Hanging with Mike Leach was a prize for a Wazzu contest, and he didn’t disappoint
I’m not exactly sure what contest this was for, but whatever it was, one of the prizes was hanging out with Mike Leach.
To a Wazzu fan, that has to seem like quite the reward, and if it ended right there it would have been quite the experience in itself…but you never really know what you’re getting with coach Leach (and that’s 90% of the fun)
Before leaving his office, Leach took the phone of the lucky winner and recorded one of the best voicemail greetings I have ever heard, in a way that only he can.
This is truly awesome.
If I could get a custom voicemail greeting from one FBS head coach, Leach would be near the top, along with Les Miles (obvious choice), Steve Addazio (so he could say “Be a dude” 8 times in the message), Mike Gudy (for “I’m a man!” reasons), and Kliff Kingsbury (because then girls would call me just to get my voicemail).
Brent Venables – 2014 Defensive Coordinator of the Year
Brent Venables – Clemson University
FootballScoop is proud to announce that Brent Venables (Clemson) is the 2014 FootballScoop Defensive Coordinator of the Year presented by ProGrass.
Brent Venables has put good defenses on the field for more than a decade and a half, but the 2014 season was a masterpiece.
There were a number of great defenses across college football this fall, but none posted numbers that measured up to Venables’ Tigers. Clemson led the nation in total defense (259.6 yards per game allowed), yards per play allowed (4.03) and plays of 10-plus yards allowed (113), making the Tigers just the second defense (joining 2011 Alabama) since the FootballScoop awards program started to lead the country in both metrics.
What set Clemson apart, though, was its unmatched brilliance against both the run and pass. They ranked fourth nationally in yards per attempt allowed (5.5), sixth in opponent completion percentage (50.4), tied for 10th in touchdown passes allowed (12) and placed third in passing defense (161.9 yards per game allowed), all good for a fifth-best 103.08 opponent pass efficiency rating. The Tigers also ranked second in yards per carry allowed (2.78), tied for seventh in rushing touchdowns allowed (10) and seventh in rushing defense (97.67 yards per game allowed).
Venables’ unit also led the nation in tackles for loss (122) and ranked fifth in sacks (44). And for those keeping track at home, Alabama’s 2011 defense ranked 17th in tackles for loss, meaning this year’s Tigers are the only team in the last seven years to lead the country in total defense, yards per play allowed, plays of 10-plus yards allowed and tackles for loss.
Put it all together, and the Tigers placed seventh nationally in scoring defense (17.6 points per game allowed) and tied for eighth in touchdowns allowed (26).
En route to a 9-3 regular season, Clemson held eight of its 12 opponents to 17 points or less in regulation, including four games of holding foes to single digits and two shutouts.
Individually, defensive end Vic Beasley was named a first-team All-American by the Associated Press and was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year by the league’s coaches. Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, linebacker Stephone Anthony and cornerback Garry Peters also earned first-team All-ACC honors by the league’s coaches.
“His resume speaks for itself,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said of Venables. “He’s got a tremendous pedigree. I really have enjoyed working with him…. (The players) love him. He has done a great job.”
This fall marked Venables’ third season on Clemson’s staff after spending 13 years on Bob Stoops’ staff at Oklahoma, the last eight as defensive coordinator. A native of Salina, Kansas, Venables played at Garden City Community College and Kansas State, and then was immediately elevated upon graduation to linebackers coach with the Wildcats in 1993. He remained in that post through the 1998 season, when he left to join Stoops’ original staff in Norman.
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by ProGrass are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Dave Aranda [Wisconsin], Kirby Smart [Alabama], Dave Wommack [Ole Miss] and Venables) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year’s winner.
Venables will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the Defensive Coordinator of the Year award are Nick Holt (USC, 2008), Kirby Smart (Alabama, 2009), Vic Fangio (Stanford, 2010), John Chavis (LSU, 2011) Bob Diaco (Notre Dame, 2012) and Pat Narduzzi (Michigan State, 2013).
1st Nationally – Total Defense 1st Nationally – Tackles for Loss 1st Nationally – Yards Per Play Allowed 2nd Nationally – Yards Per Carry Allowed 1st Nationally – Plays of 10+ Yds Allowed 4th Nationally – Yards Per Attempt Allowed ProGrass LLC, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has emerged as one of the preeminent names in the synthetic turf industry. ProGrass installations can be located from Connecticut to California. The ProGrass product has been received as “One of the Best Products on the Market” by many customers who have spent years evaluating this industry. The reason is simple: we know the industry and have developed the TEAM, the products and processes that exceed the expectations of our demanding and knowledgeable customers. We don’t just sell turf, we know turf! For more information please visit: ProGrassTurf.com
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Cutcliffe: “I save the academic card in recruiting until I have to use it”
ESPN’s Jeremy Crabtree did a really nice profile on Duke head coach David Cutcliffe and his approach to recruiting at a university with high academic standards that had previously struggled to win consistently.
Crabtree drew a lot of parallels between the Duke program and what Jim Harbaugh encountered when he took over the Stanford program. Both Cut and Harbaugh had to learn that in order to find success, they had to value a certain type of player rather than go after the same guys that their league neighbors were chasing.
Cutcliffe and his staff also believe in a very straight forward pitch, telling recruits that if they want to come to Duke, be prepared to put the work in, have no off the field issues, and understand that the demands are going to be both heavy and consistent.
And then there’s the strong academic component.
“I’ve got the academics, I can flip that card out at any time, but I save it for when it really matters. And at that time, it’s an ace.’
“I don’t start there, and I try to be as sincere as I possibly can throughout the process. But when I flip over that academic hold card, I know it’s going to be a winner for us. It’s our ace that nobody else out there can really match.”
It’s an interesting strategy with results that can’t be ignored. Duke is 19-7 over the past two seasons with a roster full of kids that have been recruited that way, and the Blue Devils will face Arizona State in the Hyundai Sun Bowl on December 27th.
Read more on Duke’s recruiting strategy in the full piece, which can be found here. If you plan to be out on the road recruiting before signing day, it’s a must-read piece.
Take a quick sneak peek at Syracuse’s new indoor facility
Syracuse and athletic director Dr. Daryl Gross provided a quick sneak peek of the newly finished indoor facility before it has officially opened, and talked about what it means for Scott Schafer’s program moving forward.
“It’s exciting to see that we’re going to be able to enhance the football culture, and that atmosphere and everything that goes along with it to see if we can become one of those elite football programs as well. This is a great start to it.” Dr. Gross noted.
“Our goal is to get our program to where we’re a top 25 program consistently and sustainably, and I think this offers to that.” he added. “We feel like we should be a bowl team every year, and now we can enhance that and improve on that and this is going to give us an opportunity to do that.”
You can see the potential here, and once they put up some graphics, and add a few other things here and there to impress recruits and current players, it should really help to make the facility “pop”.
Video: Wisconsin welcomes home Paul Chryst
Paul Chryst was born and raised in Wisconsin, and went from delivering papers around campus and sneaking into the empty stadium to play, to eventually playing quarterback and then becoming the offensive play caller while leading his hometown program to two straight Rose Bowls.
Chryst is Wisconsin football to his core, and while leaving his first head coaching job at Pitt had to be difficult, Chryst is truly home in Madison, and that’s a sentiment he shared over and over again during his introductory presser yesterday as Wisconsin’s new head coach.
Here’s a video that Wisconsin released following Chryst’s return to campus, and the clip highlights Chryst’s love for Wisconsin and the city of Madison, and features his first tour of the facilities since he left back in December of 2011.