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Coaches talk about the stress in the profession

A day after Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio suffered a heart attack, several coaches from around the country talked about the stress in coaching.

Rich Rodriguez: "When you're in certain professions -- coaching is one of them and probably university administration, politicians -- you don't just work your job, you live your job. You're never really away from it. That probably adds more to it than it used to be. But you know that going into it. Some of it is just life in general, sometimes your health issues will come up."

"You have to take care of yourself, but it's hard to get away from your job. You don't leave the office, go home and leave your job at the office. That's not possible to do in this kind of profession."

"What's hard, a lot of coaches will tell you, it's hard to devote the time. You want to watch the film and you've got a lot of things to do. But you have to. I'm sure all coaches are the same way. You encourage your staff to do it and when it's lunchtime or early in the morning, give them some time to exercise and all of that because it's a busy time and if you don't devote yourself to it, you could get in trouble."

Bill Cubit: “That’s the business. You don’t eat right, you don’t get any sleep. ... There’s no other way to do this business."

“He’s (Dantonio) a great guy. It’s a shame it happened. I’m sure there are a lot of coaches going home tonight after a long day, looking at their wives and having their wives look back at them, saying, ‘You’d better take care of yourself.’ The job doesn’t allow you to do it.”

Kyle Whittingham: "Everything is more scrutinized and everything is more of a win now mentality. There isn't much patience with head coaches these days. It used be a four, five or six-year rebuilding program and that is a thing of the past. I work out every day and get something done physically. That is my relief. If I couldn't do that, I don't know how I'd hold up."

Pat Fitzgerald: ''There's a number of coaches right now who are battling some issues. Being a coach, you live in front of the camera and on the Internet. There are lots of people that have stressful jobs.''

Bob Stoops: "It's always been challenging. Mark is a close and dear friend of mine. That's part of our job. We have to listen to ourselves and make sure we're checked and keep up with our health the best we can. It's obviously a stressful job."

Mike Gundy: "I don't think there is any question my health is not good during the season."

Mike Leach: "There is nothing healthy about it. There's the stress of dealing with the day-to-day and the ups and downs of 120 different people, most of them ages 18-22. There is also the politics that go into a university and some of the bureaucracy."

Derek Dooley: "No. 1, you feel such a responsibility to the fans, to the program to do a good job and do your part, and that can weigh on you. You feel such a responsibility to the kids that you coach. Those two things alone, the responsibility you feel is enough. Then add to it the day-to-day scrutiny that you get publicly, and that certainly weighs on you. Then add to it the patience or lack thereof of universities with their coaches."



Nick Saban: “The one thing that I remember is he (Dantonio) was always in a hell of a lot better shape than I was so that’s kind of a wake-up call to me to make sure I’m doing the right things and taking care of myself. It was really kind of a shock because he was so into physical fitness, good health, and good conditioning all the time. Hopefully this will resolve and in a few weeks he’ll be back to normal and won’t have any future issues.”

Urban Meyer: "I just happen to think it's a high profile position and where you are you get a lot of attention.''

Joker Phillips: “I haven't changed my routine. I still work out every day. I still get the same amount of sleep. I just think that, this game is important to me there's no question about that. But my family and my personal health is more important. Am I competitor and do I want to win? Yes, no question about that. But I try not to let this game rule my life also.''