Orlando University, Evans part with football coaches after two seasons

The high school football seasons ended at Evans High and Orlando University with head coaching changes last week for each program.



a man that is standing in the grass: Vernon Mitchell addresses the Evans High football team following a spring practice during his first season in 2019.


© Chris Hays / Orlando Sentinel/Orlando Sentinel/TNS
Vernon Mitchell addresses the Evans High football team following a spring practice during his first season in 2019.

First-year head coach Vernon Mitchell is out at Evans, as is Tyrone Sapp at University, after landing those positions just two years ago.

Openings for both jobs were made public Wednesday. Evans is accepting applications through Dec. 11. University’s deadline is this Sunday.

“I was told that they wanted to go in a different direction with the program,” Mitchell said. “I appreciate [principal Rolando] Bailey for the opportunity. It was a great learning experience for me. I just wish I had more time to work with these kids. The players made my time here worthwhile.”

Evans went 5-5 in Mitchell’s first season in 2019, which marked the program’s best effort since going 9-3 in 2012. The Trojans finished this fall at 2-5 after losing 34-32 vs. Lake Brantley in a Class 8A region play-in game.

“My initial goals were to create a winning culture and be highly competitive here and leave the program in a better situation than when I found it. I think I accomplished that,” Mitchell said. “Anybody that competed against us and watched us play saw a better product on the field.”

Mitchell, 44, previously spent 15 years as an assistant coach in Orange County at West Orange, Boone and Freedom. A Miami Central product, Mitchell played defensive back at Florida A&M before spending four seasons in the Canadian Football League.

Sapp, a 1999 Dr. Phillips grad and former Bethune-Cookman lineman, was not surprised when he was informed last Monday of the school’s intention to make a change. The Cougars went 1-9 in 2019 and 0-9 this season.

“They initiated the process, and I agreed with it,” said Sapp, who wrapped up his 16th year of coaching. “I wish University nothing but the best. We really worked hard these last two years.”

Sapp went 8-3 in his only other season as a head coach at Oak Ridge in 2015. He spent the next three years as an assistant at Jones before joining UHS, where his son is a sophomore player and his daughter is a freshman.

Sapp said he will pursue an assistant position at another Orange County school and continue to run an offensive-lineman training academy.

A relief school for Dr. Phillips and Freedom, one of two new schools scheduled to open in the county in 2021, is taking applications for its football coaching position through Dec. 4.

This article originally appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email J.C. Carnahan at [email protected]

———

©2020 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at www.OrlandoSentinel.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Continue Reading

Source Article

Read more

Not all college football coaches like ‘showy’ off day for election but move sends right message

There has been no better example of a professional stereotype come to life than four years ago when Alabama coach Nick Saban famously said the day after the 2016 election that he didn’t even realize it had happened. 

College football coaches keep getting richer

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

“We’re focused on other things here,” he said. 

Whether it was true, it’ll be impossible for Saban — or any coach — to say the same this year. That’s because the NCAA, picking up on an idea that started at Georgia Tech, decided last month to make it an official policy for all Division I athletes to have Election Day off. In other words, any coach who schedules a practice for next Tuesday would be violating NCAA rules. 



a group of people on a field: College football practice fields will be quiet on Election Day, something that does not thrill all coaches.


© Keith Srakocic, AP
College football practice fields will be quiet on Election Day, something that does not thrill all coaches.

From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day.

You might be surprised to learn that even amidst the protests against racial inequality and police brutality that many of their players participated in this summer, some college football coaches aren’t that keen on the disruption to their normal week.

Postseason: Bowl projections: Big Ten’s opening weekend shakes up College Football Playoff outlook

More: With two quarterbacks testing positive for COVID-19, Wisconsin might be down to a fourth-stringer

In a lot of programs, Tuesdays are the most important practice day where much of the gameplan for the following week’s opponent gets introduced. Plus, a lot of coaches aren’t convinced the off day will serve much of a purpose, given that many of their players have to vote by out-of-state absentee ballot anyway or availed themselves of early voting. 

