Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from PHUL.

No new posts until 2009

Friday, December 19, 2008

Last night of PHUL Winter League. SAY WHUT tomorrow

No real updates lately...

Last night of PHUL Winter League is tonight. (Schedule)


North Hills vs. Hampton 1
North Allegheny vs. Mt. Lebanon

8:45pm - 10:45pm (Finals at 9:45pm) at Neville Island. (
Address: 7600 Grand Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15225, )

And our last outdoor event of the year SAY WHUT is on tomorrow at Fridley Field at Hampton High School- Come out and support the scholarship, enjoy some Ultimate and free hot chocolate.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Holiday giving

The whole point of today's blog is really just to share the following with you so that when I look at my gchat friends I can see this message repeated in every single status message:

Have your holiday shopping support PHUL, use this link and the scholarship gets 5% of your order

Now that that's done with, feel free to read up a little more if you so desire, or skip down to the bottom for ways to help (PLENTY of them pass the "I'm a poor college student and don't have any money..." test, so go ahead, check them out.)

Many of you are probably aware of the PHUL Scholarship. For those who are not, the PHUL Scholarship was established in 2003, it is currently awarded annually to one student-athlete who will receive $1,000 per year for up to four years. Winners are selected from a pool of applicants who have participated in the spring PHUL season and show outstanding playing ability, high school academics and Ultimate community service. Only those students attending a school in the Greater Pittsburgh Area are eligible. The scholarship is also badly in need of a new website... but that's another subject.

I have listed the other (United States, collegiate) Ultimate scholarships offered that I know of. This information is almost all from Google searches so it may have inaccuracies and most likely some omissions. Please feel free to drop me a line if you know of more or have corrections.

CU (Colorado University - Open) - Est. 2001, $1,000? $3,000? to an incoming Freshman (first year of eligibility). Alumni funded. (info)
Cornell - Open - Est. 2003 (info) Alumni funded. $1,000 - $2,500 over X years?
Warren Wilson Ultimate Team?
- Est. 2003? (info). First I'd ever heard of this, not sure if it happened. $1,000/yr for 5 players.

The PHUL Scholarship is unique in that it is the only community-funded, community-based and endowed scholarship for college Ultimate players. To my knowledge, all other college Ultimate scholarships are alumni funded, are for one specific team and are paid yearly from an alumnus' checkbook as opposed to being paid as interest on a sustainable endowment.

For example of how an endowed scholarship works:

$100,000 is raised and housed in an account at the Pittsburgh Foundation. Once a year this fund earns 4% interest (or hopefully more), and that $4,000 ($100,000*0.04) is given out in scholarships. Thus the principle ($100,000) is not touched and is free to grow with new donations. The scholarship can continue to pay out indefinitely with no additional financial support.

The method described above is the PHUL Scholarship, and our goal is to reach that $100,000 within 10 years of the start of the endowment (est. 2005). To date the endowment is at ~$40,000.

So what can you do to help support this effort? Well there are a few simple ways:

1.) Give money
  • Facebook details
  • Drop off cash/check at 165 Morewood Ave, 15213 (checks made out to PHUL or Darren Shultz).
2.) Shop
3.) Tell a friend
  • Pass on the facebook link from above

  • Put this message"Have your holiday shopping support PHUL, use this link and the scholarship gets 5% of your order" in your gchat/AIM/facebook/etc. status. Or e-mail it to friends/family who use amazon.
4.) Play Ultimate
  • First Night of Flight gives donations to the scholarship when PHUL players sign up (see this post)
  • PHUL runs the SAY WHUT outdoor Hat tournament on Dec. 20th (that's less than 2 weeks away) where the profits benefit the scholarship.
5.) Play pool
  • We have a pool table in my basement. Play me in a game. If I win you donate $1 to the scholarship (we have a jar in the house). If you win, I'll pay you $1.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

PHUL Winter League final team request

Last week PHUL Winter League had its first round of games. We ended up with 11 teams. To make a balanced schedule we combined 2 teams to end up with 10. Since this league is played with only 5 players on a team at a time, we're hoping to recruit 7 players from either teams not playing, or 1-2 players off of larger teams to form a 12th team. Playing for this team would be free if your team already put in a bid, or $5 a player if you are from another school. If you are able to help balance the league and do this please contact Ben Banyas (

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I'll be honest, while I have much to be thankful for, Thanksgiving has never been that exciting of a holiday for me personally. In high school it meant yet another trip with the family (who, at that time I saw every day...) and in college it meant 16 hour days in the computer lab while other people enjoyed their break.

