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The 2013 Jake Wade Award goes to…

by on Jun.14, 2013, under baseball, basketball, d3sports, football, hockey, How it's done, Insights, Personal posts, soccer

Pat Coleman interviews Ursinus College's Kevin Small at the 2008 NCAA Division III Basketball Third Place game at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, VA.

2008 D3sports.com File Photo by Ryan Tipps
Pat Coleman interviews Ursinus College’s Kevin Small at the 2008 NCAA Division III Basketball Third Place game at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, VA.

If you’ve been around our website for a little while you’re no stranger to D3sports.com — or more importantly it’s news sites: D3football, D3hoops, D3baseball, D3soccer, and (most recently) D3hockey. Or you’re a message board follower and you’re on D3boards.com or D3blogs.com.

Did you know there’s also D3jobs.com for people looking for employment at the Division III level and elsewhere? We helped make that site happen, and the others, thanks to the CoSIDA 2013 Jake Wade awardee, Pat Coleman.

We wouldn’t be doing what we do today if it weren’t for Pat and his labor of love. I’ve been involved with the site since 1998 when I first put the graphics together for the discussion boards Posting Up (basketball) and Post Patterns (football), but in the spring of 2002 I came on staff full time as the application and web developer for the two websites. It was rocky at first – I had no experience in the area prior to my 21st birthday that spring but Pat was willing to take the chance to push forward and try something new. The first few versions of the interface weren’t pretty but he stuck through it and we ended up bringing D3football and D3hoops under a new standard and eventually launched D3baseball and D3soccer under a single, common, platform. Baseball in 2007 and soccer in 2008.

Pat Coleman during the broadcast of the 2008 Final Four Hoopsville at the Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia, on March 28, 2008.

2008 D3sports.com File Photo by Ryan Coleman
Pat Coleman during the broadcast of the 2008 Final Four Hoopsville at the Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia, on March 28, 2008.

We launched a photo service – without D3sports.com we, d3photography, could never have existed. Pat’s support of us and, more importantly the schools, programs and student athletes, has resulted in complete growth in online coverage of college athletics.

Many of us owe our careers to Pat, and for that we are extremely thankful.

We went out and gathered the thoughts and well wishes of a few friends of D3sports.com – a former writer, an SID, a photographer, a current columnist and one of the host cities of many championships he has attended – as a testimony to the hard work Pat has put in and the respect he has earned among the schools, conferences and other media.


Jim Stout was a founding employee of D3football.com and also MaxPreps.com. He has a few words he’d like to share with you:

I can still remember seeing and reading d3hoops.com for the first time during that inaugural season, 1995-96 or 1996-97 or whenever it was. I was working in Kent Cherrington’s office at Plymouth State in the dead of a New Hampshire winter, after covering a Little East basketball game. We were talking periodically about the need to grow Division III sports and the public’s awareness of them. Coverage was negligible at the time in most places. The web was only slowly evolving. There weren’t a lot of alternatives. Kent then said something to the affect, “have you seen what THIS guy is doing?” Kent had a cramped little first-floor office back then at Plymouth and no real desk, and everyone worked at a counter top, so you really didn’t have to get up to look at someone else’s computer screen. You just leaned over and looked. He summoned a page on his screen, and the original parquet floor design for the home page of d3hoops popped up. I vaguely recall seeing there had been 2,000 visitors to the site since the publication opened. “Two thousand people, wow!” We both agreed that was huge, astronomical really. There was an email listed, d3hoops@aol.com. I contacted the owner of the email and the site to see if he needed any help. Life was never quite the same after that. To this day I still use that email. I think there may be a place for it in Springfield someday, as well as that parquet floor home page.

