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Surprising comment: Okie State assistant describes most proud accomplishment

Joe DeForest is set to enter his eleventh season as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State.  He joined the staff under previous head coach Les Miles.  Currently, he serves as the special teams coordinator / safeties coach / associate head coach.

In this day, it’s rare to find assistant coaches in college football that remain with the same school for more than ten years.  In fact, only 56 current assistant coaches have worked for the same head coach for at least 10 years.

DeForest has worked for Les Miles and Mike Gundy during his tenure in Stillwater, a tenure that has included eight bowl games and 27 total wins from 2008-2010.

His most proud accomplishment in his coaching career, however, may surprise you.

He told VYPE Magazine in Houston, "This might come to a surprise to some, but it's the opportunity to have my daughter go her entire school career in the same place. In this profession, that is so tough to do, but I'm really proud of that. She entered the first-grade in Stillwater and will graduate high school here next year. That is better than any win or getting any big-time recruit."

As much as coaches move from job to job in the coaching profession, how many college assistant coaches can say that?

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USC launches SportsCenter-like commercial with Barkley

It’s that time of year again when college ticket managers are trying to create a sense of urgency to buy your season tickets.

We’ll probably see six articles this week from local beat writers about where ticket sales stand in comparison to last year at this same time.

USC has opted to attract the attention of the Trojan fans by way of a SportCenter-like promo commercial.  This video features USC athletic director Pat Haden and quarterback Matt Barkley at a copy machine inside Heritage Hall.

Barkley doesn’t give a Peyton Manning like performance, but we have to admit, he appears capable of securing some future marketing gigs.

In a way, this video is another selling point for USC recruiting.  The Trojans love their players and love to show off their players, always a plus for recruiting.

Barkley’s first line… “How about you try Gun, Explode, to Empty Right 10 Ricks, 65 Saw Z Stick Nod - R Option.”

Gruden would say, “What I like about Matt Barkley is his ability to communicate all the verbiage in a huddle call.”

Here’s the commercial.  It’s worth watching.




Darrell Hazell has an interesting contract incentive

719 high schools in the state of Ohio play football.  First-year Kent State head coach Darrell Hazell wants to build his program around players from Ohio.

It’s something Kent State hasn’t done in the past.

According to the Kent State spring roster, only 41 of 84 players come from the state of Ohio.  Some other states that are represented on the Kent State roster include Florida (8), Pennsylvania (7), Georgia (7), and North Carolina (5).

Interestingly, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, “Each year in which at least 60 percent of his football scholarships go to players from Ohio is worth $5,000.”

Athletic directors are getting creative with contract incentives, but we can’t remember seeing an incentive like that one.

Looking back at Kent State’s first signing class under Hazell, 13 of 18 recruits are out of the state of Ohio.  That’s 72%, so we assume an extra $5,000 for Hazell.

Kent State will visit Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa to begin the 2011 season.  The next three games are against UL-Lafayette, at Kansas State, and against South Alabama.




SEC East schools go in different direction for summer camps

We continue our series on the summer camps with a look at the way the SEC Eastern Division programs will format their summer camps.

Florida, Georgia, or Tennessee will not host a 7 on 7 camp.  Kentucky will host a 7 on 7 camp, but it’s only for middle school teams.  Kentucky and Vanderbilt will try to bring in prospects for a night under the lights.

Here is the breakdown by school:

Florida will host a 4-day quarterbacks / individual camp, 4-day OL / DL / individual camp, 3-day kicking camp, and 3-day youth camp.

Georgia will host a 1-day kicking camp, 2 separate 3-day youth camps for ages 8-13, and a 3-day camp for ages 14 and up.

Tennessee will host a 3-day youth camp, 2-day kicking camp, a 4-day camp for high school athletes only, and a 3-day camp for high school athletes only.

South Carolina will host a 3-day youth camp, 2-day camp for high school campers, a 1-day camp for high school campers, a 1-day OL / DL camp, and a 1-day 7 on 7 camp.

Kentucky will host 2 separate 1-day camps for juniors and seniors only, 2 separate 3-day youth camps for ages 8 through the eighth grade, 2 separate 1-night “Friday Night Blue Lights” camps for seniors only, 2 separate 1-day kicking camps for only seniors, a 1-day middle school only 7 on 7 camp, a 3-day high school only OL / DL camp, and a 3-day high school only skill position camp.

Vanderbilt will host a 1-day seniors only camp, 2 separate 1-day high school only camp, 1-day QB / OL / DL camp, 1-day “Future Stars” camp for 1-8 graders (parents participation is optional), 1-night Monday Night Football camp for junior & seniors only, 1-day specialist camp for high school campers only, and 2-day 7 on 7 camp.




Muschamp addresses the Gator Nation

Spring football is over and summer is on the horizon.  It was 87 degrees today in Gainesville and head coach Will Muschamp had a few minutes to talk with Inside The Gators, the Florida Rivals site.

Muschamp gave the Gator nation (should “nation” be capitalized?) their role for the season.

The first-year head coach said, "More than anything: Be a positive member of our team. If you've got an issue or a problem, don't boo. Boo me if you want to; wait until after the game is over and let me know.”

“Our guys need positive reinforcement in what we do and how we do it. I understand, 'We pay our ticket; we deserve [the right] to be critical.' Be critical of me. Be critical of our staff. We deserve that; our players don't."

Interestingly, Muschamp told the story why he decided to hire D.J. Durkin, who had served on Urban Meyer’s staff last season after coming over from Jim Harbaugh’s staff on The Farm.

