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Monday, April 28, 2008

Fiedler on the Roof?

(admittedly, someone quicker and more clever than I uttered that title line first)

So Jeff Fiedler, former director of the Cavaliers (of DCI, not the NBA) is now going to be the CEO of Santa Clara Vanguard.

If there wasn't just an audible gasp, either you already heard the news of you have no clue what/who I'm talking about.

To my fellow corps fans, it needs no explanation. To those who aren't, an explanation may be impossible, but I'm going to try:

Bear Bryant, legendary Hall of Fame coach of the University of Alabama, is virtually synonymous with Crimson Tide football. While he had a few other coaching stops along the way, Bryant both played at Bama and coached there for the bulk of his notable career up until his retirement in 1982. Imagine that, following the 1982 Liberty Bowl, Bryant announced his retirement. Imagine then that, summer of 1983 (I know he had passed on at this point, but bear with me) Bryant announced that he was taking the position of athletic director of the University of Georgia.

My disclaimer here is that I am neither trying to put Fiedler on a pedestal nor knock him off of one with the Bear Bryant comparison--time will make that distinction. But there are quite a few similarities between his situation and the hypothetical example above. Jeff Fiedler spent his marching career in the Cavaliers organization, beginning in their cadet ranks. Fiedler would eventually return to serve as the corps director, putting forth a storied program that would win six world championships and finish in the top 3 five additional times during his 17 year tenure. At the end of the 2007 corps season, Fiedler announced his retirement from the Green Machine. Months later, it was announced that he would be in the central office of a corps that, while not necessarily a rival, is certainly a strong competitor.

What prompted this move? It's anyone's guess. I've seen various speculations and conspiracy theories on message boards, and admittedly thought up a few of my own. I'll leave those be, but considerably less speculative is this prediction: Fiedler + Vanguard will be a force to be reckoned with.
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