On d3football:
Some people remember where they there when John Kennedy was shot or when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon or when Nixon resigned. I remember sitting in a hotel room in Leominster, Mass., in June of 1999, waiting to cover a summer collegiate baseball game, when Pat made the plunge to launch d3football.com. It’s difficult to imagine this today, but he was actually a little reluctant to do it at first…if not reluctant, extremely cautious. It was a huge commitment and not necessarily a sane one. There was no real staff, no money, no history of success with football, no guarantee that the move wouldn’t be a colossal waste of time. D3hoops was tough enough to maintain in the early days. Another site? There were three of us as I recall on the IM chat conference that day (yes, we had IM back then, barely). Pat, “Sugar” Ray Martel and myself…we debated the pros and cons. It seemed like a good idea, but once you go ahead with it, there’s no turning back. That was the scary part. It couldn’t just be another site. It had to be good. It had to have the credibility of the still-young d3hoops. It had to have the Pat Coleman stamp of excellence. The debate wasn’t going all that well. Finally, I think it was Ray that said, “all of this is true, but if we don’t do it now, someone else will. We don’t want to regret it. We don’t want to be sitting here a year or two from now wishing we had moved.” Suddenly there was a long pause on the computer screen. There was no chat in the IM dialogue box for the longest time. At first I thought there was a problem with the Internet connection (this was probably an 8k or 56k dial-up connection, remember). Still nothing. Finally, four fateful words: “ok, let’s do it.” Weeks later, d3football was born.

On people:
Earlier this week, Ryan sent me a screen shot and page archive from the original d3football.com home page, something I probably hadn’t seen for a decade or more. Two quick thoughts:
One, it’s amazing how good it still looks today. Dated yes, a little, but most things are dated. I often cringe when I see old web designs or old newspaper designs or anything old that isn’t a classic. This is a classic. This was GOOD. I see things today that were designed only months ago that aren’t this good.
And two, to look at the list of columnists from that first season in the left-hand rail, to see names such as Ira Thor, Mike Warwick, Don Stoner, Eric Sieger, to be back again with them – and others – to be counted again as one after all these years is really quite moving…which of course is another reason why we’re celebrating Patrick’s award. To borrow loosely from a time-honored adage, we don’t remember web sites, we remember people. We remember moments, all of which D3, Inc., has helped bring together over the years for so many people across the country. I know I speak for most when I say that all of us who have worked with Pat have had our lives enriched by the many friendships and associations we’ve developed through the sites and through the network. Personally I haven’t been involved in the operation for over 10 years, but I don’t feel as though I ever left the D3 family. The family now transcends multiple generations. It used to be that you’d only know the D3 coaches and the SIDs, and the kids were kids. Now those same D3 kids are coaches and SIDs themselves, and they remember the early days of being covered by the original d3 publications. I work closely in my current role with high school coaches in all sports, in all 50 states. It’s common occurance to get an email from a young high school coach who remembers seeing a name, and remembers being covered by d3football or d3hoops in the early days, and how much it meant. An extended family indeed. A family that only one person could have made possible through his decades of work and commitment – Pat Coleman.

Jim Stout
Media Manager, Eastern U.S.
CBS MaxPreps, Inc.

Mark Adkins has been a friend and supporter of D3sports.com for many, many years.

Pat has done so much for Division III athletics. I honestly can’t think of too many sports he hasn’t helped in a positive way with his web sites. They are the true “places to go” if you want information on Division III as it happens.

I would also add that he has been one of the true friends in the business to me during my 14 years as a Division III SID. Always willing to answer a question at any time and also to talk about our shared love and disparity of the Vikings.

This honor is well deserved good friend. Congratulations!

Mark Adkins
Sports Information Director, Manchester University (Ind.).
Formerly at Norwich University (Conn.) and Wartburg College (Iowa)

Larry Radloff, one of our regional photographers, came on board in the summer of 2006:

I met Pat Coleman in the fall of 2006. I was just starting my work with him as a photographer, and to be honest I didn’t know much about the Division III world outside my little corner of the world in Wisconsin.

My first lesson, learn the powerhouses. So Wisc.-Whitewater and Mount Union were quickly understood. And it was a lesson well learned. After all those years in the Stagg Bowl, I was well prepared to have an opinion on them both. And then it spread, a little bit in basketball, but more to baseball, where by 2007, I was well versed in everything I needed to know to cover them. Through Pat, I met Jim Dixon, where I learned the finer parts of Division III baseball and the storied programs there. Try as he has, I still don’t understand Pool B and C, I guess we have a ways to go yet.

