Barry Alvarez explains how the Bret Bielema situation played out
Barry Alvarez sat down with the Wall Street Journal to explain exactly how the Bret Bielema to Arkansas situation played out in his eyes, and what they're looking for in the new head coach at Wisconsin.
As he explains, Bielema came into to his office Tuesday and said that they "needed to talk". That's when he informed Alvarez that Arkansas had offered him their head coaching job, and that he was going to take it. Alvarez confirmed that Bielema had already made his decision, and that there was no need for Wisconsin to make a counter offer.
The first move that Alvarez made after that conversation was to pick up the phone in order to reach out to people that he had on his "short list" in an effort to gauge their interest in the position.
As far as the new head coach goes, Alvarez explains that his first inclination is to look at guys that are acting head coaches, who have a sucessful track record in coaching and, most importantly, will fit into the Wisconsin culture and understand "how they win". He added that he does not plan on rushing the decision.
"My next responsibility is to start to screen head coaching candidates and keep moving forward, but I'm not going to be in a big rush, because it's a very important decision, and I'm going to make sure it's the right decision."
The interview is a bit long, but is worth watching until the very end. Alvarez goes on to explain why picking new members for conference expansion is "not like grocery shopping", and what it takes to turn around a losing culture.
Charlie Strong shows the importance of the AD-HC relationship
At his Thursday morning press conference, Charlie Strong formally announced that he would be staying at Louisiville. But what he also did, whether he realized it or not, was show the importance of the relationship between a head coach and an athletic director in a successful football program.
After nine moves in 26 years as an assistant (including four different stays at Florida), it was Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich that gave Charlie Strong
"(Louisville AD) Tom Jurich gave me my first chance to be a head coach," Strong explained. "I had been on short lists, but Tom made it clear I was the only one on his list."
Strong led Louisville to a 7-6 record in his first two seasons at Louisville. After boosting the Cardinals to a 10-2 record and Orange Bowl berth this fall, other suitors came calling. Tennessee, in particular, put a strong effort to lure Strong away.
"When I thought about leaving, I kept going back to 'we haven't finished the job yet.'," Strong explained. "So much has happened in the program and so much has been built in this athletic program because of Tom Jurich."
In case you aren't familiar with the history of Louisville athletics, Yahoo!'s Pat Forde last week detailed just how far Jurich has taken the Cardinals' program. This was a school that needed an intervention from then-Conference USA commissioner Mike Slive from being kicked out of the league. Now, they're preparing for an all-sports move to the ACC.
"He's provided us with everything we need to succeed and he's done that for all of our sports," said Strong.
Jurich is scheduled for his own press conference later Thursday morning to detail Strong's extension. As has become the norm in today's college football, compensation for assistant coaches will be a key factor in keeping Strong in red and black.
"Tom and I haven't even sat down to talk about the details of the contract," said Strong. "I do want to make sure my assistants are taken care of."
VIDEO: Breakdown of two plays NFL coordinators are using for young QB's
Much of the success of the rookie quarterbacks in the NFL this season can be attributed to offensive coordinators taking a piece of their college playbooks to use in league. That gives the young quarterbacks a sense of familiarity and allows them to play a little more comfortable, which ultimately leads to wins, especially in crunch time.
Pete Prisco sat down on Pro Football 360 of CBSSports.com and broke down a play from both Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck during pivotal moments of games and why these plays have been so successful.
As coaches, we're always looking for ways to put our guys in a position to be successful and there may be a scheme or philosophy in here for offensive guys to pick up on and implement, or tweak, to use with their young quarterbacks.
Thursday TV - Denver at Oakland
Denver takes on Oakland tonight. Army and Navy will square off Saturday.
Eastern time listed.
Denver at Oakland - 8:20 - NFL Network
Army breaking out special uniforms for Navy
For the second year in a row, Army will wear special uniforms for its rivalry game with Navy on Saturday (3 p.m. ET, CBS).
This year's look sticks with Army's traditional black and gold - gold helmets, black jerseys, black pants and gold shoes. The "theme" pays tribute to 1944 - the first of the Black Knights' three consecutive national championships and the U.S. Army's victory at the Battle of the Bulge. The helmet will feature a small, black spade on the side to honor the 101st Airborne Division, which was instrumental in winning the Battle of the Bulge.
Additionally, the uniforms will feature a historical, re-interpreted West Point map of the battle designed into the jersey numbers, helmet stripes, gloves and inside the cleats.
We've posted a few photos below but you can see the whole set at the Army - Navy Game Facebook page.
From scratch to national title in just four years
Five years ago Iowa Western made a decision to start their football program from scratch and tabbed Scott Strohmeier as the man to build everything from the ground up.
