|Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 9:21 AM- -|
Monday we wrote a blog about
Jack LeggettJack Leggett
Baseball Head Coach
View Full Profile and his comments about fan support. I have seen all of the head coaches in the major sports at Clemson since the mid-1970s. Some handle it great while others struggle.
Here is a list of the guys who have handled it best through the years:
Coach Ford was a master in the post-game press conference. Actually he would intimidate the media and got very few difficult questions. A new writer from the Anderson-Independent asked about why practice was closed to the media. Coach Ford responded, "Hey buddy, I don't come to your office and watch you type, so you don't come to mine and watch me coach."
Ford was brilliant in handling the press conference after wins and even better after losses. After a win, Ford would congratulate the opponent for a well-played game and brag on their players and staff. He would then give credit to his players for their effort and tell the media that his staff did a wonderful job getting the team ready.
After a loss Ford would congratulate the other team and staff. He then would say the loss was his fault and he took full responsibility for the loss. He would never blame his staff or players. The loss was his responsibility and he would say that he did not have his team ready to play.
This message played well with the fan base. He learned it from Bear Bryant, his coach at Alabama. He also knew that if you won enough, you had equity. Ford's message was accepted more after the 1981 national title than it was after the 1979 and 1980 seasons.
Yesterday morning on my radio show, Larry Williams from tigerillustrated.com called Brownell a realist in terms of assessing his team. I agree that Brownell is frank and honest when asked his team after a win or loss.
Brownell doesn't sugarcoat losses or make excuses. Often times he says the other team is better or played better or made more shots. He often talks about how skilled the other team was. He is probably harder on his team than most coaches but I think it plays well with the fans.
I think fans appreciate honesty and would rather not hear excuses or unrealistic evaluations of his program. They don't want to hear how close they are if they are not. They don't want to hear about injuries. They don't need excuses. They want honesty and Brownell is a master at that.
No one was more honest than former Clemson baseball coach Bill Wilhelm. In the early 1980s I remember comments he made to the press after a game in Columbia against South Carolina. Wilhelm was heckled by the third base fans at old Sarge Frye Field. He asked the fans after the game what their athletic department has ever done to be proud of? He said the programs had never won anything. When asked about it by the press he told them the same thing.
I was in the dugout the day former Clemson outfielder Brian Kowitz won the ACC Player of the Year Award. Wilhelm was asked by the media what made Kowitz a great hitter. He responded, "Fellas, I'm not trying to be a smart ass but Kowitz puts the center of the bat on the center of the ball more often than anyone in the league. That's why he was the best hitter in the league." That's honesty.
In the end, I think fans want the truth or something close to it. But also I understand that if you win you can say anything, and if you lose few words matter.
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We have started a prayer list on the blog. Here are the guidelines:
If you are offended by prayer or prayer lists then I apologize in advance. The blog is free and the prayer list will be on the bottom of the page so you don’t have to read it.
If you would like to add someone to the list please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Please let me know when it is appropriate to take the person off of the prayer list.
Those who need our prayers include: Finn Brookover, Jo Ann Bachman, Kenneth Bryant, Pruitt Martin, Got Igers and his family, David Rowland, Leonard, Gillespie and his family, Jim S., Daniel Rosborough, the Huffman family, Nancy Winkler, John Reeve, Vinnie Brock, Kaitlyn L., Susan Miller, Joyce Harley, Steve Proveaux, Jeffrey Greene, the Hutto family, Sherl Drawdy, Caleb Kennedy, Teresa O'Connor, Matt Jacobs, Perrin Seigler, Candee Massee, Lindsey Jordan, Sam Catoe, Tyler Felch, the Nicolopulos family, "the Jacksonville, FL guys," Kim Sims, the Coyle family, Ryleigh Tedder, Steve Lee, Kelly Trakas, Jimmy Moore, the Thomas V. family, Emary Claire Young, Kitty Bowers, Julie Locke, the Scheider family, Lauren Kittles' family, Frank Gentry, Joyce Bussey, Stacey McKeown, Dale Childs, Larry Lentz, Jr., Carl Sharperson, Scott Hannon, William Perry, Tyler Swaney, Lillian, Mark Feit, David Frame, Chad Berry, the family of Matthew M. Watson, the Dowis family, Alan Putnam, the Olivers, Lee Tate, Ronnie Abrams, Eddie Greene, the Jackson family, Bill Vader, Jim Taylor, Tina DeWitt, Rock Horne, Bobby Wayne Thomas, Emma and Danielle Carothers, Robert Ditty, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Dot Cartee, Ayden Mills, Millie Heatley, Lynn Martin and family, Michael Pinson, Jake David family, Angie Crowley, Ira, Mike Tolson, Poly Wells, Dr. Muriel Bishop, Jack Cunningham, Emily Jefford Meister, Zachary Stoller, Aaron Clackum, Pat James, Cortney Moore, William Moore, Angelia and Savannah Anderson, William Ross, Scott Johns, Frank Carroll, Brandon Thompson, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Clay Childers, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders, Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Amanda Peake, Danny Hammond, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, the Sturkey family, the Lance family, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, J.R. Ray, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Doug Bailey and family, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Harlan Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Edward Easterling, Dawson Bourne, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack Cunningham, Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Jim Lanier, Bob Garrett, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Jeanne Thompson, Sean Rowell, George Parker, Levon Kirkland and family, Catherine Sewell, Randy Davenport, Patrick Destefano, David Vaughn, Keith Dalton, B.T., Bill Hilbig, Rita Elrod Hammond and family, Jim McKeller, Tony Alewine, Sharon Storck, Dick Baird, Mark Whiten, and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.