Raising money for a new turf field
Lycoming College, a D-III school located in the small city of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, has a rich football tradition, and is looking to add to that with the addition of a new turf field this season. The College has undertaken the huge fundraising task and has seen some great support in the past few months.
The goal for the project, which began in January, was to raise $1.1 million, with 80% of that total needing to be pledged four months later, in April in order to get the field in place before this season. Many people in the campus community didn't think raising that amount of money in such a short window was possible. Thanks to the competitive nature of the coaching staff, campus community, and surrounding Williamsport community the program has secured $725,000 in pledges as of yesterday and need only $100,000 more to move forward with the project.
Two people in particular have been instrumental in the fundraising efforts. Defensive coordinator Steve Wiser, and former head coach Frank Girardi have been around the program for a very long time and have been vital in the ability to raise funds. Wiser has been a member of the Lycoming program as both a player and a coach for 42 years, and Girardi served as the head coach from 1972 to 2007, so the two of them know most everyone in town, and each also has an undying loyalty to the program. Combine that with the fact that Wiser has been described by many as a fierce competitor, and you get a few guys that are tough to say "No" to.
The staff is confident that they will be able to come up with the remaining funds by the end of the month to secure the new turf field this season.
The video below does a great job highlighting the tradition of the program and the passion that the coaches and community have for this project. Turf fields have helped numerous programs take things to the next level, and is a huge recruiting tool, and the people at Lycoming understand that.
We're hoping they reach their goal.
Inside the film room at A&M
Secondary coach / co-defensive coordinator Marcel Yates allowed 12thManTV inside of the film room to update everyone on their progress since his arrival and walk them through some of their drills and the reason behind them.
In the clip, Yates stresses the importance of being on the same page as a staff starting in the office and stretching to the meeting rooms and film room and onto the practice field. The most encouraging part of the secondary to Yates is the fact that they want to work hard combined with the fact that they are very athletic, so he has put a lot of ownership on himself to get them to where they need to be as productive players.
The next head coach at Arkansas?
This morning and this afternoon, two independent sources have told us that Arkansas AD Jeff Long has already spoken with current UAB head coach, and former Arkansas offensive coordinator, Garrick McGee about taking over as head coach at Arkansas.
Both sources told us that Long and McGee discussed keeping the existing staff intact.
The two sources we spoke with both felt that McGee would have no problem retaining Paul Petrino as offensive coordinator and both felt that Paul would stay.
McGee has his UAB team in Spring ball right now (Spring game is on the 21st). Given this timing, we expect nothing to be said publicly until UAB completes Spring ball; but both sources felt that McGee would be announced as the new head coach shortly thereafter.
Clearly this is a fluid situation; but that's what we've been told by two sources.
11PM Update> Late tonight Jeff Long took to twitter to say, "At this time I have not spoken to anyone about the Head Coaching position." Earlier this afternoon, UAB AD Brian Mackin said that he has not been contacted by anyone from the University of Arkansas seeking permission to talk to McGee about the opening. Mackin said he wouldn't comment further. Tonight, after practice, McGee declined to speak with reporters at all and the sports information staff said that he would not speak with reporters until Saturday after their scrimmage.
As ESPN staff noted, although Long said he personally hasn't spoken with anyone, "that doesn't mean someone close to him hasn't."
As we pointed out above, we're simply passing along information from multiple sources that we believe are credible (based on our historical interactions with these individuals).
In depth look inside Rutgers Football
The University of Rutgers football program has partnered up with Mind Over Media production company to bring fans an hour long documentary inside the 15 spring ball practices under new head coach Kyle Flood.
Director Michael Messner said that the documentary will follow Flood from the time he wakes up on day one of spring ball through its conclusion, mic'ing up players and coaches along the way.
Messner explains that this documentary will be unique. "We are going to be able to truly give football fans a view of college football that has rarely been seen. Conceptually, we are going to try to tell the story without narration, literally putting the viewer next to the players and coaches as a colleague.”
The film, entitled "RFootball: 15 Days of Spring", will air locally in May as well as on Rutgers athletic websites video feed. Below is its intro.
Michigan to use #GoBlue Saturday
We saw earlier today that Michigan plans to use the hash tag #GoBlue on the 25 yard line for their spring game.
This is the second time that a twitter hash tag has been used on the playing field. You may remember Mississippi State's #HailState hash tag for the Egg Bowl last season (pictured below).
Jordan Maleh, Michigan's director of digital marketing explained the decision. “Our goal is to challenge the status quo and to create innovative ideas that speak to our fans. This initiative will help our athletic department use technology as a competitive advantage to engage and connect to fans, build brand loyalty, grow the digital audience and monitor and listen to what is being said through the digital engagement cycle.”
Twitter is blowing up! If you and your team aren't on twitter yet, now is the time to figure it out.
Sooners compete in the "Oklahoma Drill"
The Sooner's show us their version, aka the original, of the Oklahoma drill in this practice clip.
Good video of the bigs and their coaches getting after it.
Georgia Southern planning $10 million upgrades
Georgia Southern is planning some major upgrades to their football facilities in an effort to make them more appealing for a potential future move to the FBS.
When asked if the planned $10 million football operations building was the first step in that process, GSU President Dr. Brooks Keel explained "Let’s put it this way, moving up requires stadium enhancement. We can’t even make a decision of whether we want to move up until we have the resources and facilities to handle everything else that goes with it.”
As it sits right now, the football facilities are scattered. When Jeff Monken was hired in 2010 that was one area he wanted to change. Now players meet with coaches for film sessions on the edge of campus, the weight room is nearby, and the training rooms and locker rooms are located in the fieldhouse about a half mile walk from the practice field. On game day the team dresses at the field house and hop on a bus over to the stadium and much of the equipment is taken over in vans.
When the new football ops building goes up, everything will be located under one roof in the east end zone of the stadium. The building will span 57,000 square feet and include the weight room, locker room, team meeting rooms, coaches offices, sports medicine rooms, and an area honoring the school's football hall of fame.
President Keel said that they have currently taken in $5.1 million in cash pledges so far, and have another $5.9 million in proposals from donors. When 80 percent of the proposals are accounted for, the University will only need permission from the Board of Regents and accept a bid from a construction company to begin to break ground on the new facility.
“We want to keep the guys excited about the football program and have them feel that every day they’re in a first-class athletic program, I know who we are. We’re not going to rival the University of Georgia or Tennessee or Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech. Those schools are a different level. But I want to be (a mid-major program) that people say, ‘If you’re going to do it, do it like Georgia Southern." head coach Jeff Monken explained.
Best way to get music on the practice field
So, we're looking for feedback on this one. A few weeks ago we watched Arizona practice. From the moment we walked onto the practice field, something caught our eye and our ear. It was their home grown music machine.
We tweeted the picture to the right out about what we saw and some guys on the staff at Nebraska were quick to tout there own system. Both are impressive and were built by the staff. Each is mobile and cost far less than commercially available systems (we recently heard that one company quoted over $100,000 for such a system). $100,000? OK, so that system was also fully integrated into the period / countdown clock and a mic system; but still we're talking $100,000.