Coach Charlie Ernst

Timeout with Dustin Sullivan

Guest- Charlie Ernst

Podcast Release Date- August 25, 2022

Season 1, Episode 1


Announcer- Welcome to Timeout with Dustin Sullivan, a Kan Du Group production. Kan Du Group is a non-profit organization serving the needs of adults with developmental disabilities.

Today’s guest is Charlie Ernst, a native of Minster, Ohio. He his entering his 12th season as head coach of the Oiler Men’s basketball program. He has been voted GMAC Coach of the year in 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. Take it away Dustin.

Dustin- Welcome to 15 minutes with Dustin Sullivan. Are you ready, Charlie?

Coach Charlie Ernst- I'm ready.

Dustin- Your 15 minutes start now. What got you into coaching?

Coach- Boy, that’s an interesting question.  That was not my plan. I was an athlete most of my life, played basketball here at the University of Findlay for Ron Neikamp for four years. My senior year, he asked me if I'd be interested in sticking around and being one of his assistant coaches. I hadn’t really thought of myself as a coach, at least not a college basketball coach. All the credit goes to Coach Neikamp because he saw something in me. I think he thought Charlie would make a really good coach. He happened to be looking for a coach. I happened to be finishing up my time as a player and the rest is history.

Dustin- Coaching is a lot easier than being a basketball player, less wear and tear.

Coach- That's for sure! I tell people this all the time, Dustin. I'm not even saying I'm a good coach, but I'm a lot better coach than I was a player. But I think that helps me as a coach because I tell our players all the time. I think the guys or coaches that are the most delicate to handle as a coach are the ones that don't play a big role on the team.

Dustin- That’s the kind of people I like.

Coach- Yeah, and they may be some of the best players on the team. I relate to those players a lot better than I do to some of the star players, because that’s what I was. So, you know, I feel like that's helped me as a coach. Coaching those key guys that are in basketball maybe number 8, 9, and 10 on your team.

Dustin- What's your favorite restaurant of all time?

Coach- Oh my. (thoughtful pause) That’s a tough one. I'm gonna have to go with Cheesecake factory.

Dustin- Oh Cheesecake Factory, they have the best cheesecake in the world.

Coach- I like cheesecake but I they have a great menu too.

Dustin- It's a little expensive, but good food.

Coach- Yeah, I don't eat there a lot.

Dustin- It’s better and more fun when you go there on special occasions. So what's your favorite all time television show?

Coach- I'll probably give you an answer and then I'll be driving out of your Dustin and then I'll say that that's what's the right answer, man! You know, when you're 53 years old, you start to come up with things that you liked a lot when you were a kid and maybe when you were a young adult. And now I'm when I'm an older adult, I don’t watch as much TV now as I used to, so I'm gonna have to turn back the clock and say The King of Queens

Dustin- That was a good show.

Coach- I liked Friends.  I still like to watch those episodes even though they're older, so I'd say those two.

Dustin- It's kind of hard to watch things when you have a lot of stuff to do.

Coach- That’s right. That’s right.

Dustin- Where are you originally from?

Coach- I'm originally from Minster, Ohio, which is about an hour and 20 minutes south of here.  It’s a small town. I grew up in a small town. I’m from a family of five boys, just enough to make a basketball team.

Dustin- That’s awesome. It seems like the littler towns are more exciting.

Coach- I love where I grew up. I tell people that all the time. Growing up in Minster was one of the most important parts of my life. It's kind of what gave me the background in who I am and how I do things. So all credit goes not only to my parents, but my grandparents. Really it's they say, it takes a village to create a person. I truly believe that, and I think that was the case with me.

Dustin- That’s sweet. So, what are your hobbies in your free time?

Coach- Well I almost told you when we had some small talk before we jumped on the air. But probably my favorite is one that your uncle or cousin Don and I share. We actually have more in common than you think. My favorite hobby outside of coaching and sports is dirt track racing.

Dustin- He loves his dirt track and he’s a funny guy.  

Coach- He does, and I see him at the races once in a while.  

Dustin- So what's your dream vacation spot if you have ever had a dream to go somewhere?

Coach- Well, fortunately, I've been blessed in that my job has taken me to a lot of places. But ironically enough, two of the places I've never been in the United States that I would like to go to are Hawaii and California.

Dustin- I’d love to go to Hawaii.

Coach- I’ve been to 48 states, those are the two I haven't been to.

Dustin- That’s impressive.

Coach- Probably my dream vacation would be to take my family back to Africa. We have a son that we adopted two years ago from Africa.  we adopted our son from Africa. We really fell in love with the country. It's a big country. So when you say Africa, I’m not sure exactly where I would like to go back to. Probably to spend a week or two in Africa.

Dustin- I would love to visit Africa. It'd be kind of cool to go there.

Coach- It's a neat place, a lot of great people. You develop a mindset about what something is and a lot of times when you get there it’s not what you think. I would say that's true with Africa.

Dustin- It’s pretty cool. We have a boss at work, she’s from South Africa. It’s cool to learn the culture from her.

Coach- It is, it is. I was reasonably close to South Africa when we visited. I was in the east. My wife and I spent a weak in Burundi, a little country where our son is from and a weak in Kenya. It was just my wife and I and it was all business because we were there to get our son and we didn't have a whole lot of time to play. I would like to go back when the focus is on family and vacations.

Dustin- What's your son’s name?

Coach- His name is Roger.

Dustin- What's your favorite color?  

Coach- Well, I better say orange, right?

Dustin- Yeah, you should.

Coach- (chuckles)

Dustin- What’s the most memorable game you have ever coached?

Coach- The national championship game in 2009.

Dustin- Oh yeah, I forgot you were the assistant coach. That was a year they went undefeated.

Coach- That is, I was an assistant coach at Findlay for 19 years before I became the head coach. I would say my top three most memorable games would be in this order; that game, the year we beat Ohio State, and then the game we played at Duke the year after the national championship. We didn't beat them. But our goal in that game was to make Coach Krzyzewskicoach for 60 minutes or actually 40 minutes.  He had to so we accomplished our goal. They won the national championship that year.  So, there was no shame in losing to Duke.

Dustin- I’m an Ohio State fan but that was still pretty cool that you guys beat us. I like that year when they went undefeated. They had some pretty good players that year.

Coach- Yeah.

Dustin- You'll never see anything like that ever again.

Coach- I don't think so, I agree with that.

Dustin- Since our time is almost up, we need to finish up with one last question for you. Do you consider a hot dog a sandwich?

Coach- Of course. (laughs)

Dustin- Thank you for taking the time for 15 minutes with me. It was nice to get to know you. We hope everything everyone else did too.

Coach- Alright, thanks a lot. It was a pleasure being on.

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