Hey folks, it looks like Duke's David Cutcliffe and NC State's Dave Doeren ran into some travel delays, which means they may not make it to our scheduled chat times. Sorry for the inconvenience.
<a name='doeren'></a>Just kidding...NC State's coach Doeren is here!
How do you go about defining a successful season?
A big thing is how much better you've improved over a regular season, watching your team grow and getting the most out of what you had.
What do you think the new teams will add to the conference?
Once Louisville gets here, I think you've added three football teams that have not only tradition, but current levels of success. It makes it a stronger conference, a deeper conference. It strengthens our media base as well.
coach Doeren what do you think you must do to beat la tech on august 31st?
We have to score more points than them. Really early in the season, the big thing that you have to overcome is not beating yourself. There are a lot of nerves for young players. The operation of playing a game and function with a new staff. Both of us will be operating with film from other schools. How to stop what you're playing and what defense you're facing.
What are your goals for the season?
We'll actually sit down as a team in fall camp and go over our goals. We set them as a football team. As a coach, I want to improve on a daily basis. Win all of your games at home. Win your rivalry games. Those are the things that are important to me and most other coaches in America, I think. There will be academic goals we set as well.
The ACC seems to be wide open this season...how do you go about having a successful conference seascon?
It starts with winning your home games and then you have to go on the road and steal 70% of them. If you have four road games, you probably need three of them. FSU and Clemson, as far as the success that they've had, the rest of us have a fighting chance. That's why you play the game.
Coach Doeren,what about this program and university did you find the most appealing?
Before I even considered going there, I wanted to make sure they had fans and facilities in place and they had both. The Wolf Pack Nation is there. They support their team. They're good fans. We have good facilities and good fans. With those two things in place it came down to quality of life and the ability to improve. There is really good talent in the state and close by. With Atlanta four hours away and DC and South Carolina. There is a lot of talent around us. To chat with Debbie Yow and their commitment to the program. It was an easy decision.
Night game or day game, which is the tougher to prepare for?
I think playing in a night game is harder for a coach. Sitting around all day and waiting for it to start is not a lot of fun. And the lack of rest you'll have that night and getting ready for the next morning takes away from the rest you get as a coach. Playing under the lights is probably what players are used to. And the players probably like it because the crowds can be bigger.
Coach Doeren, how difficult is it to separate your personal life from your professional life? How do you balance the two?
It could be difficult, I guess. I try to do as good a job as I can. My wife does a good job of keeping me balanced and reminding me when I need some more balance. Without her helping me, it would probably be harder. I think I'm a good father to my sons. Which events I need to go to and which maybe I can miss. I lean on my wife for those decisions.
Coach Doeren,at what point during fall camp do you and the coaching staff have a good feel on what kind of team you have?
I wish I could tell you that. I just go back to coaching at Northern Illinois a few years ago. We were under .500 after a few games and it wasn't until then that I knew about our team. We played well under adversity. Whether you lose or not, you have to see your guys stare in the face to see what kind of team you have and what kind of leadership you have. Sometimes you need a couple of games to see what's there.
What's the toughest stadium in the league to play in?
You'd have to say, just looking at the schedule, FSU. Not a lot of people go in there and win. We'll have a new QB, so it will be his toughest game from a crowd noise standpoint.
Coach Doeren, what the talent level in the southeast, besides athletic ability, what are you looking for in a kid that you are going to recruit and bring to NC State?
I think we're all the same, we look for a great player. But aside from that I look for players that come from championship programs. Guys who love the game. Guys who have leadership ability. Any time you recruit in general, you're looking for a player that's as good as a player on your team or better. You want to upgrade your talent or maintain it. And someone that has a fit. We're a blue collar team. We're a state school, an agriculture school. You want someone to fit in there.
Coach Doeren, what does the term "building a program" mean to you?
I think the first thing you have to do is learn not to beat yourself. I look at NC State last year and they were one of the worst turnover teams last year. How mentally tough of a team you are. NC State has one of the best home win records and one of the worst road losing records. You have to find a way to win road games. That's one of our biggest challenges. We don't have a lot of depth. We lost a lot of talent from last year's team.
