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Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Thoros of Beer, Feb 3, 2016.
If that's an issue, how does any kid go to Clemson? It makes SB look like Watts.
whats the name of his podcast?
Hey now, we haven't had kids transfer due to racist taunts from other athletes...I'm looking at you Kirby and UGA.
Ofd special guest
I get it. I'm just saying I've been there and left very unimpressed with the city. The campus was gorgeous, but the city sucked.
swarbrick interview, a pretty good read
Irish Illustrated recently visited with Notre Dame Vice President and Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick to discuss the No. 2 Irish football team, the ongoing battle within intercollegiate athletics amidst COVID-19, and the future of Notre Dame athletics with a pandemic still raging in many parts of the country.
Acknowledging there remains plenty of football to be played despite Thanksgiving approaching, which typically is when the regular season is coming to a close, Swarbrick discussed the diligence of the players, the leadership provided by Brian Kelly and his coaching staff, and the continued push to claim the ACC championship and a second college football playoff bid in the last three seasons.
TIM PRISTER: Irish Illustrated and other media outlets have chronicled the No. 2-ranked Notre Dame football team on the field. As someone who has been behind the scenes during the evolution of this football team while battling the coronavirus curveballs, how would you describe the players and how they’ve handled the obstacles that have come their way?
JACK SWARBRICK: Culture, culture, culture. I see in this team the culmination of several things. A really sharpened focus on fit in recruiting. A really great focus on communication and cultural development within the program. And really great leadership.
When you bring all that together, the dynamic within this team is just amazing. You don’t get it all the time and it’s tough to sustain, but when you have it, you can really see it. You could see it with Pat Connaughton and Jerian Grant in the culture that basketball team built. You’ve seen it in other years with this football program, but it’s special when it occurs.
TP: Do you see the added discipline this entire experience has forced upon them playing itself out on the football field? Is this a more disciplined football team on game day – and in double-overtime against the No. 1 team in the country -- because of all they’ve sacrificed in putting themselves in a position to not only play this season but play at a high level?
JS: I think you see it in a trust and belief in each other. In those moments, and Brian has said this numerous times to the team, it’s not about anybody doing something extraordinary. It’s about everybody doing what they’re supposed to do, and you trusting that everyone else is doing it.
A real trust has been built through all of this. Like, ‘Look, we’re only going to make it through COVID if we all do the right things. I’m trusting you to do the right things. I’m trusting you to have an honest conversation with me about issues such as social injustice in America.’ All of those things, absolutely, we’ve come through a tougher time. It creates a bond and a trust that when you’re in smooth sailing, it’s probably harder to develop.
TP: What has this coaching staff had to go through the last four or five months in particular?
JS: The team always reflects the culture of the coaching staff. I say it all the time to the coaches, ‘If in your home environment, there’s tension between mom and dad, the kids will pick it up, even if you don’t think they do.’
It’s the same with coaching staffs. Everything I just said about the team is true about the staff. They like each other. They trust each other. They’re really cohesive and work well together. Some of this has been as hard on them as it has been for the players. They’ve come through it together.
TP: How would you depict what Brian Kelly has done with this program since the conclusion of the 2016, including 41-6 over the last 47 games, 14 wins in a row, and 23 in a row in Notre Dame Stadium? You made a decision after the 2016 to retain Coach Kelly when some were clamoring for a change.
JS: I’m extremely proud of Brian and all he’s accomplished in the program, but I don’t view it through the lens of vindication where I say, ‘Yeah, I was right.’ I’m so happy for the University. I’m happy for Brian. I’m happy for his staff.
And listen, I’ve gained a lot by being around him and learning from him as I hope he has from me. But he’s a great example for a lot of people. You’ve got to look at yourself sometimes. The answer doesn’t always lie outside. Sometimes it lies inside.
TP: After the 2016 season, Coach Kelly changed his entire persona with the players, in addition to reversing his sideline demeanor 180 degrees. How did he do that?
