The Morning Stake: March 9th


Happy Birthday to Me and Mike Leach. Yes, today is Mike Leach’s birthday and also my birthday, so make sure and wish the Captain a happy birthday.

New Campus Photos. Totally Texas Tech’s TTU Red has some more terrific pictures of the campus from the spring.




Coach of the Year. Congrats to Texas Tech head basketball coach Tubby Smith for being named the Sporting News Coach of the Year. I have to pinch myself sometimes to realize how terrific this year has been.

“And when you take it, you don’t know all the facts until you take the job. And then you take it and it’s, ‘Oh, my goodness.’ Everybody goes through doubt after a while: Can you turn it around? But I knew I had great friends in the business: high school coaches, junior college coaches, great recruiting contacts, a good staff. I think that’s the key: players, fans, administration hearing the same message.”

Smith began building his approach to coaching from the very start of his college coaching career. He worked for J.D. Barnett at VCU during a period when the Rams won three conference titles. He then became an assistant at South Carolina under George Felton, where he met the great Frank McGuire, who became a mentor.

“I asked, ‘What advice would you give me, for when I get a head coaching job in Division I?’ ” Smith said. “His whole thing was, first thing, image. How do you want people to perceive you? Do you want to travel in a sweatsuit? How do you want people to see you? And the second thing was, you have to have a system and a philosophy that you can teach, and is something they will enjoy playing, that you can sell to your administration and that you know inside and out. And the last thing he said: scheduling.”

Best. Coach. Ever.


Flipping. Sweet. Mustache.

Rule Changes. The NCAA released new rules changes (these are not direct quotes, just a quick summary on my end).

1. The replay officials can review and even stop play if the refs didn’t see a targeting case.

2. Coaches can use electronic devices in the press box and locker room during the game, but not on the field.

3. Officials will enforce the 3-yard limit for ineligible receivers downfield.

4. The rules dealing with low blocks were adjusted to prohibit a player who leaves the tackle box from blocking below the waist toward the initial position of the ball.

5. The rules pertaining to a defenseless player will include a ball carrier who has clearly given himself up by sliding feet first.

6. The deliberate tripping of the ball carrier (with the leg) was approved as a foul.

Foster Ready. LAJ’s Don Williams writes that new running backs coach DeShaun Foster is ready to to lead:

During the interview process, Foster said, Kingsbury wanted to get to know him as a person. One other key issue, Foster perceived, was Kingsbury’s desire to hire “good people who can lead a room” and help players succeed off the field.

“I think it helped that I had the player-development job at UCLA,” Foster said, “to show that I was helping the guys with academics and make sure they’re going to class, make sure they’re getting their degree, make sure I’m trying to get them internships — just get them ready for life after football.

“We all have expiration dates — we just don’t know when it is — with football, so you’ve got to prepare that way. I’m going to try to bring that here, teach these guys the same thing.”

Jones Eager to Coach. RRS’s Will McKay writes that receivers coach Emmett Jones is ready to coach after learning being around how a college program works:

“Just freedom. I feel like I can get back to doing what I’m used to doing, what I’ve been doing the last 14 years. Being around kids, watching them learn, seeing these guys, and paying attention to the details, so everybody is eager. We’re fired up.”

And like any good coach or teacher, Jones spent the last year getting a real introduction to what college football is about, making the adjustment, and learning a whole lot from head coach Kliff Kingsbury about Texas Tech football.

“For one, it’s been priceless just being around him, just to learn from him. I’ve been watching him the last five, six years, tried to pattern my style after him. I had to get here and kind of figure out the Texas Tech way, see how everything operates here, see what the kids are like at this level. Being around them the last eight months, nothing really seemed too much different to me. Kids are gonna be kids. But, it’s just been awesome to be around these guys, figure out how they operate on this level, and get an understanding, get acclimated to the Texas Tech way.”

Notebooky. LAJ’s Don Williams has a notebook of things (As is the case with everything I link. There is always more quotes and stuff there, I try to just take a small portion of the article and always encourage you to go read the whole thing and most of this stuff is summarized in from the video above.):

  • Dylan Cantrell is 100% and ready to go, said he had a problem with his Sacroiliac function last year, but he’s full speed as of right now.
  • Ian Sadler is sitting out this spring for the most part as he had a “procedure” on his knee. The move is precautionary and he’s walking, just not practicing.
  • Cameron Batson, as of right now, is the guy that’s in the driver’s seat to replace Jakeem Grant.
  • Zach Austin is the guy that made the highlight catch today on a pass from Jett Duffey.

Miscellaneous. AthlonSports has one of those overview sort of articles about Texas Tech and the spring . . . the official site has another photo gallery that’s worth your time (first day in pads) . . .

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