Steve Spurrier, entering his eighth season at South Carolina, is ten wins away from becoming the schools all time winningest head coach. He recently sat down with ESPN's Chris Low and in classic Spurrier fashion, just let it rip.
The old ball coach talks about the raised expectations of the South Carolina faithful, his plans for retirement, who has the hardest coaching job in the country, and some fascinating insight on who he thinks is the best coach in the SEC and why.
Al Golden talked with reporters earlier today about the upcoming spring game on Saturday, as well as how youth and high school camps play a huge role for them in recruiting.
During his time at Temple, Golden says that 80% of their signees attended their camps, and at Miami last season 60% of their signees attended the Hurricanes' camp. Golden explains that he doesn't think you can offer someone based solely off of their camp performance but instead used the the recruits evaluation in camp in combination with checking the students transcripts and character to really get the big picture. He compares it to the evaluation process of the NFL saying, "It's like they say at the combine, it's the last piece of the puzzle". The difference for them is that it can also be the first piece that really sparks an interest and gets the ball rolling.
After talking about the importance of keeping camp costs low to make it affordable for the inner city youth and how he and his staff are sure to coach the campers up just like they coach their scholarship athletes, Golden said something that really perked our attention.
According to Golden, they had 270 campers in 2010. That number exploded to over 1600 in last years camp, in part due to a one day option that the staff provided. Regardless of how, that's an impressive attendance increase.
Golden says that he expects the spring game on Saturday to be about 100 plays long, and laughed saying he understands the television producers in attendance are going to be pushing for the 2 hour mark regardless of the number of plays run.
Under Armour has taken some gear down the road to spring practices at College Park to test out some new gear including cleats and a "no-grab" jersey.
Walker Jones of Under Armour explains that being just down the road from the Terps campus allows them to bring their latest and greatest gear to practice to see how it holds up in the real life lab.
This week they were testing out jerseys (we know what your thinking), cleats, and arm sleeves and, as with all their products that they test, Jones explained that they wanted to see how durable they were, how it fits, and if it provides a competitive advantage. There's no better place to do that than the field.
Good insight Under Armour's testing and development side of things below.
Davie: "It doesn't matter if we play in quicksand"
Right after the New Mexico players stretched yesterday, Bob Davie kicked off practice with a scrimmage. Next time, he says they may not even stretch.
Davie wanted to stress the tempo of practice and hammer home the message that when they put their helmet on, it's time to go.
"If you come out here and you don't have the tempo, you have to manage the environment, and the only way I know to get the tempo better is to say it's full speed". Davie went on to explain that if they let the players just "ooze" around the practice field, they'll do just that.
Davie believes that games are won and lost up front, so the linemen on both sides of the ball get treated very well. They put in extra work in the weight room, sit at the front of the travel bus, and also have assigned seats in the front row of the meeting room.
At the end of the clip one reporter asks about the advantages that they have with a turf playing surface when all but two teams in the conference play on grass. Davie responded by saying "We're just trying to make a first down, right now it doesn't matter if we play in quicksand, or if we play on concrete."
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.