When people think about the organization hierarchy of a football program, they obviously start at the top with the head coach, who, in the case of flagship state schools around the country, is oftentimes the highest-paid public employee in the state. That makes sense. Good head coaches (read: executives) set the tone for their program with their own persona and way of doing things, and everybody else, from assistant coaches to graduate assistants to interns to players, follows suit behind. Rare are the programs where the identity comes from someone or something else. In that situation, it's most likely the school itself or perhaps the coordinators who do the moving and the shaking.
With that in mind, the fact that even the most in-depth looks behind-the-scenes invariably focus on these upper echelons of football leadership is no surprise. Most schools probably don't give you the kind of access to look deeper, anyway. For the series that started today from Zach Barnett of FootballScoop.com, Baylor surprisingly did. And we, the viewing public, are now being rewarded with perhaps the best look yet at how our football team actually works. For today's piece, Barnett interviewed Baylor's graduate assistants, the men who probably have the most in-person coaching time with our players but about whom we generally know very little. Unless they're Dominique Zeigler, anyway, and you remember this.
Just a few excerpts from the piece where the GAs were talking about the various coaches--
About Chris Achuff, Baylor's DL coach:
The best way I can describe him is, his light switch was turned on and broken. It never got turned off. There is no off switch. He’s a great coach. I’ve learned a lot from him. Both of them are great mentors. But Coach Acuff is on, it’s broken, and it just got left on.
Randy Clements, OL:
He’s really quirky. He’s just got a completely different outlook on everything, to me. He’s a guy that, if we’re sitting in there and everybody’s looking at something and you ask what you see, you’ll get eight answers that are the same and his will be the opposite end of the spectrum.
Jeff Lebby, RBs (definitely gives a glimpse into why he's such a good recruiter):
He’s a people person. He’ll do anything for anybody. He always wants to make sure you’re taken care of. And he’s the same way with his players. All of them will battle for him. They all love him. And it seems like the ones that come in with the wrong mindset or something like that, he always sways them. Lache’s a perfect example. He didn’t play early, he wasn’t ready to play. I don’t know that he necessarily understood that but once he’s around Lebby he didn’t question it. He knew his time would come.
Anyway, I highly suggest you take a few minutes to read the piece, and we'll be posting the rest as they come out. Like I said above, you don't often get to hear from the GAs, particularly when it comes to the personalities and tendencies of the coaching staff, so it's definitely worth your time.