“We’ve worked very hard with our team so that anybody that wasn’t registered is now registered, and we’ve had our people administratively help them get their ballots, make sure they’re voting and have voted,” said Duke’s David Cutcliffe. “So I think it’s a little more showy, honestly — I’ll just say it like it is — than it has purpose.”

Cutcliffe is hardly alone. Clemson’s Dabo Swinney told reporters earlier this month he “didn’t really understand the day off thing” and wasn’t happy about having to move things around before a key game against Notre Dame. Louisville’s Scott Satterfield said the day off won’t help his players vote, since nearly all of them have already done it. 

“I understand the premise and the NCAA saying we’re going to focus on that. I get it,” Satterfield said. “But our guys have already handled their business with it.”

In a sense, you can understand where they’re coming from. Good coaches are generally task-oriented and don’t like to waste time, so if they’ve already done the necessary things to help their players vote, what’s the point of wasting a day on which they’re not going to actually be voting? 

But the counterargument for that is much more persuasive, and

Read more

College football coaches not all happy with NCAA Election Day rule

CLOSE

SportsPulse: USA TODAY’s Steve Berkowitz says that if there’s one key takeaway from this year’s College Football Coaches Compensation Survey, it’s that the price tag for NCAAF head coaches keep going up.

There has been no better example of a professional stereotype come to life than four years ago when Alabama coach Nick Saban famously said the day after the 2016 election that he didn’t even realize it had happened. 

“We’re focused on other things here,” he said. 

Whether it was true, it’ll be impossible for Saban — or any coach — to say the same this year. That’s because the NCAA, picking up on an idea that started at Georgia Tech, decided last month to make it an official policy for all Division I athletes to have Election Day off. In other words, any coach who schedules a practice for next Tuesday would be violating NCAA rules. 

You might be surprised to learn that even amidst the protests against racial inequality and police brutality that many of their players participated in this summer, some college football coaches aren’t that keen on the disruption to their normal week.

College football practice fields will be quiet on Election Day, something that does not thrill all coaches. (Photo: Keith Srakocic, AP)

Postseason: Bowl projections: Big Ten’s opening weekend shakes up College Football Playoff outlook

More: With two quarterbacks testing positive for COVID-19, Wisconsin might be down to a fourth-stringer

In a lot of programs, Tuesdays are the most important practice day where much of the gameplan for the following week’s opponent gets introduced. Plus, a lot of coaches aren’t convinced the off day will serve much of a purpose, given that many of their players have to vote by out-of-state absentee ballot anyway or availed themselves of early voting. 

“We’ve worked very hard with our team so that anybody that wasn’t registered is now registered, and we’ve had our people administratively help them get their ballots, make sure they’re voting and have voted,” said Duke’s David Cutcliffe. “So I think it’s a little more showy, honestly — I’ll just say it like it is — than it has purpose.”

Cutcliffe is hardly alone. Clemson’s Dabo Swinney told reporters earlier this month he “didn’t really understand the day off thing” and wasn’t happy about having to move things around before a key game against Notre Dame. Louisville’s Scott Satterfield said the day off won’t help his players vote, since nearly all of them have already done it. 

“I understand the premise and the NCAA saying we’re going to focus on that. I get it,” Satterfield said. “But our guys have already handled their business with it.”

In a sense, you can understand where they’re coming from. Good coaches are generally task-oriented and don’t like to waste time, so if they’ve already done the necessary things to help their players vote, what’s the point of wasting a day on which they’re not going to actually be voting? 

But the counterargument for that is

Read more

College coaches working to drive voter turnout among athletes

CLOSE

USA TODAY Sports’ Paul Myerberg breaks down the latest Amway Coaches Poll.

