Three keys for new head coaches
The coach was a whirling dervish.
On the morning of March 17, Butch Jones got around the Bristol Motor Speedway faster than any NASCAR Sprint Cup car -- and they cover the half-mile oval in less than 15 seconds.
Officially, Tennessee's new head coach was there to serve as grand marshal for the Food City 500. In reality, he was there to introduce himself to the 100,000 fans at the racetrack located just a short drive north of Neyland Stadium. All morning long, he practically ran from appearance to appearance, an athletic department video crew breathlessly on his tail.
"Every morning when I wake up my first thought is, 'What can we do today to improve Tennessee football?'" the coach told me just a few moments before giving the command to start engines. "When I go to bed at night my last thought is, 'What can we do tomorrow?'"
There are 31 head coaches in new Football Bowl Subdivision jobs this spring. While each coach faces his own unique challenges, there are some tasks and goals that are universally shared.Here's a look at three keys to success for new head coaches as they begin to reshape their programs.
1. Win over support staff
"I'm not talking about the coaching staff," Jones said with a laugh. "I brought those guys in here, so I would hope they're on board with the plan. No, I'm talking about the support staff. The folks who were here long before I got here, that built this place into the institution that it is."
To read Ryan McGee's full blog on the three biggest keys for new head coaches, sign up for ESPN Insider.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.