Most people reading this will associate the name Kevin Cadle with American Football and Sky Sports. I did. Did you know that the, ‘Let’s get back to the ball game’ guy, is actually in the Guinness Book of Records for … Basketball? Say what?
Kevin Cadle grew up in Buffalo, New York and lived across the street from the Buffalo Bills former home, the War Memorial stadium where they played from 1960-72. Living so close to his home town team’s ground is the reason Kevin is an avid Bills follower today.
His favourite player was Joe Namath, “He brought ‘cool’ into the NFL and his Jets beating the Colts was what made the NFL as we know it. Jim brown was also ‘ma man’ as he was my introduction to football, the Cleveland Browns games came on TV every Sunday in Buffalo”.
Kevin’s unwavering support for the Bills, has led to much banter and ridicule from fellow commentators and fans on the Sky Sports show, but he is adamant the future is bright.
“As far as the Bills go the only way is up! It’s about securing competent talent. I think they have the right people to evaluate players that can be successful in their system, I hope”.
As I mentioned Kevin Cadle is renowned basketball coach, so how did he get into it?
“Growing up I was a bigger football fan than basketball, I eventually gravitated to basketball as I attended high school and won many honours on the basketball court which paved the way for me to attend Penn State on a scholarship. But still football was the sport I enjoyed watching the most”.
If Kevin was an aspiring player today, given his love for basketball, he would more than likely be aiming for a shot at the tight end position on a team’s roster. The almost forgotten position in the past has been lit up by the arrival of players such as Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham, both successful basketball players in college.
The ideal tight end in today’s National Football League is an all round player. They need to be tall enough to create mismatches in the passing game, strong enough to work as an interior blocker and quick enough to offer a deep passing option.
Kevin however grew up playing wide receiver in his local junior league, so would this middle-aged man consider a return to the field, maybe in the British senior leagues?
Okay, so maybe he isn’t up for that but who can blame him, after the coaching career and persona he assembled in the British Basketball leagues, he probably deserves to put his feet up.
Looking at Kevin’s coaching record and accolades; you wonder why he never chose or had the opportunity to step up to the big time in America?
I’ll give you a rundown of some of his achievements;
- English League Champions 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1996
- BBL play-off Champions 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1997
- BBL Cup Winners 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991
- BBL Trophy Winners 1996, 1997
- Scottish Cup Winners 1984, 1985
- Scottish Play-Off Champions 1984, 1985
- English Cup Champions 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1996
- World Invitation Club Tournament Champions 1990, 1992
- Scottish Coach of the Year 1984, 1985
- English Coach of the Year 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1996
- Scottish Men’s National Team Head Coach 1984, 1985
- English Men’s National Team Head Coach 1991-1993
- GB Men’s Head Coach 1991-1992
- Placed in the Guinness Book of records as “Most Successful Team Ever in British Sport” – 1989/1990
- British record of more than 300 career league victories.
- Voted into the “Top 50 Most Influential Sportsperson” in Britain 1996
- Final grouping of the European Club Champions Cup – First Time Ever in Britain 1990/1991 Season: Ranked Number 6 in Europe
- Final grouping of the European Cup Winners Cup – 1987
When Kevin looks back on his achievements, he does so with pride, not with any needless airs and graces.
“Winning a coaching award just said to me that I did my job right. I can’t say if any achievements stand out more than the others, they all meant that I did the job I was hired to do.
Winning my first trophy in Falkirk and winning my last trophy with the London Towers will always be big memories but being the only British team ever to earn a place in the final grouping of the Euro League is a proud, proud memory”.
Anyway, back to the real reason the title of this article intrigued you so much. Kevin is of course the face of Sky Sports NFL, our only legitmate source of football, a position he has held for a number of years on a format which is ever changing.
Sat alongside him on a regular basis is Neil Reynolds and former Eagles fullback Cecil Martin, a formula that Kevin likes.
“Firstly they, like all the other guys who join us on the show are great people, but I think that my comfort level is at its highest when Neil and Cecil are the guests as their personalities are direct opposites, which always makes for interesting times”.
While the rest of us are busy watching the game, the studio is a hub of activity, ” I have to write down each play and I also start looking ahead to what I want to discuss the next time the producer asks us to fill the commercial break, it’s all go, go, go”.
Kevin recalls a show he and former analyst Nick Halling were hosting, and legendary defensive lineman William Perry was his guest.
“We had William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry on the show but for the full game neither Nick nor I could understand a thing he was saying, although we did understand the story on how he lost his front teeth because his cousin shot them out with a bb gun”.
The NFL International series is set to return once again in October and it is one of Kevin’s favourite times of the year, although he is unsure whether we will ever have a team of our own?
“I think it’s great that we can see a real game every year and hopefully that number will increase. I don’t know if I buy that a team will eventually call Britain home, at least not in next 10 years. I am still looking for another high scoring game like the Saints and Chargers encounter.
I love looking at the same scene each game as the thousands of fans walk up Wembley way with all the different teams represented”.
“I really enjoy having the opportunity of helping someone reach their potential in life. I wish I had acquired this skill when I was a coach as I am sure it would have helped me a lot”.
FightForTheYard would like to extend it’s thanks to Kevin Cadle for agreeing to this interview.