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In each print edition of Blue & Gold Illustrated, we do a Where Have You Gone feature on former Irish stars from the past. This month it's 1987-90 guard Tim Ryan, a three-year starter for Lou Holtz and OL coach Joe Moore and part of a school record 23-game winning streak.
Here are a few excerpts from the interview expressing his thoughts on Brian Kelly's sideline demeanor:
“I like Kelly, for whatever that means,” Ryan said. “When people were getting on him with his language and all that kind of stuff, I thought that was kind of nonsense.”
Under former offensive line coach Joe Moore and head coach Lou Holtz, Ryan saw explosions that would make Mount Vesuvius seem tame. He sees it as “Big Boy” football, although it might not play as well today.
“It goes back to, ‘Not everybody gets a trophy,’ ” said Ryan, while decrying a culture of giving unearned rewards. “If you screw up, you’re going to get yelled at. It’s not personal, but it’s life where you don’t get rewarded for everything you do, especially if it’s wrong. I don’t relate to this everybody has to be coddled or that it would turn recruiting off … I don’t how you would recruit or run a program back then with all these people getting in your business about how you should run a program.”
Ryan also cannot relate to all the social media and Tweeting college athletes do, and applauds coaches who ban them.
“It would be hilarious if someone would have Tweeted something that Joe Moore did during practice,” Ryan said. “I bet Joe would have made him practice with the phone shoved up his ass.
“If Moore yelled at you and saw that you didn’t like getting yelled at — he’d just do it more. It was like, ‘Take it like a man.’ Some people today might call it unorthodox, but I thought it was absolutely necessary and couldn’t be more appreciative of the way he did it.”
Thanks for sharing, good stuff. I love reading these features in the print edition.
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Can't wait to read the rest of it.
Member of the Gringo Mafia - chief infiltrator of the federales --- If life hands you lemons, throw them at an UofM fan
Ryan is spot on with everyone wins and gets a trophy now a days.
If you have kids, you know what he means. I am like him, I see
nothing wrong with his sideline demeanor. And yes if it was my kid
on the sideline getting an earfull I would be all for it. If you're doing
what you're suppose to, then you won't get yelled at. Sports is a good
avenue for life as far as dedication, disipline, teamwork, toughness
and developement from a kid to being a man. These are some of the
important things that carry one through the rest of your life.
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To add to what you posted, last year, I spoke to a few starters on that 88 team about what they thought about the coverage of Kelly and his screaming as well as what they felt we were missing to get back to where we belong amongst the football elite. They did not have a big problem with Kelly's screaming as they said they had experienced the same type of reactions from their coaches when they missed assignments (as mentioned in your post). However, they did add that the media coverage is so much more intense today than back in their day and thought it might not be good from a PR perpsective. They used the term "pollyannas" to describe the media, especially ESPN's coverage of the Kelly tirades.
Unfortunately, they did not have a crystal ball about what is keeping us from regaining the place in college football like when they suited up for ND. One of the players had met and liked Kelly. He did know of Kelly's background and success and felt he could do it at ND. Another item this player added, and I agreed, was that we needed to run the ball a bit more. Keep in mind, my conversations took place before and during the MSU game and we did end up running the ball more this year than the previous 4 or 5 years.
The other player had not met Kelly and did not know a lot about him, except to say that those who have met him have liked him. The interesting thing this former player said was he thought the missing ingredient was more between the ears (confidence, conditioned belief of success/winning). He thought we had plenty of talent, maybe not as much depth as the most elite programs, but enough to compete for both a BCS and National Championship. This player thought we would turn the corner as program soon.
Fyi, I have not spoken to either of these players since this conversation and I may not again until we tailgate during the Michigan game next year. Thought I would share it with everybody.
I've talked to a few of the players about this and they feel the same way. In fact they not only don't have a problem with it, they think it's kind of funny.....as long as they aren't the one getting yelled at but they said EVERYONE eventually gets yelled at.
I still stand behind the comment I made in the middle of the South Florida game, yell all you want but if it begins to become a distraction from the game then you've yelled too much.
In hindsight, if I just butchered the quarterback position I'd find someone to yell at also.
Scott from CLT,
I think you nailed it with the part about the media coverage today being so much more expanded — although Lou Holtz's tirades also were often caught quite a bit on camera.
Here's what it comes down to, as it always does: You have to win. If you're a yeller and win, it gets glorified (see Vince Lombardi, "What the hell is going on here!" clips) as a General Patton-type give-of-hell type of figure, a la Bob Knight. If you lose and you yell, you become an overbearing, obnoxious, micromanaging ogre whose lack of poise makes the entire team too tight.
When Willingham started 8-0, he was a "rock" whose calm demeanor made his team move mountains and want to play for him all the harder. When he lost, he was a listless stiff who had no clue on how to shake down the thunder.
Nick Saban can win with fire, Bill Walsh won with ice. You have to be true to who you are.
I played for high school and college coaches like Kelly, Holtz and Moore. They yelled they swore and they made me realize my face mask was a handle not protection. That being said I would only think that you can yell too much. I am more concerned with a coach who yells all the time. Players tune out eventually. When you really do have something to say or point to be made you may have already lost their attention. BK I have no problem.
This post was edited by CactusMike 2 years ago
Lou, that is one of the most profound things you've given us. great work
This is good stuff Lou. I've always liked BK's coaching style. It's a breath of fresh air after our last three coaches. It's nice to see a lot of current and former players agree with his style.
Attended: Michigan @ ND 2010 Southern Cal @ ND 2011 Stanford @ ND 2012 BCS National Title Game vs. Alabama-Jan 7, 2013 ND @ Air Force 2013
I remember Holtz looking like he was going to explode on the sideline with veins popping out and all of that. I vividly remember Lou grabbing one of the big guys by the face mask and screaming at him as he came to the sideline and being seriously worried about Lou's well being. I do think if you are calling the plays such explosions can become a distraction and affect the quality of the play call and the communication of the play. Otherwise, as my wife says--"it's football!"
Thanks for posting this. Two thoughts: one, they make a good point about it being a PR problem. It's just one more thing to draw attention to ND in what some people might perceive in an unflattering light. Two, the comments about Brian Kelly are in dramatic contrast to what I heard about Charlie Weis from ex-players.
I love that, "If Moore yelled at you and saw that you didn’t like getting yelled at — he’d just do it more. It was like, ‘Take it like a man'." --That's how it should be IMO.
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