JS: It’s a great thing not only for a coach, but for anybody. A CEO with his or her staff. All the really good ones do it. Change is necessary.
(Former women’s basketball coach) Muffet (McGraw) has always talked about how when she started coaching, Bobby Knight was her model and it was her way or the highway. By the end of her journey, she was consulting the athletes on strategy decisions and how they wanted to play.
I’m not suggesting that it always goes in that direction, from being an autocrat to somebody who is more inclusive. But you have to change because everything around you will change, from the generations you inherit to the issues you’re dealing with. You’ve got to be prepared to change.
TP: What was your involvement in instituting the Mental Performance Training component to the program since the 2017 season?
JS: That was all Brian. Completely. (Dr.) Amber (Selking) has done a great job for us. Different coaches and athletes go to different resources. Some of our athletes use a different resource on campus. Our job is to make sure there are resources available.
Brian initially identified Amber as a resource for him, from communicating with the team and structuring the cultural developments and thinking about performance. Once engaged as a resource to him, she naturally became a resource to others. But that was all Brian.
TP: What was your reaction when he brought that topic to you?
JS: I thought it was great. I thought it was all part of what we talked about earlier. Self-examination. What can we do better? What can I do better? Bringing someone in who had, at that point, an outside perspective to help him, especially with issues of communication which was the initial focus, I thought it was really smart.
I think it’s reflective of the larger initiative that Brian undertook. It’s part of Brian’s comprehensive review of everything.
Joey Ramaeker is a great sports psychologist who is employed by us. He’s a member of our staff. A lot of our kids rely on Joey. Niki Sims was here before. Unfortunately, she went to USC. Same thing. You don’t see them in the football program in a visible way, but there are football players that go to them. So it’s about making the resource available.
TP: By all accounts, two seasons and eight games since Clark Lea took over as defensive coordinator and nine games into Tommy Rees serving as offensive coordinator, it appears you’ve found a couple of good ones, which everyone has suspected for a while with Coach Lea. Your thoughts on the contributions of those two individuals?
JS: They are great coaches and they would be great coaches anywhere. But they’re great fits at Notre Dame. That’s when it really works, when you can take full advantage of it.
It’s not because Tommy brings some scheme that’s unique. It’s because Tommy is a really brilliant coach who understands the Notre Dame dynamic – the pros and the cons of that dynamic – and can coach in that environment. Clark’s the same way. They fit the place so well. That’s when we’re at our best. When we struggle sometimes with personnel choices, much like with players, it’s not so much about raw ability or knowledge, it’s about fit.
TP: What is the greatest asset each brings to the program?
JS: I think it’s the same for both. Their players would do anything for them. Their players understand that both coaches are motivated to help make them successful. They care about them as individuals. It starts in the recruiting process and it continues when they get here.
There are a lot of measures of success this year. But compared to almost everybody else, I think a real important measure of success is how everybody chose to play. We’ve had some people make decisions that they want to pursue their football careers somewhere else. In this competitive environment, that’s always going to happen. But everybody who has remained with the program is committed to trying to help us win in whatever capacity, and that’s a reflection of the coaches.
TP: Setting Notre Dame aside and speaking in general terms, what are your thoughts in general as it relates to the coach-in-waiting concept?
JS: I’m going to answer it as a hypothetical because I don’t want it to be interpreted as a direct comment on our football program. My philosophy has been consistent. The only circumstances under which I would do something like that is if I was absolutely certain about the head coach’s timetable, the timetable was soon, and I thought we had absolutely the right person to succeed the current head coach.
I knew Muffet’s timetable. We both felt strongly about Niele’s (Ivey) abilities and the choice of her succeeding Muffet. So we had that understanding with Niele. We didn’t announce it publicly. I don’t see any value in doing that. But I knew Muffet’s timetable.
In the circumstance where there’s any uncertainty about the head coach’s timetable, I’d never go down that road. I think that causes confusion in the program. I think it sends a mixed message to the kids and I think it can be destabilizing for the head coach.