Due to this travel and academic pummeling, one thing was lacking that every thanksgiving break should include - tradition. I'm happy to say times have changed and Thanksgiving is the happy marriage of cold weather sports and stuffing your face that it should be again. This morning I was invited to play in a Turkey bowl tackle football game with my roommate and his friends. Let me tell you, Michael Quinn can deliver a hit, (Kevin Walko's got moves as well). This week will play host to my 6th annual bonfire, and driving home to my parents house today I saw no less than 3 football games happening at various fields in the city. While Pittsburgh is a drinking town with a football problem, it's also becoming a hub for Youth Ultimate. What's more exciting about this holiday is the number of PHUL Alumni Ultimate games that other people will be driving by this holiday, perhaps doing a double take when they expect a pigskin and see a disc instead. I was able to catch the tail end of Hampton's yesterday, and I know more will be happening. In case you're curious:

Wednesday 3pm (Hampton softball fields) Hampton Alumni game
Friday 11am (Lower Frick) General CPU Thanksgiving pick-up
Friday 1pm (?) Mars Alumni game
Saturday 1pm (Pine Park): Pine-Richland Alumni game
Saturday 2pm (Pie Traynor): North Allegheny Alumni game

I hope your team has some type of get together this weekend with old friends and new faces, if not, maybe it's a tradition worth starting.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Well, obviously the posting has not kept up with my intended Monday/Thursday routine. I'm going to drop back to a post every Monday, with random posts scattered between.

In other PHUL news:
  • The PHUL Leadership Council had its second meeting of the year on 11/25/08. The council is currently made up of: Liz Clark, Dave Berg, Ryan Snowden, Gretchen Dausch, Jesse Sidhu, Collin Mackett, Jodi Lincoln and David Clemens-Sewall
  • PHUL Winter League has filled up to 10 of 12 teams. We're hoping to find 2 more new or combo teams before the first games this Friday
  • An application for PHUL JV Commissioner will be posted soon
  • Pittsburgh will be hosting a UPA Level 1 Coaching Clinic sometime between January and March. Details will be posted as soon as a date is finalized.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Growth and carrots

So I've got this idea....

I've got this idea that really excites me about getting PHUL more teams, but it's more than that. It goes like this:

  1. Make a list of all the schools in WPIAL.
  2. Put a bounty (to be paid by PHUL) on all teams that don't yet exist (a team is defined as 10 players registered for PHUL Spring 2009 by the end of online registration)
  3. Allow the community to add to the bounty of any team by making a donation. (alumni, schools nearby that want a rival, etc).
  4. Reward the person who finds and helps start the new team with the bounty (a cash prize on the order of $100/team).
The rules:
  1. A team can not claim the bounty on itself.
  2. Bounties only exist for teams that have not existed in the PHUL spring season since 2004.
  3. You must be able to explain why you are the one who "closed" the team (convinced them to be 100% in the league in 2009).
  4. Prize money (bounty) may be split, but only with the mutual agreement of the winners, otherwise the league will determine who the sole winner is.
So how would this work?

Example 1: Fox Chapel, which has never had a middle school team before, forms a middle school team with the help of current Fox Chapel player Jesse Sidhu, Jesse could then claim the bounty ($200 for example), for starting the middle school team.

Example 2: Shaler High School has never had a team in PHUL before. Jack Ross from North Hills High School calls a friend at Shaler and convinces him to start a team. Jack is rewarded with $50 cash (for example) from the league.

Example 3: Darren Shultz, who graduated from North Allegheny would like to see his alma mater form a girls team for 2009. At the NAUF alumni game (November 29th, 2008 for those keeping score at home), Darren asks all the Alumni for $20 towards this cause. PHUL's bounty was $100, it is now $300. Suddenly NA's guys team is working hard to help create a girls team and collect the $300.


The list is already made: and we've turned this in to a google document which you can view here:

There are 138 schools, with a guys and girls team (assume none of these are single gender schools, but hey... rough numbers) both averaging 14 players a team that's: 3,864 players in PHUL. I like that, a lot. It may not happen overnight, but seeing all the potential for teams in PHUL is exciting.

What else is exciting besides dangling the carrot of cold hard cash in front of potential volunteers?