What do you tihnk of all the conference movement the last few seasons?
I think it's a unique time in college football with all of the changes. I don't think a lot of them are for the good. I don't like seeing teams that are in a league for 100 years leave. Being a part of the Kansas-Missouri rivalry has changed. Maryland leaves our conference. Texas-TAMU has changed. I hate to see those rivalries leave. I'm torn on it because that's what makes college football.
Coach Doeren, what have you learned about all the in state rivals that the Pack has?
It's unique for us in that we play all of the state schools this year. We play Duke and we don't play them for another 7 years. We play East Carolina. To play all of them in the same year, we'll know where we stand in one season. It would be fun to have an actual state championship. I don't know if I'll do that again in my career, playing all of them in the same season. It should be interesting.
Thanks for chatting coach!
We're glad to have been able to grab coach Doeren! Next up, we are scheduled to have Pitt's Paul Chryst at 11:20am, but it looks like he's been pulled into a meeting, so we're rescheduling him for sometime in the noon ET hour.
<a name='london'></a>Virginia's Mike London chats at 11:45am ET!
After coach London, we'll have UNC's Larry Fedora at noon ET!
Here is coach London!
What goes into setting goals for each season?
The expectations of where you think you are as far as the leadership you think oyu have, the playmakers and abilities you have coming back and the players themselves. We always strive to say we want to play in the ACC title game. The goals are important, but the standards are equally important.
How is the QB situation?
We stopped practicing in spring and going into fall camp, it will decide early who the QB is. We'll name a starter early, so there's no controversy. They are two talented players we have.
Coach London, how excited have the players been getting ready for the 2013 season with BYU and Oregon back to back to start the season?
I tell you, it's been nothing but upbeat and positive feelings. You look at the schedule and it's a tough schedule, but in order to have a dream season, you have to have a dream schedule.
How much did the conference Virginia plays in impact your decision to accept the position there?
I would say that the stature and the profule of the conference has gotten even larger with the additions of Pitt, Syracuse, eventually, Notre Dame. If you look at the ACC, you look all up and down the East Coast and the brand name of the ACC has improved tremendously.
There is a lot of talent in the DC/Virginia area, so what are your thoughts on recruiting the in-state players?
Obviously, you have to attract the best players in your own state first. Then you continue your profile for student athletes that can do well at your own university and strive to get the best that can have success on the field, in the classroom and in the community at Virginia.
Coach, what mentality do you try to give your team going into a seaosn like this where the conference seems to be pretty wide open?
We talk about three things to focus on this year. Be smart, tough and aggressive. It speaks to the way you play on the field. It speaks to the personal decisions you make off the field.
What was the first major decision you made once you signed on with Virginia?
Understanding that Virginia is a special school when it comes to academic expectations and then embracing that as a positive. Recruiting to that model today.
Can we expect some pistol formations this year with the new offense?
I think you'll see formations that will lend itself to that style. It's all about moving the back. You can definitely do different things. You'll see that style and formations from us, because it does present a challenge to defenses.
Mr. London, with such a tough OOC schedule coming up so early, how to you prepare a team that is breaking in a lot of key positions and looking to rebound from last year?
Great question. First of all, we only had 15 spring practicies with all three new coordinators. We have to take care of ourselves first with fundamentals and techniques of what our systems are asking us to do. As we do that and move into August, we move on to the specific opponent and BYU.
How many early enrollles did you have and how are they doing?
I think it goes back to the profile question earlier. It seems to be a popular trend that allows someone to go through a spring practice. But you have to remember, you're basically talking about a second semester freshman in college. That mid year transfer adjustment from high school to college can be hard. It means the university has to help the student athlete be successful when coming in mid year.
Coach London, just how intense is the rivalry with Virginia Tech from your perspective? How does the out come of that game effect recruiting within the lines of Virginia?
