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HS program delivers their 2014 motto with this video

The Liberty North high school (MO) football program is heading in a new direction in 2014. The coaching staff decided to get together with the outgoing senior class to deliver their message of being "selfless" to the future players of the program.

The most powerful things about this video is that the outgoing seniors were part of the first football team fielded at Liberty North back in 2010. That first season they went 0-9 and have since laid the foundation for the future success of the program. Now this video allows them to leave a different legacy with the program.

The word "selfless" was chosen because the staff felt the word can serve as the solution to every problem that the 2014 team encounters, including problems on the field, in the classroom and in the community.

The coaches answered what the word meant to them, and asked the outgoing seniors to do the same. The result was this video that communicates the concept to the team.

Not only did we find this to be an excellent idea that was very well executed, but we felt it definitely worth sharing with the rest of the coaching community.




Meet the new face of sideline reporting in college football

This is Allie LaForce.

Allie La Force

She is 25 years old. She graduated from Ohio University just three years ago.

And come this fall, she'll be the new face of sideline reporting in college football.

In his weekly media column, SI.com's Richard Deitsch reported Monday that CBS is promoting Tracy Wolfson off the SEC on CBS crew to its lead NFL crew, where she'll now work with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. The network has chosen the fast-rising LaForce to replace Wolfson. 

"CBS Sports management both publicly and privately have been pushing LaForce's star for the past couple of months," writes Deitsch. "She had a very good NCAA tournament, asking smart and pointed questions and showing versatility with the content of her interviews."

After playing basketball at Ohio, LaForce landed a job at a Cleveland Fox affiliate WJW before CBS Sports executive discovered her clips on YouTube and relocated her to Southern California. In addition to her work on the NCAA Tournament for CBS and Turner, LaForce has covered the NFL for CBS and hosts CBS Sports Network's daily late-night show "Lead Off" along with Doug Gottlieb. 

If you've followed the NCAA Tournament, you may be familiar with this piece of her work:

Though she will not appear on college football's biggest games, ESPN owns all the broadcast rights to the upcoming College Football Playoff, CBS's SEC package (which drew a 4.2 rating in 2013) is the highest-rated television package in college football in the 15 Saturdays from Labor Day weekend through Conference Championship Saturday. 




Marshall is offering a $3,000 incetive for students to come to the spring game

Marshall has rolled out an interesting incentive to get students to show up for the spring game on April 17th. Last year they drew more than 5,000 in attendance (more than Syracuse, Arizona, and Stanford), and coming off a 10-4 season they'll likely top that this season.

Just to be sure, the athletic department has rolled out a $3,000 incentive for students to show up

If a student can run a faster 40 than one of the Thundering Herd players, they'll receive a $3,000 prize to go towards tuition and books next fall. Not only would the three g's be nice, but the real grand prize here would be campus wide bragging rights until graduation.

No word yet on forty yard dash celebs Rich Eisen or Penn State receivers coach Josh Gattis will be in town that day as the top challengers.

 Interesting idea from the athletic department. Props for creativity.




Pat Fitzgerald recommends his players vote against unionizing

Northwestern players will make college athletics history, one way or another, on April 25 when they hold a formal vote whether or not to unionize the Wildcats' football program. Head coach Pat Fitzgerald has made his recommendation to the players - and he wants them to vote it down.

"I believe it's in their best interests to vote no," Fitzgerald said Saturday. "With the research that I've done, I'm going to stick to the facts and I'm going to do everything in my power to educate our guys. Our university is going to do that. We'll give them all the resources they need to get the facts."

Fitzgerald, as the first head coach to face this issue head-on, is in a very precarious position. He is not allowed to interrogate players about their voting plans, and he also can not make promises in exchange for a vote against unionization. 

It is worth noting, though, that with many of the issues College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) is pushing for through Northwestern football - the extension of medical benefits beyond players' time on campus, larger coverage scholarships, control over players' likeness - the Big Five conferences, of which Northwestern is a member, are already looking to cover for their student-athletes.

