Monday, November 05, 2001

Doerger coaching McNicholas again

Coach served 1-year suspension

By Tom Groeschen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Anyone who knows Jerry Doerger knows his life is basketball. The McNicholas boys coach returns from a one-year suspension today with thoughts of another comeback kid.

        “I'll borrow something Michael Jordan said,” Doerger said. “He said he's got this itch that needs to be scratched and it's called basketball. That fits me very well, too.”

        Doerger and fellow Ohio boys coaches welcome their teams today for the first official practices of the 2001-02 season. For Doerger it is another step back from a one-year suspension by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

        Doerger's verbal attack on two officials in March 2000 after a district championship loss to Dayton Christian initially got him fired, but an outcry of public support for him led to the reduced punishment.

        Officially, Doerger regained his job in May and since has performed normal offseason duties.

        “In some ways I feel like a rookie again,” he said. “I missed the kids.”

        Pat Stricker, interim McNick coach in Doerger's absence, returns to his role as varsity assistant. McNick is known for its postseason success under Doerger, and made the Division II sectional finals under Stricker.

        “Coach Doerger has that bounce back in his step,” Stricker said. “This is his job.”

        Doerger, 65, last year helped coach the McNick freshman team and served as Stricker's main scout.

        “It was a long, hard year for me after 30 years on the bench,” Doerger said. “But I learned a lot. I have some stories to tell.”

        There was the game he scouted at St. Xavier, when one of the visiting coaches berated the officials several times. A woman who obviously didn't know Doerger commented on the coach's demeanor, also not knowing Doerger is one of the most volcanic sideline coaches.

        “This lady says, "I can't believe coaches get that upset,'” Doerger recalled. “And I said, tongue in cheek of course, "I know, ma'am, I can't believe it either.'”

        Doerger is much like University of Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins, a fireball on the sidelines but soft-spoken off the court.

        “I'm not going to change, I'm still going to be Jerry Doerger,” Doerger said. “But I keep a copy of the serenity prayer on my wall. Hopefully in all these years I've gained some wisdom.”

        Doerger, 433-219 as a head coach at McNick and Moeller, plans to coach several more seasons before retiring.

        “They say you'll know when it's time,” he said. “I don't have that feeling yet.”


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- Doerger coaching McNicholas again
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Colerain 30, Hamilton 7
Elder 38, Lebanon 13
Princeton 56, Anderson 20
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Dayton Carroll 18, Roger Bacon 13
McNicholas 56, Mount Healthy 13
New Richmond 42, Ross 38
Piqua 21, Edgewood 0
Washington C.H. 39, Indian Hill 31
Wyoming 49, Jonathan Alder 21
Badin 23, Valley View 16
Coldwater 54, Madeira 14
North College Hill 41, Chillicothe Zane Trace 10
Reading 39, Wheelersburg 31
Covington 47, Williamsburg 14
Kentucky second-round pairings
Kentucky first-round scores
Ballard 43, Dixie Heights 32
Beechwood 56, Berea 6
Bellevue 27, Nicholas Co. 13
Covington Catholic 44, Harrison Co. 22
Highlands 49, Bourbon County 30
Holmes 24, Montgomery County 0
Lexington Catholic 54, Grant County 14
Lloyd 46, East Carter 0
Newport Central Catholic 56, Raceland 7
Paris 37, Holy Cross 6
Shelby County 19, Boone County 17
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Indiana playoff scores