Pat has certainly taught me the geography of d3 sports. Its a learning process, but a path he has taken myself and many others down, and through his love of the sports that he covers and continue to develop. It’s been a great ride, I’ve met many people, future professional players, coaches, even a World Series MVP. None of them will ever remember me, other than someone they’ve shook a hand with, but to me I’ve met great people and great friends all because of Pat.

Larry Radloff
Great Lakes Editor, d3photography.com

Larry: We can definitely revisit that this summer if you want a refresher. It’s a lot easier than explaining the concept of the “throw-away game” to parents and fans who have never been to the Baseball Championship (a Pat Coleman educational video).

Carey Harveycutter, who has been instrumental in bringing countless NCAA championships to Salem, Virginia, shared these words with us:

Pat Coleman and D3sports has done more for Division III sports than any other outlet. I met Pat early on in our hosting of the Stagg Bowl when he was still living in Virginia and have followed his successes. I am glad that after many years of hard work and using his own money to keep it all afloat he is finally making a little money. I am so pleased that he was recognized by CoSIDA for his efforts.

Carey Harveycutter
Director of Civic Facilities
City of Salem, Virginia

It’s a labor of love, but I think I said that already. Not only can I thank Pat for my career in web development but also in sports photography and, really, helping push my technology career that I still maintain to this day.

Adam Turer is a columnist for D3football.com and a graduate of Washington and Lee and a writer for the Community Press and Recorder in Cincinnati:

For many of us, Pat Coleman became a household name before we had houses to call home. He was a writer we first read in our dorm room, or maybe that seminal summer after high school graduation and before our first two-a-days as collegiate athletes. Pat’s passion for Division III athletics shines through in all of his work. He doesn’t just make sure that D3 athletes get the coverage they deserve; he fights for their recognition. He has made countless personal sacrifices to grow the D3sports brand. The number of athletes who received coverage on a D3sports website that they would not have received anywhere else must be approaching, if it hasn’t already exceeded, millions.

Like many of you, I started reading a D3sports website as a freshman. D3football.com quickly became my laptop’s homepage. After graduation, I reached out to Pat, who gave me an opportunity to contribute to the site. It was a way for me to give back and show my appreciation for my favorite website. Pat gave me a chance to stay involved in something I was passionate about, after my playing days were over. He has given many others the same opportunity. I’m proud to be a member of the D3sports.com family, a family that would not exist without the ingenuity, passion, drive, and perseverance of Pat Coleman. I’m proud to call Pat a journalist I respect, a colleague, and a friend. Congratulations, Pat, on the Jake Wade award. Any and all recognition you receive for all you do for Division III schools, athletes, and families is well-deserved and long overdue.

Adam Turer
Mid-Atlantic Columnist, D3football.com

Today Pat joined an elite group of, now, 56 members of the media as a recipient of the Jake Wade Award along side the likes of Dick Vitale, Dick Enberg, Sid Hartman, Pam Ward, Robin Roberts and many, many others.

I’m proud to not only call him not only my brother but boss and mentor.

Without Pat’s support and initiative our lives would be vastly different.


Ryan Coleman
Publisher, d3photography.com

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Are you kidding me, again?!

by on Mar.11, 2013, under Are you kidding me??, baseball, Dome Ball, Insights, MIAC, WIAC

Ok, so umpires are fallible. Now matter how much we like them when the calls go our way they are still fallible.

But the first tilt between No. 25 Wisc.-Stevens Point and Saint John’s was a complete disaster.

