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Head Coach Model

Discussion in 'Georgia Tech Football' started by gtg936g, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. gtg936g

    gtg936g Helluva Engineer

    The off season is now upon us, and I thought it would be interesting to discuss a rather successful model change that has went mostly unnoticed. Traditionally, head coaches have the most experience, and have enjoyed success as an offensive or defensive coach. Clemson has taken a different model, and I think it is a model that deserves some thought. Dabo is more of a CEO than a traditional head coach. He is not highly paid, but his OC and DC are both in the top 10 highest paid coordinators in CFB. Dabo is the face of Clemson football, but he is running the program like a CEO would a traditional business. He hired some really good assistants, and ensured his success by letting them handle the Xs and Os, while he is the media face.

    Do you guys see this as the start of a model change on the CFB landscape?
  2. Essobee

    Essobee Helluva Engineer

    Aside from presenting a great image, the thing I like best about Dabo is that he appears to be fully in control of his own ego. That is, he appears to know his limitations while he plays to his strengths. I personally like that model.

    Bobby Dodd would frequently mention that the most all of the coaching was done by his assistants. Bobby had a wooden tower on Rose Bowl field where he would observe the entire practice area, keeping an eye on what his assistants were doing as well as the players. He hired good assistants, many of which went on to become head coaches themselves. However, there was never any question about who was in charge. It was Bobby...always Bobby. And if you were a player who didn't practice well, it was Bobby who got on to you (I saw a player sent to Dodd's tower by an assistant coach to confess that he didn't do what he was supposed to do on a punt return. It was the only time I heard Bobby yell loud enough to be heard all over the field). And if you were a player who skipped class, it was Bobby who called you into his office (Bill Curry can tell you his punishment when he cut Chem lab). And if you were an assistant coach who did not have the full respect of your players, it was Bobby who decided what to do with you. Bobby was in full control of his ego, using self-depreciating humor to great effect with alumni and the press. When it came to coaching style, he was the total package.

    IMHO, if we see a coaching style model change it will be a back to the future thing...a return to the Dodd coaching model.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
    gtg936g likes this.
  3. gtg936g

    gtg936g Helluva Engineer

    I did a lot of reading on Dodd this week while I had some down time. You are correct, that he ran the program through assistants. I think Dodd had a great understanding of the game, and would probably be a successful coach today. The thing that has really changed the game lately is $$$
  4. Rodney Kent

    Rodney Kent Ramblin' Wreck

    I am not sure there is a model for a coach, because everyone is different. I don't think you can pin-point a model for the successful approach, but I have my idea about some of their needed credentials. It is most important that you can relate to the kids coming into the program. Make no mistake about it, they may be bigger, faster, and stronger than the coach, but they are still kids who are not mature. When raising a child, that child understands discipline from his parents as long as that child knows their parents love him/her. You cannot discipline a child with good results unless you truly love him and want the best for him. It cannot be a selfish thing where you just want him to behave, yet you ignore him and withhold love from him.

    I consider a coach as an extended parent who should want the best for his players while teaching them discipline and the game of football. I think a good coach also must be above reproach in his honesty with his players. He should not play favorites, and he must have empathy for all his players. I think the successful coach plays as many players as possible during the games to reward their hard work during the season. I also think playing as many as possible builds teamwork among all. The more that plays, the more they feel like part of the team, and even the starters begin to understand and accept that philosophy.

    I don't think a coach necessarily has to have played the game, although it helps. Some of the most successful coaches were players that rarely saw the field, but gained a lot of football wisdom watching the game from the bench. In fact, if a person is not an exceptional athlete, he learns the finesse needed to excell and that carries over into coaching. I think a good coach needs to be smart, a good analizer of the game and able to adapt during the heat of a battle and during the entire season. A coach who relies on one system will soon be obsolete as the game changes over time and even sometimes during a game. He must be proactive and ready to change to gain an advantage.

