24 begins Saturday when the Beavers play at Marietta.
"It just means I'm old," the 64-year-old Carpenter said when asked about being the dean of his profession in Ohio.
"Probably the only thing it means is we've got a good administration because they probably could have fired me a few times. The first few years, it was very lean. We were 0-9 and 1-8 a few times."
Things are much better now. The Beavers won a share of the Heartland Conference title in 2000 and ended last season by spoiling Defiance's bid to go undefeated in league play.
Most of Carpenter's top players return this season including tailback Jovan Johnson, who rushed for 1,096 yards over the final eight games last year and earned first-team All-Heartland Conference honors.
Though excited about the chance at having a successful season, Carpenter said he's not driven by winning.
"As I get older, I try to put things in perspective," said Carpenter, also an avid fisherman. "We like to win, but it's not the end of the world if you lose."
So the coach who has a 100-118-1 career record has made some changes in recent years. He only meets with assistant coaches on Monday and Tuesday nights so the members of his staff can spend more time with their families.
Carpenter didn't like being away from his wife Sharon and daughters Kelly and Jill during his six years as an assistant coach at Ohio and four more with Marshall before coming to Division III Bluffton in 1979.
"I've slept in the office before. That's dumb," said Carpenter, who also is Bluffton's athletic director and an assistant professor of health, physical education and recreation.
Sometimes, it even seems like Carpenter is more interested in what's going on at Defiance, Pscodna said. Carpenter graduated from Defiance in 1964 and was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 1988.
"As an alum he says, 'You better win or I'll get you fired,'" said Pscodna, starting his seventh year in charge of the Yellowjackets.
Stability has reigned with the Bluffton football program since Carpenter took over. Not only has Carpenter spent parts of four decades at the school, there has been little turnover with his staff. Offensive coordinator Greg Brooks has been with Carpenter since the coach's second season.
What could be his greatest accomplishment is about 60 of Carpenter's former players are coaching at some level including Mike Kelly, an offensive assistant coach with the Philadelphia Eagles.
"You never know what kind of influence you're going to have on a person," Carpenter said.