First off – the bases were loaded in the 5th (I would use player names here but I was shooting and the box score is not online yet). Two outs. A hot chopper was hit to third, the third baseman for Stevens Point did not have control of the ball and dove in to third to tag the bag to force the third out of the inning… but he either missed or was too late. The Johnnie runner overran third. The runner that was on third to start the at bat crosses home, the runner is then tagged out at third. The umpires disallowed the run. The inning ends in a 5-5 tie. (continue reading…)

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It’s MADNESS, I tell you… MADNESS!!!!

by on Mar.06, 2013, under baseball, basketball, d3sports, hockey, Insights, NCAA Tournament

CBS Sports and the NCAA like to make us think March is mad because of the Division I Men’s Basketball tournament… but those of us who cover or follow other sports know it’s mad for another reason.

As you know I am within a short drive of the HHH Metrodome and I am often found in the press box or on the field of the Dome taking photos but this weekend is uniquely insane: I am scheduling 10 matchups with the possibility of a couple extra between now and Sunday night. Although three of those are WCHA Final Faceoff hockey games but we should also have the Saint Thomas/North Central (Ill.) men’s basketball game covered, as well as two basketball games at Wisc.-Whitewater on Friday and NCAA Div III hockey tournament game on Saturday night.

If any of you make the trip to any of these events please stop by and say hi to Larry Radloff or myself.

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Metrodome College Baseball – The End of an Era

by on Mar.05, 2013, under baseball, d3sports, Insights, MIAC, Rants, UMAC

Panoramic image by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com

The HHH Metrodome on the evening of March 2, 2013.

Right now it’s 7:30, it’s 25° outside and there’s more than seven inches of snow (and sitll coming down) on the ground outside the HHH Metrodome. Inside? 85 and sunny. And that’s just at field level – in the seats it can feel much, much warmer. Concordia University (Minn.) and Jamestown (N.D.) are just getting started with a pair of 7-inning games. Yes, the first pitch was 2am.

We have this fortunate thing here in Minnesota called the Metrodome. It gives schools and conferences the ability to play a full collegiate season without having to cram 40 games into a 60-day schedule (not impossible but very, very hectic). It used to mean games going on 24/7 inside the warm (continue reading…)

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The Many Faces of Glenn Caruso

by on Jan.09, 2013, under football, Insights, MIAC, NCAA Tournament, OAC, WIAC

We realized very early in the season (before the end of their first game of the year) that St. Thomas’ head coach Glenn Caruso would be an interesting character to cover. Nevermind the fact that we’ve seen him coach every single year he’s been in Minnesota (two years at Macalester before taking over the Tommies) and we know how animated (continue reading…)

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Safe or out? You tell us

by on Apr.17, 2011, under Are you kidding me??, baseball, Insights, MIAC

Safe or out?Watching the Yankees-Rangers game on ESPN right now seeing Gary Pettis’ ejection over a close call at first (I think the umps were right) reminds me of today’s St. Thomas/Gustavus matchup. Cody Sukalski hit a slow chopper to second and I put the photo in our gallery of his foot on the bag with Firstbaseman John Means’ foot on the bag, stretched out and the ball is still at least two feet away from making contact. [box score: play-by-play]

He was called out. It won’t change the outcome of the game by any means now – it wasn’t the last play of the game with the bases loaded and Gustavus wasn’t even threatening. But check out the photo.

Umpires are fallible. Mistakes happen. Close calls are forgivable, but this one wasn’t. Close that is.

As photographers we’re all about the freeze-frame. That single snapshot (pun intended) that defines a moment and this was one of them.

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Close to the action!

by on Oct.17, 2010, under Insights

Oomph!!

Without officials / referees, the sports that we love so much wouldn’t happen. They often take heat from fans and coaches for their calls. They have an incredibly tough job being they are right in the middle of the action. Unfortunately, sometimes they get too close to the action as this football referee experienced. Do you have any photos or stories of officials that got just a little too close to the action?

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Way to use your head!

by on Sep.27, 2010, under football, How it's done, IIAC, Insights, MIAC, soccer, sports, UMAC

Around the gridiron the phrase using your head is often associated with a direct helmet-to-helmet hit. Something that is neither a good thing to do or witness, and may send chills down the backs of the spectators, coaches, officials and sports medicine staff.