    I do not like a coach who tries to play it safe. I think a good coach must teach his players to be aggressive in all aspects of the game and never wait for the game to come to them. I think this true on both offense and defense. The worst defense ever in football is the bend-but-don't-break system. He should teach his team to never let down or relax in a game when they are ahead. It is foolish for a coach to tell his substitutes to hold down the score. The subs should always do their best and try to score on offense even if the team is leading 222-0. The same should be true on defense. Also, I have seen this many times over the years: the team scores a TD, and then relaxes on the kickoff and the other team runs it back for a TD or scores on their drive. Both offense and defense should be attacking and aggressive the entire game. If they get tired, send in the reserves, never relax.

    The coach is the reason for success, not the players. A great coach with average players will beat a team with great players and an average coach. A great coach will beat you with his team or beat his team with your team. It all starts with the coach. A great coach will win regardless, but he will soon start attracting the great players and become almost unbeatable. If a team has weaknessed, it is the fault of the coach. A team is a mirror of its coach. If they have a lot of penalties, it is the fault of the coach. If they fumble a lot, it is the fault of the coach. If they do not intercept a lot of passes, it is still the fault of the coach for playing the wrong defense. If a team tackles poorly, it is the fault of the coach, etal. The buck always stops at the coach. If he wants better players, he can get them if they see he is a winner.

    Actually, there are so many books and information everywhere, that it is possible for a person to have never played the game and still be a good coach. He would have knowledge of all aspects of the game from book learning, and he could act like a CEO as suggested, hire the right assistants and still be a good coach. Of course, there are many more angles to this, but the main thing stressed here is the coach is the catalyst for winning or losing.
  5. boozinbuzz

    boozinbuzz Georgia Tech Fan

    I posted something similar to this on another board this morning. I believe the biggest difficulty facing GT right now is attracting players. I also believe that there are enough players out there who are really good at football and smart enough to get through GT. Hire a CEO HC and let the assistants do the X's and O's.

    Get in a guy who will make a splash and grab attention. There is no such thing as bad publicity. Rent a helicopter (give it a stupid monicker too like "The Buzzcopter") and go visit recruits. Show up on the sidelines at the state playoffs and make sure you get an interview. Get on the radio/TV and sell the program every chance you can get. Publicly say the UGA game is the biggest game of the season and means a ton to the fans and recruits. Then, at the next opportunity, say the ACCCG is the biggest of the season and means a ton to the fans and recruits. Atlanta is a bustling town and hotbed of fotball activity in the Southeast. Go to the Dome every time there is a football function, even if you weren't invited. Surely a reporter will get a clip or two. Say things like "we are glad to have the CFA Kick Off Classic in our backyard and welcome Bama/VT to our town". People laughed at Dabo the clown his first few years but look at what he is doing now.

    I'm going to take a moment to rant about CPJ's shortcomings in this area, mainly to get it off my chest. When he was first hired, he would go on the radio and diminish the importance of recruiting rankings. We all giggled and laughed b/c we were winning games. I fell like such a fool now. While he may be correct, you can not say this in public. After a time he began to boycott most of the sports radio shows in town for several years. Again, he may have had justification for doing so but you can't get on the bad side of the press. Swallow your pride, put a smile on your face and sell your program. I have often heard coaches from far away like Strong from Louisville or O'Brien from PSU doing interviews in the Atlanta market b/c they understand recruiting and PR. He had the infamous "let me talk slowly for you" incident with Chernoff a few years back. Never be condescending to the media. He fell into the trap trying to prove he was right and gave them the last laugh. Nod and smile and tell them what they want to hear. His abrasive personality has made few friends in the media and none of them are in his corner now that he is struggling. Hardly anyone talks about GT in the Atlanta market at all. Sad. I thought he was improving lately by going back on the local sports radio shows but just yesterday he blew off the question about the importance of the bowl to recruits. Very frustating.

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