With just four years of competition under their belt, Strohmeier recently led the Reivers to a national title. From scratch to national title in just four short years.
Following a 5-4 finish their first season, Strohmeier led his team to back to back 9-2 seasons an put together a 12-0 season while beating Butler Community College (KS), who had previously collected 6 national titles in their school's history by a final score of 27-7. A true David vs. Goliath match up.
The Reivers were as impressive as any offensive unit in the country and set numerous NJCAA records in the process (did we mention that they're in just their fourth year in the history of the program already?). Their points per game average (63 points per game) and total offensive yardage (598 yards per game) were the best in the history of Junior College football. Individually, receiver Deon Long ended the year with 100 receptions, and a quarter of them went for touchdowns (25), and quarterback Jake Waters beat Cam Newton's completion percentage with a 73% clip on the year.
Most of their final scores on the season resembled unsportsmanlike basketball scores, more so than the vast majority of football games that most have ever seen. They went over the 80 point mark twice (allowing a total of 36 points in those two games), and failed to reach the 50 point mark just once prior to the national title game. Simply put, their offense was ridiculously efficient. Their defense was no slouch either, allowing 20 or more points just four times in their twelve games.
Coaches that have been called on to build a program from the ground up should take a page or two from Strohmeier and his staff. Starting at ground level , they've been able to build one of the most one premier programs in the country, and have found a way to reach the pinnacle of the coaching profession in a very short period of time, and they're also doing it the right way.
Louisville AD Tom Jurich asked Charlie Strong just one question during initial interview
Louisville AD Tom Jurich sat down with reporters earlier today to talk about his initial interview with Charlie Strong back before officially bringing him on in board in December of 2009.
Jurich said that he did all of the homework that he could possibly do on Charlie Strong, including calling Urban Meyer and Tony Dungy to get their thoughts, so when it came time to ask questions Jurich had just one question and three rules.
Jurich drove up to Strong's house to meet the day after Florida had played Alabama in the SEC title game to sit and talk and told Strong that he had three rules before they got started. Number one was that he didn't want to see any books, because "all coaches carry around the same recycled book". Number two was that he had to interview in sweats, or at least be comfortable in "Levi's and a golf shirt". The third rule was that he wanted Strong to have his entire family there.
Once Jurich sat down in front of Strong, he opened up with his one and only question.
"Before we get started, do you want to be the head coach at Louisville?"
Taken aback a bit, Strong finally answered "Yes". They then spent the next five hours hashing out how they were going to build the program back up.
Listen to more of the story from Jurich below. Really fascinating stuff in here, and that story is just the tip of the iceberg.
Numerous reports throughout the day state that Charlie Strong is close to signing an extension to keep him at Louisville, and after hearing this behind the scenes story, it's easy to see why Strong feels so strong about Louisville and the people there. Strong weighs in on what makes Jurich a special person to work for at the 6 minute mark.
Hazell: The importance of people is the one thing I'll take with me
As we told you last night, Darrell Hazell has accepted the head coaching position at Purdue. Today he held his exit press conference at Kent State and talked about the timeline with Purdue, and what he's learned from his experience at Kent State.
Hazell says that he met at 6:15am ET this morning with his coaching staff, which was followed by a 6:30am ET meeting with his team where he officially delivered the news. Knowing that he would get emotional, he kept things short and sweet, told him that he loved them, and then walked out of the room.
As far as the timeline goes, he explained that Purdue reached out to him late last week, but Hazell responded by telling them that he didn't want to have any discussions before the MAC title game. That initial conversation was followed up with conversations on Monday and Tuesday of this week.
According to Hazell, the job was offered at about 4:30pm ET yesterday, and he made his decision about around 9pm ET.
Later today, Hazell plans to fly out for a press conference and for his introductory press conference at Purdue. He added that Purdue has given him permission to coach Kent State in the bowl game, but that decision lays in the hands of Kent State administrators at this point, and should be decided on by the end of the day.
As Hazell leaves Kent State, he gave credit numerous times throughout the presser to the people who helped him and his staff reach the success that they have. He explains that is one lesson that he will leave Kent State with.
"That's the most important thing when you're putting together a football team. It's making sure that you surround yourself with the right people that are going to take care of the kids and make that the kids are getting everything that they need in the classroom, on the field, and socially."
"To me, it's all about the people. That's where success is built. It's not about anything but the people and I think that the bonds that we made coming in here, when people said 'You can't win here', and we put our hearts to it. I think you get a lot of people working in the same direction, a lot of good things happen."
"I think that's the biggest thing that I'll take from here."
That's solid advice for coaches everywhere.