View Full Version : For Noga, little things add up to a lot

04-15-2006, 05:45 PM
For Noga, little things add up to a lot

Bob Highfill
Record Staff Writer
Published Saturday, Apr 15, 2006

STOCKTON - Doing the little things, the extra lifting and running, the arduous stuff when no one else is watching.

That's what made Al Noga a first-team All-American at Hawaii and a staunch defensive lineman for 12 years in the NFL and the Arena League.

The 40-year-old from Honolulu now is passing along the work ethic and lessons he's learned as an assistant coach with the Stockton Lightning of arenafootball2.

"I'm going to teach what other coaches taught me, and I'm going to teach what I've put together on my own," Noga said. "Little things really help. If you do the little things, that will make it become a big thing."

The Lightning will host its first "big thing" in the area today - "Fan Fest" - from noon to 4 p.m. at Stockton Arena.

The event is free and includes autograph sessions, player introductions, game simulations, and performances by the Lightning dance team.

Season and single-game tickets also will be on sale. Stockton (0-2) has a bye this week and plays April 22 at Quad City in Davenport, Iowa. The home opener is April 29 against Bakersfield.

Noga comes to Stockton with impressive credentials. The Outland Trophy finalist was the third of eight football-playing brothers who made it to the NFL (Niko and Pat Noga preceeded him). Noga was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the third round of the 1988 NFL draft. Undersized by NFL standards at 6-foot-1, 261 pounds, Noga adapted quickly to compensate for his size in order to earn a starting spot. He was supremely motivated.

"In college, I had a bet with a friend who said I would never play on the line in the NFL," Noga said. "That got me psyched up, and getting picked in the third round, that really angered me. I felt I was better than some of the guys picked before me."

Noga channeled his emotions and became a big player in a "little" package. The durable Samoan saw action in every game with the Vikings from 1989-92 and in 1993 with the Washington Redskins. Noga finished his NFL career in 1994 with the Indianapolis Colts. His best season came in 1989, when he had 111/2 sacks.

Noga later played for the AFL's San Jose Sabercats and the Portland Forest Dragons. In 1999, Sports Illustrated named Noga one of the 50 greatest Hawaiian sports figures of all-time.

Noga had a tireless work ethic and a keen eye for detail as a player. His offseason workout regimen included weight lifting, five-mile runs, and sprints. He also improved his skills by watching others.

"I mirrored people who were quick and who had speed," Noga said. "I started doing repetition on their moves. You can do the little moves that can make you special, if you do the repetition."

Noga stresses the importance of repetition as a coach.

"I've seen it work in my life and I can see it work in the player's lives," Noga said. "They're starting to come around, and that makes me really happy."

Lightning lineman Lyndell Hawkins appreciates learning from someone who has played at the highest level. The former Tracy High and Fresno State standout said Noga teaches without boasting about his past.

"The thing that strikes me most about him is he's very humble," Hawkins said.

Lightning head coach Richard Davis said Noga has fit in perfectly with the team.

"I just flat out like the guy," Davis said. "He brings intensity to the players. He teaches the nuances of the pass rush and he's showing them how to be professional men. He's a good football coach."

Noga also brings coaching experience to Stockton. He was the defensive coordinator for the defunct af2 Hawaiian Islanders from 2000-02.

Noga hopes to eventually coach in the NFL or the AFL, but football isn't his only passion. He studied music at Hawaii and is adept at guitar, bass, drums and keyboards. He also enjoys acting and has appeared in television shows and plays.

"I have a brother in the movie industry and I'm a musician," Noga said smiling. "I can pick up a song and play along with it."

If the Lightning can play along with Noga, they should make beautiful music together.

Contact reporter Bob Highfill at (209) 546-8299 or bhighfill@recordnet.com

For Noga, little things add up to a lot (http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060415/SPORTS/604150342)

04-20-2006, 03:09 PM


04-20-2006, 03:27 PM

04-20-2006, 04:33 PM
Go back to playing teabags with your buudies!! Vibrater and Krud offer their servies to anyone who wants to play the teabag game!!

04-20-2006, 04:44 PM
"Kruhn" wrote:


This guy got a lower wonderLICK score than Young.

04-20-2006, 04:48 PM
A thought just occurred to me, "WHAT IF......this was Webby, Ultra and Del trying to F*CK with us for a little practical joke?"

OK, I know it isn't, but the thought was funny. :lol:

I guess if I look at it that way, it is similar to the tactic of picturing the audience as all being naked when you are giving a speach. It kind of takes some of the zing out of the troll's antics.