I was witness to a Monmouth (Ill.) player who took such a hard hit against St. John’s (Minn.) in the opening round of the 2005 playoffs that play was stopped for at least a half hour after being knocked unconscious and he had a seizure on the field. He was taken by stretcher to an ambulance off the side of the stadium where he was kept until after the game, when he had regained feeling in his toes, and spent a few days in a St. Cloud hospital.

Click thumbnail to see full shot

This past weekend I witnessed a potentially similar scenario play out as a Central Dutch linebacker made a delayed hit on the just out-of-bounds on Coe receiver Andrew Squires. While it appeared that Squires was not injured on the apparent helmet-on-helmet hit, the linebacker was spoken to by an official and Coe head coach Steve Stalker shared his dislike for the contact with the official. Nothing came of the play in the rulings on the field, however.

So that’s the harrowing side of the use of one’s head in a game. We’d like to highlight to fun, exciting and remarkable side of the subject: Having the wherewithal in the game to make an outstanding decision at a key moment that seals the victory or turns the tables, or is just simply remarkable.

Their head is in the game and the pivotal play comes to, well, “mind”.

A sequence set of Mellick's forced fumble-turned-touchback on Saturday.

Coe’s Dillon Mellick did just that a few minutes earlier in the game. Central’s Mike Furlong had caught a pass inside the Coe red zone and he had Mellick beat by a step. But he stepped up, forcing the ball out of Furlong’s hands which bounced out on the five yard line and bounced into the back of the endzone for a Cohawk touchback.

As Mellick told the Cedar Rapids Gazette:

“I got burned on it,” the senior from Waukon said. “But I could see he was holding the ball wide, so I just went for it all and got it.”

That heads-up decision, with the score 30-28 in Coe’s favor, helped seal the victory. They padded it later with a touchdown and timely interception with less than two minutes remaining. No. 9 Coe held on to defeat No. 7 Central 37-28.

There is more to it than just making a great play

St Scholastica's Greg Doornink (4) heads the ball over St Thomas' Mike Hutton (22) on Sept. 21.

St Scholastica's Greg Doornink (4) heads the ball over St Thomas' Mike Hutton (22) on Sept. 21.

In soccer, using your head has a different connotation: using your head to make a header. That’s where this blog came to on Thursday afternoon while covering the St. Thomas vs. St. Scholastica men’s soccer match. As Matt Milless wrote last week in “Did you get that?” finding that stop-action photo that makes you look at it in wonder and amazement, such as the header, is very difficult to capture consistently, if at all, for periods of time.

We, as photographers, may make it look easy, that we get those photos a lot if you look at our best works; but at d3photography.com we strive on the quality of the work we publish, not the quantity of the photos we take at an event. I don’t mean to generalize wire photographers here, but there are many who will fire off many thousands of photos in a quarter of football, half of soccer or basketball or a period of a hockey game just to have that “perfect” shot for the game. They may take 1,000-2,500 photos in a given window of a game and run one, two, 10 or 20 photos in a gallery online, a couple of pictures in the next publication – if space allows.

Our photographers work to include all the relevant photos from a game for news purposes, but also for the purposes of the fans to see, and have a memory of the game.

In the St. Thomas vs. St. Scholastica match from last week, out of the 193 photos published in our photo gallery I had 19 photos of attempted headers. Most of them were spot on (by the players) and the looks on their faces and the displacement of the air in the ball is apparent.

As you will see on the right, a “perfect header photo” (just like a perfect slapshot, baseball liner, basketball jumpshot) is right when the ball shows no displacement of air.

But who really wants to see a perfectly shaped ball, anyway?