Very intense, because the implications for bragging rights for alumni, fans and in recruiting. So it's important for us to do well and VT has done a good job against us over the years. They beat us on a last second field goal last year. This year we have a chance to play them at home.
Coach what do you think about the new college playoff rules?
There have been a lot of opinions about how many teams, strength of schedule, conferences. I spent a couple of years in FCS football and I have my championship ring on today. That was through a playoff. In that system the champion was crowned through a 20-plus team playoff.
Coach London, how difficult is it to separate your personal life from your professional life? How do you balance the two?
Wow...another great question. As a public figure, your life is so much entertwined in your life as a coach, because you're so visible. The trick is creating that balance. As we speak now, I have my 15 year old son Corbin, who has traveled with me to see his older brother Brandon play in Canada and made the trip with me to ESPN to have this experience as well. You have to find time to become a dad and a coach. Sometimes you blur those times together, but nonetheless, it's time together.
First of all, I appreciate all of the Virginia fans that are looking for the great things to come from Virginia football. The new staff, the new indoor facility, recruiting, scheduling, all of those things have taken it to another level. I know I can speak on behalf of the team, we're looking forward to performing at home and the away games you follow us to.
Thanks for chatting coach!
<a name='fedora'></a>Next up is UNC's Larry Fedora!
Coach Fedora, what are the challenges to playing South Carolina the 1st Thursday night of the season?
I would say first of all, they have a great DL, and we have a young OL. We had three guys drafted off the OL. We have some inexperience. That will be a concern for us. Defensively, they have Shaw back, so we'll have our work cut out for us also.
How do you go about learning about the teams in the conference? do you watch a lot of film on them? Do you talk to other coaches in the league?
I do a little bit of both. I'll talk to any coach in the league that will be willing to talk. And outside of the league, with Pitt and Syracuse. We'll also look at a tremendous amount of film.
Coach Fedora, how does the offensive staff plan on using TJ Logan this year?
It's still up in the air. He's a talented young man, but he hasn't gone through a camp yet. Until we see his strengths and weaknesses, we don't know. He's a multi talented kid. He can return. He can run the ball. He can run routes. It'll be really exciting to find out what ways we can use him this year.
Coach Fedora, how excited is everyone to get fall camp started?
You go through winter conditioning and you're preparing for next year. You have spring ball. Then right back into the program. Then the monotony of the summer. You're working out hard every day, sometimes twice a day and going to school, with no one else on campus. I think this team is extremely excited to get back together after going home for a week and seeing who the 2013 Tar Heels are.
Coach, how do you go about setting goals for each new season?
It changes according to the makeup on the team. Our base goals are the same. We want to be state champs and at the same time we want to be Coastal Division champs. Then you're playing in the ACC title game and a chance at the new playoff.
Coming new into a program, what's the first thing you try to establish with your new team?
It's very important that you start building relationships with the players. Before you can lead a new team, there has to be trust. They have to trust you and you have to trust them. No one will follow someone they don't trust. You need to quickly develop that relationship.
Coach, have you guys already bought the Carolina blue paint for the Victory Bell this year? We need that back.
We always have Carolina blue paint around our place. We do understand the importance of that bell. This 2013 team wants to make sure to bring that back to Chapel hill.
How can you change unc to more of a football sport than basketball?
It's a process. Anytime you're changing a culture and perception, it doesn't happen overnight. You establish your philosophies. You recruit kids to fit that. Eventually you hope that you'll win. When you do that, the fans and the atmosphere change and eventually that makes it to the national level.
Coach Fedora, what uniforms will we be seeing vs. South Carolina?
That might be the most important question of the year. I've gotten it about 1,000 times. We've got some options, but we've not finalized what we'll wear. Until the seniors get involved, we won't finalize that decision. But we will wear something.
Coach Fedora, what does the term "building a program" mean to you?
For me, you come in with a sound philosophy. A sound philosophy. A system that you put in place to be successful Your athletes need to be successful. They need to be successful in the classroom on the field, everywhere. Once you establish that and the traditions, the people that have bled and sweat and built those traditions, you'll be successful and get back to where you used to be.