USA TODAY

Towson associate women’s basketball coach Zach Kancher logged on to a Zoom call one evening last week and pulled up his latest scouting report. It started with the schedule, then information on personnel, then a series of strategies and tendencies that he knew would be critical in the weeks ahead.

Kancher has put together hundreds of scouting reports like this over the course of his coaching career. But this one had nothing to do with a game, and he wasn’t presenting it to his own team. He was helping members of Pittsburgh’s athletic department prepare to get out the vote.

“You put it in the framework, the language that coaches and student-athletes find acceptable,” Kancher said. “And now it creates a lot more clarity as far as what’s going on.”

As Election Day nears, coaches like Kancher have been at the center of a get-out-the-vote groundswell in college athletics, where athletic department officials are going to new lengths this year to ensure that their athletes cast their ballots by Nov. 3.

The NCAA’s Division I Council did its part last month by voting to prohibit athletically-related activities, including practices and games, on Election Day. Meanwhile, dozens of athletic departments have held voter registration drives and ensured that 100% of their eligible athletes are registered to vote, from Oregon and DePaul to California State University, Los Angeles and Yale.

Members of the Auburn football team registered to vote last month. (Photo: Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics, Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics)

Other schools have hit the same threshold at the team level, with entire rosters registering to vote, sometimes as a group. At the University of Missouri, for example, more than 60 football players marched in June from their campus to a local courthouse to register en masse shortly after George Floyd’s death.

“Our country’s created to make change through our elective bodies,” Missouri football coach Eli Drinkwitz told reporters on a teleconference last week. “That’s how the founding fathers have established it. That’s the way that we get to voice who we’re for and what we’re for.”

‘NO MORE EXCUSES’: Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse urging Americans in Canada to vote

Though athletes have been the driving force behind many of these voting initiatives, there’s been a notable shift on voting from coaches. Many have long encouraged their athletes to vote, often privately or individually. But this year, they have collectively embraced and emphasized get-out-the-vote efforts like rarely before — often orchestrating team-wide voting initiatives that might have, in previous election cycles, felt like a step too far into the political realm.

Kancher, who is in his fourth season at Towson, is both evidence and at the center of that shift.

Earlier this summer, as the deaths of Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black men and women sparked protests around the country, Kancher said he saw athletes who were looking for ways to turn their emotions into

Read more

AP Top 25, Coaches Poll rankings after Week 8

The Big Ten couldn’t make it a single week of play before experiencing its first massive upset of the season.

That came in the form of No. 8 Penn State’s 36-35 overtime loss to Indiana, replete with myriad mistakes by the Nittany Lions. It was the first Penn State loss to Indiana since 2013, and the Hoosiers’ first top-10 win since 1987. That very nearly knocks the Nittany Lions out of the College Football Playoff run, but a Week 9 win against No. 5 Ohio State — which dominated Nebraska 52-17 — could go a long way in building back trust in James Franklin’s team.

Either way, Penn State doesn’t look like the Big Ten’s best bet to dethrone the Buckeyes. That moniker now goes to Michigan after the 18th-ranked Wolverines beat No. 21 Minnesota 49-24 in Minneapolis off a strong debut from quarterback Joe Milton.

MORE: Big Ten overreactions from opening weekend

Elsewhere, No. 1 Clemson and No. 2 Alabama continued to dominate in wins over Syracuse and Tennessee, respectively. And No. 9 Cincinnati proved itself the top Group of 5 team by dismantling No. 16 SMU 42-13.

