Every head coach seeks to do two things when he takes over a program: establish new traditions and find out who his leaders are. New Tennessee head coach Butch Jones has accomplished both goals with the creation of the VOLympics.
The Vols' roster was split into 10 teams headed by two captains, which were selected by the players, who will compete throughout the spring in a variety of activities in the weight room, classroom and community. Negative activity, such as being late to a workout or missing class, will result in punishment only for the offending player's team captains. Ideally, this will allow Jones and his staff to learn who his team's leaders are, and are not, in short order.
"We have a lot of work to do but I have been encouraged by our leadership to date. The VOLympics will spring off to that," said Jones.
The event was handled NFL Draft style, complete with photo and team hat snapshots after first round picks and quality control assistant Terry Fair playing the role of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Team captains were dressed up in business attire, and I don't know about your college wardrobe, but it took a very special occasion for me to put on dress clothes in my college days.
"It's very humbling," Bowles said, about being the No. 1 overall pick. "It means a lot to know my teammates have that kind of respect for me. I'm going to do everything I can, like FCA events, community service, go to class on time and just make sure I have my priorities straight."
While his players are racking up points, they'll also build leadership and accountability without the coaching staff having to lift a finger.