Titles mean little, legacy is everything
After twenty years as a major college assistant, Jimmy Ray Stephens has decided to return to his roots at the high school level and continue to build on his legacy.
Stephens will be recommended as the next head coach at Walton high school in Florida and he says that it would be a welcome change for him on both a personal and professional level. “I’ve been miserable the last couple of years, I just felt like it was time for a change.”
“After spending 20 years in college football, it was a good 20 years, it was a great run, but I think I’ve gotten to the point now where I want to matter” Stephens said. “I feel like, by going back to high school coaching and being the head coach myself and doing my thing the way I believe in doing things and making a difference in young people’s live...I’m not sure you can get much of that done at the college level." he added.
Going from the major college level to high school is quite the change, but it sounds to us like Coach Stephens is doing it for all the right reasons. It's a nice reminder that titles mean very little compared to the legacy that coaches have the opportunity to leave in their players lives.
Pelini looking to recruit more efficiently
A local reporter asked Bo Pelini how he measures toughness in a recruit, "Part of it is simply finding guys who do things the right way, you also look for guys who step up in big parts of the game, and guys who handle adversity." he responded.
Pelini added that while it is important that you do your homework and ask people surrounding the recruit, you also have to ask the right questions. That is why Pelini has enlisted the help of a firm of research professionals to help his staff ask the right questions and evaluate recruits more efficiently.
"They're working to help us to not only ask the right questions, but teach us what to listen for when we ask the questions and get more insight in the limited amount of time we're with recruits," Pelini said of the researchers. He added that the most important aspect is knowing what key words and reactions to assess as you ask the questions.
Pelini hopes to have half of their 2013 recruiting class in place by the end of the summer.
Fuente talks spring ball
First year head coach Justin Fuente and Memphis start spring practices today at 4pm. Fuente met with the media yesterday to talk about how things have been going since his arrival, and his expectations for going into spring ball.
Fuente says that they have broken up the bulk of practices into three main segments. They will go the first five days, then evaluate the progress over their spring break and then regroup and adjust schemes and personnel as necessary for the next five days of practice, and then focus on finishing strong with the last five days.
Coach Fuente said that it was awkward when they first broke up for position meetings and he "just stood there with nothing to do" and had to stop himself from going into the quarterbacks meeting. He said there is going to be lot of those moments in the spring and fall where he is so conditioned to going to a certain drill at a certain time during practice because that's what he has done the past decade.
"Our objective (for spring ball) is the health of the team, the knowledge base, teaching them how to practice and prepare" Fuente said about what their focus will be. "There are no 1's and 2's at this point". Fuente stressed the importance of this because when the freshman report in the fall, he wants the upperclassmen to teach those expectations to the new guys, which is a luxury he doesn't have now.
Lessons learned in the first 3 weeks as a head coach
Kyle Flood has had about three weeks under his belt as the head coach at Rutgers, and took some time to reflect on some things that he has learned in his new position yesterday.
Since taking over, Flood has had a few lessons really stick out to him. “The fastest lesson you’ll learn is you don’t know what you don’t know. Every day things come up and you go, 'OK, I didn’t think about that.’ ”
Flood said that the biggest lesson that he learned under Schiano was to keep his kids around as much as possible. "Greg's kids were always in the office, always running around. The F.A.M.I.L.Y. atmosphere is not just with the players. It was about the coaches and their families, too. That was a lesson he didn't need to tell me because I watched him live it when he was here.”
Coach Flood will be adding one more member to that family atmosphere soon, with his wife expecting to deliver a baby boy this weekend.
Mizzou making plenty of changes prior to joining SEC
Missouri Athletic Director Mike Alden published a letter today addressing Tiger Nation where he talked about the big move to the SEC and some additional changes coming next season.
Alden explained the five challenges that they are going to face with their new conference, including keeping up and building upon their rich academic tradition, continuing to progress their facilities, and maintaining their excitement of the conference move through all sports for years to come.
The letter also addresses a lot of changes for next season, including unifying the gold on their uniforms and the font that's used for the numbers (changes will be revealed for the spring game), changing the field surface, as well as the midfield Tiger logo getting enlarged, and the end zone words changing from "Missouri" to "Mizzou".
The full letter can be read below.