With that, here are the latest AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll rankings after the Week 8 slate of games:

College football polls updated after Week 8

Coaches Poll

Rank Team Points (No. 1 votes) W-L
1 Clemson 1,540 (52) 6-0
2 Alabama 1,493 (8) 5-0
3 Ohio State 1,374 (2) 1-0
4 Notre Dame 1,368 5-0
5 Georgia 1,293 3-1
6 Oklahoma State 1,209 4-0
7 Cincinnati 1,058 4-0
8 Texas A&M 1,055 3-1
9 Florida 1,010 2-1
10 BYU 941 6-0
11 Wisconsin 928 1-0
12 Miami 911 5-1
13 North Carolina 796 4-1
14 Michigan 789 1-0
15 Oregon 674 0-0
16 Kansas State 592 4-1
17 Penn State 413 0-1
18 Marshall 309 5-0
19 Indiana 302 1-0
20 USC 271 0-0
21 Coastal Carolina 268 5-0
22 Iowa State 215 3-2
23 SMU 192 5-1
24 Oklahoma 138 3-2
25 Army 130 6-1

Moved in: Indiana; Oklahoma; Army.

Others receiving votes: Auburn 118; Liberty 112; Memphis 88; Boise State 79; Minnesota 67; UL Lafayette 62; Utah 45; Louisiana State 37; Boston College 28; Purdue 26; Missouri 25; Northwestern 24; Virginia Tech 22; NC State 20; Tulsa 18; Texas 18; Arkansas 17; Appalachian State 16; Central Florida 13; Arizona State 10; California 8; West Virginia 6; Tennessee 6; Iowa 6; Wake Forest 5; Stanford 3; Houston 2.

AP Top 25

Rank Team Points (No. 1 votes) W-L
1 Clemson 1,539 (52) 6-0
2 Alabama 1,494 (10) 5-0
3 Ohio State 1,402 1-0
4 Notre Dame 1,353 5-0
5 Georgia 1,292 3-1
6 Oklahoma State 1,201 4-0
7 Cincinnati 1,100 4-0
8 Texas A&M 1,094 3-1
9 Wisconsin 950 1-0
10 Florida 933 2-1
11 BYU 906 6-0
12 Miami 888 5-1
13 Michigan 839 1-0
14 Oregon 784 0-0
15 North Carolina 758 4-1
16 Kansas State 562 4-1
17 Indiana 466 1-0
18 Penn State 443
Read more

Coaches Poll top 25: Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana make big jumps in college football rankings

graham-mertz-wisconsin-2.jpg
USATSI

Ever since their return to the college football rankings, teams from the Big Ten have been stationary objects in the pecking order. Voters from the Coaches Poll have moved teams up, down and around the league’s handful of ranked representatives, waiting for some results to justify the preseason expectations. 

The Big Ten returned in Week 8 with its first of nine straight weekends of action with no byes or breaks, and the league delivered in a big way. There was a top-10 upset with Indiana taking down Penn State, a moment of validation for Michigan with its new starting quarterback Joe Milton and a near-perfect performance from Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, who immediately reminded the country why he deserves a spot in the center of the Heisman Trophy conversation. 

The Coaches Poll voters had some reactions to the Big Ten action, moving Penn State down 10 spots to No. 17 and elevating Indiana from being unranked to No. 19. Michigan moved up three spots to inside the top 15 at No. 14 and Wisconsin also saw a three-spot improvement to No. 11 after its dominant win against Illinois on Friday night. Ohio State only moved up two spots after beating Nebraska, but in doing so jumped both Georgia and Notre Dame to take its place in the top three with Clemson and Alabama. 

Here’s how the new Coaches Poll looks after Week 8 action: 

  1. Clemson (52 first-place votes)
  2. Alabama (8)
  3. Ohio State (2)
  4. Notre Dame 
  5. Georgia 
  6. Oklahoma State 
  7. Cincinnati 
  8. Texas A&M
  9. Florida 
  10. BYU 
  11. Wisconsin
  12. Miami 
  13. North Carolina 
  14. Michigan 
  15. Oregon
  16. Kansas State
  17. Penn State
  18. Marshall
  19. Indiana 
  20. USC 
  21. Coastal Carolina 
  22. Iowa State 
  23. SMU
  24. Oklahoma 
  25. Army 

