Video: Kentucky facility renovations
Players entering Kentucky's Nutter training facility saw some major improvements when they came back from their two week break following the spring semester.
The Kentucky staff and administration managed to keep the renovations under wraps so that players were genuinely surprised when they got back on campus.
The new touches include lots of new blue, white and silver graphics, the team slogan of "Operation: WIN", and pictures of past, and present Wildcats along with those who have made it the league. Overall, some very nice upgrades that will definitely help in recruiting.
Strong: "You still have to play the game"
With the preseason magazines hitting shelves and experts weighing in on conference rankings, Charlie Strong is urging people to keep everything in perspective.
This time last season, many magazines had the Cardinals picked at the bottom of the Big East, and after winning five of their last seven and finishing 7-6 (5-2 in the Big East) last season, many outlets have Louisville as one of the conference favorites.
When Strong was asked about the fan expectations during a recent charity golf event, he responded by saying, "Well you know one thing we need to do, let's tone it down with the fans, No. 1, because expectations are out there. You look at the first two years, we were picked last and this year for some reason people think we're going to have this outstanding football team. It's all about work, it's all about our players understanding that you still have to go play the game."
However, looking at how far the program has come since taking over and the positive changes that the coaching staff has made, Strong believes that they have earned the right to be talked about at the top of the conference.
"They deserve to be picked where they are just because of how hard they've worked and the job the coaching staff has done but we still have to realize who picked it, and we still have to do the work. We can't allow as a coaching staff for us to get full of ourselves."
"We have a ton of youth, but the whole work ethic has changed. The accountability has changed. The responsibility has changed."
GA of the Day - Keola Loo (Arizona State)
Keola Loo coached at Mt. San Antonio College, a community college in California, for the last six seasons. He put in his time and paid his dues. Then one day the phone rang...
Watch the video and hear Keola tell his story. He's a humble, hard working young man (comes from a coaching family). The coaches at Arizona State tells us that he's been a great addition to the staff.
Fuente on women's clinic: The only difference is the crowd
Justin Fuente and the Memphis coaching staff invited women on campus yesterday to take part in Memphis' first ever women's football clinic.
According to Fuente, the only difference for the coaches between the clinic and a regular practice is the audience. Coaches are still doing what they love to do, and that's teach.
"Every one I have every been a part of has been a really enjoyable experience for the women and for the coaches because the coaches really enjoy getting up there and talking about the game and trying to inform, because that's what we do. We teach...and it's just a different crowd."
Video: Maxing out at North Dakota
Back in 2010 the FCS's Big Sky conference decided to welcome North Dakota as a new member starting in 2012. Starting July 1st, North Dakota will officially no longer be a D-II program.
North Dakota has spent the past few seasons becoming a bigger, faster and stronger team in order to immediately compete for the Big Sky title.
The clip below shows the team getting after it in the weight room. Notice the heavy weight being thrown around by guys of all sizes, the great form all around, and no wrist straps are in use. These guys have been coached up well.
Advice from an off the field coach
Quincy Wilson, West Virginia's newly appointed assistant director of football operations and former Mountaineer running back, wants to use his experiences as a player to help mold the lives of the players in Morgantown as he focuses on his new off the field role in player development.
"I want them to trust me and I want them to know I'm going to shoot them straight. So that aspect of dealing with the kids that way is awesome because I feel like I experienced a lot of different things and unique things that will come up once you get here on campus. I want to be that guy they can lean on."
Dana Holgorsen hired Wilson to be the man that measure the pulse of the team and all of its players. To do that Wilson plans on getting to know every single player and their background, as well as what makes them tick both as a person and a player, and then relay that information to Holgo when necessary.
"I want to know what your favorite movie is. What's your favorite color? Do you have a girlfriend? What are your day-to-day activities like? The quicker I get that down, the quicker I figure out how to approach them and then it's easier to get them going because you know them and you know how to pump them up." Wilson explained.
Wilson also offered some advice on what to focus on as an assistant DFO, or anyone working in player development.
"The big thing is to concentrate on the young guys coming in and to give them a plan for the four or five years they're going to be here. The quicker we get them adjusted, the more we eliminate the transfers, the more we eliminate the off-the-field stuff. My biggest goal is when you look on TV you don't see one of our guys is arrested for beating up his girlfriend or this guy got an underage consumption. I don't want any of that for our guys so I've got to get to know them and know what we've got going on here."
What it takes to be retained by two new head coaches
Michigan running backs coach Fred Jackson is entering his 21st season as a Wolverine assistant coach. Jackson was the only member of the coaching staff that was retained when Rich Rod took over, and again was the only coach retained when Brady Hoke was brought in.
In an interview with the Ultimate Sports show, Jackson shares his thoughts on why both coaches decided to retain him and what it was like to see his son Jeremy choose to play at Michigan over offers from Iowa and LSU.
"I have had very good running backs that have had great success in this program. I have done the job they've needed me to do in recruiting by bringing in players that have been productive throughout the country, and I think when your looking for a running backs coach who knows the game to the point where he can make his players productive each week, and recruiting...you'd have to go out and find someone who could top that, and I think that's probably the reason I was retained here."
Tom Crean goes to bat for Kevin Wilson
In Indiana the head basketball coach at IU is one of the most important people in the entire state.
Well, according to IU head basketball coach Tom Crean, in Oklahoma the order of most talked about people goes:
1. OU Head Coach
2. OU Offensive Coordinator
Crean's point is that IU went out and got a winner. He said that with Wilson at the helm, "there's no doubt that it's gonna turn....it's just a matter of when."
Towards the end of this short video, Crean says that IU has all of the assets they need (coaches, facilities, weight room, etc...); but they need the right players.