Film Crew Records Mark Speckman and Bearcats for Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Program on ABC-TV

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Head Coach Mark Speckman and the Willamette University football team were the focus of attention when a film crew recorded the action at preseason practices and the Days of Caring community service project, Aug. 16-18, in Salem, Ore. The footage will be part of the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year program, which will air this fall on the ABC television network.

Speckman is one of more than 20 coaches at all levels of college football who will be featured on the weekly show this fall. The first broadcast is set for Saturday, Sept. 22, with additional shows scheduled for the following five weeks. It has not yet been determined which week’s show will include the feature about Speckman, but all of the shows will air at 11:30 a.m. (PDT).

This is the second year for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year program. The first winner was Greg Schiano of Rutgers University in 2006. This year, a winner will be selected in each NCAA division. Willamette competes in NCAA Division III.

The Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year program contributes $20,000 to the general scholarship fund of the winning coach’s university and also provides $100,000 to go to a charity or charities selected by the winner.

During this past week, the film crew was on hand for several practices. Coach Speckman was wired for sound during one of the practices and he spent a significant amount of time in a one-on-one interview. Four players also were interviewed about their experiences in being recruited to Willamette as well as playing for Speckman.

Willamette’s team also was highlighted in footage from Bush’s Pasture Park on Saturday (Aug. 18), when the Bearcats contributed to the United Way Days of Caring. WU players cleaned up trails throughout the park, cleared ivy where needed and placed bark chips and/or bark dust at various locations. With over 100 players working, the Bearcats made a big impact on clean-up efforts at the park.

Head Coach Mark Speckman is interviewd by Ken Dittelman of Intersport (right) for use on ABC-TV as part of the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year selection process.

Head Coach Mark Speckman is interviewd by Ken Dittelman of Intersport (right) for use on ABC-TV as part of the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year selection process.