On ESPN one night back in the ’80s, Dick Vitale named Nelson Catalina of Arkansas State as one of the hot young basketball coaches in America, sure to move up to a bigger job. Vitale probably said the same of Mike Newell at UALR, and if he didn’t, others did. But things didn’t work out as expected for either of the young lions.
Catalina was a tough, demanding coach, evidently — too much so for many of his players. In 1990, 13 of them skipped practice and threatened to quit school unless Catalina was removed as coach. He wasn’t and they didn’t, but player unrest continued and, it was said, hurt Catalina’s recruiting. The team continued to win for awhile, but the won-lost records weren’t as good as they’d been earlier, and attendance was declining. Catalina had his first and last losing season at ASU in 1995. He was fired in March of that year, replaced by an assistant coach, Dickie Nutt. Some ASU fans thought it improper for an assistant to take the job of the man who’d hired him. Even today, one can find ASU fans who liked Catalina and don’t like Nutt, and vice versa.
Catalina, 54, didn’t seek another coaching job — although, he says, opportunities were there. Instead, he went into the securities business, in partnership with friends. “So, far it’s worked out really well,” he says. He keeps up with Arkansas State in the newspapers, but attends very few games. During basketball season, he appears on a television show, talking basketball with former Razorback player Ernie Murry and Steve Sullivan of KATV, Channel 7. The show, “Sportsweek,” is seen at 10:30 p.m. on Sunday on Channel 7.
Catalina seems content to be out of coaching. But people are different. Of his old rival, former coach Catalina says, “Mike is an outstanding basketball coach. I know he’d like to get back into Division I.”
Yes. He would.
Jones was "Minority Outreach Coordinator" for Hutchinson's 2014 gubernatorial campaign. The governor first named him as policy director before placing him over the labor department instead in Jan. 2015, soon after taking office.
Little Rock will next week host a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems led by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change.
Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
Robocalls -- recorded messages sent to thousands of phone numbers -- are a fact of life in political campaigns. The public doesn't like them much, judging by the gripes about them, but campaign managers and politicians still believe in their utility.