Blue Gray Classic comes to Troy today

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 29, 2003

MONTGOMERY - Joe Novak of Northern Illinois, Marshall's Bob Pruett, Guy Morriss of Baylor, and North Carolina's Jim Bunting have been selected as head coaches for the 65th Blue Gray All Star Classic presented by Movie Gallery.

Novak, whose Huskies posted a 10-2 overall mark in 2003, will handle the defensive duties for the Blue squad. He will be assisted by Scott Shafer, his defensive coordinator and secondary coach. In his 8th season as head coach Novak has guided Northern Illinois to an 18-6 record the past two seasons including victories over Maryland, Alabama, Iowa State and Wake Forest.

Pruett, in his 8th campaign as head coach of the Thundering Herd, owns an 88-17 mark at Marshall, including an 8-4 slate in 2003. His squad upended then 6th-ranked Kansas State on Sept 20 in Manhattan. In his tenure at Marshall, Pruett has led the Herd to a 1-AA National Championship (1996), and six bowl appearances in the first six years the school rejoined Division 1-A and the Mid-American Conference. Six of his clubs have captured the MAC East Division titles and five times Pruett coached teams have won MAC league titles. Pruett will serve as offensive head coach for the Blue and will be assisted by Larry Kueck, quarterbacks coach for the Thundering Herd.

Morriss becomes the 15th person in Blue Gray history to have both played and coached in the classic. A performer in the 1972 game from TCU, Morriss will handle the Gray offensive chores, and will be joined by Baylor offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Brent Pease. Morriss just completed his first season as head coach of the Bears, following two years as head coach at Kentucky. An NFL All-Pro selection in 1981, Morriss played in two Super Bowls during his career (1981, 1986).

Bunting, in his third year as head coach of the Tar Heels, will serve as defensive head coach for the Gray squad. An 11-year veteran of the NFL, Bunting was a teammate of Morriss on the 1981 Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl squad. He also was co-defensive coordinator with the Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams in 1999. Joining him on the Gray defensive braintrust will be Dave Huxtable, defensive coordinator / linebackers coach at North Carolina.

The 65th Blue Gray All Star Classic presented by Movie Gallery will be played at 2 p.m. (Central) today, at Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium on the Troy State University campus. Tickets can be purchased at the gate.