Coach Fedora, with all the success around other sports such as soccer,baseball,basketball. How does that feed off to the players on the football team?
First of all, success breeds success in my opinion. You have a lot of tremendous coaches, some of them are the best in their profession. I'm able to lean on them for support. Anywhere you go on our campus, people are successful. Eventually if you work hard, we'll have that success.
What was your first impression when you visited the school to talk about the job?
The first time I stepped foot on campus, I had already accepted the job. I was really surprised by the passion that UNC fans had for football and how bad they wanted to be successful.
Coach Fedora, what are your expectations of this 2013 football team?
I've got a much better feel for this team that I have at this time than last year's team. We know each other very well. We know the strengths and weaknesses of each guy. They are extremely excited. We're in the next step of identifying ourselves as a football team. That step is fall camp.
We're extremely excited about this season. There has been tremendous buzz around the program. We need to continue that throughout the season and keep building our culture. We're 31 days out. See you in Columbia!
<a name='chryst'></a>Next up is Pitt's Paul Chryst!
Coach Chryst will be here in another minute or two! Keep those questions rolling!
What differences do you see going into year two versus year one?
I think year two, we certainly know our players better. Challenges we've studied our opponents, but you can't really know them until you play them a couple of times. But we know more who we are and our strengths and weaknesses.
Coach Chryst, after the turn around last season, how has that carried over into the offseason?
I think the whole year got our players attention. I don't know for a lot of reasons, but we've had a really good offseason. The atmosphere has changed, and you'd think a part of it is what we experienced last year. It's an accumulation of all of the years.
Coach Chryst, what would it take to call this season a success in your eyes?
For us to be successful, we certainly have to win games. We'll know if we're getting better as a team. You have to improve to be successful. I think there's a chance we'll be playing young players, so do they grow. But you need wins to be successful.
Coach Chryst, Will there be a QB competition in camp or is it Savage's job to lose?
I hope there's a competition, that means you have two good ones. Certainly Tom has an edge on maturity and being around college football. But hopefully we do have a competition.
Coach Chryst, how does joining the ACC help in recruiting?
Recruits, they know the ACC. The ACC has had the second most players go to the NFL as a confernece the last 4-5 years. You take a look at the competition, you want to play against the best, which the ACC has. The number of teams that have significant runs. Players understand how good the ACC is and I think that helps us in recruiting, because guys want to play against the best.
Coach, what are some of the position battles that you are looking forward to in camp?
QB. RB. We need to find a RB. LB will be interesting. Those would be the three biggest. Our OL and how that shakes out.
Coach Chryst, how has transfer Tom Savage handled the transition of your offense and what kind of impact will he have on the team this year?
Certainly, he could have a big impact. I like the way he's approached everything since he came here last year. To me, he's going about his business like he has one year left, which he should, but you're glad to see that he sees it too. I like the way Chad's approached it to. I like how Tom's gone about his day in day out business.
Hi Coach Chryst,Hail to Pitt!Going into the season with a new QB and in a new conference,will any bowl bid mean this was a successful season for the Panthers?
Yeah, I think that's always one of the bench marks for success in college football.
Coach how are you and the family enjoying living in the area?
You love all of the sports. I love all of the personality of the town. The Pirates are rolling. Love the Pens. It's a great town.
what do you think of the new rule changes for the 2013 season?
Coaches, we're all in favor of anything with players' safety. My concern with all rules and changes is the ability to officiate with consistency. That takes time. But we're in favor of anything that makes the game safer. We respect anyone that plays it. Appreciate them. We're in favor.
How has the transition been in moving to a HC role. Now that you are a year in, is there anything you wish you'd have done differently year one?
Absolutely. You learn every day. You learn different points throughout the year that you want to take a step back and look at things. We ask our players to get better every day, you better be demanding the same from yourself. I'm still working to be the best I can be.
Coach, now in ACC, will you push harder to get more So Florida recruiting connections
We are trying to do that yes. Pitt has had a history of having some very good players from southern Florida, so absolutely we want to get down to Florida.
