One of the benefits of having your own television network is face time for your offensive line coach. That may not have made the print-out when ESPN was pitching Texas on the Longhorn Network all those years ago, but it serves our purposes pretty well.
New offensive line coach Derek Warehime sat down for an interview on LHN's version of SportsCenter and was asked about how he and the rest of Tom Herman's staff draw the line between being taskmasters pushing players beyond anything they've ever experienced before and coaches who celebrate Kendrick Lamar's latest work together.
In short: There is a line, but there's a lot of hopping back and forth.
"I think a lot of this comes down to your relationship with your players," Warehime said. "Because you have to be able to show a bunch of different faces when you're with your guys. You can't be one guy all the time. So even if you have a rough moment in a workout or in a practice and there's some passionate coaching taking place and you're really working hard to motivate a guy and there's friction, once that event is over with you've got to be able to get away from the chaos, come together and have a grown-up conversation about things.
"I've had the worst disagreements, so to speak, with a player on the field with his actions and been extremely passionate in the way things are being handled, but the second that whistle blows and practice is over we're sitting there hugging on each other, loving on each other just like we would after he had his first baby or after he got married. The line that gets drawn, it kind of winds all over the place.
"We spend every minute of every day with our players -- or as much as we can. If we're not here with them we're on the phone with them, we're FaceTime-ing with them, we're on the phone with their families or their girlfriends or whatever. This is very family-oriented in the way that we do things here, which is different than a lot of people."
The work hard/love hard mantra is the central theme of Herman's coaching philosophy (and, indeed, many, many others). They are the yin and yang of how the Texas staff coaches, and each informs each other: the hugs (and kisses, in Herman's case) have to be especially passionate in order to inspire the type of work and commitment it takes to win, which in turn inspires more hugs around the neck... and 'round and 'round the cycle goes.