For years, when Weber State College's women's tennis team kept dominating the Big Sky Conference, the common suspicion was that it was because of a heavy influence from athletes recruited from foreign countries.
But this year, when the Lady Wildcats won yet another Big Sky title - their sixth straight - they did it with four of the top six women coming from the state of Utah (they included Lanni Hunsaker, Kristin Kelly, Susie Ennenga and Monica Pond). So who knew what to make of Weber's uncanny success?"I guess now it's just a mystery," says Keith Cox, who coaches both the women's and men's teams at Weber.
Cox, of course, is the constant that has been common to all the championships. And not only has he seen the women to their six titles in a row, he coached the men's team to seven straight Big Sky championships until this year, when an injury on the eve of the conference meet forced the Wildcats to default their No. 3 singles matches, and they skidded to an uncharacteristic third-place finish.
Still, that's 12 of a possible 13 Big Sky team tennis titles for Weber State over the past half-dozen years. College sports don't get a lot more dynastic than that.
"Yes, I've been approached by offers to coach elsewhere," admits Cox. "But I like what I do and I like where I live." Cox, an Ogden native, was Weber State's first conference tennis champion in history, in 1968 and again in 1969.
GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME: Since Chuck Stobart, the former head football coach at the University of Utah who is now Memphis State's football coach, will be spending the next week or so in Salt Lake City visiting relatives and friends, the Memphis State Alumni Association decided a dinner with the coach and Memphis State alums living in the area would be a good idea.
They announced that a banquet would be held this week at the Red Lion Hotel in Salt Lake City.
Response hasn't been overwhelming, however.
"It turns out that in the whole state of Utah we've got 46 people who are alumni," said Lindy MacDonald of the Memphis State Alumni Association. "If they all could have attended, that would have been fine. But some called and said they would be on vacation. It's looking it might not come off now."
AND COUNTING: BYU football Coach LaVell Edwards is moving, believe it or not, into his 19th season this fall. With his increasing tenure comes more and more stature. Entering last season Edwards was the sixth-winningest active coach in America. Now, he ranks No. 3.
Three coaches who were ahead of him last year - Michigan's Bo Schembechler, Clemson's Danny Ford and Oklahoma State's Pat Jones - resigned, got fired or had a mediocre season, respectively. Only Nebraska's Tom Osborne and Penn State's Joe Paterno now rank in front of Edwards, whose lifetime mark of 165-56-1, .746 also happens to rank 33rd on the alltime winningest major college coaches list.
As for the all-time total-wins list, Edwards, with his 165 wins, is tied for 31st.
With another 10 wins this season - that's been his average - he could move into the top 25 of all time. And in a little more than three seasons he could move into the top 10.
To pass Bear Bryant's record of 323 major college wins, however, Edwards will have to have another 18 years equal to the 18 he's just had.
LET'S PLAY 30: If you're looking for a way to pass the longest day of the year Thursday, you could always take a crack at the world golf marathon records.
In its July issue, Golf Digest magazine lists the records. For two men in a cart, the record is 536 holes in a day (that's just under 30 18-hole rounds).