Schools dropped out: No. 20 Virginia Tech; No. 21 Minnesota; No. 22 NC State

Others receiving votes: Auburn 118; Liberty 112; Memphis 88; Boise State 79; Minnesota 67; UL Lafayette 62; Utah 45; Louisiana State 37; Boston College 28; Purdue 26; Missouri 25; Northwestern 24; Virginia Tech 22; NC State 20; Tulsa 18; Texas 18; Arkansas 17; Appalachian State 16; Central Florida 13; Arizona State 10; California 8; West Virginia 6; Tennessee 6; Iowa 6; Wake Forest 5; Stanford 3; Houston 2.

require.config({"baseUrl":"https://sportsfly.cbsistatic.com/fly-993/bundles/sportsmediajs/js-build","config":{"version":{"fly/components/accordion":"1.0","fly/components/alert":"1.0","fly/components/base":"1.0","fly/components/carousel":"1.0","fly/components/dropdown":"1.0","fly/components/fixate":"1.0","fly/components/form-validate":"1.0","fly/components/image-gallery":"1.0","fly/components/iframe-messenger":"1.0","fly/components/load-more":"1.0","fly/components/load-more-article":"1.0","fly/components/load-more-scroll":"1.0","fly/components/loading":"1.0","fly/components/modal":"1.0","fly/components/modal-iframe":"1.0","fly/components/network-bar":"1.0","fly/components/poll":"1.0","fly/components/search-player":"1.0","fly/components/social-button":"1.0","fly/components/social-counts":"1.0","fly/components/social-links":"1.0","fly/components/tabs":"1.0","fly/components/video":"1.0","fly/libs/easy-xdm":"2.4.17.1","fly/libs/jquery.cookie":"1.2","fly/libs/jquery.throttle-debounce":"1.1","fly/libs/jquery.widget":"1.9.2","fly/libs/omniture.s-code":"1.0","fly/utils/jquery-mobile-init":"1.0","fly/libs/jquery.mobile":"1.3.2","fly/libs/backbone":"1.0.0","fly/libs/underscore":"1.5.1","fly/libs/jquery.easing":"1.3","fly/managers/ad":"2.0","fly/managers/components":"1.0","fly/managers/cookie":"1.0","fly/managers/debug":"1.0","fly/managers/geo":"1.0","fly/managers/gpt":"4.3","fly/managers/history":"2.0","fly/managers/madison":"1.0","fly/managers/social-authentication":"1.0","fly/utils/data-prefix":"1.0","fly/utils/data-selector":"1.0","fly/utils/function-natives":"1.0","fly/utils/guid":"1.0","fly/utils/log":"1.0","fly/utils/object-helper":"1.0","fly/utils/string-helper":"1.0","fly/utils/string-vars":"1.0","fly/utils/url-helper":"1.0","libs/jshashtable":"2.1","libs/select2":"3.5.1","libs/jsonp":"2.4.0","libs/jquery/mobile":"1.4.5","libs/modernizr.custom":"2.6.2","libs/velocity":"1.2.2","libs/dataTables":"1.10.6","libs/dataTables.fixedColumns":"3.0.4","libs/dataTables.fixedHeader":"2.1.2","libs/dateformat":"1.0.3","libs/waypoints/infinite":"3.1.1","libs/waypoints/inview":"3.1.1","libs/waypoints/jquery.waypoints":"3.1.1","libs/waypoints/sticky":"3.1.1","libs/jquery/dotdotdot":"1.6.1","libs/jquery/flexslider":"2.1","libs/jquery/lazyload":"1.9.3","libs/jquery/maskedinput":"1.3.1","libs/jquery/marquee":"1.3.1","libs/jquery/numberformatter":"1.2.3","libs/jquery/placeholder":"0.2.4","libs/jquery/scrollbar":"0.1.6","libs/jquery/tablesorter":"2.0.5","libs/jquery/touchswipe":"1.6.18","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.core":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.draggable":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.mouse":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.position":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.slider":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.sortable":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.touch-punch":"0.2.3","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.autocomplete":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.accordion":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.tabs":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.menu":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.dialog":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.resizable":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.button":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.tooltip":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.effects":"1.11.4","libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.datepicker":"1.11.4"}},"shim":{"liveconnection/managers/connection":{"deps":["liveconnection/libs/sockjs-0.3.4"]},"liveconnection/libs/sockjs-0.3.4":{"exports":"SockJS"},"libs/setValueFromArray":{"exports":"set"},"libs/getValueFromArray":{"exports":"get"},"fly/libs/jquery.mobile-1.3.2":["version!fly/utils/jquery-mobile-init"],"libs/backbone.marionette":{"deps":["jquery","version!fly/libs/underscore","version!fly/libs/backbone"],"exports":"Marionette"},"fly/libs/underscore-1.5.1":{"exports":"_"},"fly/libs/backbone-1.0.0":{"deps":["version!fly/libs/underscore","jquery"],"exports":"Backbone"},"libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.tabs-1.11.4":["jquery","version!libs/jquery/ui/jquery.ui.core","version!fly/libs/jquery.widget"],"libs/jquery/flexslider-2.1":["jquery"],"libs/dataTables.fixedColumns-3.0.4":["jquery","version!libs/dataTables"],"libs/dataTables.fixedHeader-2.1.2":["jquery","version!libs/dataTables"],"https://sports.cbsimg.net/js/CBSi/app/VideoPlayer/AdobePass-min.js":["https://sports.cbsimg.net/js/CBSi/util/Utils-min.js"]},"map":{"*":{"adobe-pass":"https://sports.cbsimg.net/js/CBSi/app/VideoPlayer/AdobePass-min.js","facebook":"https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js","facebook-debug":"https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all/debug.js","google":"https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js","google-platform":"https://apis.google.com/js/client:platform.js","google-csa":"https://www.google.com/adsense/search/async-ads.js","google-javascript-api":"https://www.google.com/jsapi","google-client-api":"https://apis.google.com/js/api:client.js","gpt":"https://securepubads.g.doubleclick.net/tag/js/gpt.js","newsroom":"https://c2.taboola.com/nr/cbsinteractive-cbssports/newsroom.js","recaptcha":"https://www.google.com/recaptcha/api.js?onload=loadRecaptcha&render=explicit","recaptcha_ajax":"https://www.google.com/recaptcha/api/js/recaptcha_ajax.js","supreme-golf":"https://sgapps-staging.supremegolf.com/search/assets/js/bundle.js","taboola":"https://cdn.taboola.com/libtrc/cbsinteractive-cbssports/loader.js","twitter":"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js","video-utils":"https://sports.cbsimg.net/js/CBSi/util/Utils-min.js"}},"waitSeconds":300});