Go inside to more photos from our photographers

(continue reading…)

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Did you get that?

by on Sep.17, 2010, under football, Insights, Liberty League, sports

"A little early"

Ithaca defends Union Photo by Matt Milless, d3photography.com

One of the most frequent questions I am asked when photographing sports is; did you get that shot?  This is most often referring to a shot, a hit, or often a foul or infraction of some kind.  It is very difficult to explain that in a still photograph the action is stopped; so unless you capture a foot right on a line as a player lands, it can be very hard to reflect an infraction via a still image.  This past week, while shooting the Ithaca vs. Union game, I had the opportunity to capture a clear infractions.  In this image the ball is a second away from reaching the receiver and the defender has prematurely grabbed the arm of the receiver which is clearly pass interference.  In this instance it turned out to be a no call, but my image could in fact prove the infraction.  Nevertheless, the game went on, the athletes played hard, and it was a great competition.  I add this disclaimer.   This is in no way a criticism of the referees as they have a challenging job, and honestly no one understands better the challenges of seeing things from all angles than a photographer.  Happy football season to all, and I hope your team wins!

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Getty photographer fired over altered golf photo

by on Jul.20, 2010, under Insights

Peek-a-boo — now you see him, and now you don’t.

Read the full story here.

One of Getty’s freelance photographers, Marc Feldman, took multiple photos of golfer Matt Bettencourt at the same moment during the Reno-Tahoe Open golf tournament. In one he removed a distracting person from behind the golfer, in the other he left the photo as is. Photojournalistic policy and ethics follow the rule that the content of a photo should not bet edited, only exposure, contrast and minor color correction.

Should the photographer have altered the image? Was Getty right to hand him his pink slip? Should the truth of the situation take priority over aesthetics? Is Getty’s reaction appropriate? How important is the integrity of the photo?

I understand where Getty is coming from with my background in photojournalism. In the end he probably should be terminated since he took reprehensible actions regarding the manipulation of the photo. However, I don’t think this is as serious an infraction as others that have happened in recent years where photographers misrepresented a photo and the events transpiring it supposedly captured. Taking out the distracting figure doesn’t try to suggest something happened that didn’t. It looks better, but he shouldn’t have done it.

When I shoot a sport sometimes all my photos won’t be perfect and I just have to deal with it. Things happen very quickly and you just have to react. There isn’t always time to change position or get the ideal composition. A lot of times you have to do the best you can with what you have to work with.

This makes me wonder why the photographer made the change to the photo. Why alter the image? Was he not confident about his work? Did he realize what he was doing and the repercussions it might have?

If this wasn’t done for news purposes I wouldn’t really care what was changed to get a good photo. For a news or journalistic photo only the minimum should be done during editing. I definitely admire and respect a photographer more if they can get quality photos without much editing being done after taking them.

Take a look at this softball photo I took a while ago. This one I edited in a similar manner to the Getty photographer in Photoshop a few years ago. At the time it was a challenge to myself and a test of my Photoshop skills to see if I could edit the girl’s body out and it was never used in print or online. In other words for journalism it is ok to crop the pitcher to a vertical image, but not ok to remove the head from the horizontal photo. The logic here is a bit of a gray area. The ultimate goal is to uphold journalistic integrity.

Reporting and photographing anything for journalism is about telling the truth of what happened. Try and compose the best possible photo when taking the photo. If you have to do too much editing or change the background after taking the photo, then you didn’t take a high quality photo.

With everything we as photographers can do with Photoshop it has become a crutch. It’s hard to believe Photoshop is 20 years old and it has become second nature to use as a tool of photography. We can’t forget what it’s really about as a photojournalist. The truth, reality and accuracy of a photo are the most important aspects of reporting on an event. Film photography never allowed the creative liberties of Photoshop.

As Ansel Adams once said, “Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs.” The line is constantly blurring between art and truth in photography. This photographer being fired is an unfortunate example of upholding photographic standards. People have to trust that the news they are reading about is really an honest account. If they cannot then we are compromising our integrity and virtues as journalists.

[Editor’s note: Jeff Levy is a freelance photographer based in the central New Jersey. His work has appeared on D3football.com, D3hoops.com, NewJerseyNewsroom.com, Ultimate Athlete Magazine and the Erie Times-News just to name a few. You can find his photography portfolio on his website at jefflevyphoto.com]

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