  1. More teams = more good.
  2. The League can communicate its priorities to all of the community due to the size of any given bounty.
  3. This giant spreadsheet gives us something that can be worked on by any "walk in volunteer" who only has 15 minutes by allowing them to research the information needed to fill in a few cells in the sheet.
  4. This database of teams can be used to create lists of Athletic Directors, survey information about how many schools play Ultimate in their gym class, offer gym demos, etc.
  5. Allows anyone to increase the chance that a specific team will be formed (donating money to a team's bounty).
We hope to officially enact this policy/reward system for PHUL 2009. If you have any feedback before it gets started please share. The biggest concern would be any animosity being created by the cash prizes. We hope we can find a way to avoid this, both by the character of our community members and by coming up with a stronger system of what it means to "be the person who helped start the team".

Thursday, November 13, 2008

League Update: Minnesota

League Update - Minnesota:

Thought I would share a little of what other Youth Leagues of our size and scope are up to these days.

Summary: Minnesota is creating a Youth Summer League and hiring a Director for $1,000. The league will be used as a feeder program for the UPA YCCs (Youth Club Championships).


Minnesota High School Ultimate League Summer League Director
The Minnesota High School Ultimate League is searching for a person to run a newly-formed Youth Summer League in 2009. This will be the first year of the league and there will be many exciting challenges getting it off the ground. Minnesota High School Ultimate League is offering $1000 for the position for the season plus bonuses based on number of participants. This Summer League will be the feeder program for the Youth Club Ultimate Championship (YCC) teams representing Minnesota in August.

Position Responsibilities:

* Recruit players under the age of 19 for the youth summer league

* Obtain fields on which to play and practice

* Recruit and hire coaches for each team

* Oversee YCC Team Coordination

* Coordinate and Schedule games during the summer league

Requirements and Skills:

* UPA Level I or II Coach

* Five years in the ultimate community

* Previous youth sports coaching or involvement

* Strong written and verbal communication skills

To apply, mail your resume by November 23rd to Jeff Hagen at The MNHSUL Board will announce its decision on January 2nd, 2009.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Updates: Lead Fundraiser, Playing opportunities

+ PHUL Scholarship lead fundraiser: Congratulations to Melissa Foxworth for being named the PHUL Scholarship lead fundraiser. Melissa has worked the last year as the Director of Outreach and Development for PHUL.

Opportunities to play this winter:

+ 11/15/08 - PCL (PHUL Club League) Tournament: Ben Banyas is organizing the final event for PCL this Saturday Nov 15th. An outdoor tournament in Fox Chapel, $10 a player, free to PCL players, details here. Email to register.

+ Nov 22nd...ish on - PHUL Winter League: There has been interest expressed for an indoor PHUL Winter League. It is possible that we may find the space to do this at PISA or Neville Island. The season would be roughly Nov 22nd to the end of December. We could probably only fit 4-6 teams. If you are interested please e-mail More details to be posted on the bboards or e-mailed to captains in the next 48 hours. PHUL has held one winter league in 2002, this league was organized and run by then Mt. Lebanon player David Vatz.

+ 12/20/08 (tentatively) SAYWHUT (The Snow-And-You Winter Hat Ultimate Tournament): This one-day outdoor winter tournament was created by Christie Lawry in 2005 and ran again in 2007 by Liz Clark on Dec 29th of the respective years. Both girls where members of the PHUL Board, and used the event as the 2nd largest fundraiser for the PHUL Scholarship outside of the PHUL Benefit dinner. This year, with the transition of the PHUL Board into a new PHUL Leadership Council (soon to be announced) we are looking for someone to run the event. The Council will be an obvious place to draw from, but if you are interested please drop a line.

+ 1/2/09 FNOF (First Night Of Flight) Tournament: No major update just listing it in the timeline. PHUL can still save you $5.

+ 1/10/09 CPU Winter League: No major update just listing it in the timeline. Not a PHUL event, open to (roughly) all ages.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Updates: Weekly Posts, Nationals, Office, Scholarship, FNoF


+ Weekly Posts: Starting next week the PHUL Blog will have a new post every Monday and Thursday. Other updates may appear between, but you'll be guaranteed two posts a week at those times.

+ Nationals: Congratulations to former PHUL player and current PHUL admin Christie Lawry for her 13th place finish at the UPA Club Championships in the womens division last weekend with Loose Cannon.

