Shawn Nadelen channeled his inner Tony Stewart.
In the aftermath of Towson’s 12-6 loss to No. 4 Johns Hopkins on Friday evening, the Tigers coach borrowed a theme expressed by Stewart – the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion who said last year that he would “run over my mother to win a championship” – when asked about coaching against Dave Pietramala, who coached Nadelen in his senior year with the Blue Jays.
“It’s a game. It could’ve been my grandmother out there. I’m still looking to beat her if she’s wearing the opposite colors and coaching that team,” Nadelen said. “Obviously, I have a great deal of respect and admiration. Coach Petro’s been a tremendous influence in my life as a coach. So there’s that respect out there, but again, he’s coaching the other team. … We’re preparing our boys for battle, and I’m taking my guys against his guys and going at it that way. It was exciting.”
Friday’s contest was believed to be the first pitting Pietramala against one of his former players. Nadelen was a captain at Johns Hopkins in 2001 – his senior year and Pietramala’s debut as head coach.
Pietramala, who improved to 150-58 overall as a head coach, spoke highly of Nadelen’s presence on the opposing sideline.
“It’s a great day and a sad day all in one, to see your former captain standing on the other side,” he said. “I’m awful proud of what he’s done and the way his team handed itself and how hard they played. So it’s difficult to see him on the other end of it, but I’m awful proud of him.”