Since November 6, 2011, we have had an entire team of folks that have worked every day transitioning Mizzou for our move to the Southeastern Conference. There was certainly a lot of work which led up to the announcement in the Fall, but the pace and inclusiveness "ramped up" significantly after that time. Tim Hickman has been orchestrating all aspects of the SEC transition and is doing a terrific job.
We have not yet completed our 2012 Football Schedule, needing one additional game to fill that 12-game slate. With the number of institutions moving conferences, and possibly continuing to move, it has been challenging to complete. Mark Alnutt, our Senior Associate Athletics Director, is responsible for all scheduling and he is working tirelessly to finalize that last game. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this process. We know that many of us set our plans for football season well in advance, and we're hopeful the schedule will be finalized soon so you can complete your calendar getting ready for Tiger Football!
When we made the decision as a University to apply and then be accepted to the SEC, we communicated very publicly how there was no question that all of us would have to "step up." Academically, socially, competitively, financially, facilities, recruiting, etc. ... all of these issues and more would challenge us to evaluate what we were doing and to keep improving in all areas. As competitors, that's what we do: seize the opportunities, challenge ourselves and commit to achieving success.
There are 5 basic areas on which we see those challenges centering:
Some of the results of these considerations will give all of us the opportunity to work toward further success. It will impact all of us ... there is no doubt. We do recognize that there are costs associated with academic, social and competitive success, and it's our hope that all of us will see those costs as an investment in our future success. Changes that you will see in the next two months (there is much more information to follow!):
Much more detailed information will be sent (via mail) to all of our Tiger Scholarship Fund donors and Football Season ticket holders regarding the changes listed above.
We know this is a LOT of information that we are delivering. We also know that changes are challenging for all of us. We have great students, faculty, staff, alumni, fans and friends at the University of Missouri. We appreciate everything you have done and continue to do for Mizzou ... the future looks very bright for the Tigers. All of us working together are investing in a tremendous brand focusing on our core values of academic integrity, social responsibility and competitive excellence. The University of Missouri is truly committed to respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence in all that we do. THANK YOU ... Go Tigers!
Saban gets creative recruiting
Nick Saban and his staff are accustomed to pulling in one of the nations top recruiting classes year in and year out. His targets for the 2013 class know when they're a priority for Alabama, and one recruit in particular got that message loud and clear.
Georgia high school running back, Alvin Kamara, made headlines after coming home to a mailbox literally overflowing with letters..105 to be exact, each one of them coming from the Crimson Tide. Normally, Saban puts stamps on 4-6 letters per day for Kamara, but he thought he'd let him know how serious he was by sending a crystal clear message.
Kamara still hasn't opened all of the letters, but one thing that he did notice is that there are no duplicates in the pile, each one has a different message about what sets Alabama and their football traditions apart from every other school on his radar.
You can bet Saban had more than one member of the staff stuffing envelopes to send that message.
Tuberville makes his case for indoor facility
Tommy Tuberville and Texas Tech kicked off their spring practices late last week, with Saturday marking their second time out on the field.
The weather for Saturday's practice was not very Texas-like, with temperatures hovering in the 30's and 40's, with a drizzling rain and slight breeze.
Tuberville addressed the weather at the post practice media session saying, "It doesn't bother the players, they were running full speed so they weren't cool at all. It's just all of us standing around and watching that is affects more than anybody. This was not too bad, it could be a lot worse. The wind has been good and yesterday we didn't have any wind at all. I'd rather have this with no wind than 65 degrees and the wind blowing 35 miles per hour."
He then made his case for an indoor practice facility. "That's why we need an indoor workout area. That's why we've started (spring practice) so early, the wind blows a lot harder once we get into March and hopefully we get some good practice in throwing the ball before the wind picks up."
Vikings reach tentative deal for new stadium
The Minnesota Vikings, Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota have reached a tentative agreement on a new $975 million dollar stadium.
The price tag will be split between the state (who would cover $398 million), the city of Minneapolis ($150 million) and the Vikings ($427 million). The city would also pick up the operating cost of $180 million over a 30 year span. The new site of the stadium would be at, or near the current Metrodome location.
The preliminary deal must still get approval through the Legislature and Minneapolis City Council, as well as the NFL before anything is finalized.