+ CPU Office Designer: Congratulations to Acadia Klain for being named the Lead CPU Office Designer. Acadia is an architect from Carnegie Mellon University who is also the captain of the Pittsburgh womens team, Pounce.

+ Scholarship: The PHUL Scholarship, which has raised $52,676.83 since it was officially opened at the Pittsburgh Foundation on 7/14/2006 is now searching for a lead fundraiser. Apply here. This is a paid (stipend) position.

+ First Night of Flight: Since you've read this far we might as well let you in on a little deal. PHUL has worked out a deal with First Night of Flight Event Director Mike Yanchak to save you all $5 per person or $25 per team for the next 3 weeks. E-mail for the full details and the link to get you your savings.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

If they didn't pay me I'd do it for free - part 2

I said yesterday that we'd do a little dreaming on potential PHUL jobs.

Dreams aren't always linear so follow me on this tangent, it's a bit long... Life sometimes seems to be broken in to 3 main sections, often we in the United States try to break them into 8 hour chucks each day:

1.) Sleep
2.) Work
3.) Play

Ok, I know some (many?) readers may throw a fit "I work 18 hours a day, and sleep 2 hours a night", right, but hopefully that's not the long-term goal. Humor me.

When I was younger I decided I wanted to maximize #3, play. Dropping out of school to eliminate "work" didn't seem too bright, so, when I was in middle school I started reading up on sleep and seeing if it was really needed. Theory turned to practice and in High School I was sleeping less and less thinking maybe every hour of sleep I could eliminate I could devote anew to play. I'm slow to learn my lessons and before long I was beginning a somnambulic journey through college. Eventually I found out this model just doesn't work. Those 22 hours awake on two hours sleep just aren't quite the quality regardless of quantity.

It was time for a new approach, what if work just went away? I've actually always enjoyed working on problems (though oddly, not puzzles. Problems seemed like a game dressed up as work, while puzzles were work dressed up as a game). The solution came rather quickly though, as you may have just learned parenthetically. I was reading or listening to an article on achieving goals/wealth/happiness, and the narrator said: "I love what I do, If they didn't pay me I'd do it for free." I had my new definition of success, and one that turned work into play. What if what you did, full time, was exactly the same thing you'd do if you didn't have to work at all? Or if someone gave you $10 Million how would you spend your day? Could you turn that activity into your job somehow? Suddenly we had:

1.) Sleep (8 hours)
2.) Play (16 hours)

For me, if someone were to give me $10 Million today, I'd probably do almost exactly what it is I'm doing now during the "work day" (running PHUL), though perhaps the rest of my play might be a little better funded than it currently is... We're close though.

I've found that for whatever project I want to do, PHUL is the vehicle through which it is easiest to make it happen. Thanks to the "PHUL Machine" (shown below), things just... kinda work out:

If you were to ask me the purpose or goal of my life it is: "To inspire others to follow their passions and dreams; to enable them to lead wealthy and deeply fulfilling lives."

But the purpose of this post isn't to teach about meeting your goals or living your dream life (if you want that join the PHUL Leadership Council, now that the PHUL Board is done, or let's have lunch if you've "graduated PHUL"). More practically what I do is split time between my real estate business (slumlord) and PHUL. The former hopefully will pay the bills down the line so that I can continue the freedom of working on PHUL without worrying about having to make 100% of my money through PHUL. While I believe the league can pay people enough, I don't think it's the quickest method to make anyone rich - it's just the best way I've found to live the way you would if you were rich.

Working for PHUL full time is a little odd, and freaking awesome, musically analogous to this: (Do me a favor, shift-click and crank it so your neighbors can hear it, music is a wonderful thing)

Ronald Jenkees (from the above clip) is an example of the idea of turning your hobby or your passion into your work. As he tells his listeners: "Keep playing stuff, keep playing even simple stuff. You can have a whole lot of fun just jamming out Mary Had a Little Lamb, K? So keep going." When you love what you do you want to share it with others and let them have similar experiences with what they are passionate about.

If you have a hobby that you'd like to turn in to a PHUL job, what would it be?

Even if you don't post or answer, give yourself a little time to sit back relax and dream about what you'd do today if today was your birthday and you could do whatever you wanted. Knowing that is a great first step to finding out where you want to end up down the line.

Monday, October 27, 2008

If they didn't pay me I'd do it for free - part 1

I've got a question to the readers today; it's not just for curiosity, I actually would like to use this feedback to build our structure over the next few years. So please consider this your (one of many) opportunity to makes demands and see if we can deliver.

