Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I am erect right now

From a 1998 Globe article on the UMass national championship team:

''I told someone earlier in the week that it definitely was not going to be a 10-9 game,'' Whipple said. The coach went on to say that he thought ''45 [points] would be enough to get it done.'' He did not smile when he said that. Think about it: It's one thing to say that your team needs 45 points to win. It's quite another to have confidence in your team's ability to score 45.

That's only one reason Marcum should be a little nervous this morning. Whipple took a team that was 2-9 last season and turned it into the best group in the country. In only one year. He tinkered with his quarterback, got a 100-meter champion from Florida [Jimmy Moore] to play receiver, and recruited a few other players. But he basically took the core from a last-place team and produced 12 wins. He is also an offensive nut. He instructed his team to begin the game with an outrageous five-receiver flood set called, ''Chattanooga.'' He promised the players that they would run that play to begin the game, regardless of starting position. He said he did it to ''break up the tension'' on the sideline.

Then there is Whipple's play-calling. He likes to go for it on fourth down, even if he can feel the shadow of his own end zone. Against Lehigh, the Minutemen went for it on fourth and 1 from their own 28. They made it. Yesterday, Whipple was about to go for an onside kick late in the second quarter and his team up 17 points. Georgia Southern coach Paul Johnson noticed this and put his hands team on the field. Whipple was in their heads early. They couldn't make halftime adjustments because what exactly were they going to adjust to? Big-time programs pay attention to people like Whipple. Don't be surprised in a couple weeks when his name pops up as someone's coaching candidate for 1999.

Whipple's players were thanking him yesterday. He was the one who told them to get over their low expectations and think about a title. He wasn't always nice when he said it either. He once got on Shipp during a road trip because he was not wearing a tie. He is a man of details and discipline. The players learned to absorb those qualities. Yesterday they practiced them.



At 3:29 PM, Blogger Alex L. said...

It might be worth it even to over pay this guy. Think of it as an investment for future returns.

At 11:20 AM, Blogger DougBushBC said...

Hey alex, Levy and I started up our own little BC Sports Blog, Heights and Lows, kinda a good cop bad cop idea, we are one day old and still setting everything up, but linked yours and would love if you linked ours. Thanks man!

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Alex F. said...

Done, looks great so far

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