I recently had the extreme privilege of going to the PSU Coaches Caravan stop in the Lehigh Valley. It was a wonderful evening, lots of people were there and some interesting stories and info from the coaches. I actually got the tickets for me and my mother for mother’s day, so those who are getting your mothers flowers…yeah this was much better a gift.
Once I got there, I was walking around then began to notice a large crowd gathers in a corner of the room, only to see Coach meeting people and signing autographs and taking pictures. He was very friendly and seemed to really enjoy meeting people and talking to everyone he could. He was very friendly, joked a lot with people and didn’t turn people away, until he had to go actually give his speech. I also was very pleased to get to meet and talk with Coquese Washington. I told her when I meet her that if she didn’t come back to PSU, I was going to burn down the AD offices, with the many torches and pitchforks I collected since Nov. She thought that was funny, I sort of wasn’t joking about that part.
During the speeches there were a few items I thought I would share with everyone. First up was Coach Greg Nye, the Men’s Golf Coach for the past 20 years. He talked a bit about how tournaments are played and the great accomplishments the team has done in the past. First teams from the Northeast and first in the BIG to go to NCAA’s and qualify for the final round, ever. Nye also said that all golfers around the country put their name on their golf bags…except PSU. Nye then told a few stories, once at a tournament down south, the team was playing and saw a few people watching with PSU gear, and then stopped to say hello and talk to the spectators. The next year those same spectators came back, and looked for Coach Nye to tell them how wonderful the team was for stopping to see that they were there again and say hello and thank them for coming to see them play.
At another tournament, there were around 150 volunteers throughout the course, ball spotting and helping spectators. Nye said it wasn’t till towards the end of the day that many of these volunteers came up to him to say that the PSU team purposefully stopped to thank as many of them as possible for helping out that day. Nye didn’t know the team was doing this until much later, and said he never specifically told them to do it.
Finally, Nye concluded by saying that once the team was stuck in an airport overnight. Before they were able to board the plane, the security detail all thanked Nye, since the team was talking to them and being very nice to them and thanking them for helping with whatever was needed. Finally the head of security stopped Nye as he headed onto the plane and said that he truly had a very special group of students, for how well then represented them and generally wanted to thank everyone in the terminal (that was meet with a large We Are…Penn State).
Coquese was up next, she didn’t say much. She say that there are 2 McDonald’s All Americans recruits coming on campus next year to help the team out. She wanted to thank everyone for the support that her team and she received all season long and hope that they can do even better next year. Coquese also spent time talking about how special PSU was and why she decided to stay.
Finally Coach BoB. He spent a lot of time talking about his philosophy, much of what we have heard already. He talked about the signs going into and out of the Lasch building and the meaning behind the phrases. His emphasis on academics, integrity respect and football was discussed. From his speech, you can tell that Coach is a very intense and energetic person, and very engaging.
During the Q&A, O’Brien stated that the uniforms were not going to be changed, ever. He also was asked about, not directly but he joked this was clearly aimed at him, about the relaxed looks for players. He stated that the hair can only be so long, just below the ears, and the team cannot wear earrings or jeweler in the Lasch building. Basically he said, if it directly involves the team, or winning football games, he is not overly concerned about it. Basically he said, these are kids, let them be such. BoB did state, when asked, that the NCAA prohibits him any contact with the players all summer, which he feels is ridiculous, especially coming from the NFL where there is no such thing.
Finally, someone asked him about the field. He said that the BIG logo on the field was put there by the BIG and he has absolutely no control over that, so expect to see that from now on the field, thanks to Delany. He also said that at some point in the future there will be some changes to the design of the end zones, such as the old school stripes, and possibly something small mid field, for 1 or 2 games. Nothing has been finalized yet but it is in the works.
All in all an amazing night, if you have the chance, do yourself a favor and go to one of these Caravan stops, you will be glad you did.
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