Source Article

Read more

MIAA soccer modifications change the game for college coaches in their evaluations

“It’s not really soccer, to be very frank, when you take away all those things,” said Megan Jessee, who is in her fourth season as the women’s coach at the University of Rhode Island. “It’s hard to watch.”

Taking the physicality out of a game that only gets tougher in college makes finding players who can fight for 50/50 balls difficult. Removing headers makes it harder for strikers and center backs to stand out.

Although the NCAA extended its recruiting dead period for Division 1 and Division 2 through at least Jan. 1, coaching staffs can evaluate prospects via film. Coaches have to try to glean whatever information they can from a sport that’s been radically changed.

“None of us really know what is and isn’t safe on the soccer field right now,” said UMass Amherst men’s coach Fran O’Leary.

“I think [the MIAA] deserves credit rather than criticism in coming up with these guidelines. That being said, it’s not a competitive game of soccer. So it’s really difficult, if not impossible, to evaluate players to go on and play later.

“College soccer is competitive, it’s physical, and with the guidelines at the moment, it takes away some of the competitiveness and the physical nature of the game.”

Garrett Elliott, who directed the Rhode Island men to the 2019 Atlantic 10 championship, does not plan to attend an MIAA game, even if he could. “The game’s too different,” said Elliott.

Boston College men’s coach Bob Thompson said the biggest challenge in scouting high school games this year is grading aerial ability. Otherwise, he said, the rules are consistent for everyone on the field, so talent will reveal itself.

“Everybody on the field will still be able to [prove] their personality, their character, their athleticism, their intelligence, how they’re reading the game, their technical ability, all that stuff,” said Thompson, who starred on the field for Dan Avery at Framingham High and later at BC.

UMass women’s assistant Sam Mitchell, the program’s recruiting coordinator, said the defensive tactics are most impacted by the rule changes. Without slide tackling, shoulder-to-shoulder contact, or heading, the only way for a defense to win the ball back is to wait for the offense to make a mistake.

But there also may be hidden benefits to the changes. Players have to focus more on tactical skills on the ball. More “clever” players can find ways to use the new rules to their advantage, an appealing trait for colleges, according to UMass women’s coach Jason Dowiak.

Over the summer, when teams couldn’t run traditional practices, the UMass women’s coaching staff saw an increase in players downloading “Beast Mode” and similar apps that help individuals hone their skills. O’Leary pointed especially to the youth game, where players may develop better foot skills in a noncontact game. The pandemic has forced athletes to maximize the time on their own, Dowiak said.

The high school season began in early October, sans the Independent School League, and top prospects will play

Read more

Guerin Emig: COVID-19 and college football coaches: “This virus is giving us opportunities we don’t want” | OU Sports Extra

Still, concern, confusion and disruption all lurk.

We have focused mostly on how the virus affects players, rightfully so since kids and young adults are our first priority regardless of subject or circumstance.

We shouldn’t, however, miss the older adults. We shouldn’t miss the coaches and staff members.

“As we knew more about the virus, and I think we’ve been on 17 different committees just dealing with this since March, there was growing data, and this has played out, that this doesn’t impact young men as seriously potentially,” said Todd Berry, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association. “Most of them don’t even know that they have it. That’s played out even on teams. Most have not felt sick. The testing has basically caught it.

“The group that is more vulnerable to something serious is individuals that are elderly or with preexisting conditions and so on, and that certainly includes an awful lot of our coaches.”

We’re all at risk of catching the coronavirus, but the scale of something serious happening as a result slides drastically by age.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data as of Oct. 14, 374 people in the U.S. between 15 and 24 years old had died of COVID-19-involved factors. That number jumped to 1,588 in the 25-34 demographic, 4,119 in 35-44, 10,837 in 45-54 and 25,971 in 55-64.

Source Article

Read more

Field hockey players get creative in gaining the attention of college coaches

But when those events were either cancelled or modified (including the MIAA shifting to 7 vs. 7 play in a truncated 10-game regular season because of COVID-19 concerns), Crowley had to get creative. So she, like many other recruits, put together highlight packages from previous high school games or club tournaments to send to college coaches.

“It was all about sending film, emailing, making yourself known, and making your presence known to all these coaches because you can’t play [in front of] them,” said Crowley, a forward who recently confirmed her commitment to attend Bryant, a Division 1 program in the Northeast Conference.

Fellow Westwood senior Hannah Blomquist re-created various stickhandling videos she found on the internet to send to coaches.

“This spring was so crucial to coaches to see who is able to motivate themselves when you are not actually being forced to go to practice, or signing up for tournaments,” said Blomquist, a center midfielder who will attend Bentley, a Division II program in the Northeast-10.

Barb Weinberg, in her fifth season as head coach at the University of Massachusetts, said she and her staff diligently sort each message, evaluating the videos they are sent.

“Work rate and athleticism, for us, are always the two biggest things we are looking for,” Weinberg said. “If we see that athleticism in the skill set on a first video, then we ask for more footage, even just in a training environment.”

