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Friday, February 26, 2010

Building a High School Program

As many who frequent this blog know, I have been really really lucky to be a part of the Timpview High School program.  In my opinion, it is probably one of the best run programs I have ever seen and that has been the reason for our success (Coach Wong has seen this blog so I gotta do a little butt kissing, I kid I kid).

One of the things though that has stood out to me is how this program is built.  If I were to take over a program I would institute many of things that we do at Timpview immediately.  Yesterday is a great example of how we foster camaraderie amongst the players and coaches.  Yesterday we had the annual bowling contest.  Coach Wong takes the players to a local bowling alley, pays for two games and shoes per person and the players compete.  The top 4 players end up playing the top 4 coaches in a final game.  I had one of the top 4 coaches scores but I stunk it up in the final game.  I mean really stunk it up, I was a liability to the other coaches.  However the others had enough game to once again beat the players (to date, the players have yet to beat the coaches).

After the games were over, Coach Wong then took all the coaches to a local Brazilian all you can eat BBQ restaurant.  We sat around the table talking and laughing it up which in turns makes us closer as a coaching staff.  This closeness is very important come season time and playoffs as the coaches and players trust one another.  So as I said, this is something that I would institute were I to take over a program or suggest to a new program I would be participating in.  Building your program is more than just X's and O's.
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Platooning Part 2

I wrote a post in Aug. of last year about how I was sold on platooning.  Well after this last 2009 season and state title I am sold on it even more.  Let me explain a few reasons why last year sold it even more for me.

At the start of the 2009 year we had questions on offense about our starting QB.  In fact first couple games of the season we were rotating QB's (Trevor Brown and Jeremiah Burr) as we tried to figure out the starter.  In the first game of the year we lost our starting back and had to move one of the QB's to the running back position.  Here was a kid that had no experience playing running back and was placed into the starting job immediately.  As the year progressed and he kept getting reps and reps he got better and better and was significant in our title run.

In the second game of the year we lost Bronson Kaufusi an Under Armour All American/ESPN Top150 player for the entire season.  Most teams would crumble losing a player like that.  However once again because of the reps those players who replaced him stepped their games up and got better as the season progressed.

Finally in the 4th game of the year we went into the game seriously banged up on the defensive front 7.  We were out 5 of our starting front 7 and then during the game lost another starter to be down to basically our 4th string backer.  We were thrusting young sophomores into a varsity game against a running team.  Sure we gave up 21 points in the game but we won by 20 and were able to get multiple defensive stops during the game.  Because of this these kids this coming year have game experience and will be better this coming season.

Why do I share these stories?  Well it's because those are just some of the reasons I am sold on platooning.  This team this coming season does have a chance at a 5-peat.  One of the things about this coming season that is interesting is that this will be the first group that will have at least 3 years mastering a position compared to other kids which have had two positions to worry about.  Which kid do you think will be better in a game?

I am not saying you have to platoon but I have seen so many coaches blow it off immediately without giving it a total thought.  So think about platooning and some of the reasons that platooning could work for you.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

29 Seniors Signed to Play College Football

Reading this story on ESPN I was impressed that this school was able to get so many kids an opportunity to play football but also get them help to attend college and get their education.  This story is one of the reasons I got involved with coaching football, I want to help develop young men and make a difference in their lives.

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- In a world of misplaced priorities and snap judgments, it's easy to dismiss Stephenson High School as the program that can't win a state championship.
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Increasing the March Madness Field is a Bad Idea

