Name helps RedHawks kicker
OXFORD, Ohio -- The name Parseghian still means football at Miami University.
Ara Parseghian, a member of the school's Athletic Hall of Fame, was a star athlete and football coach there in the 1950s before he went on to coach at Northwestern and win two national championships at Notre Dame.
Now sophomore Jared Parseghian -- the grandson of Ara's brother, Jerry -- is rekindling those memories.
''A lot of the professors remember the name,'' Jared said. ''There's a lot of recognition, but I'm trying to make a name for myself.''
Jared switched from soccer to football after his freshman year in high school in suburban Toledo. He kicked a 44-yard field goal -- still his personal best -- and Miami coach Terry Hoeppner recruited him, promising only a shot at the starting job.
''He was the only one who told me the truth about my abilities,'' Jared said. ''He said, 'Right now, we have a kicker who's going to be up for the Lou Groza Award (for college football's best kicker) but you'll get a good shot, and if you beat him out, you'll get the job.''
After finally landing the starting job in the sixth game, Jared made his last three field-goal attempts of the 2001 season and is 8-for-8 this year.
''The real turning point was Marshall,'' Parseghian said. ''I missed a field goal, but coach Hoeppner kept me in there. That was the last time I missed a field goal. Every time I missed one before, I'd get bumped from first-string to third-string. That was a major boost to my confidence.''
Hoeppner had let three kickers battle before settling on Parseghian, who ran his string of successful field goals to 11 with kicks of 25 and 27 yards on Saturday.
His eight field goals already this season matches Miami's total for all last year and shows how Parseghian has matured, Hoeppner said.
''It started at the end of the season last year,'' Hoeppner said. ''He missed a field goal against Marshall, and there was a blocked point-after at Hawaii that wasn't his fault.
''He took the winter off, but the good ones come back better than they were when they left. He came back kicking better.
''This year, he's been solid, he's been consistent, and he's been getting the ball off quicker,'' Hoeppner said.