Quotes from the Jungle: Tigers, Huskies and Cougars

Here are some insights from some of the best college football coaches in the game today:

On the experience of the coaching profession: “You have to enjoy the whole journey. Enjoy all it. You have to enjoy the bad, you have to enjoy the good.” – Dabo Swinney, Clemson Tigers Head Football Coach (August 23, 2016 – Jim Rome Show)

On defining yourself in regards to your coaching career: “My identity is not tied up in being a football coach or being the coach at Clemson. My identity is tied up to who I am as a man, and being a father to three sons, and being a husband and being a good citizen, you know, trying to serve my community. That’s what my identity is tied up in. I love coaching football, I’m passionate about it, that’s what I do. But I’m so much more than that.” – Dabo Swinney, Clemson Tigers Head Football Coach (August 23, 2016 – Jim Rome Show)

On building a program and the patience it requires: “I think the results are probably slower to come than we had hoped for and expected. You know, it’s been an awesome, and a hard, and a frustrating, and a rewarding two and a half years. And what I mean by that is that, this just a tough process. And I think a lot of times when you come in from the outside and your trying to establish your way of doing things it just takes some darn time to get things done. After two and a half years, we feel like the process is in place and we feel really good about it.” Chris Petersen, Washington Huskies Head Football Coach (August 18, 2016 – Jim Rome Show)

On keeping players focused despite social media: “It’s hard because they’re bombarded with messages each and every day. The social media is a blessing and a curse. It allows us to get our message out to our fans and recruits but it also bombards our players.I think our culture is so insulating though that I’d be a fool to think that our guys didn’t hear it but, the thing I’m probably most proud of is that they don’t listen to it. They understand that our goals internally are the only ones that matter and that our goals will never change. It doesn’t matter what last years team did or how good last years team was. What matters is this is the 2016 team and quite frankly we haven’t done anything yet.” – Tom Herman, Houston Cougars Head Football Coach (August 18, 2016 – Jim Rome Show)

“You can win as many games as you want but if the culture is not there it’s not sustainable.” – Tom Herman, Houston Cougars Head Football Coach (August 18, 2016 – Jim Rome Show)

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo



WBB Final Four Article – Hartford Courant

Here is an article by the Hartford Courant’s Jeff Jacobs wrote on the Women’s Final Four an that Joe Ticotsky, Director of the CT Starters AAU program, sent me.

It definitely gets the conversation started…


Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo


A Neighbor(s) With No Fence

Last night a team made an improbable run to the Final Four, and it’s not even the No. 10 seed Syracuse men’s basketball team.

It’s the  No. 7 seed Washington Huskies women’s basketball team, led by head coach Mike Neighbors.

During the Huskies unlikely run to the Final Four, they ousted powerhouses #5 ranked Maryland (at Maryland), #12 ranked Kentucky and #13 ranked Stanford last night.

People always say “it couldn’t happen to a better person.” In this case it really holds true.

Coach Neighbors is truly an asset for the game of women’s basketball. Every week he sends a newsletter to thousands of coaches sharing articles, X’s and O’s, book recommendations, cartoons, and anything else he can get his hands on. It’s free. It only costs HIM his time. He does it to “Grow Our Game” as his email signature reminds all of us who subscribe.

More impressive – and a real glimpse of his true character – Coach Neighbors has taken taken time on several occasions to speak/text/email with me about my personal coaching situation (past and present) and provided me with networking possibilities and insights. More importantly he took the time as a D1 assistant coach and now head coach to give me some uplifting words and empathy. All of this occurred when he only knew me as a contributor to his newsletter.

I was fortunate to shake his hand at last year’s Final Four. Coach Neighbors again was generous with his time and I am honored to call him a friend and colleague.

I suspect I am not the only one who has successfully reached out to him and has received some advice.

That is Mike Neighbors. He grows the game of women’s basketball the right way. He is a phenomenal teache, a “coaches coach” and now can put “2016 Final Four” on his resume.

Coach Neighbor’s clearly has no fences. We should all be glad he is “OUR Neighbor.”

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo