Quietly charismatic coach Big Aug Micelli taught 60 years at Calvert Hall

July 2, 2019

Big Aug - Teacher/coach Augustine Micelli passed away June 29 at the age of 85. “Big Aug” taught math at Calvert Hall in the Archdiocese of Baltimore for 60 years, where he served as head football coach from 1974-87, winning 104 games and the conference title six times. He was Baltimore Sun All-Metro Coach of the Year in 1979 and was Quarterback Club of Baltimore Coach of the Year four times. Augie’s legacy spread to Rehoboth Beach through his daughter Angela Waple (works at Bad Hair Day), married to Jamie, and their daughters Cecelia, Caroline and Rosemary. Augie was quietly charismatic, the quintessential teacher/coach and grandfather. He looked into your eyes and captured your soul. I know, like all others, I always felt better after talking to him. “The greatest miracle you can achieve is to touch the hearts of students entrusted to your care” – John Baptise de La Salle, founder of Christian Brothers. In his 60 years, Augie taught and coached more than 7,500 young men. At his 60th retirement party, he said, “I never feel like I’m going to work in the morning.” A cool aside is Augie and his surviving wife Angela were known as Big Aug and Big Ange, standing above an extended family that included 10,000 people. 

Finish line storylines - Two fast road races over the weekend were won by two great people. It dispelled the sports cliche that nice guys finish last. At the Beach Paper Firecracker 5K June 29 in Rehoboth, it was Francisco Puac, 34, a Dreamer from Georgetown, beating Eion Nohilly, a runner at Georgetown University who owns a 1:51 800 meters and 9:01 3,000-meter steeplechase. Francisco ran a personal best 16:55, with Nohilly clocking in at 17:29. Francisco comes from a soccer background, and the inside joke among runners is “16 minutes on six miles a week.” The Sunday morning Outlet Liquors 5K in Dewey saw Will Rehrig, 26, of Middletown outkick Brian Louis, 33, of West Chester. Rehrig broke the finish line banner in 16:06 to Louis’ 16:08. “He sat on my shoulder the first two-and-a-half miles, then we traded the lead. I knew that final stretch was going to hurt, but I had to go for it,” Rehrig said. Rehrig is an assistant cross country coach at St. Andrew’s. 

Congenial Crazy Club - No one can out-crazy Mike Wardian, 45, when it comes to endurance running, and he is the nicest, most congenial, interactive person you could ever meet, but if he were an android, he’d be recalled to the shop to have his bolts retightened. On Saturday, the hottest day of the year, Mike ran an 89-mile course of trails and neighborhoods around the Washington Beltway starting at 1:30 a.m., then ran for 18 straight hours. Last year, Mike ran seven marathons on seven continents in seven days, then ran three more on consecutive days for 10 straight days. The song, “I’m only human after all; don’t put the blame on me” doesn’t apply to inhuman feats of endurance. Eric Farinas ran 80.3 miles in 25.5 hours last weekend. One hundred miles was the goal, but weather conditions and a thunderstorm stopped him short. The event was the Forbidden Forest 30-hour Endurance Run in Stratford, Conn. Personally, I hotfooted one lap around Blockhouse Pond at high noon Saturday in 100-degree paved path temperature index while listening to Matchbox 20 on my iPod Nano singing, “Let’s see how far we’ve come.” 

Grapplers a Go-Go - Wrestlers get after each other in the summertime, mostly at open mats, which at Cape are Monday and Thursday nights in case you want to stop by and shoot a double leg. A team of 13 travelled with coaches Chris Mattioni and Scott Kammerer to Bloomsburg June 29 for a team competition contested in a non-air-conditioned gym. The community Cape team wrestled five matches and placed fourth among some pretty good competition because in 67-county Pennsylvania, wrestling is serious business. 

Free agent fans - There is no player loyalty to teams and cities in professional sports, so why should fans care at all? Al Horford signed a four-year deal with the 76ers for $109 million. “How much do you make?” is considered the rudest of questions, only trumped by telling me what you make if I didn’t ask. I’m a funny guy for chump money, but I could never be $20 million a year funny. Readers would be too preoccupied hating on me. 

Snippets - The women’s World Cup has been great. The U.S. versus England match is set for Tuesday, then Sweden plays the Netherlands Wednesday. This is the money round. If you want to win, score goals and stop shots, because high-level soccer games turn on a dime. If Sweden wins, my granddaughter Lina will be rocking her Swedish Chef puppet I gave her for Christmas. Go on now, git!

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