How much would PHUL have to pay in a yearly salary for PHUL to employ you "full time" (20-40 hours a week, with you holding no other full time job)?

It doesn't really matter "for what". Any position in PHUL that makes any modicum of sense we could make work, so feel free to post a comment with what your position would be, if you wish.

We're certainly getting a little ahead of ourselves here, as the one full time position we have isn't even self-sustaining yet. Heck I'm not even sure it's defined yet, or if we have a name for it. That full time position is mine though, and for the record, I'd like some co-workers who can devote something closer to full attention to our shared goals. We'll do a little dreaming on this tomorrow in the next post.

The PHUL job that I have currently pays $25,000 a year. Right now it is loosely defined as "Director of Operations" + "Make the position self-sustaining". This is funded through a generous donation from Henry and Karen Thorne, but it dries up a little each year and after 3 years the money is gone. By then the hope is to have PHUL able to pay the full $25k a year. The problem with this is if I were to leave, it's hard to find another sucker who wants to do this at the going rate, unless they happen to suffer from the same affinity for this specific job that I do and would do it for free if they could. A more realistic pay is probably $40,000 a year, and we'd all like to see PHUL reach that point before we call this position self-sustaining.

If you were to come on as PHUL's second employee, what would we have to pay you? What might you want to do? Tomorrow's post will throw out my philosophy about jobs and PHUL that might help thoughts on this.

Friday, October 24, 2008

PNC buys National City, PHUL buys local

PNC Financial Services Group (PNC) today announced that it will acquire National City Corp. (NCC) for 5.6 Billion dollars. The market has been speculating on this for the past two weeks, and the PHUL Administration has been hoping for it for the past 2 years. We haven't quite had the cash on hand to buy National City ourselves, so PHUL applauds James Rohr (CEO, PNC) and PNC for this move.

National City held PHUL's first bank account, and has always been good to us, but over the past years PHUL closed all accounts with National City and moved them over to PNC. We even worked to bring the CPU (Community for Pittsburgh Ultimate) accounts over, despite some internal resistance. We just didn't feel it right to keep our cash with a bank who shares the same home with the Cleveland Browns. We are the Pittsburgh High School Ultimate League after all.

This lead to a focus in past years to partnering with local companies and our community. We created a scholarship for students attending universities in the Greater Pittsburgh Area, and housed it at the Pittsburgh Foundation. The initial boost that we needed to get the scholarship off the ground was given by local entrepreneur Henry Thorne who co-founded Pittsburgh based Aethon and Thorley Industries. Poiesis Informatics, a local company founded by 3 Ultimate players, supports that same scholarship.

PHUL moved our T-shirt ordering to Kaules Screen Works in the North Hills. Sourcing our shirts locally not only eliminated shipping costs, which saved PHUL players' money, it also allowed us a faster turn-around time for our order, and gave an opportunity for a current PHUL player to intern at the screen works company. The list goes on and we're always looking for ways to work with the community to improve our city as well as our league. As PHUL mentions to potential sponsors and partners: "Our league is here, our friends are here. We, like you, call Pittsburgh our home and are working to make it an even better place to work and play."

We're proud of the win-win situations we've been able to create with the other great Pittsburgh organizations and we're excited to find our new home in Lawrenceville, where the PHUL/CPU office is now based. We've received a warm welcome from Helen McMullen, owner of Perk Me Up coffee house, and now that we've got our morning brew, we're ready to meet the rest of the neighbors and shake this place up.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Middle School Flyer

I'm on my way out the door to guest-coach Fox Chapel for a day.  Fox Chapel is a bit of a storied program.  The team ("Sexof", or foxes backwards) lost in finals of 2001, 14-16 to Mt. Lebanon, only to defeat Lebo the next year by the same score (winning team pictured above).  They'd make it to semis in '03 and '04, and win their 2nd championship in '05.  The team fell out of these top spots for the next 3 years. 

The interesting thing to me is that so much Ultimate happens right in their back yard.  PCL this year and last, middle school pick-up, practices for Run/Burgh/Forge for the last 8 years, Summer league games, pick up,  PHUL girls skills clinics and Moxie practice, and I'm sure I'm missing co-ed and women's and masters and more that regularly used the 4 Fox Chapel fields (HS, Upper and Lower O'Hara and Squaw/McCahill) routinely.  Did this program pass up an opportunity to embrace all these great benefits right in their hometown, or have they just hit a bump in the road and are ready to become again a program of similar stature to North Hills, Mt. Lebanon and Hampton?

