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Clemson: "We're the total package"
Photos: Washington's new unis
D-II version of "Evolution of Dance"

Video: Sometimes the best sounding board for your program is parents of players

Giving recruits a first hand look inside of your program by linking them up with current players, or commits, for a campus tour, overnight visit, or phone call is on page one, paragraph one of the recruiting handbook.

However, we all know that the final decision often times comes down to the parents. At Tennessee, Butch Jones and his staff have preached family since his opening presser, and they realize that showing parents that they are just as much a part of the program as their sons are can pay some big dividends.

Here, Jones and the staff have parents attend a practice, grab some grub, and mingle with players and coaches after a scrimmage during a "Family Day". It's a simple concept, but you can tell the parents absolutely love being involved. Two parents perfectly summed up what the event accomplished from their perspective.

"I'm getting to know the family," one mom said. "So you feel like you're not in this alone, and it's exciting."

One dad in particular didn't mince words when talking about what Jones and his staff have brought to Knoxville, noting that "It's just more family like. It seems...how do I say this? More professional."

Hear more from parents, and see more of the event below. Whether you're at the FBS or NAIA level, all parents are going through the same thing when the send their kid off the college. Doing something like this keeps them involved, makes them feel valued, and you'll find that parents recruiting other parents may be the most effective method out there.

The NFL has an idea to boost attendance, and it involves cheerleaders

The NFL, America's biggest money-making behemoth this side of the Avengers films - doesn't have much trouble making a buck these days.... on television. Not when networks are begging for the opportunity to pay north of $100 million to broadcast a single game. As for getting fans to actually show up and watch the games in person, though, that's where the league is beginning to run into trouble.

The NFL product on television has become almost too good. When a 72-inch, high definition view of the game, with unlimited beer and pizza and fully-serviced phone or laptop ready to deliver fantasy statistics comes at a fraction of the price of actually driving an hour-plus to the game, dropping hundreds of dollars on parking and concessions on top of the ticket cost, and missing out on a day of fantasy scores and other action from around the league, it's an easy choice for most fans. The La-Z-Boy wins every time.

Boosting in stadium Wi-Fi is great, but the live experience has to offer something exclusive to get the average fan off his couch. College football has the band, the student section and a tradition of pageantry, and the NFL has... cheerleaders. 

According to Sports Business Journal, the NFL has partnered with app developer Experience to, you guessed it, enhance the in-stadium experience at games. The Atlanta Falcons used the service last year, offering it to 3,000 season ticket holders. It worked as a link within an official team app, and it offers a set of experiences fans can purchase throughout the stadium. 

“Anything from pregame on-field, to a birthday message, to cheerleader visits, to mascot visits, to the fly-by pass, which is a dedicated lane where you don’t wait to get into the stadium,” Falcons chief marketing officer Jim Smith, the Falcons’ told SBJ. “All the experiential things sold out within the first four hours they were made available.”

The team says they sold an average of 800 experiences per game. 

Experience expects half the league to sign up for the 2014 season. Teams can customize experiences they would like to offer. For instance, the Seattle Seahawks sold the opportunity to attend Pete Carroll's post-game press conference or kick field goals on the field after the game. 

Seventy-two ways to improve your program this spring

We've previously touched on 15 ways to improve your life and your career this spring, and now coaching blogger Chris Fore has offered 72 more ways to make your program better this spring. We've posted his work before - 99 questions to ask before taking your next head coaching position and 10 things to consider before taking a new job - and this is another good reference point for all coaches.

This list is geared toward high school coaches, but there's plenty here for coaches of any level. 

