College Football 2011: The 10 Most Media-Savvy Coaches
During a game, coaches interact with plenty of people including their own players, other coaches, referees and various others.
Perhaps the most daunting scenario during an entire Saturday for a coach is the press conference following the game.
From the cameras, to reporters and all of those fun questions they ask.
There are 10 coaches in college football the stand out above all the rest when it comes to working a microphone.
Robb Akey, Idaho
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Akey’s the type of guy who was born to coach and it's easy to tell.
The Idaho Vandals’ head man projects a calm, but firm, demeanor behind the microphone and provides concise, detailed answers.
He’ll heap praise on either team, but constructively criticizes his own when necessary.
Key Quote: "Having an opponent like this is a damn good thing because we're going to play someone like that when we get to the bowl.
And we're going to go out and play folks from here on out who aren't Nebraska, we will play teams from the WAC and the Mountain West Conference and this game will help us."
Steve Sarkisian, University of Washington
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Sarkisian is a young, level-headed coach who is engaging, energetic and pleasant in general.
His demeanor is inviting, prompting a very calm meeting with the press.
He projects himself and represents his university very well.
Key Quote: “Definitely there is pressure. I wouldn't be human if I did not say so, but when you get faced with pressure you can go one of two ways. You can take it on and get excited about it, or you can shy away and hide.”
Butch Davis, University of North Carolina
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Sometimes working with the media isn’t all about the money.
Butch Davis is the master of semantics.
If you asked him if the sun would rise tomorrow, he’d ask you, “Over what horizon on which planet in what solar system?”
While Davis’ actual coaching success has been varied as of late, his tongue needs to be put up with the rest of the silver.
Key Quote: “When friends would call and say something about this job or that job, I told them, 'The answer is the same as it was three weeks ago, two weeks ago: I am not coaching [elsewhere] next season.'"
Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech
Whether at Auburn or Texas Tech, Tuberville always projected a soft, Southern charm that comforted those around him and rarely led to a heated moment.
Much like Sarkisian he is very engaging and gives quality sound bytes to those who need them.
Key Quote: “Respect—you have to earn that and we didn't early in the season. We were forgot about for a while, and we're kinda moving back up.”
Gary Patterson, TCU
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It’s a common thought that a football team inherits its personality from its head coach.
If that’s the case, then TCU truly is a humble team.
Patterson isn’t easily flustered and is very focused in his communication as well.
It’s no wonder that big-time programs want him on their sidelines and 2011 looks to only add to that want.
Key Quote: “I said going into the ballgame that I thought there was a little bit of an advantage in having a senior quarterback. He gave me a scare...and I told him to never do it again.”
Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
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Big Game Bob rarely blows an interview.
In fact, he’s one of the most polished coaches in the game today when it comes to working the crowd.
Of course, being calm, cool and collected comes easy when you’re winning conference championships left and right.
Key Quote: "“They outplayed us and outcoached us in most all areas,...I felt we would be stronger and have a little more attitude than this. I told the players that just because you've done it before doesn't mean you're going to do it again. They may have tuned me out.”
Jim Tressel, Ohio State
The Vest knows how to handle a microphone just as well as a clipboard.
Tressel is very up-front and to the point, but courteous and gives reporters all that they need to write a story.
He is also very appreciative of his talent and makes sure to give all manner of praise to his charges when they perform to their abilities.
Key Quote: “I would have preferred that he had gotten some live snaps and some live butterflies (last week), but that's not the case. As soon as he gets hit by one of those white helmets, he'll be ready to go.”
Steve Spurrier, South Carolina
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If there’s anyone with a gift for gab it certainly is the Ole Ball Coach.
Spurrier has always given quality sound bites whether at Florida or at his current home at South Carolina.
While he can be animated, he still remains poised and under control for the most part.
Key Quote: "All I can say is that I'm going to try to coach the way I've coached in the past. And if it ends up not being good enough, then so be it."
Ron Zook, Illinois
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“The Zooker” is known for his personality, even before his coaching skill.
Zook constantly praises those around him and gives plenty of credit to both teams.
Perhaps after his coaching career concludes, he can enter the world of motivational speaking.
Key Quote: “The reason our student-athletes are here is to get an education. I can't emphasize enough how important it is that each player take care of business in the classroom before they can do it on the field.”
Joe Paterno, Penn State
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While JoePa may be up there in years, his press conference nearly feel like family dinners if the atmosphere is any indication.
Paterno is a legend, but he’s a soft-spoken gent from Brooklyn who isn’t too quick to pat himself on the back.
He’ll give all of his kids their due and forgive large mistakes before accepting praise for making it on time after a big win.
Key Quote: "Its the name on the front of the jersey that matters most, not the one on the back."
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