During the pandemic, . NCAA Division I coaches are prohibited from in-person visits with recruits until January; all communications must be done virtually. The most impactful change, however, involves eligibility. Fall and winter athletes have been granted an extra year of eligibility. Also, the NCAA Division 1 Council last week introduced a proposal that would allow all D1 athletes to transfer one time and be eligible immediately without a waiver. These changes are forcing schools to accept smaller recruiting classes.

“It made it confusing because you are communicating with these coaches, you are starting to form relationships with other recruits and coaching staff, but they are just like, ‘We don’t know if we can take you,’ ” Crowley said. “It leaves you wondering. It made it a very different experience for our grade.”

Former Boston College coach Ainslee Lamb, who now runs field hockey showcases and tournaments for 3Step Sports, said, “It is going to take a four-year cycle to have this completely clean itself out.

“Colleges are going to get backed up and it is going to take four years for them to get their classes back in line.”

Once all the hurdles are cleared, an athlete concludes the COVID recruiting process by determining if they would fit into a team’s chemistry, using social media to communicate with future teammates, and deciding if they like a campus during a virtual, or adapted, college tour.

“You are just going off the information you do have access to,” said Andover senior goalie Paige Gillette, who committed to Assumption

Read more

College Football Coaches in Danger of Being in the Hot Seat After Week 7 | Bleacher Report

0 of 10

    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    Many teams are several games into the 2020 season, so that means there are a bunch of fanbases weeping and gnashing their teeth. After all, in college football, there are equal parts angst and elation.

    Coaches get paid big bucks, and the stakes are high. So, when they don’t win games, the sweat begins to roll, and there’s the possibility they’ll be put on the hot seat. 

    In other cases, there are coaches who will be under immediate pressure when their teams finally suit up. In the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world of the sport, things can change week to week.

    Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt was lauded at halftime of last week’s Georgia game, and then the Bulldogs thrashed the Vols. On Saturday, Kentucky embarrassed UT 34-7 in Neyland Stadium. Pruitt may be edging closer to a temperature check. But he just signed a contract extension, so he’s safe. For now.

    Houston’s Dana Holgorsen led the Cougars to a season-opening win over Tulane a week ago after a pandemic-delayed start to the year, and the team looked great early against BYU on Friday. But four unanswered BYU touchdowns led to a 43-26 loss, and Houston has major defensive concerns again.

    In college football, life comes at you fast.

    Neither of those coaches made this list, but they were close and are future candidates to get here. Let’s take a look at the guys who did. These coaches either have teams off to rocky starts or need immediate good fortune to keep their jobs.    

1 of 10

    Nati Harnik/Associated Press

    Out of everybody on this list, Nebraska’s Scott Frost is probably the coach with the longest leash, but the Cornhuskers aren’t going to wait forever.

    The favorite son came to corn country after leading UCF to a mythical national championship three years ago with a 13-0 record after a tough 6-7 first season in Orlando, Florida.

    Frost was tasked with turning the once-proud Huskers program into what it once was, and he has done some rebuilding on a team that needed far from an overnight overhaul. 

    But a 4-8 season followed by a disappointing 5-7 campaign that began with Nebraska ranked will not cut it. Now, he has a veteran quarterback in Adrian Martinez, but there is little margin for error in a Big Ten season that will begin for Nebraska on Saturday at No. 5 Ohio State.

    After that daunting opener in Columbus, Nebraska will head home to play No. 14 Wisconsin, visit Northwestern for a minor respite and then hosts No. 8 Penn State. That schedule has the Huskers playing the three top programs in the conference over the first four weeks of an eight-game schedule.

    It’s going to be tough for Frost to build any goodwill with a slate like that, and you have to think he needs to pull off an upset somewhere to remain in Nebraska’s good graces.

    Will Frost lose his job with another tough campaign in 2020? It’s hard to

Read more