  • Self-scouting last year’s offense
  • Self-scouting last year’s defense
  • Self-scouting last year’s special teams
  • Surveying your players about last season
  • Surveying your coaching staff about last season
  • Surveying the parents and boosters about last season
  • Reviewing the results of the surveys to help you make effective changes in the program
  • Organizing your spring and summer calendars
  • Meeting with college recruiters to promote your kids and your programs
  • Attending clinics
  • Reading 1 book per month to make you a better coach (Building Championship-Caliber Football Programs would be a great place to start!)
  • Going to observe a college practice or three in your area
  • Meeting with a college staff to learn more about a system you want to learn more about
  • Meeting with another staff or three in your area to learn about a system you want to learn more about
  • Sending in your helmets and shoulder pads for reconditioning
  • Ordering new uniforms or at least making upgrades to your current ones
  • Get up to date with the new NFHS Football Rules for the upcoming season
  • Creating your Spring Install calendar
  • Creating your Summer Install calendar
  • Meeting with every player one on one to go over a SWOT analysis with them for next season (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)
  • Meeting with every coach one on one to go over a SWOT analysis with them for next season (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)
  • Having a golf tournament to raise money for your program
  • Having bi weekly Booster Club meetings, installing new officers, etc.
  • Planning your fundraisers for the calendar year
  • Creating your scouting calendar for the upcoming season
  • Making bus arrangements with your Athletic Director for the upcoming season’s away games
  • Working on using your home games for community events (Teacher Appreciation Night, Youth Football Night, etc)
  • Writing a letter to the incoming 8th grade students already registered for your school
  • Writing a letter to the 8th grade students who are in your feeder system (if rules permit)
  • Having a Football Open House for the 8th graders in your community (if rules permit)
  • Hosting a Coaches Clinic for the youth football coaches in your area
  • Redesigning/updating your handout about the football program with your admissions counselor (if applicable)
  • Hiring new assistant coaches
  • Having a coach retreat 
  • Solidifying your stat girl crew, and training or retraining them
  • Solidifying your equipment management crew, and training or retraining them
  • Solidifying your water boy/girl crew, and training or retraining them
  • Solidifying your video operations crew, and training or retraining them
  • Planning for and executing a Spring game
  • Spending time with your players off the field to develop strong relationships
  • Having a few off the field team bonding activities
  • Ordering new footballs, mouth pieces, etc, etc. (See list of things here)
  • Speaking at the local rotary meeting to help with community involvement
  • Cleaning up your Hudl account (or DVDs if you’re old school)
  • Sending in your headsets for annual cleaning, fixing, etc.
  • Meeting with your athletic trainer to evaluate the injury reports from last year
  • Discussing any new protocols for injuries this upcoming season with your athletic trainer
  • Get any new state or federal coaching requirements up to date (example: concussion management)
  • Renew your CPR/First Aid (if applicable)
  • Stay on top of the GPAs of your players
  • Finalize your Thursday night pregame meal home visit schedule
  • Finalize your Friday pregame restaurant/school cafeteria reservations
  • Develop and meet regularly with your Player Committee
  • Have some lunches with your Athletic Director
  • Have some lunches with your Booster Club President
  • Have some lunches with your Player Committee
  • Have some 1 on 1 lunches with your coaching staff
  • Make and finalize plans for Senior Night
  • Make plans for Bye week – how much practice, etc?
  • Get your charts for the weight room and any speed testing organized, make copies, etc.
  • Develop your spring practice plans – day by day and minute by minute
  • Develop your Training Camp practice plans – day by day and minute by minute
  • Recruit the hallways
  • Go cheer on the baseball team one day!
  • Finalize any contracts for the upcoming season or two seasons
  • Create and finalize your schedule poster for the community
  • Hold an NCAA Clearinghouse meeting for any potential college-bound athletes
  • Hold your kids accountable to being in the weight room
  • Get your kids faster on the field
  • Update your school’s stat record book from last year’s statistics
  • Reserve any field space that you need to for spring and summer
  • Finalize your budget for the fiscal year, or next season, whichever way you do it
  •  Check out Fore's blog here.

    FootballScoop reports record 1st quarter viewership

    Calendar 2013 was an absolute record year for FootballScoop with 30% growth in unique visitors over what had been a record year in 2012. Well, today I'm happy to share that the site is growing even faster in 2014...

    I'm very proud to report that FootballScoop saw unique visitors to the site grow 36% in the month of March (over March 2013) and 56% for the 1st quarter (over 1Q 2013). Further, since last March, we have added over 20,000 followers on Twitter and now have over 56,000 followers on that platform.  

    Over these past three months we have had just under 1 million total unique visitors come to the site and have averaged about 120,000 average weekly unique visitors. Those 120,000 unique visitors visited the site nearly 500,000 times each week. 

    Over the next few months we will continue to introduce new features and will introduce you to new products that we believe in and think you will benefit from. Stay tuned for a number of announcements...

    We attribute our success to focusing entirely on helping the coaching profession. While we don't always take the immediate opportunity to thank everyone who sends information in to The Scoop, we certainly do appreciate it and would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every coach out there who sends us information. We simply could not do this without all of you and we sincerely thank you.

    Below is a screenshot of our twitter analytics profile.

    Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 10.21.02 PM 


    The players will love this high school video

    If you're a high school football coach, you know how the story goes. Some programs have more advantages than others. And Reagan High School, like many in Austin (Texas) ISD, falls firmly in the "others" category. The Raiders went 1-8 last season, but it wasn't for a lack of effort. Head coach Keith Carey and his staff wouldn't have gone to the trouble of producing the video below if they didn't care.

    That's why the Reagan players will absolutely love this video. At first glance, I actually thought Reagan kicked tail up and down the field last season. That's how the players will feel, too. It's not the truth, as they know, but it's not how the video makes you feel, and that's all that matters.

    Put it this way, ESPN isn't beating down the door to show a Reagan game any time soon. This is the closest to the big time these players will ever get, which is why the work of Carey and his staff is so important. 

    Those baby blue and red uniforms look pretty darn good as well.

    'When you make yourself better individually, this team gets better'

    Texas Tech is a growing program under head coach Kliff Kingsbury, and all growing things tend to take two steps forward before they take one step backward. Like how the Red Raiders started last season with seven straight wins, followed by five straight losses, and then another step forward with an emphatic 37-23 upset of then-No. 14 Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl. 

    With an entire off-season ahead of them, the Red Raiders hope to take three steps forward before entering Season 2 under the new regime. 

    Here's a nice look at how Texas Tech has worked in off-season workouts. 

    Dude Perfect - Final Four Trick Shots

    Because...off-season. Enjoy!

    Photo: Akron has some new shiny, gold helmets

    There's a new trend going around college football and, in the right light, it could blind you. A whole host of teams have introduced chrome helmets, which I have dubbed as oversized Christmas ornaments. We've seen them pop up at Florida Atlantic, Notre Dame, Washington and Baylor, to name a few. Astute readers will not that gold seems to be the most popular choice for chrome helmets, and now gold-lid wearing Akron has entered the mix.

    This photo below showcases two separate gold helmets, one with a gold facemask, one with blue, as well as a new jersey. The Zips wore Adidas last season, but will apparently move to the updated jersey template with hash marks across the chest (which appear prominently in Tennessee and Texas A&M's gray jerseys).

    One final note: Can you name another college football team with using the lead initial from its nickname "Z" instead of school name "A" as a helmet decal?

    Akron helmet

    (via @PhilHecken)