Some good advice from a Duck

Standing in the lobby of the Sheraton-Gunter Hotel in downtown San Antonio, Texas, a quite lady who has spent her adult life around football, had a piece of advice for wives of coaches. Susan Town Shea, Oregon class of 1970 should know. She and her husband Terry (Oregon '66) are headed to Kansas City where Terry will assume duties as an assistant to Dick Vermeil.

The Sheas were in San Antonio to watch the U.S. Army All-American Bowl that is headed by their son, Garrett. Garrett Shea is the director of football for Sports Link. Sports Link is a Hackettstown, New Jersey sports marketing firm that started and has run the high school bowl game for the last five years. For the last four years, the U.S. Army has sponsored the event. The Army has lent considerable support to the game in hopes of drawing the attention of potential recruits from the critical 18-22 year old demographic.

Amid the army posters, signs and handouts, Susan Town Shea relayed a story of how she and Terry ended up in Kansas City. During Christmas 2000, Susan asked Terry what he wanted for Christmas. Terry indicated that he would like to see Vermeil. Not knowing exactly where Vermeil was, Susan called an old friend, Bill Walsh to help track down Vermeil. Walsh was able to help Susan and thereafter Terry was named quarterbacks coach for the Chiefs, a position he held from 2001-03. Shea moved on to Chicago for the 2004 season as offensive coordinator, but was released in December. After being released, Shea was able to return to Kansas City, making a circle complete.

"I always tell coaches wives to never use the f-word (fired) when talking about coaching," said Susan Town Shea. "You never know how things will turn out."

Terry and Susan have two other children besides Garrett, aged 27. Jennifer, 28 is their oldest and Daniel, 23 is also involved with the bowl game as a public relations assistant. Garrett's wife, Cassie is also part of the behind-the-scenes team that makes the bowl game work. The game was the brainchild of Sports Link's founder and president, Rich McGuinness. McGuinness cooked up the idea of bringing together the top high school players nationally in a bowl game. With literally thousands of support personnel making the game a go, the 2005 edition promises to be the best ever.

Three of the players participating in the game, running back Jonathan Stewart, Lacey (Wash.) Timberline HS, linebacker Rey Maualuga, Eureka (Calif.) Eureka HS and tight end Tony Moeaki, Wheaton (Ill.) Warrenville South HS have shown enough serious interest in the University of Oregon to visit. Moeaki most likely will commit to either Iowa or Tennessee but no one knows where Stewart and Maualuga will end up. Both are very tight lipped about their future. Stewart has continuously mentioned Oregon as one of his favorites along with Washington State and Tennessee and may set up a visit to Washington between now and February 2, 2005, the first day a recruit can send a letter of intent to a football program. Maualuga is more clear about which his favorites are – USC and Oregon, and says the two schools dead even. Maualuga has caught the eyes of many on the sidelines during the bowl workouts. Both Stewart and Maualuga have had official trips to Oregon and USC and have made several unofficial trips to both schools. While Maualuga has not hinted to reporters where he is going, he has said he brought on one hat with him to San Antonio, meaning he has made up his mind.

Maualuga may announce his decision during the game that will be televised on NBC, with kickoff scheduled at 10 a.m. PT. Stewart is not expected to make an announcement during the game.

Another potential recruit, offensive/defensive lineman Matt Reynolds, Provo (Utah) Timpview HS is also interested in Oregon but was unable to participate in the game due to injury.

As the Sheas left the hotel, they wished all Duck fans well. They also hoped the best for the recruits too and as Susan suggested, you never know how things will turn out.

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