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Dave Aranda: "You don't have to be an A-hole to win"

One of the top defensive coaches in college football, Aranda breaks the mold in a lot of ways.

Right, wrong, or misunderstood, over the years defensive coaches have developed a reputation as being fiery, emotional personalities.

Blame it on clips like Will Muschamp going from 0-100 in the blink of an eye during a halftime explanation of run fits versus a tight end and wing alignment as Texas' defensive coordinator over a decade ago, or cameras fixating on defensive play callers on Saturday's after their unit gives up a big play, but the intensity of defensive coordinators can often be misunderstood.

Dave Aranda breaks that mold in a lot of ways. One of the most cerebral coaches in college football, Aranda shared some insight into his coaching philosophy in a recent interview with Ryan Leaf on The Rich Eisen show.

Asked about the type of lessons that their success in winning 12 games and the Big 12 title in their second season on campus has taught his coaching staff and players, Aranda had an interesting answer.

"I think that, just from last year's path, it shows that you don't have to be an a-hole to win, ya know?"

"You don't have to look at it a certain way to win," he went on to explain, before touching on how the negative perceptions about intense coaching approaches can easily go viral and get judged.

"I think sometimes those type of things get on your phone and kind of go viral and maybe when you come up you've been coached or been around other players that have been about those things, so after a while, it kind of becomes...this is the path.

"So I am hopeful that, last year there was a lot of speaking, kind of a certain way, and football is a platform to show who you are as a person. And the most important thing is the person that you become as a result of this."

Hear more from Aranda, including how he wasn't into reading or books growing up, but that changed as he started to study philosophy, religion, and sports psychology in college.

His conversation with Leaf here is a great example of why I feel Aranda is one of the most fascinating head coaches in college football.