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Les to grads, "Operate with Swagger"

Les Miles was back in Elyria, OH for his 40th high school reunion yesterday and made a surprise appearance at the graduation ceremony for the current Elyria High seniors.

Miles urged the graduates to find their own goals and live life with passion. 

Cindy Leise of the Chronicle Telegram has the story; but we couldn't leave you without passing on this Lesism...

Coach Miles told the graduates to "operate with swagger." "Swagger really means style," Miles said. "I've never met an Elyria High graduate who didn't have style." 

UM AD Dave Brandon: We didn't want to change

There has been plenty of talk about Oliver Luck being one of the top athletic directors in the country, and understandably so. But the job that Michigan AD Dave Brandon has been doing an should not be overlooked. Brandon has been able to take one of the nations strongest athletic programs from top to bottom and institute changes previously not thought possible.

When Brandon took over as the Michigan AD almost two years ago, he took over a organization that he described as "inward-focused" and has since expanded the staff from 275 members to 308 (including creating many new positions including as chief marketing officer and chief information officer), and put a renewed focus on marketing, event execution, and information technology.

One of the first things that Brandon did upon taking the job was to take a close look into what he was inheriting. One thing that he found out pretty quickly was that the University of Michigan did not welcome change.

"Why? Because we're Michigan. We didn't want to change, we were stuck in, 'This is the way we do things at Michigan.' If we didn't like the way things were going, we would just sing the fight song. If it looked like Texas was growing faster than us, if Ohio State kept beating us, if Florida was zooming past us, we'd just sing the fight song. And the reality is, we just didn't want to change."

Unsurprisingly, each change ranging from putting numbers on the helmets, to the football programs first night game at The Big House was met with resistance.

"Every change I have ever proposed has been met with resistance 'You're going to put lights in Michigan Stadium? You're going to play a night game? You're going to put the kids in a vintage uniform? Oh my God, you're going to put numbers on the helmets? How can you do this?'"

"I don't care what it is, any change that's been proposed, this has been a culture that wants to resist it, because we all want to go back to the way it was when we were there, because that's friendly and that's comfortable.

"Every change I have proposed has been met with resistance. But you know what? I don’t care."

Stadium addition at Boise State

When you have the success that Chris Petersen has had at Boise, you are making the jump to the Big East, and you've got the most recognizable turf in the country, adding onto your stadium is the next logical step.  

The multi phase project will significantly add to the seating capacity of the stadium, going from about 35,500 to about 53,000 when all is said and done. The addition in the north end zone will replace the current bleachers with a wall of over 13,00 seats complete with a two story football facility located underneath the grandstand.

The football facility will house the coaches' offices, meeting rooms and new weight room facility. As the last phase of the project, the south end zone would be filled in, and additional suites will be provided on the east side of the stadium.

Below are some pictures of the north end zone project in progress, and some renderings of what the stadium will look like upon completion






Trooper Taylor coaches up the art of the catch

A few good coaching points here from Auburn receivers coach Trooper Taylor on catching the football.

In the video, Taylor explains what body part is more essential than your hands to the catch, proper hand placement, and why the last six inches of the catch are the most important.

Some brief helmet cam footage from receiver Emory Blake putting the coaching points to use as well.

From worst logo to this...

It wasn't long ago that the Culver-Stockton football logo was viewed by many critics as one of the worst logo's in all of college sports. That outlook is about to change.

With some help from Old Hat Creative of Norman, Oklahoma the NAIA school's logo got a big time make over. The new helmet has a nice matte blue color and white facemask to go along with the new logo on  one side and Alabama style numbers on the other side.

Take a look at the before and after below. Big difference.

Culver-Stockton old_helmet

Culver-Stockton helmet1

Culver-Stockton helmet2

HS Video: We are Swordsmen

Head coach Joel Berry and Garland Christian Academy in Texas have put together a nice video that shows people what they stand for as a school, a coaching staff, and team recently.

Last season, Hayden Burnett accounted for 748 yards of total offense....in one game! Undoubtedly one of the top performances by any player in the country last season. The Swordsmen finished 10-2 last season and had one of the more prolific offenses in the state.

Coach Berry shares GCA's unique view on tradition, as well as a few more pieces of philosophy in the video below including this made for t-shirt nugget; "When excellence becomes tradition, greatness has no limits".

Enjoy, this one was well produced.

173 FBS head coaching changes since '05

Of the 124 FBS programs this season, almost a quarter (28 to be exact) will have new head coaches on the sidelines in the fall. So, how does this number stack up to the past few seasons?

A steady rise in fresh faces for college programs has been taking place since 2008, when 18 new head coaches were named. In 2009 that number rose to 22, and up to 23 in 2010, 24 in 2011 and now 28 new head coaches will head into 2012.

According to YahooSports, there have been 173 FBS head coaching changes over the past eight seasons. The study also took a look at of the total FBS head coaches named, and what percentage of them are no longer there.

Back in 2007, 24 new head coaches were hired and 17 of them are no longer there (70.8%). The seven coaches that were hired for that 2007 season that are still with their same team include Troy Calhoun, Nick Saban, Mario Cristobal, Robb Akey, Mark Dantonio, Tom O'Brien, and David Bailiff. Only O'Brien, Cristobal, and Bailiff's teams finished below .500 that first season.

Even more impressively, seven head coaches remain with the same school that they started their 2005 campaign with. Bronco Mendenhall, Les Miles, Frank Solich, Miike Gundy, Steve Spurrier, Kyle Whittingham, and Bill Cubit all return for their eighth season at their respective school. Only Solich and Gundy finished that first season under .500...and look how far they've both come since. Solich has finished 1st in the MAC east 4 times since his arrival and Gundy has won the Big 12 outright once (the South division twice) and narrowly missed playing for the National Championship last season.

On the other slower end of the coaching carousel, only 11 new head coaches were named in 2006, and the four still remaining at their original school are among some of the most accomplished in the country. Chris Petersen, Bret Bielema, Rick Stockstill, and Pat Fitzgerald were all named head coaches heading into the 2006 season, and we don't even need to get into the long list of accomplishments for Petersen (who went 13-0 his first season) and Bielema (who went 12-1 his first season).

173 changes in eight years...an average of 22 per season. 

New era begins at Texas A&M

Really good video here out of Texas A&M talking about the great state of Texas, their people, and Texas A&M tradition.

"Here at Texas A&M, our traditions define us. Those not from here may not understand what we're made of, but it's time to show 'em".

Plenty of swag to go around in this video.