So I guess the most recent talk has been to increase the March Madness field to 96 teams.  My first question to that is why?  What is wrong with the way it is currently?  96 teams to me seems to be so much and really how do you determine who the next 32 teams should be?  Should teams with losing records be allowed into the field since they play a tough schedule?  Gene Wojciechowski I think best sums it up in his article on the matter on why the current field of 65 is just right.
Yes, of course, we should absolutely expand the NCAA men's basketball tournament to 96 teams. And while we're at it, let's rework the opening of Clapton's "Layla," tell Penelope Cruz she needs a nip and tuck, and replace all the azaleas and pines at Augusta National with strip-club signage.
Some things are perfect just the way they are. Or near-perfect. The NCAA tournament is one of those things.
[+] EnlargeUNC Final Four
AP Photo/Eric GayAn expanded tournament would dilute the achievements of national champions such as North Carolina last year.
Not so perfect are the NCAA power brokers who are pushing hard (and a bit too stealthily) for tournament expansion, from 65 teams to as many as 96. This makes as much sense as other landmark NCAA decisions, such as players not getting a single dime from the $6 billion tournament ATM.
As always, follow the money. Because if the power brokers get their way, this will have everything to do with dollar signs and nothing to do with the aesthetics and symmetry of the tournament. If it were about the tournament itself, March Madness would already have been declared a national landmark and protected from hack-job overhauls.
But the NCAA, which has a long history of making really dumb decisions, is thinking about wholesale renovation. It wants a teardown when all the tournament really needs is a little more closet space.
I don't get it. What's not to love about the current version of the tournament?
It lasts the perfect length of time (three weeks), with the perfect pacing (regional games on Thursday and Saturday, or Friday and Sunday), with the perfect three-day pause between Selection Sunday and the full beginning of the first round, and another three-day gap between the Sweet 16 and the fistfight to reach the Final Four.
It features prominent versus unknown, big versus small, urban versus rural.
It gives any team with an actual chance to win the national championship … well, an actual chance.
Expanding to 96 teams would be like aiming a fire hose at a glass of Dom Perignon. It would dilute it beyond recognition. It would ruin it.
[+] EnlargeMike Silve
AP Photo/Tom StrattmanMike Slive, chairman of the 2009 selection committee, was grilled in a teleconference about last year's pairings. Isn't it hard enough to figure out a 65-team bracket?
The NCAA tournament needs another 31 teams like D.C. needs more snow right now. If the point is to make the tournament better, adding borderline programs to the Madness accomplishes nothing. An elegant, compelling three-week miniseries suddenly becomes bloated, contrived and artificial.
If it were up to me, and not the chancellors and university presidents on the Division I board of directors, I'd tweak rather than demolish. I'd get rid of the ridiculously demeaning single play-in game and instead add the next three most deserving teams on the selection committee's tournament bubble. Expand to 68 teams and draw a line in the hardwood floor. No more.
Look, there's a reason God invented the National Invitation Tournament. The NIT is for teams that belong in the Little Dance, not the Big Dance. Increasing the field to 96 teams would create a shotgun wedding between NIT-quality teams and NCAA tournament-quality programs.
You think some iffy teams get in these days? Wait until you see what kind of basketball sludge would make it into a 96-team format. We're talking power conference teams with, what, 6-12 conference records? We're talking teams with cotton ball-soft strength of schedules. We're talking about Timex passing for Rolex.
The opening round would be a disaster area of "Who's That?" versus "What's Their Names?" The top 32 teams would get a bye, so you'd get a thrilling No. 33 versus No. 96 opening-week matchup. That's not drama; that's the Sun Belt Conference tournament semis.
Half of the fun of the NCAAs is figuring out who gets in and who gets left out. Expand to 96 and Bracketology becomes a minor, not a major. Joe Lunardi will be on the streets.
Exclusion isn't always a bad thing. It creates drama. It gives the long regular season more meaning. There's something at stake.
A field of 96 creates Zzzzzzzzzzzzs. It reduces the regular season to a seeding contest. Plus, do we really think the 96th team in the field has any realistic chance of winning more than one game? After all, no No. 16 seed has ever beaten a No. 1 seed.
NCAA Empty Seats
AP Photo/Dave MartinThis is about how many people might show up for a first-round game between the 96th seed and the No. 1 team.
The possibility of expansion didn't happen by accident. It happened because the NCAA can opt out of the final three years of its 11-year deal with CBS. A summer deadline looms.
So there are two moving parts in the debate. There's the issue of format: Does it makes sense to expand from 65 to 96? And then there's the real issue: Does it make dollars and cents to expand from 65 to 96?
Coaches generally love expansion because it gives them an easier path to the tournament. The more tournament appearances, the more job security.
And sure, more players would get a chance to extend their seasons. For one or two games, tops.
But from a practical standpoint, the present format is nearly flawless. So leave it alone. At the very least, don't use a jackhammer when a small chisel will do.
As for the financial side of it, someone at the NCAA needs to take a business course or call Warren Buffett. Since when do you offer one-of-a-kind basketball oceanfront property on the cheap?
Always sell high, not low. That's what the NFL does. It understands the value of its product, waits until the economic timing is right and then opens the bidding.
Meanwhile, the NCAA is considering an opt-out during the middle of a recession. How shrewd.
I say leave near-perfection -- and our 64-team office-pool brackets -- alone. For once, follow the logic, not the money.
So the NCAA wants to expand March Madness but can't do a playoff for Division 1 football?  I really do hope they don't do this expansion, after awhile it is too much.
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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Watched the Olympics Opening Ceremony Tonight.

I thoroughly enjoyed it except for the technical error at the end but still it was a good opening.  I watched as the people entered and I felt it reaffirm to me more that I want to keep coaching.  I want to be able to make an influence in someone's life.

It is truly sad that the young man died before the ceremony even opens during what is supposed to be a joyous moment.  What truly stood out to me were those that came with no chance of gaining a medal that still enjoy their time there as they can participate with athletes from other countries and share the bond of athletic competition.  Well that is all I wanted to say about the subject I will write more later.
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Saints Super Bowl Win

Well I don't think there is much to say but that the Saints made the plays to win the game.  It was a great game plan to keep Peyton Manning off the field for 70 minutes of real time.

