JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Upon greeting a reporter and photographer at a Jacksonville Jaguars reception desk, the first thing David Caldwell wanted to talk about were his Buffalo Sabres. are they going to hire for general manager? Caldwell asked. The St. Francis High grad maintains almost all of his Western New York allegiances, although the Buffalo Bills obviously couldn be one of them. Rooting for another club would be bad form for an NFL GM, especially the weekend in which they play each other. Caldwell will welcome 46 guests, many of them from back home, at this afternoon game between the Bills and Jaguars at EverBank Field. Caldwell, a rookie GM and the second youngest in the NFL at 39, will be a much more pleasant host than he would been in October. Jaguars owner Shad Khan hired Caldwell in January to change the culture of a franchise that been to the playoffs twice in 14 years. Then the Jaguars began 0 8, their worst start in franchise history. Even their expansion team enjoyed three victories in their first eight games. But now the Jaguars are hot. They won four of their last five games and three in a row for the first time in three years. Caldwell decisions are starting to click. His first move was to fire coach Mike Mularkey and hire extroverted Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. Observers consider Bradley a perfect match, the yin to Caldwell understated yang. Caldwell had the Jaguars offices renovated to foster openness, communication and togetherness. He also changed half of Jacksonville roster by opening day through the draft, free agency and waiver wire pickups. Bradley, nine years older, said Caldwell a lot of wisdom. A prime example was squashing any Tim Tebow drama by emphatically stating up front the Jaguars were not interested in the lightning rod quarterback. really fit together, Bradley said. trusted the results will come, and they have. trust Dave will bring in the guys to make us better. We improved the roster from the bottom up. path took him from South Buffalo to John Carroll University in the Cleveland suburbs, where he played outside linebacker alongside fellow St. Francis alums Chris Polian and Tom Telesco. Polian father, former Bills GM Bill Polian, was with the Carolina Panthers and offered Caldwell a scouting internship. Caldwell then spent 10 years with the Polians in the Indianapolis Colts front office and eventually became the Atlanta Falcons player personnel director. The past 11 months have been eventful for Caldwell and Telesco, named San Diego Chargers general manager the same week the Jaguars hired Caldwell. They are two of the three youngest GMs in the league. As Caldwell took a seat behind two laptops on his desk Friday morning, he looked relaxed in a black nylon Jaguars jacket, dark blue jeans and a black Nike baseball cap. A frame from the Notre Dame USC game was frozen on his flat screen television. For the next 90 minutes, Caldwell spoke with The Buffalo News about how a South Buffalo kid found his way into that office to run an NFL team. What was your childhood in South Buffalo like? DC: parents raised four children. I was the youngest of four. My dad started at Sears at 18 years of age and retired from Sears at 52. He was an assistant store manager at the one in West Seneca and then got moved to the McKinley Mall when it opened. In the meantime, he would referee basketball in West Seneca, manage the Buffalo Raceway money room at night sometimes and lifeguard and give swim lessons. When he was refereeing basketball my brothers and sisters and I would shoot hoops at West Seneca East or West Seneca West. While he was lifeguarding, we go swim. If he was at the raceway, my mother would take us and watch the horses. They put four kids through private elementary school, high school and the three boys through private college. parents were providers. DC: providers. My mother was a medical secretary, and when I was really young she was the lunch lady at St. Bonaventure Elementary School. neighborhood did you knock around in? DC: call it the Triad. I was right in the middle of South Buffalo, West Seneca and Lackawanna on Tudor Boulevard, right off of Potter Road, across from Cazenovia Golf Course. When I left for college, that house was the only place I ever knew. I always tell people I wouldn change where I grew up for anything. It was a great place to grow up. did you get the inspiration to become an NFL executive? DC: football at St. Francis and at John Carroll, I loved it. Obviously, I wasn talented enough to continue to do it. But I wanted to be around it. The biggest thing for me is the camaraderie of the sport. This is a great people business. You come across some great individuals. I wanted to continue to have that. didn know if I was going to coach, and after college I was going to possibly go back and get my MBA and possibly be a graduate assistant coach. But I got the opportunity to intern as a scouting assistant with the Carolina Panthers. Once I got down there I thought, is something I could get into. I did everything from be a ballboy to help with administrative tasks. I wanted to stay around football. When I had the opportunity as an intern, my family did everything in their power to support me financially and help me along in a pay your dues role. influential was Bill Polian to getting you started? DC: was significant. To this day, I bounce things off Bill and look for advice and counsel. But there were a lot of people who had a vested interest in me getting to where I at right now. I owe a lot of people, Bill primarily for giving me the opportunity. But also his sons, Chris and Brian, who went to bat for me and told their dad he should let me intern. Once I got to Carolina in guys like Dom Amile, who was my boss there and in Indianapolis, taught me the nuts and bolts about scouting and about the business. did you become your own man in the NFL? DC: don think I really came into my own until I left Bill in 2008 and went to Atlanta under Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff, incredible mentor of mine. He helped me go to the next level. There are a lot of people I owe for where I at right now. about your father? What did he think about you pursuing this? DC: been incredibly supporting and, uh, probably [Caldwell begins to cry] Probably one of my biggest fans. So has his support meant to you? well, I think it mostly because . asks to stop the interview. He still emotional when he resumes.) DC: weird. I don usually get emotional. Man, that came out of nowhere. Holy When you get caught up in this, you don have a whole lot of time to reflect, and going through the whole Buffalo thing with you just now. 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All it takes is some of your time to think through the best answers to interview questions and that, along with a top notch, error free application and maybe even a few continuing education courses under your belt, will have a paycheck deposited in your bank account in no time at all. 384664 102 Nike Air Jordan 6 VI Retro Oreo Kamps, a senior majoring in English who is assistant director of the University Theatre's production of "The Bacchae," is collaborating with two Nigerian theatrical stars in residence in the Department of Theatre and Drama."When I heard they were coming for this project, I wanted to be part of it in any capacity possible," Kamps says. "This is the most unique project the UT has undertaken in my five years as a student here." "It fuses significant elements from many areas dance, classical Greek theater, Yoruba and other West African traditions and music. Events like this bridge and strengthen departments," he says. Kamps adds that collaborating with the visitors is a once in a lifetime experience. "Femi and Folabo have had a huge impact on their country, literature and the arts," he says. Osofian eventually formed his own troupe, Kakaun Sela Company. He is a professor of drama at the University of Ibaden. Ajayi Soyinka has choreographed, directed and acted extensively in the United states and Nigeria. She currently is an associate professor of theatre and film, and women's studies at the University of Kansas.
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