Inside Scoop: Jeff Choate - Washington State
Jeff Choate, special teams coordinator at Boise State for the last six seasons, was hired in early January to serve as Mike Leach's linebackers coach at Washington State. Only about 10 years ago though, Choate was coaching high school ball.
This is a great interview. Grab the staff and play this one in full screen mode.
Choate talks about adapting to Leach's fast paced style, working with a new staff, what we can expect to see from their defense in the Fall, his view of the best two conferences in football, relationships with other coaches on other staffs, how to grow as a coach, and much much more.
Inside Scoop: John Wristen - CSU Pueblo
John Wristen is the head coach at CSU Pueblo (D-II). He was hired in 2007 to start the program and has literally built it from the ground up.
Coach Wristen shares great insight into how he has built his program, why he hired the coaches that he has, how he got Gary Barnett to hire him at Northwestern and he shares great advice to young coaches about how to position themselves to get the break they are looking for.
The whole thing is great; but the last two minutes of this video should be required viewing for all coaches. "Develop relationships and be real."
Inside Scoop: Neil Weiner - Zachary
Neil Weiner, head coach at Zachary HS (5A) in Louisiana, joins us today on Inside Scoop. Weiner shares his thoughts on Hudl (he's hosting the Hudl Up Tour stop tonight), talks about how the staff breaks down film, when the team finds time to watch, and shares his thoughts on some of the most enjoyable visits from college coaches.
You can follow Coach Weiner on twitter @NeilWeiner
Inside Scoop: Ron Roberts - Southeastern LA
In December Ron Roberts accepted the head coaching job at Southeastern Louisiana (FCS) after serving as head coach at Delta State (D-II) for the past five seasons.
In this episode hear why Ron felt this was the right opportunity for him to move up, why he chose to have spring football early this year, the difference between a D-II and a FCS staff and how recruiting is looking thus far.
More to come over the next few weeks from Roberts and his staff.
Video: A new era begins
Walsh University, a newly appointed D-II program located in Ohio, has been throwing some major weight around this off season in an effort to build on their 3 game winning streak to end last season (where they outscored their opponents 109-20), and usher in a new era in 2012.
After competing in NAIA previously, this season will be the Cavaliers first year competing in NCAA D-II, and the guys have been getting after it in anticipation of competing in the GLIAC, one of nations toughest football conferences.
New logo and uniforms at Utah State
Utah State just unveiled the results of their 15 month collaboration with Nike, including their new uniforms and logos over the weekend.
Director of Athletics Scott Barnes likes the new look and hopes that it ushers in a new era of for athletics. "This branding initiative is another important step in growing our overall athletic program. Our new marks and branding program brings a crisp, modern clarity and consistency to our brand while honoring our rich history. I want to thank Nike and especially Nike President and former USU football student-athlete Charlie Denson for his passion and commitment to this project."
There has definitely been some updating to both the uniforms and logos, and the new font and numerals are exclusive to Utah State.
Inside the new Penn State weight room
Penn State just got settled in to their new weight room facility over the weekend. The new facility allows the space to be used more in line with strength and conditioning coach Craig Ftizgerald's philosophy of free weights and is very impressive top to bottom.
Fitz walks the camera crew through the new facilities and equipment that Sorinex provided, much of it custom made for the Nittany Lions. Notice the "We Are Penn State" on some of the plates? Nice touch.
The new facility provides them the space needed for individual and small group work, as well as plenty of space to get the full team in during the season.
photos courtesy of gopsusports.com
Invest in your facilities...using James Franklin's secret weapon
Nearly every university in the country is seeking to increase revenue. The vast majority of revenue on any college campus comes from enrollment. Thus, easiest way to increase revenue is to attract more students. Unfortunately, that's easier said then done.
Most teenagers' first opportunity to see a campus comes either in person or on television (or even on the internet these days) in connection with a live sporting event; more often than not a football game. In more ways than one, college football is a huge driver for enrollment and few understand that better than university presidents and athletic directors.
