Every July, Query & Schultz catch up with former prominent Indianapolis and/or Indiana athletes, coaches, and influential figures in their "Catching Up With" series! Hear those players, coaches, and other luminaries look back on their time in Indiana, share personal stories from inside and outside the locker room, and get you up-to-date on what they're doing now.
Peyton Manning's first professional head coach's tenure ended abruptly after a strong start. Mora talks about how/why he lost his job with the the Colts (1998-01), his icy relationship with Bill Polian, his own infamous "Playoffs?!" rant, and why he won't be back for Peyton Manning's statute unveiling this Fall... despite an invite from Manning himself.
The Lawrence Central standout turned Boilermaker walk-on made perhaps the biggest play in Purdue history - a 64-yard touchdown catch in the final seconds vs. Ohio State in 2000 (aka the "Holy Toledo!" play) - which paved the road to the Boilermakers first Rose Bowl since 1967. Morales, who still lives and works in his hometown of Indianapolis, looks back on that epic play and a special season in West Lafayette.
When Kyle Taber walked-on to Indiana before the 2004 season, there's no way he knew what rollercoaster ride he was getting on. The forward who saw four head coaches (Mike Davis, Kelvin Sampson, Dan Dakich, and Tom Crean) in his time at Indiana, and who is involved in head coaching himself, looked back on five crazy years with the Hoosiers, and how he's stayed in the sport he loves.
You'll find his name all over the Pacers all-time leaderboard, but unlike Reggie Miller or Jermaine O'Neal, Herb Williams identifies more as a Knick. That said, Williams' most productive years came in Indiana (1981-89), even if those Pacers teams didn't enjoy a lot of success during his tenure. The former big man joined the show to look back on those 1980s days in Indianapolis, the early years with Reggie Miller, being on the opposite bench during the "Knicks vs. Hicks" heyday, and his long stint in NBA and WNBA coaching.
Unlike many of our other Catching Up With guests, most fans know what Gary Brackett is up to. The former defensive captain is now the owner of the Stacked Pickle franchise of restaurants in town, as well as upscale downtown steakhouse, CharBlue. However, with an in-studio visit, we figured we'd wrap in Gary with our month-long feature. We talked to Gary about a myriad of topics: adjusting to life after football, player finances, CTE concerns, the restaurant business, and this upcoming season for the Colts. Brackett's views specifically on CTE are absolutely worth a listen.
Curtis Painter was put in some really tough situations during his time in Indianapolis. The rookie became the focal point of a hugely unpopular decision by Bill Polian to rest starters late in the 2009 season, evaporating the Colts' chances at an undefeated season. Oh, and he also lost all eight of his starts following Peyton Manning's neck surgery in 2011, which was one of the worst seasons in franchise history. However, Painter, a Vincennes native and the second-leading passer in Purdue history, isn't bitter. In fact, he's remained in the Indy area to enjoy his post-football life. He looked back on what was a volatile three seasons in Indianapolis, the experience of backing up both Manning brothers, and his role in Pat McAfee's infamous Canal swimming incident.
Freddie Lewis was a multiple-time All-Star, a member of the ABA's vaunted All-Time Team, and a standout player on all three of the Pacers' championship teams. However, too often we forget about the dynamic point guards' contributions to this franchise's success. We caught up with Freddie, who discussed the hopes his jersey can someday be retired (even though he just passed his 74th birthday), and looked back on his memorable time with the ABA's greatest dynasty.
Buddy Rice is one of seventeen drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 from the pole, but was never able to duplicate the success he had that day or that season. It was the only time he finished the race better than eighth, and the only season he finished better than ninth in points. A lot of that was due to instability with sponsors and a 2005 practice crash that prevented him from defending his title. His last full-time season in IndyCar was 2008. The laid-back native Arizonan joined the show to look back on 2004 - hint: his life doesn't still revolve around that win - and give us an update on what he's up to now.
The 30+ year co-host of The Bob & Tom Show, Hall-of-Famer, and radio icon joined us for an entire hour in-studio, as we continued our Catching Up With feature. Sure, Bob himself isn't exactly a "sports" figure, but he's forged close relationships with guys like Johnny Bench and Peyton Manning. He spoke about those friendships, the origins of B&T, his all-time favorite bits, and traveling the country as a retired man.
Lyndon Jones was a big part of one of Indiana's greatest all-time basketball dynasties at Marion (the Giants went 84-4 and won three-straight state championships from 1985-87), and formed one of Indiana's greatest all-time duos with Jay Edwards. We caught up with the 1987 co-Mr. Basketball to talk Purple Reign, Bob Knight, his time after hoops, and his lifelong friendship/link with Edwards.
Fred Jones's athleticism enticed Pacers head coach Isiah Thomas so much that Indiana decided to use the 14th overall selection in the 2002 NBA Draft on the high-flier from Oregon. But, while he only spent four seasons with the Blue and Gold, Jones still calls Indianapolis home. The former guard, who played a total of seven NBA seasons, looked back on his Slam Dunk Contest championship in 2004, the fallout from The Brawl that next season, and how he's stayed involved in hoops right here in the Circle City.
Mark Patrick did it all. He got his start in radio, with his first big break coming when he was added to The Bob & Tom Show cast of characters in 1987, and was a host on WNDE for two different stints. But, Patrick is also well-remembered for his near decade-long run at WISH-8 and his many years as host of the beloved Hoosier Millionaire program. Mark looked back on those days in Indy, talked about retired life out East, and his son's latest stint in Cincinnati.
The Colts have had some big personalities in their 33-year Indianapolis history, but perhaps none bigger than Ray Buchanan. The brash cornerback may be best-remembered for his time helping lead the Falcons to their first ever Super Bowl appearance - and his memorable feud with then-Broncos TE Shannon Sharpe - but he developed his "Big Play Ray" brand as a Colt (1993-96). "Big Play Ray" joined us to talked about his time in Indianapolis, including the unforgettable Cardiac Colts run to the AFC Championship Game in 1995, his sons carrying on his legacy, and how he's stayed active with football.
Like Troy Lewis, Glenn Robinson, and Robbie Hummel, Willie Deane was a multiple-time All-Big Ten selection during his time at Purdue. However, unlike those three guys, his tenure at Purdue was a losing one - the Boilermakers went just 21-27 in conference play from 2000-03. The dynamic guard is still lighting up the scoreboard overseas at 37 years old, and Deane talked with us about his world travels, ending up at Purdue from upstate New York, and his family life.
The former Connersville star was a three-time All-Horizon League First Team performer at Butler, and one of the major pieces of their run to national prominence in 2010 and 2011. He took a break from his vacation today to look back on his time as a Bulldog, talk about his relationships with Stevens and Hayward, and what he's up to today.
John Andretti's long racing career included over 400+ starts in IndyCar and NASCAR, and despite being a Pennsylvania native, he still calls Indianapolis "home". The former driver, who has done so much for Riley Children's Hospital with his work on the upcoming annual Race 4 Riley, joined us to discuss his time behind the wheel, next week's race, and the biggest fight of his life: his battle with colon cancer.
When thinking of the great Hoosiers of the early 1990s, may fans talk about Calbert Cheaney, Damon Bailey, or Alan Henderson. But, what about Greg Graham? The former Warren Central star was a key figure on Indiana's 1992 Final Four and 1993 outright Big Ten championship teams, and was selected 17th overall in the NBA Draft. Though his pro career never got off the ground, Graham has stayed active in basketball, and his latest coaching stop has taken him to Rhode Island.