The importance of an off the field staff

An interesting ESPN article pointed out that Alabama has an impressive 146 off the field positions that make up the Tide's athletic program. Included in those 146 positions are everything ranging from secretaries to player development and recruiting assistants to help ensure that the athletic program runs like a well oiled machine.

When offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier walked into the football building for the first time, he couldn't help but be impressed with Saban's "organizational structure".

"He's so detailed in preparation. To have that structure in place and be able to come into a situation where you're able to integrate into the system and not create the system, it's been a huge advantage for me." Nussmeier explained.

The off the field staff are the ones breaking down film and tendencies weeks in advance, and gathering information and game film on potential recruits. Essentially, they're making the coaches jobs much, much easier so that they can concentrate on coaching.

When athletic director Mal Moore is asked about their investment in the support staff he simply points to the Tide's record to justify it. Two national championships in three seasons has other programs taking note of how things are done in Tuscaloosa.

Georgia is one of those programs with a similar approach. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham explains that there's no way he could do it all himself. "Let's say that Week 1 we're playing Buffalo, while we're doing that game plan, [the support staff is] working on the next opponent. That way when I come in on Sunday, I have a book in front of me that has the depth chart, their favorite formations by personnel, what kind of personnel they run, has their runs drawn up, their passes drawn up, has a tendency section. I can have the identity of this team within 25-30 minutes."

Grantham credits the NFL for much of how college programs now operate.

"People mimic each other, The game has gotten so precise and so detailed that it forces people to do those things to stay up with everybody."

At North Texas, Dan McCarney uses voluntary interns as members of his support staff, drawing inspiration from environment that Urban Meyer had created during their time together at Florida. The Mean Green don't have the budget that some of the major college programs do, so McCarney highlights the personal impact it has as the major benefit of lending a hand in areas as important as football operations and recruiting.

"That's one thing that you can't help but impact you from a positive way by getting more young people, more young guys involved and give them a chance. And then it's really neat to see them mature and flourish."

Plenty more quality content can be found in the original article which can be read here.


Arkansas unveils new uniforms

Arkansas has issued a press release of their new Nike uniforms, including the much talked about alternate uniform.

The new uniforms were aimed to pay respect to the traditions of Arkansas football past, as well as creating a cutting edge look for the future in order to turn heads of recruits as well as the fan base.

John L. describes the new look as "lighter, tighter, and cooler".



Fishin with Coach Hatch

Last week we showed you our first video of the year nominee, in which some of his assistants tried to educate Murray State head coach Chris Hatcher about the fine art of fishing.

Hatch was on the water this weekend and believe it or not, he didn't win the tournament...actually he came in 136th out of 142. But, the ever positive coach saw the positive saying, "Did beat a few folks, beat a couple of pros". 

Watch Hatch describe it in his own words...

"The better you are, the less you have to do"

Gary Nord worked under Howard Schnellenberger for a number of years, and also served as the offensive coordinator and eventually head coach at UTEP. The past three seasons, Nord has ran the offense for Danny Hope at Purdue.

The Boilermakers have struggled through numerous injuries to key players the past couple seasons, which prompted the Big Ten Networks Tom Dienhart to ask Nord what the playbook will look like in 2012.

Nord's response was simple and to the point, and should speak volumes to coordinators out there in similar situations as fall approaches.

"I’m not necessarily interested in having a deep playbook. Usually the better you are, the less you have to do. When you aren’t very good, you have to do a lot to keep them off balance and try to trick them all the time. That’s not the way you like to call plays. You like to be able to call them and be successful at them because you are better than the other team. The better you are, the less you have to do."


GA of the Day - Dan Lanning (Arizona State)

Ever considered driving 13 hours through the night to meet with a coach who has no idea you're coming...Dan Lanning did it...and it worked! That's determination. 

Watch the video above and hear Lanning tell you his story. One of the best real life stories you'll ever hear about how a high school coach got his first college opportunity. 


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