So, Arizona State defensive coordinator Danny Gonzales is a runner. The 42-year-old likes to get in four miles a day. Nothing extreme at all about that.
But then there’s this: Gonzales purposefully runs at the hottest part of the day. In the summer. And this isn’t the hottest part of a Bangor, Maine, summer day. This is the hottest part of a Tempe, Ariz., day. We’re talking temperatures of 117 degrees.
Why? Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic explains:
Gonzales says he does this for one reason: To shows his players that he’ll never ask them to do anything he can’t do himself. He’s 42. He runs 4.2 miles at the hottest time of day. If he can do something like that, then players can bust their tails every day at practice. Toughness comes in many forms, he said. It’s a mindset, it’s confidence but it’s also simply playing hard, and to Gonzales, that last part is non-negotiable.
Running four miles at such temperatures sounds genuinely unsafe, but Gonzales is a New Mexico native who has spent his entire career at New Mexico and San Diego State before taking the Arizona State job in January.
While Gonzales runs to prove a point to his players, his fellow coaches aren’t in on the lesson.
“He invites me every day and every day he gets the same answer,” cornerbacks coach Tony White said. “It’s no. Capital N-O.”