TP: As it applies to Brian Kelly, you know his timetable. His contract runs through 2024, although I guess you don’t know what he’ll want to do at the end of his current contract.
JS: I know the term of this contract. That’s what I know. In my experience, no coach knows until they get to that point. You can think you do at the front end of the contract, but you have to see how it develops. We’ll know more as that time approaches.
since it's slow with the bye week, here is a question I saw and thought was interesting. Who would you rather add to this class - Donovan Edwards (top 50 player) or Kevin Gilliam (top 100 player?
I think I'd go for Gilliam. Would rather have an top level DE Khalid Kareem type player.
City of Clemson or Athens? If Clemson, I would argue that we don't have a city, its more so a town and it is really, really small. I could absolutely see how it might not appeal to people. If you are talking about Athens, then I would have to disagree. That place is/was an absolute blast. Though maybe it wouldn't be as enjoyable now that I am a moderately functioning adult and not a barely functioning college student.
Id rather have Edwards because fuck michigan
Blake Fisher has been doing the eyeballs tweet every day this week. Also tagged Donovan Edwards in a picture with him and Colzie saying "time to recreate this" or something like that.
Is our recruiting no longer boring?
Clemson, for the exact reason you listed. Its crazy rural, and if I were a black recruit thinking South Bend is too white, that place would scare me. I used it only because I've seen it.
Agreed that Athens is fucking awesome though.
Still pretty boring
Loy said we have 2 silent commits so Caleb Johnson and Kia from Hawaii
if we can land 1 of Gilliam/Edwards/Ceyair, that would be a crazy good haul. Landing more than 1 of these guys takes this class to the next level
Also, Loy said he things we take 24/25 kids this year and we're probably going to have to turn down some top level olinemen next year
How many they at now and does that count dropping Abiara?
Yes counts getting rid of that kid (who by all accounts has no chance of a committable offer(
without Abiara, we are at 20. Add in Kia and Caleb and then we're at 22. If we can hit the grand slam and land Gilliam/Edwards/Ceyair, that puts us at 25 and would be the best class of the Kelly Era imo
it would be bang in line with the 2013 class which is based on recruiting rankings the best class out there
21. Kia just committed.
Take a second and think of this quote from the kid
As a kid watching Manti Te’o when I was in kindergarten and then he goes to Notre Dame
and sounds like Caleb Johnson will commit tonight or tomorrow (publicly)
it's a real shame that Titus only wants to play WR, he'd be a fantastic pickup at Safety and could really cement that Hawaiian pipeline
Also, Kia's teammate is Tevarua Tafiti and he's going to be a top level Vyper next year and it sounds like he's pretty much on board with ND based on all the interviews he's done
if he's as good as his kurt has been, i say bring him on!
II sounds pretty confident ND will get Gilliam on the podcast
Didn’t know Kurt had a brother. I imagine he will commit fairly quickly
yes please, had no idea he had a brother either but based on the comments of those who have seen him play, he's got the same nasty streak which goes a long way
the way Loy is talking, it sounds like it's just about done. I do hope Gilliam can get to campus though, it would make me feel a lot better about his commitment
He throws someone first play so I’m on board.
Per twitter, Lou Holtz has COVID.
I present this without comment.
Hope he beats it
Dude has a mean streak, I like that.
Fuck Lou Holtz imo. Dude was wrongfully screwed out of the '93 Natty, but fuck him all the same.
Hope he lives, won’t be near as upset if he doesn’t as I would have a couple years ago.
Also how bout Ndukwe
this is a wild story
Covid is bad
Don't "really" wish it on anybody
Nice we flipped that Au commit
where is this at?
He changed his Twitter bio to being a ND commit but hasn’t said anything yet. Haha
It’s up on II now
Tom has spoken
This class is massive. Not a single guy listed under 6” and they have 3 6’7” guys committed.
Sampson is telegraphing Gilliam too
Should be doing smash burgers, but it’s ok
They look awful
Outside of greasy ass food, I guess Kia is going to take his mission after year one.
what happened to you