Chizik pinpoints the #1 key to Auburn turnaround
Gene Chizik’s new book “All In: What it Takes to be the Best” hits bookstores today.
Chizik discussed the book on Fox News Talk Radio this morning and made it clear the book is a message of hope and encouragement. The book talks a lot about team building and Chizik says that you do not have to be a football fan to like this book.
Reflecting back on his experience at Iowa State, Chizik explained, “I was literally driving along in my car one day and it was negative temperatures on my gage and went it hit 1 degree, I was like, ‘Yes. This is great. Then I thought about it and I was like this is messed up.’”
“We really connected to the people in Iowa. They are down home, hard working, live off the land guys. That really resonated with my family and myself and we just really embraced that.”
“I felt like everything was on track. We need that it would take time. There was no question in my mind the players were buying in to what we are trying to do. Never did I doubt that we would be able to get it on track. It was going to take time, but I was willing to take that time.”
On getting the Auburn job, Chizik said, “I didn’t think with a 5-19 record, it was feasible.” He admitted the first 48 hours were the toughest of his life because he knew he wouldn’t be able to bring all the Iowa State assistants to Auburn and he essentially had to start all over again.
Despite the 5-19 record, Chizik said he had absolutely no doubt in his mind that he was the right guy for the job. He even told himself out loud, “You are the right guy for the job.”
So how did you get it turned around at Auburn?
Without hesitation, Chizik explained, “Everything is about relationships. We put a high premium on being able to get our team together. I wanted them (the players) around us when they didn’t have to be.”
“We had bowling nights, fishing tournaments, Halloween costume nights.”
Chizik said the team building exercises brought about a sense of trust within everyone in the program.
D1 grad assistant lands NAIA head coaching job
Not often do you see a graduate assistant coach land a collegiate head coaching job.
However, sources tell FootballScoop that Michigan State offensive grad assistant Jeff Duvendeck has accepted the head coaching job at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri.
Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio must give some outstanding recommendations. Duvendeck is the third Spartan to land a head coaching job in the last two years. Dan Enos took over at Central Michigan and Don Treadwell took over at Miami (OH).
Duvendeck was set to enter his second season in East Lansing under Mark Dantonio, but couldn’t pass on the opportunity to become a head coach at age 32. He previously served as the offensive coordinator / offensive line coach at Northern Michigan from 2006-2009. In 2002, he worked as a grad assistant at Grand Valley State under current Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly.
Duvendeck replaces Cameron Keller, who resigned in May to accept the co-offensive coordinator job at Winona State University.
In 2010, Culver-Stockton finished 1-10. The Wildcats lost to Lindenwood 90-19. The 70-0 loss to Missouri Valley may have been the season low, however.
Culver-Stockton competes at the NAIA level. This season, the Wildcats will open against Graceland, the only team Culver-Stockton defeated last season.
Southern Miss assistant: There's just an intensity we didn't have before
Since Larry Fedora arrived in Hattiesburg, the Golden Eagles have finished 7-6, 7-6, and 8-5. A year ago, Southern Miss lost high scoring games to East Carolina (44-43), UAB (50-49), and Tulsa (56-50). There was something missing.
Perhaps one of things that can push the Golden Eagles over the hump is new head strength coach Paul Jackson, who spent last season as the head strength coach at Miami (OH).
Southern Miss offensive coordinator Blake Anderson told the Hattiesburg American, “There’s just an intensity about it that we just didn’t have before. He’s brought accountability and discipline and he wants to hold guys to a higher standard. After the guys have been in there a while, they start to hold each other to a higher standard. It’s contagious.”
Defensive backs coach Grady Brown, who recommended Jackson to head coach Larry Fedora, believes Southern Miss has one of the best in the profession. Brown, who once served as a grad assistant at LSU, thinks Jackson will one day be thought of like LSU strength coach Tommy Moffitt.
Brown said, “Moffitt is one of the best in the business, and 25 years from now I can see Paul being referred to as the same as Moffitt is now.”
Along with Jackson, the Golden Eagle also have a new defensive coordinator in former Illinois assistant Dan Disch.
Southern Miss opens with LA Tech, then travels to Marshall in the second week of the season. The non-conference schedule includes Southeast Louisiana, at Virginia, and at Navy.
James Franklin challenging recruits, lands #2 overall running back
Vanderbilt offensive coordinator / running backs coach John Donovan may end up coaching the most coveted recruit in Vanderbilt history.
On Friday, head coach James Franklin landed a verbal commitment from East High School (Memphis, TN) running back Brian Kimbrow.
Kimbrow reportedly had scholarship offers from Notre Dame, Auburn, Tennessee, Alabama, Stanford, Nebraska, USC, and many others. Rivals ranks Kimbrow as the #2 all-purpose running back in the country.