Well, I'm on my way to go catch a glimpse, and from the number of Freshman I've seen out in the fall, things are looking up.  Want to build your program into a dynasty for years to come?  Start 'em young:

Oh, and if you live in Fox Chapel, it's right in your back yard.

Monday, October 13, 2008

50 PHUL Projects

Day 5.  After running two carloads of PHUL inventory to the new office I sat down for coffee with Melissa Foxworth (PHUL Director of Outreach/Development).  Having nothing organized to talk about we decided to jot down the first 50 PHUL projects we could think of to start a dialogue about the year.  For fun, here they are, with no details, priority or logical order.  Certainly not an exhaustive list (only had one cup of coffee), but it's good to see some of it down on paper

1.) Middle School League
2.) Sponsorship Coordinator
3.) Scholarship Fundraising Coordinator
4.) PHUL Newsletter
5.) Reinstate Gym Demos
6.) PHUL Summer Camp
7.) Volunteer Training
8.) Summer Alumni Tournament
9.) Youth League/Team Organizers Conference
10.) PHUL Media Coordinator
11.) PHUL Parents Boosters Program
12.) Office DVD/Magazine lending library
13.) Reinstate Rec. Chair
14.) Reinstate Nick's Nook
15.) PHUL game discs
16.) Alumni Database/Groups
17.) Tournament in a box website
18.) PHUL Winter League
19.) PHUL and WPIUA
20.) NRG Campaign
21.) PHUL Leadership Class
22.) PHUL Field Mash-up
23.) PHUL reserved fields
24. PHUL College Fair/picnic
25.) PHUL Fall Elite Tournament
26.) PHUL 3v3 tournament
27.) Youth Summer League
28.) YMCA Youth Ultimate Programs
29.) After School Middle School Ultimate Programs
30.) PHUL Marketing Director
31.) Ultimate gear recycling program/drive
32.) PHUL Community Outreach/clean-up days
33.) PHUL general info line (staff the 1-888-500-PHUL line)
34.) Coaching Clinic (non-UPA)
35.) Video Game tournament fundraiser
36.) PHUL Ultimate 101 Videos
37.) PHUL Fitness program
38.) PHUL Blog (ok, so that's this.... but not sure where it's going)
39.) Survey Monkey account (paid)
40.) JV Commissioner
41.) "Improving Pittsburgh Program"
42.) Improved Web presence
43.) Update Scholarship site
44.) Archive all past game results
45.) Create PHUL Collateral/glossies
46.) PHUL History book/site
47.) Youth Organizers Conference Calls
48.) Rodney Jacobson Tech Support
49.) Thursday Pizza nigh at CPU Office
50.) PHUL podcast/radio (Tad Wissel)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

First day on the job

I drove my dad to the airport this afternoon; he's off to Brazil for the next two and a half weeks for business.  It may not be such a bad time to leave town for a spell, what with the S&P 500 at a five year low, and the Dow below 10,000.   People are stressed, businesses are shrinking, and the markets, both national and international, are falling.  There will be many opportunities in these lows and how markets and individuals ride them out will show much of their character.  Though today, on the 7th anniversary of my first club regionals tournament, there is one business that has set its strong foundation, that continues to grow - that, of course, is PHUL.

Today marks my first day as a full time employee of PHUL.  It starts without a bang or a grand event, as truly, working for PHUL has been a near full time preoccupation for me and many others for some time now.  There are many loose ends from the last few years that we tie up in the off season, and that's where I'll be starting.

For now, I've just finished a college letter of recommendation for Dave Berg (PHUL Board '08).  The response letter from the University of Pittsburgh for a similar letter I wrote for Colin Conner (PHUL Board '07-'08) last year hangs on my wall.  It's a poem (the response, not my endorsement), called "The Bridge Builder", speaking to setting a path for others.  I wonder as we start planning for the 2009 season, how many more lives will we shape this season, as a league, as coaches, as captains, as players.  How many more foundations will we set?  What friendships made and memories etched?  I don't today have an answer for "What's Next?" (though if you do have an opinion please post a comment), but I do know it'll be a great journey, one in which I hope as many as possible share.

Let's get started.