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You can win with bad facilities, but not with bad people

It has been an exciting off season in Iowa City.

Greg Davis joined the staff as the offensive coordinator, Brian Ferentz left the Patriots for a chance to coach the offensive line under his father, and former Hawkeye and NFL veteran LeVar Woods was promoted from administrative assistant to linebackers coach.

Not to mention the new indoor practice facility that the finishing touches are being put on as we speak.

Relecting on the offseason, Hawkeye athletic director Gary Barta noted the importance of getting the right foundation of people in place first, and then focusing on facility upgrades.

"The first thing you have to do is hire and retain great people. You can have horrible facilities, but great people, and still have success. You can also have great facilities, but less than great people, and you are likely going to fail. Our first responsibility is to get great people on staff."

"Once you have great people, you need to give them the tools to succeed. That's been part of our master plan."

Mic'd up at UCLA

On this episode of UCLA Football Friday, the crew caught up with linebackers coach / special teams coordinator Jeff Ulbrich.

Ulbrich, who spent a decade in the NFL as a linebacker, admits that he may love coaching as much as he did playing. 

"You leave the game and you think there's nothing that will equal that, as far as an emotional approach. But for me it'e been a really easy transition to coaching in my brain. I always try to bring the same energy as I did as a player."

In the clip below, Ulbrich talks about still lacing the cleats up to go out to practice, and shares his experiences on the road recruiting for the first time.

Withers: The value of experience

Everett Withers went from graduate assistant to defensive coordinator in one promotion. That promotion at age 24 forced him to mature quickly, and also allowed him an opportunity to get some great experience at a young age.

After all, it can't be easy directing a group of coaches older than you that wanted that same promotion.

It was then that Withers had to take his own advice. The same advice that he had been telling his players.

"We all say that football is probably the closest thing to real-life situations. The ups and downs and adversity, those things you go through in football are just like everyday life. When you learn how to deal with those situations on the football field, you're better prepared for real life."

Experience and adversity, eventually become knowledge.

"I think the value with experience is just dealing with different people and different situations, that's probably the biggest thing. What you try to do as a coach is try to put the good things and the bad things, the things you like and the things you don't like, evaluate them and see how you would run a program. As many experiences as you have, the better you are."

Well said.

Brady Hoke's edge in recruiting

Brady Hoke and the Michigan staff have been landing some of the top players in the country, and their efforts are getting plenty of attention in national recruiting publications and beyond.

Although for Hoke and his staff, selling the block "M" hasn't exactly been a steep uphill battle since they were hired. However, every once in a while the prestige surrounding the maize and blue scares some recruits off.

"Every time you walk in a school or call a coach or a parent of a prospect, that block M carries a lot of weight"

"We're the 14th-ranked university in the world (by U.S. News and World Report). We're the winningest program in college football history. That combination...the stadium's kind of big, 114,000 people...that's not for everybody. That scares some guys off, and I'm glad they tell me they get a little nervous about that."

"It's Michigan. I said that in my first press conference. No matter what anybody thought, this is Michigan still."

That's right...it's still Michigan.

Chris Tormey: "Don't tell coach Christensen..'"

In late December, Chris Tormey officially joined Dave Christensen's staff as the defensive coordinator out at Wyoming. According to Tormey, he's not sure why he even needed to negotiate a salary because he'd happily work for free.

"I've had a football season every year since 1966, so I feel fortunate to have been involved in the game that long and I feel like I'm not even working. I could do this for free...don't tell Coach C that..."

On a more serious note, in the clip below Coach Tormey talks about why he likes coaching college football, discusses his relationship with Coach Christensen, and breaks down the importance of spring ball, the summer off season, and fall camp from a development standpoint.

This is what happens to unused Super Bowl confetti

We all know that the pre-made "NFL Champion" t-shirts from the losing team get sent overseas, but have you ever wondered what happens to the confetti from the losing team?

Yesterday, in Boston, residents gathered at the Old State House to hear the Declaration of Independence read from the balcony, just as it was back in 1776.

After the reading from the balcony, the confetti cannons that were originally meant for the Patriots Super Bowl Champs parade went off in celebration of the holiday. 

Curt Nickisch of WBUR (a member radio station of NPR) tweeted out a few pictures of the Independence day celebration and confetti raining down.

There. Now you know.

Video: Red Wolves Revival - Eliah Drinkwitz

Ask Guz Malzahn about his running backs coach Eliah Drinkwitz and he'll tell you about his unique approach to coaching, the fact that he's a great recruiter and his familiarity with the offensive system (Drinkwitz spent the past two seasons with Malzahn at Auburn).

If you ask the running backs group the same question, they'll talk about the energy that he brings to the field and how they learn faster because of the way that he teaches the game.

As one player puts it, "He likes to get the job done, but he doesn't like to be bored and get the job done."

Plenty more about Coach Drinkwitz in the Red Wolves Revival feature below.

Want to coach in the NFL?

There are obviously a number of paths you can take when your ultimate goal is to coach in the NFL. For Chiefs assistant offensive line coach Steven Smith, that path included a number of internships...seven to be exact.

For Smith, his coaching journey started at the collegiate level before heading overseas to NFL Europe and then returning to intern in the league with Miami, Cleveland, Dallas (for four seasons under Bill Parcells), and New Orleans.

Smith took some time to talk to the Chief's official website about advice he would give for those coming up in the coaching profession. His advice in a nutshell? Network during every given opportunity, work your tail off, and be willing to do it for free (or very close to it).

"I would definitely say to do the internships because you get to meet the people who are in there already. You get to build the relationships. That's what I did. I started off in '02 in New Orleans and built relationships with Jack Henry and Jim Haslett and a lot of those guys. That's the thing. You go out and show those guys that you can work and that you're going to work hard and you'll do the job to the best of your ability. As that goes on and then guys start taking jobs and trying to talk to different people to help you make moves yourself."