Have you ever wondered what some of these college head coaches are like when nobody is looking?
ESPN The Magazine wanted to find out by creating superfan “Jim Smith.”
Smith wrote a letter in February to each of the D1 head coaches stating, “Dear Coach: Would you be willing to call my voice mail and leave a message I can use as my outgoing greeting? Something like, 'Hi, this is ________ . Jim can't take your call right now, but if you leave your name and number ... '"
Larry Fedora, Art Briles, Mike London, Kirk Ferentz were among the four coaches to respond to the letter. Seven head coach declined, but sent autographed photos.
Of all the coaches, it was Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone, a native of the Bronx, New York, who offered the nicest response. Despite all the responsibilities that Marrone has with leading a major D1 program, he took the time and clearly went above and beyond.
A month after the drafting the letter, Smith received this voicemail from Marrone:
"Hi, Jim, Doug Marrone from Syracuse football. I got your note and want to thank you for your support. Every fan matters here for us. It's been a tough few years for Syracuse football, but we have that Big East title in our sights. Stay with us. I'll start the message in a minute." Awkward pause. "Hi, this is Doug Marrone from Syracuse football. You've reached Jim. He can't take your call right now. But I promise you, if you leave a short message after the beep, he will get right back to you. Go Orange." Another awkward pause. "So thanks again, Jim. We really appreciate your support up here. Go Orange."
Who would you say is the most friendly head coach in college football? Let us know in our newly added conversation section, which is down below.