Kansas assistant coaches describe work under Turner Gill

During an interview with the Kansas City Star newspaper, Kansas defensive coordinator / linebackers coach Carl Torbush and offensive line coach JB Grimes shared their thoughts on Turner Gill.

Torbush said, “What you see in Turner is exactly what you get. There is no fake or pretentiousness. He’s the type of man that, as an assistant coach, you do not want to let him down.”

“After football, somewhere down the road, you’d like to think players are gonna come back to you, be your friend, say ‘Thank you for the role model you were for me.’ I’ve seen some guys that wouldn’t come back to their college after they finished. That’s not what this game’s all about.”

Grimes said, “There’s a lot of different ways to skin a cat. The way Turner does things appeals to me. It appeals to my sense of being a parent. I tell people, ‘Before I’m a coach, I’m a dad.’ Obviously, we need to win football games. But you know what? I do believe there is a broader responsibility we have.”

Grimes added, “I played the game, and no one has more respect for Coach Bryant and his accomplishments. But I think he set football back two generations at Junction. Because you don’t have to do it that way. I think it’s a positive thing, what we’re doing right now. You don’t have to tear them down to build them up.” The new coaching staff at Kansas under Turner Gill will open the season against North Dakota State.  The Jayhawks will host Georgia Tech the following week.

Joker Phillips creating new atmosphere at Kentucky

Joker Phillips will coach his first game as Kentucky’s head coach on Saturday afternoon at Louisville.

Kentucky running back Derek Locke told the Courier-Journal, “To be honest, by far this is the hardest camp I've ever had in my life. People don't understand. Coach Joker's not playing when he says he's going to have tough people out there and we're going to be physical.”

Wide receiver Randall Cobb said, “It's different from Coach Brooks. Coach Joker's a little bit younger. We can relate to him more. The communication's better because we feel like he's more of a big brother to us instead of, like, a … (long pause) like a grandfather.”

Phillips won’t be the other Kentucky coach in a new role.  Randy Sanders takes over Phillip’s former role of offensive coordinator.  Tee Martin (wide receivers), David Turner (defensive line), and Mark Summers (offensive line), and Greg Nord (tight ends) are also new additions to the coaching staff.

Kentucky vs. Louisville kicks off at 3:30 pm EST on ABC.


Rich Rod describes his life over recent years in lengthy Q&A

In a lengthy Q&A with Free Press reporter Mitch Albom, Rich Rodriguez essentially described his life over the past few years. 

Here are a few of the interesting quotes from Rich Rod:

“I've got thicker skin now. I've got alligator skin. ... But anybody who says they don't care what people think about 'em is probably not telling the truth.”

“Probably the misperceptions that are out there. You meet somebody for the first time, and you spend 15, 20 minutes with them ... and they say, ‘Geez, Coach, you guys aren't what we thought you were.’... And I say, ‘Well, how did you think we were?’ Cause I don't read the papers. ... Why put myself in a bad mood by reading something that's so far off base?”

“I wish every one of our fans could spend a week in Schembechler Hall. If they spend a week here just hanging around with the coaches and the players -- they'd know everything is OK -- and they would probably be surprised it's not what (the perception) is out there.”

“I'm healthy. My family's healthy. We got a great job. We're in a great place. I'm as happy as I can be. Rita (wife) and I talk about how much happier we're gonna be when all this other stuff is gone and we're winning and we're having success. ... Boy, it's just gonna be terrific, you know?”

You can read the entire Q&A right here.

Saturday night Coaches Quick Hits

Some interesting quotes from around the country:


Spurrier would like to begin season with Clemson:  “I have wished we could play Clemson in the first game of the year. It would give fans something to talk about all summer.”


San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke hoping to follow Padres: “They (Padres) weren’t expected to be anywhere near where they are. We talk about it as a team that they are a great example of teamwork, guys who care about each other and making plays when you have to.”


Mark Dantonio pumped up about running backs: "One of the biggest differences in our football team between this year and last year is experience at the running back position. And we've got some very good young players. We're going to be able to run the football. I've always tried to pride ourselves in that fact and we're going to continue to do so." 


Derek Dooley embracing General Neyland’s game maxims: "Our number-one game maxim is the team that makes the fewest mistakes will win. It's the same thing in life. Don't go out there and make mistakes this weekend.''


Ralph Friedgen talks Terps: "I kind of take the approach of just look at the next game. That's kind of how I've been my whole life. If you do that, things will usually turn out okay for yourself. When you start looking too far ahead is when you get in trouble."

"I think good things will happen if we get going. If we can get some confidence, we can be pretty good. We have more team speed on defense. We've got a couple guys like Isaiah Ross I'd like to get back and things like that, but I think we'll be faster on defense than what we've been."

"I have a lot of faith in these kids. I really think we're still a very young team. We only have 12 seniors. I think the future's really bright here. With another good recruiting class, I think we have a chance to be good for some time."


Quoting ULM head coach Todd Berry: "If you look at where college football is, and college football is cyclic, I think the cycle right now is you have to have a great quarterback, a great defense and don't beat yourself in the kicking game. Those are the teams that traditionally are winning right now.” 


FIU head coach Mario Christobal pumped about running backs: “They're all dependable. They get downhill fast and make people miss. They add a dimension to our offense that we really haven't had in a while.''

Carl Pelini talks about defensive staff: "I just think Year 3, the four of us (assistants) are all on the same page. I know what Marvin is teaching and I know what Eck is teaching and our vocabulary is the same. I don't mind jumping around and talking to one of their guys because I know the terminology they're using. It's just a comfort level being in the third year that allows me to let go a little bit of the D-line."

LSU assistant Frank Wilson making a big difference

When running backs coach Larry Porter accepted the head coaching job at Memphis during the off-season, Les Miles knew immediately that he needed to lure Tennessee assistant coach Frank Wilson to Baton Rouge.

For five consecutive years, Miles watched Wilson invade the state of Louisiana to sign some of Louisiana's best high school talent.  He did it while coaching at Ole Miss for Ed Orgerson, at Southern Miss for Larry Fedora, and at Tennessee for Lane Kiffin.

If you can’t beat him, hire him, thought Miles.  Despite a lucrative counter-offer from then Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin, Wilson decided the offer to return to his home state and to recruit his home town of New Orleans, was an opportunity he could not pass on. 

Now serving as the LSU running backs coach / recruiting coordinator, Wilson, told the Times-Picayune, "Being able to identify what motivates, makes that prospect click or go is important. To key in on it and have a genuine relationshis with that student-athletic, that type of chemistry. It varies in each kid.”

"Some of it is football and how they fit in the scheme. Others, (it’s) being close to home. For another, it may be relationships with their family or position coach. Whatever it is, you identify and recruit that kid accordingly."

"You've got to have social skills, be able to relate and adapt in different home settings, different environments and socioeconomic situations. My upbringing is very diverse, academically and socially."

LSU opens with UNC on Saturday night in the Georgia Dome.  Kick-off is set for 8 pm EST on ABC.

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