"I'm recruiting a young man out of Atlanta," Muschamp said. "I was at another school in the SEC at the time. [The] young man grew up an SEC football fanatic and wanted to play in the SEC his whole life. A guy named D.J. Durkin is coaching the linebackers and the special teams at Stanford. 

Durkin wound up convincing the young man to play at Stanford and that definitely left an impression on Muschamp.  

This is where we miss having Harbaugh in college football.  If Harbaugh was still the head coach at Stanford, we would guess that by next Thursday, he would have a pretty humorous comeback to Muschamp’s comment.




Staff loyalty - An interesting study on assistant coaches

Many believe there is not much loyalty in the coaching profession.  Some say that certain coaches try to come across as loyal, but in reality, they are only as loyal as their options.

We have found 56 coaches in D1 football that have remained with their current head coach for at least ten years.

At Minnesota, the Gophers are really selling Jerry Kill and their core group of assistant coaches in the recruiting process.  Kill has served as the head coach at Southern Illinois, Northern Illinois, and now Minnesota.  Six of his assistants at Minnesota have served on his staff for at least ten years.

After taking a look at our breakdown, we recommend watching the latest video production from Minnesota football.  The video is about staff loyalty.

Gary Pinkel (7): Dave Steckel, David Yost, Andy Hill, Brian Jones, Craig Kuligowski, Bruce Walker, Cornell Ford

Joe Paterno (6): Larry Johnson, Jay Paterno, Dick Anderson, Tom Bradley, Bill Kenney, Ron Vanderlinden

Kirk Ferentz (7): Norm Parker, Ken O'Keefe, Lestern Erb, Darrell Wilson, Reese Morgan, Eric Johnson, Phil Parker

Jerry Kill (6): Matt Limegrover, Tracy Claeys, Brian Anderson, Jay Sawvel, Rob Reeves, Pat Poore

Bob Stoops (4): Brent Venables, Cale Gundy, Bobby Jack Wright, Jackie Shipp

Tom O’Brien (4): Dana Bible, Don Horton, Jerry Petercuskie, Keith Willis

Jim Grobe (4): Keith Henry, Steed Lobotzke, Ray McCartney, Billy Mitchell

Houston Nutt (3): Mike Markuson, James Shibest, Chris Vaughn

Jim Tressel (3): Jim Heacock, Jim Bollman, Dick Tressel

Chris Ault (3): Ken Wilson, Cameron Norcross, Barry Sacks

Frank Beamer (3): Bud Foster, Bryan Stinespring, Charley Wiles

Mack Brown (2): Bruce Chambers, Duane Akina

Gary Patterson (2): Dan Sharp, Eddie Williamson

Mark Richt (2): Rodney Garner, Mike Bobo

Pat Hill (1): Randy Stewart

Frank Solich (1): Tim Albin

Randy Edsall (1): Lyndon Johnson

Larry Blakeney (1): Jeremy Rowell

Jeff Tedford (1): Ron Gould




Dan Mullen riding the momentum during Road Dawg tour

This week, Dan Mullen has stopped in cities all throughout the state of Mississippi to speak with Bulldogs supporters.  It would be an understatement to say that Mullen is riding the momentum of a 9-4 season.

The truth is the Mississippi State fans are crazy about Mullen, who has done a solid job in Starkville, but has also benefited from a brilliant marketing strategy from the MSU athletic department.  Of course, that’s what you are supposed to do as an athletic department – help your coaches.

Mullen appeals to the Bulldog fans.  This morning, during a speech at the Columbus Country Club, Mullen said, “We owe you a championship. The people of Mississippi deserve that.”

He also pointed out the importance of avoiding complacency.

“We can’t slow down at all because, I’ll tell you this: if we practice as hard as we did last year, if we turn out and fill the stadium and create the atmosphere and have the same home field advantage as last year, we can expect to win no more than eight games in the regular season. That’s all. If we want to do more and we want to win more than eight games, we have to work harder.”

Mullen also talked about his ultimate goal.  To give you a hint, it’s not just winning the SEC Western Division.

Of course, Mullen likes to talk about “The School Up North,” whom he has defeated the last two seasons.  With the Bulldogs and Rebels set to begin a critical 3-game series in Oxford today, we expect some sort of tweet from Mullen that undoubtedly will fire up the Bulldog fans.

Give him credit, he’s good at it.




Fedora: That dominance is what I want

Larry Fedora is 22-17 and 14-10 in conference play during his three seasons as head coach at Southern Miss.

The Golden Eagles have played in the New Orleans Bowl in 2008 and 2009, the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl in 2010.

Fedora, however, isn’t pleased.  He believes the program needs to get back to the days of conference dominance the Golden Eagles once had under former head coach Jeff Bower.

“That dominance is what I want. We are getting back to where we need to be, Jeff (Bower) did a great job during that run and we’re hoping to get the same type of players.”

Bower was the head coach from 1990-2007. USM finished undefeated in CUSA in 1997, 1999, and 2003.  The Golden Eagles lost at least 3 conference games each year after 2003 and Bower resigned following the 2007 season.

Since the CUSA championship game evolves in 2005, UCF and Tulsa lead the way with 3 appearances each.  Houston and East Carolina have played in the game twice, respectively.  Southern Miss and SMU have played just once.  

Interestingly, CoachBower.com still leads you to the official Southern Miss athletics homepage. 

“I am not pleased,” Fedora said. “How have I failed? We have not won them all. That’s it. The only way you are going to be measured is by winning them all and we have not done that. People ask me how many games I expect to win this year. I say every game because that’s how I feel.”

USM opens against LA Tech, at Marshall, Southeastern Louisiana, and at Virginia.