2010 Coaches Quick Hits

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Monday May 31, 2010

Quoting Bob Stoops (on players leaving early for NFL draft): "They got no idea."

"You're done playing at 26 or 27. You don't have a degree."

"You're going to take care of your mom? You're not taking care of anybody."

"That's life-changing money. That's taking-care-of-your-family money. Second-round guys are lucky to be taking care of himself."

"To me, it's about maximizing that small window of opportunity you get in the NFL. That's my problem with my guys, when they don't maximize their value."

"I tell 'em, 'you don't need to come back to save Oklahoma. 'We're all going to be here. You need to do it to maximize your window. Don't play for a discount.'"

"They're out of the league in four years. What everyone doesn't get is the value of that degree. With that degree, you'll have plenty of opportunity to have some kind of profession."

"Without it, you're going to constantly struggle. It's not as easy as people think it is to come back ... not a manageable situation. Think you're coming back at 26 or 27? You may be married. May have a child. It's not easy to come back and go to school full time."

"Think of yourself 30 years old. If you're only here (at OU) to make money and go to the NFL, maximize this thing."

"Those second-round guys, that money's not going to make a difference in anything. Now where are you going? You are here. You gotta go to school. You've already put in three years. One more year, get it (the degree) or get close. Maximize your opportunity."

Quoting Ohio coach Frank Solich: "In my coaching career, I've had four head coaching positions. The first two were high school positions. Both were building from the ground up."

"At Nebraska it was running at full speed. That was a maintaining job. Ohio was back to building. I enjoy building more. Getting players to have success and a great work ethic and winning regular, that can't be beat. So far, I've enjoyed this even more. There's no better feeling. Everybody wants to win and no one wants to win more than the players."

"You've got to continually recruit. Once we get people to the campus, they fall in love with it. It's a fun place to recruit not only to the campus life, but the education."

(at Nebraska) "It didn't matter what I did. People would complain that I didn't chew my gum on the sidelines the way Tom Osborne did."

Quoting Mike London: "I learned a lot of football from coach Groh. His style, his philosophy, that's him. My style and philosophy is to engage people, build relationships. We're telling high school coaches we're accessible. If they want to come up to practice, watch tape, we open the doors to them so they feel like they can drive two hours to see us, as opposed to driving out here and keep on going (to rival Virginia Tech). And my staff, we're all family men. I hired good coaches who have a story to tell. I'll allow them to tell their story and let people get a chance to know them. Like this TV show, which can show some behind-the-scenes things, show personalities, show what we're like. The wins and losses, in the end, speak volumes. But if, along the way, you can create some excitement and a feeling - I need you - and keep that message consistent, then at least you give yourself a chance. Maybe some people will say, 'All right, I'll give them another shot.' "

(biggest surprise about being the head coach) "Maybe just because it's the first year... the amount of time - or the little amount of time - you have to do ordinary things like being a dad and a husband. Going here, going there, speaking here, speaking there, people coming to see us. It's a lot.... I choose to still be a dad and a husband. So if my daughter has a concert on Thursday, I try to take care of all my appointments on a Monday or Tuesday so I can make the concert.... I went to one of my daughters' concerts and it was a recorder concert, like, 'doop-doop-doop,' little kids playing 'Mary Had a Little Lamb.' I would rather watch paint dry. But I was there, and she was playing her little thing, and she saw me looking at her, and it was priceless." Full Mike London Q&A

Quoting Kirk Ferentz: "The good news is, I think we've got a lot of older guys that get it. They understand. And those aren't typically the ones that let their guard down ... the other 90 percent of the guys, we've just really got to be proactive in terms of educating them and making them realize, ‘Don't get your head in the clouds. You need to keep it right where we've got to be.'"

"You play the hand that's dealt you. Typically, when we've had good teams, it's been a fine line, and all our players need to realize that some of those close victories we've experienced over the last year-and-a-half could've been just the opposite. Then we're sitting there right at .500. If you look at it that way, it's just a good reminder that we need to be taking care of business every day and let the results fall where they may.

"Our message this January was the same one we had a year ago, in the January of '09. I think we're in a similar situation to a year ago, except maybe there's a little more national scope to it."

Quoting Turner Gill: "We didn't go there. If anybody started talking about things in the past, we stopped the conversation. And I told all of our coaches the same thing."

"We're moving on. That's how we teach these young men about life and football. We've started that process.''

"We're just trying to put pieces in place to have a very good football team. It isn't going to happen overnight, and it isn't going to happen in one year."

"I have an idea of what we have is probably the best way to state it. Now, we use what we know to start the process.''

Mike Shula talks about Joe Kines: "It never failed to amaze me how he could yell from opening kickoff to the final whistle with that gravelly voice and not lose it. He was always so wide open you half expected him to run out on the field and start making tackles himself."

Quoting Gene Chizik: "We understand football's king. We understand if we don't win we're out of a job. I've been doing this 25 years. Back when I was a young coach and I knew I was going to be a head coach - because I've always had confidence in exactly where I was going, and my goal was to be a head coach - my goal was always be the best at my trade. If I was a linebacker coach, I wanted to be the best linebacker coach. If I was a defensive coordinator, I wanted to be the best in the country. When you're young and ambitious and full of passion and energy and you're trying to achieve the goals you want to achieve, sometimes you get lost in what really, at the end of the day, matters. ...

"What we try to talk to our players about is, knowing when you get up every day you've got a chance to make a difference. You might have to change the way you think. One of the first meetings I had, I said, ‘Let me tell you something, I left Auburn in 2004 and we were undefeated. I come back five years later and it ain't the same. So y'all are going to have to change the way you think.'"

"When they come out of high school and they're being recruited, it's all about, ‘Look at me.' And they get here and we have to de-recruit them, because they think that they're it. They think it's all about them. ... I don't subscribe to the Look at Me Theory. There's nothing I like about it. So we talk to our guys about making a difference."

"What they have to understand in that locker room is that it's a huge responsibility ... because whether they like it or not, everybody's looking at them. I'll tell the guys: ‘Pull your pants up. Why do you have your pants pulled halfway down your butt? Pull your pants up. I've got a 12-year-old daughter walking around. She doesn't want to see the crack of your butt.' They sit there and they go, ‘Coach, you make us take our hats off and yes, sir, no, sir, all this stuff,' - yeah, you're dadgum right, because it doesn't cost you a thing. Not one thing."

"You go in the cafeteria and eat and you expect that girl in the cafeteria making $8.50 an hour or less to go pick up your tray? I don't think so. If somebody gives you your food when you go through the drive-thru window, as you snatch the bag, what's hard to say, ‘Thank you, I appreciate that?' It doesn't cost you a thing. You don't have to run one lap. You don't have to bench one ounce of weight."

"Those things are really important. Do you know why they're important to me? Because if we're going to change what's happening here - we live in the greatest country in the world, but how much better would it be right now if everybody right now said I'm going to make a difference? I'm going to find a way to change it."

"I grew up middle class, white, my parents loved me. So I might not necessarily relate to what your circumstances were. I hear them and understand them, but that's not an excuse for you to fail. Don't come in here and say, ‘Well, you know, that's just kind of the way I was brought up.'No. If you're in a bad way right now, it's because of the choices you made in response to your circumstances. So change your choices."