"I just do not believe we need a third party between our players and our coaches, staff and administrators. ... Whatever they need, we will get them," Fitzgerald said.

No one is exactly sure what will happen when the issue goes to a vote later this month, but many think players will vote it down. It has been speculated that, should players win the right to classify themselves as employees, their scholarships would then be deemed salary and, thus, become taxable income. At a private school with most of the roster hailing from out of state, that could be a significant expense, which may be part of the reason why Northwestern some players have indicated their displeasure with the movement. 

"Things do need to change, and I hope the NCAA sees that," senior running back Venric Mark said. "But at the end of the day, Northwestern treats us very well, and we do not need a third party to come in between us and the coaches."

Our guess here is that the vast majority of coaches support Fitzgerald on this issue while simultaneously hoping a unionization debate never travels to their campus. For those coaches, there is no better role model for this unprecedented situation than Pat Fitzgerald. 




'We did more tackling TODAY than the past two years combined'

One of the main focus' for Bob Davie's staff during their first two years at New Mexico was to build depth. That depth would not only help them come fall, but in the spring it would finally allow them to practice the way that they feel they need to in order to get the program to take the next step.

Now in their third spring, Davie feels like they finally have the depth they need, and the reward is finally being able to practice the way that they've wanted to for the past few years.

To really put in perspective what that means as far as practice structure, after Saturday's practice Davie said that they were able to tackle more during that practice than they had in the previous 30 spring practices over the past two seasons. That's wild.

"To put it all in context, we probably did more live tackling out here today than we maybe did in our first two spring COMBINED. If you take all 15 practices of year one and year two, we probably tackled more out here today than we did then." Davie explained

"For us, that's what we have to do in order to build a football team. It's like being a bull fighter...at some point you'd better fight that live bull. You can play with the little horns on a stick all you want but you better put that live bull in there."




World's first marriage proposal via Hudl

Well folks, here's something you don't see everyday...

Westfield High School (TX) coach Justin Outten used his team and Hudl to help propose to his girlfriend yesterday. 

Outten explained when publishing this video on Youtube:

Coach Outten asked his team to help propose to his girlfriend. There was a mock fight that was quickly broken up. Coach Outten gathered the team only to have another coach deliver a poster containing the hidden message "Vee will you marry me?" The poster was then revealed to the camera as the players and Coaches plead for an answer. Later that day Coach Outten texted his girlfriend explaining the horrible fight, which made her very concerned for her boyfriend's safety along with the players. The video was presented to her 2 days later on Coach Outten's HUDL video/editing program. When the poster was revealed on the video, Coach Outten dropped to a knee and proposed! Her reaction was also caught on tape. ENJOY!

Congratulations Coach and soon to me Mrs. Outten!

 




Princeton coaches go head to head at practice for Junior Day

While on the road yesterday I came across this tweet from Princeton inside linebackers coach Stephen Thomas, and what I saw literally made me pull over so that I could safely watch it over and over again.

From what I understand, while Princeton was hosting their annual Junior Day event, they decided to give the crowd a taste of something new. That's when two assistant coaches decided to spar in the classic one-on-one pass rush drill. Special teams coordinator / tight ends coach Andy Aurich played the role of the offensive lineman, and coach Thomas played the part of the defensive lineman.

Just for a little primer, Aurich, an '06 grad, was a two-year starter on the offensive line for the Tigers and was part of an offensive line that broke Ivy League records for total offense and scoring. Thomas played defensive back at Buffalo and also graduated in '06. While they're even in age, we all know who had the clear advantage in this one.

The rest you have to see for yourself. Kudos to the video guys for getting the action from more than one angle.

If you happen to see coach Thomas on campus or out and about, be sure to shake his hand because this was impressive. On the flip side, coach Aurich may be in need of a hug if you run into him.

A good amount of trash talking ensued afterward, the best of which came from former Princeton defensive lineman Caraun Reid.




Butch Jones dances after a Tennessee practice

Tennessee held a scrimmage on Saturday, and the Vols apparently performed so well that head coach Butch Jones felt like dancing afterward.