The great call of the game was the onside kick starting the second half.  It was a great time to call it and caught everyone unprepared.  I wonder how the party is going to be in New Orleans?  I will write more later after tonight.  It was just an amazing game to watch.
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Friday, February 5, 2010

13 Year Old Commit to USC

As I am sure many who follow sports know by now, a 13 year old QB in Delaware was offered and committed to USC.

Lane Kiffin really is getting a jump on recruiting.
No sooner had the Trojans new coach put the finishing touches on the Class of 2010 recruits, that he turned his attention to the Class of 2015.
That's right, 2015.
Thursday evening Kiffin received a verbal commitment from 13-year old wunderkind quarterback David Sills of Bear, Del.
Too young?
Not according to his personal coach Steve Clarkson, who has mentored some of the game's best quarterbacks including current USC starter Matt Barkley.
"His skill set is off the chart," Clarkson said. "I've never seen anyone at his age do what he's been able to do."
The commitment, which was first reported by ESPN's Shelley Smith, has happened in college basketball previously, but is unprecedented for college football where it's harder to project how a player as young as Sills will develop physically. Clarkson says that won't be a problem.
"He's already six feet as a 13-year old," Clarkson said. "And he's breaking down NFL footage."
Clarkson said the scholarship offer emerged after he called Kiffin to discuss a quarterback recruit for next year's class.
Clarkson said Kiffin asked him his opinion of the recruit and Clarkson said, "You might call me crazy, but you've known me a long time, right? And when I said if there was going to be a LeBron James of football it'd be Jimmy Clausen that turned out to be a pretty good prediction.
"And when I said Matt Barkley had the potential to be as good as Jimmy, he ended up winning Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior and starting at USC as a freshman, right?
"Well, I've got a kid now who is better than all of them and he's in Delaware. You gotta take a look at him."
Clarkson then directed Kiffin to a video of Sills that is making the rounds on YouTube.
Kiffin watched it and called him back immediately.
"He was like, 'This kid is incredible. How old is he again?'
"I was like, 'That's the problem, he's 13.' "
A couple of hours later, the Sills family called Kiffin and they spoke for the first time. USC had always been Sills' dream school, according to his father, David Sills IV.
"I'm as shocked as anybody," Sills' father said. "I was just talking with friends yesterday about what it'll be like four years from now when David goes through the recruiting process. I never expected this to happen so soon.
"But David's always wanted to go to USC. I mean, is there a better place to play football in the country? How can you pass up the best offer you're ever going to get?"
The younger Sills, who is an seventh-grader at Red Lion Christian Academy in Bear, Del., has been training with Clarkson for three years. They meet about once every six weeks at various locations around the country. Sometimes in California, where Clarkson is based. Sometimes in Delaware. And sometimes somewhere in the middle, if Clarkson is conducting a clinic.
"Steve and David hit it off immediately," David Sills IV said. "If there's ever anything David is doing wrong, Steve can fix it in like 10 minutes."
Still, 2015 is a long time from now. A lot can change.
"Well, we're going to be out to California in a few weeks and we'll meet Lane then," Sills' father said. "We're excited to meet him. And we're excited to verbally commit. Hopefully it all works out in the future."
 Alright here are some of my thoughts on David Sills committing so young.  Hopefully this kid pans out as he still has a few years to go.  What happens if this kid blows up as he gets through puberty and can't play QB.  I don't know how I feel about a kid committing so young, can he keep his humility as he gets older?

Is Lane Kiffin going to still be at USC in 5 years?  This to me is kind of crazy to even think that they are doing this now in football.  First college basketball and now college football?  What happened to letting kids be kids while growing up?

I really wish the NCAA would step in and ban this type of practice and make this a violation.  BTW USC did this in basketball a few years back.  Also, anyone at USC remember Todd Marinovich?

Also the football coach that referred him calls himself Dream Maker?  Wow you have to be pretty confident that you will get every kid a scholarship.  Just a crazy saga that makes people think coaches are nothing but leaches.
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Thursday, February 4, 2010

2010 4 Peat Championship Ring

Here are pictures of the 4 Peat State Championship Ring we got.  It is huge, looks like I won the Super Bowl.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Signing Day 2010

So National Letter of Intent Day is coming up on Wed. and as far as I know 5 of our boys are signing letters of intent to D1 schools.  In fact one of them has already headed to Notre Dame to get started with the spring.  I will see if I can get over to the school on Wed. and visit with them while they are signing these documents.  I am proud of the players that have earned these scholarship offers.

Bronson Kaufusi-BYU
Ofa Latu-Utah
Trevor Brown-Utah State
Chris Badger-Notre Dame
Tyson Tia Tia-Weber State.
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