Over the past 5 years (and we suspect this trend will continue) we have seen a massive investment in upgrading athletic facilities as colleges and universities have recognized there importance in generating long-term revenue growth for the university as a whole. We see quotes nearly every week from a university president crediting success in athletics with being a major driver university enrollment (and revenue) as a whole.
Around the country colleges and universities are investing hundreds of millions of dollars upgrading their facilities to appeal to prospective students and the smart ones are highlighting what differentiates themselves from the competition (and make no mistake, universities are competing for all students, not just student athletes).
Last month we toured nine of the Pac-12 universities and got an inside look at each university's facilities. The amount of investment ongoing out there is truly remarkable. Without exception, each of the nine programs we visited were either in the middle of a major construction project or were in the planning phases of one...and the three that we didn't make it to are all doing the same. Truly the Pac-12 is building for the future; much like many universities in the SEC have done over the last decade.
The new on campus facility that USC is finishing up (completion is on target for late July) is truly going to be one of the nicest in the country. Although they are still putting the finishing touches on the facility; the walk through we did, combined with the renderings and the videos we saw of the finished product blew us away. There are creative ideas that USC is implementing that we haven't seen anywhere else in the country. We asked USC senior associate athletic director Mark Jackson how they came up with the creative vision for the new facility and he told us that he and athletic director Pat Haden had toured a large number of other facilities in the country and had met with a number of firms about working on the project. In the end, USC hired a company out of Nashville, Advent, to serve as "lead environmental graphics designer" for the project.
We were already familiar with Advent as we had seen their work on Auburn's indoor facility, in Vanderbilt's new locker room and at Mississippi State; but we didn't realize they worked all over the country.
Jackson told us, "Advent's creativity and energy for the project was evident from the start. They have a passion for story-telling and will insure that the walk-path for USC student-athletes, recruits and donors is unlike anything in the country. We wanted our displays to be cutting-edge and impacting while also capturing our unparalleled history and success across all 21 of our sports. While the project is still ongoing I'm very confident Advent is going to deliver on all fronts."
Recently we spoke with John Roberson, CEO of Advent, about their business and we came away very impressed. Advent works with colleges and universities across the country on programs in athletics and in academics. Roberson, in fact, had just attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new student center at Texas A&M. We asked Roberson how the company has been so successful in what is truly a competitive design market and what we heard made so much sense...Roberson told us that their staff spends nearly all of their time on campuses across the country listening to what their clients want and then bringing their ideas to life, "We help our clients differentiate themselves." Roberson says that in order to be successful their designs have to appeal to prospective students; while at the same time evoke a sense of pride and enthusiasm from employees, administration, donors and alumni.
At FootballScoop we like to inform coaches and administrators across the country about great companies. While doing our research for this article we reached out to Mississippi State's athletic director Scott Stricklin and Vanderbilt's head football coach James Franklin for their perspective on working with Advent. Pretty good feedback...
We spoke with Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin about their experiences working with Advent and Stricklin was quick to rave about them, referring to them as, "Mississippi State's creative / graphics firm of choice". Stricklin added that the Advent staff "Truly goes out of their way to fully understand what we're trying to do." Stricklin added that they are currently working on another project for State as we speak.
Vanderbilt head football coach James Franklin told us, "Ever since I was hired at Vanderbilt, Advent has been by our side helping us tell our story, infusing our vision throughout our facilities and bringing it/them to life. Advent listens, interprets and responds to our ideas extremely well. Advent realizes the emotional impact design can have on our entire program. Great facilities, coupled with outstanding environmental graphics, sends an important message to all of our fans, current student-athletes, staff members and recruits that they matter. I wish Advent only worked for us…they could be our secret weapon!"
Below are some pictures of some of the work that Advent has done for their clients. Visit Advent's website to learn more about projects they have completed, or to simply be inspired.
Once USC's facility is open we'll bring you pictures from there as well; trust us, the place is impressive.