'When you get a kid as a freshman, he better leave a better person'

New Oklahoma defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery may be the youngest member of the Sooner coaching staff, but he's a guy that really understands the big picture and what coaching is all about.

Montgomery's experience runs the gamut. After starting his career off as a student assistant at Iowa in 2002, Montgomery made his way into the high school ranks and went on to climb the ranks into JUCO football, and then into the FCS before jumping into the FBS ranks with Wyoming, and then made his way to Michigan before taking the job at Oklahoma.

Asked what he has learned while climbing the coaching ladder, Montgomery noted that you should be in coaching for one reason, regardless of the level you coach.

"You do it for one thing, and it's all about the kids. If you're not doing this for the kids then you're doing it for the wrong thing." Montgomery explained.

"There were people that affected my life from my little league coach, to my high school coach. And all those people are still in my life today, and they had a huge influence on where I'm at today."

"You're molding young men. Some people may not think like that, but when you get a young kid from his freshman year on out, he better leave a better kid."

John Harbaugh to join the ultra-prestigious Cradle of Coaches at Miami (Ohio)

John Harbaugh's coaching career was forever validated by the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl win earlier this month. Now he will be immortalized by becoming a member of the famed Cradle of Coaches at Miami University.

Harbaugh, a 1984 graduate of Miami University, will be honored with a statue (to be revealed early next year) alongside some of the greatest coaches to ever walk the sideline.

Consider some of the company Harbaugh will be joining: College Football Hall of Famer Earl "Red" Blaik, Pro Football Hall of Famer Paul Brown, College Football Hall of Famer Carm Cozza, 1958 National Coach of the Year Paul Dietzel, Pro Football Hall of Famer Weeb Ewbank, College Football Hall of Famer Woody Hayes, College Football Hall of Famer Ara Parseghian, 1967 National Coach of the Year John Pont, and College Football Hall of Famer Bo Schembechler.

“Miami is a very special place and as anyone who played or coached at Miami knows that the Cradle of Coaches is a great honor,” Harbaugh said in a press release. “To me, there is no greater recognition in coaching. To be included with these great men is something only dreamed about.”

In his short time as a head coach, Harbaugh has also made a little bit of history to deserve mention with the group above. In addition to joining Ewbank as the only Cradle members to hoist a Lombardi Trophy as a head coach, Harbaugh also became the first post-merger NFL head coach to win a playoff game in each of his first five seasons on the job. Under Harbaugh, the Ravens have posted a 54-26 regular-season record and a 9-4 postseason mark. 

Video: Inside Kentucky's high performance off season system

When Mark Stoops was hired at Kentucky, he decided to bring a very unique strength and conditioning program with him.

"Here at the University of Kentucky, we have what's called a 'high performance program', and it's very different than most program's you can go and see." director of high performance Erik Korem explained.

"My role as the high performance coordinator is to oversee all aspects of preparation from the physical to the mental, technical and tactical. Here we have a very unique group where the sports medicine folks, the strength and conditioning coach, the sports psychology people and our football coaches are all on the same page in everything that we do so that everything that we do leads to maximizing sports performance."

"Everything that we do from practice to training here is all periodized. It's a well thought of plan so that we can help these guys achieve their best on game days. It's a very unique and dynamic situation and coach Stoops is way ahead of the curve in where we're going with this."

Take a look at what Korem is talking about in the clip below.

A photo update of Arizona's new facilities

With the Pac-12 network and all of its benevolence pouring money into the conference like a midwestern thunderstorm, West Coast programs are throwing up new facilities one after another. 

Director of player personnel Matt Dudek was kind enough to post a photo essay of Arizona's staff tour of the construction of Lowell-Stevens football facility and Arizona Stadium. We'll post the best photos below, but interested parties can view the whole tour on Dudek's Twitter account.

A view from Arizona's new end zone seating to the new field being installed.

The private players' entrance to Lowell-Stevens.

Arizona players

Rich Rodriguez inspecting his new corner office.

Arizona RichRod

 A look inside the locker room.

Arizona lockerroom

An outside look at the Lowell-Stevens football facility.

Arizona lowell

Construction workers play the role of the Wildcats as they storm the field from the tunnel.

Arizona tunnel

A look inside the Wildcats' future locker room.

Arizona lockers

Bret Bielema says he's already undefeated in the SEC

Bret Bielema has yet to coach his first game at Arkansas, but he thinks he's already had his first victory as the Razorbacks head coach.

“To be honest, I’ve had a couple of SEC brethren try to take a couple of our guys and (athletic director) Jeff Long has stepped up to the plate,” Bielema said during his first radio show last Wednesday. “We’re actually undefeated right now against other SEC competition in the coaching department. That’s a good feeling.”

Retaining valued assistants is key for any successful program (especially one trying to get off the ground with a new regime), but it's vitally important for Bielema, who cited the ability to pay assistants as part of the reason he stunned the world by leaving Wisconsin for Arkansas in December.

“One of the things I’ve always kind of just prided myself on as a head coach, but also before I became a head coach, I realized how much of an effect assistant coaches have on a program,” Bielema said. “It’s one thing for a head coach to deliver a message and say certain things. But the assistant coaches have to be in tune with that message, believe in that message and will relay that message when they’re in their position meetings and they’re dealing with those players.

“It takes a long time to cultivate that and it’s good when you’re able to retain it.”

Bielema didn't delve into specifics, but it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out who he's talking about. Alabama lost its offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland to the Philadelphia Eagles, and Hogs beat writer Robbie Niswanger reports that Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman recently saw his compensation increase from $275,000 to $500,000. The Crimson Tide hired Mario Cristobal away from Miami instead.

“The assistant coaches, they all have families, they all have dreams, desires and aspirations,” Bielema said. “It’s been good to keep some guys, especially when you get in some in-conference battles.”

Bielema has lost one member of his original staff, though. Wide receivers coach George McDonald has left for an offensive coordinator position under Scott Shafer's new staff at Syracuse. He was replaced by Michael Smith, who was hired away from Kansas State. 

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