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Football Names Honorary Coaches for Spring Game


Ball State head football coach Pete Lembo announced former Cardinals Michael Blair and Greg Garnica will serve as honorary coaches for the Spring Game April 21. 

In addition, Coach Lembo will host a Cardinal Football Alliance meeting at noon at the Ball State Alumni Center for all interested football lettermen.  The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the CFA, its future and the goals of the organization.  The CFA will host a tailgate from 1:30-3 p.m. on the Alumni Center lawn with snacks and beverages available.

"We are looking forward to having two outstanding former players back for the annual Spring Game," Lembo says.  "This will be an excellent opportunity to reconnect Michael and Greg with our current student-athletes and coaching staff. We also hope other football alumni return to see their former teammates in action on the sidelines. This will be a great day for all of our constituents to come together and get a preview of the 2012 Cardinals."

Blair earned four letters for Ball State from 1993-96 and was a part of two Mid-American Conference Championship teams that competed in bowl games.  Blair helped the Cardinals to the 1993 and 1996 MAC titles and berths in the Las Vegas Bowl each of those seasons.  He was the MAC Freshman of the Year in 1993, and earned All-MAC first team honors that season.  Blair also earned All-MAC Second Team honors in 1995, and completed his career with a then-school record 3,051 career rushing yards.  Blair was the first Ball State football player to ever rush for over 3,000 yards in a career.

Garnica lettered for the Cardinals from 1986-89 and was the MAC Defensive Player of the Year in 1987, 1988 and 1989.  He led Ball State to the 1989 MAC Championship and the Cardinals first-ever NCAA Divsion IA bowl game -- the 1989 California Raisin Bowl.  A linebacker for the Cardinals, Garnica was an All-MAC selection in 1989 and earned second team honors in 1986 and 1988.  He completed his Ball State career as the school's all-time leading tackler with 689 career tackles -- a record that stands today.  Garnica also managed 13 career interceptions, which is tied for the fourth best mark in school history, while his six career fumble recoveries ties for the school's all-time mark. 

The Spring Game is set for Sat., April 21, at Ball State's Scheumann Stadium and is scheduled for a 3 p.m. kickoff.  Admission to the event is free of charge.

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