Upon hearing of the commitment, Franklin reportedly hollered, “Get you some, Coach O.” (just kidding)
Franklin did however explain part of his recruiting philosophy with Sports Illustrated.
Franlin challenges recruits by saying, "If you feel that you are the best and the brightest, come prove it with me week in and week out. If you're afraid of competition, then you'd better not be playing major division football, and you'd better not be considering the SEC."
Vandy now has twelve total commitments including seven verbals from the state of Georgia, four from Tennessee, and one from Louisiana. Of course, verbal commitments are non-binding, just ask Mike Gundy.
If Vandy inks a Top 25 recruiting class, the Vanderbilt war room might be a wild scene.
Mike Gundy frustrated, speaks out about decommitments
Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy is frustrated and for good reason.
Recently, a couple of recruits have withdrawn their verbal commitments to Oklahoma State in favor of other programs. Not only do the Cowboys lose out on the previous commitments, but also some of the backup options because we are well into the 2012 recruiting process. In fact, forty-six of the Rivals 100 have already announced a verbal commitment...and it's only early July.
It’s been happening for years, all over the country. Although he might be one of the first to speak about being held hostage, Gundy isn’t the only coach that has become frustrated over the situation.
Gundy explained to the Oklahoman, "The player is always going to have the last say, they're holding the trump card.”
“There's nothing you can do about it. It's not like you can call and beat them up over the phone, because then you won't be able to go back into that high school.”
“It's very disappointing and very discouraging but it's not going to change. It's the part of the job that is most discouraging. When you have a guy committed for three, four, five months, you've stopped recruiting at that position then they go somewhere else.”
Maybe it’s time for a rule adjustment, perhaps an early signing period.
What do you think?
Video: Nebraska adds built-in iPads for every locker
In case ThisIsNebraska.com didn’t create a clear enough picture of the first-class Nebraska football facilities, the Big Ten Network recently took an inside look at the facilities of the newest member of the Big Ten Conference.
The Ndamukong Suh Strength Center is impressive, but the latest addition is a built-in iPad for every locker.
According to senior wide receiver Brandon Kinnie, “Yeah, the big man Suh hooked us up.”
Bo Pelini says, “Nebraska football represents the best of what there is to offer in college football. It’s about passion, about loyalty, about accountable to the guy next to you.”
“This is our house. There is no other place like it.”
Check out the video, highlighting the strength facility, locker room, tunnel walk, players lounge, and game day atmosphere.
Jimbo Fisher says the 'Noles have a huge advantage
Jimbo Fisher’s coaching staff at Florida State is one of twenty-five staffs in the country that remained completely intact during the off-season. All nine assistant coaches remained with the program including coordinators James Coley, Mark Stoops, and Eddie Gran.
With coaching changes last season at Miami (FL) and the University of Florida, Fisher is now the dean of the Big 3 in Florida. He believes the continuity should pay off.
Fisher said, "The good thing is everybody in the organization knows what to expect.”
He added, "In this business, old doesn't always mean better. You just have to keep staying on top of things, staying hungry, winning those recruiting battles and be able to make the right calls on Saturday and hope your guys can execute them.”
According to FootballScoop research, twenty-four programs did not have any coaching staff changes going into last season. 10 of 24 programs actually had fewer total wins in 2010. Texas, who didn't have any coaching staff changes, went from 13-1 to 5-7.
Here is the entire list:
Clemson (9-5 to 6-7)
Penn State (11-2 to 7-6)
Oregon State (8-5 to 5-7)
UL-Lafayette (6-6 to 3-9)
UAB (5-7 to 4-8)
Boston College (8-5 to 7-6)
Iowa (11-2 to 8-5)
Northwestern (8-5 to 7-6)
Wake Forest (5-7 to 3-9)
On the flip side, four programs that kept their staffs entirely intact, went on to double-digit wins. Those programs include Auburn, Oregon, Virginia Tech, and TCU.
Florida State opens the season in Doak Campbell Stadium against ULM. Running backs / special teams coordinator Eddie Gran wants a rowdy atmosphere.
After hosting Charleston-Southern in the second week of the season, the Seminoles will host Oklahoma. ESPN's College Gameday will likely be in Tallahassee for that one.
Maryland down 2 grad assistants during August camp
Maryland will be without two of their main horses, both graduate assistant coaches, during the first sixteen practices in August camp.
The university self-imposed the penalty on the program as part of two rules violations that occurred during last season under former head coach Ralph Friedgen.
The Terps were found to have exceeded the 20-hour rule last season.
Sounds like Maryland was trying to replicate the Michigan strategy.
As a result, the quality control coaches will not be allowed to observe or participate in on-field activities during August camp this year.
In reality, things just became a little tougher for coordinators Gary Crowton and Todd Bradford.
The Terps open with four consecutive home games beginning with Miami (FL). After the season opener against the Hurricanes, Maryland hosts West Virginia, Temple, and Towson.