Do you think any of the freshmen will make an immediate impact?
Yeah, I do believe we have a number of freshmen that could impact right away. We'll refrain from using names until they can prove it.
Coach how do you think the expansion of the league will help the league and Pitt?
I think that certainly for the league, to cover a bigger footprint. Hopefully I think our job will be, knowing Pitt, we have our work cut out to prove that you're an asset to the league. The tradition of Pitt in football. What basketball has done helps, but we have to go out and earn it.
Thanks for turning out with the questions. Hail to Pitt!
<a name='johnson'></a>Next up is Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson at 1 p.m. ET!
Coach is here!
there are a lot of new faces in the league this year how do you think it will impact the leagiue?
I think it's an exciting time for the league. We're bringing a lot of schools with tradition nd history. We're bringing in a footprint with a lot of fans and TVs. If you're not growing, you'll probably die. It's exciting.
Coach Johnson.... Last year the defense had it's issues. With Ted Roof now in charge. How confident are you that the defense will improve?
We're excited to have Ted back. I think the brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Hopefully he can lead our defense to play to the level we expect. We're excited to have him back.
What's the excitement level like aorund the team, with this new ACC alignment?
Our team is excited to play. We have a good senior class for the first time in a few years, a big class. We're excited to get this year underway.
Coach Johnson, what is your feeling about having an open date so early in the season?
It's less than ideal to have an open date the second week of the season, but that's the way the schedule unfolded. We'll probably take some time to recruit a bit and then take extra time to prepare for Purdue.
Coach Johnson, what is the one thing that you learned coaching at Navy that has made you a better coach at GT?
I think that it's important to try and ask the players to do what they can do. Sometimes schemes can be great, but if you can't execute the schemes, you have to remember that it's your job as coach to do what the players do best.
What are your thoughts on the new rule for helmet to helmet hits?
I think safety has to be paramount to players, but there is also a concern for ejections. There can be penalties without ejections. It will be interesting to see how they call with the new rules. It could change the game.
Coach Johnson, how difficult is it to separate our personal life from your professional life? How do you balance the two?
At times it can be really difficult. It can be harder on you at times. You need to have a healthy balance. Family can be really important to me and you try to find a happy medium. Sometimes it can be difficult.
How are you going to improve the team after almost winning the ACC Championship Game?
Certainly we need to get off to a much better start. We need to be more consistent on offense. Defensively we just need to get better. Adding a new kicker on special teams will help us. Playing with more consistency than a year ago.
Coach Johnson, how do you feel about the two Thursday night games this season?
Thursday night games gives you great exposure, national exposure. GT has played a midweek game or Thursday night game every year for nearly 20 years. It can help your program if you play well.
How are the quarterbacks looking so far through spring? Do you expect Lee to be the stand out starting QB?
I thought both QBs, and Tim, had good springs. We're excited about all three of the guys.
Coach, You guys used the pistol a little and it worked very well in the bowl game against USC and became pretty popular in the NFL with Washington and San Fransico. Any chance we see more pistol this year?
We're always looking to tweak what we do and expand what we have as a system. We'll see as the season unfolds as to what it holds. There is a chance that we could do some different things out of the shotgun.
Really enjoy following you on Twitter (esp your response to Will Jackson), most entertaining coach in college football. Are you having fun with it?
Yeah it's been interesting. It's a chance to help define yourself. It gives you a chance to express some of your ideas on certain things. It's been fun.
Also, how do you think the GA State and GA Southern moves will effect Tech's in-state recruiting?
Right now, I don't think it will have a great deal of impact. I haven't seen our recruiting change with those moves by those two teams.
Coach Johnson, if you could pick one, what is the most important lesson learned from last season that you think will be pivotal in 2013?
I don't know if there was one thing that stands out. We're constantly learning new things every year. I couldn't pin point just one thing.
What is the mindset if your team going into 3 tough division games after a bye week?
I think our team understands getting off to a great start, especially after a year ago when we didn't. The motivation part of it won't be a big factor. We'll be ready to play.
How confident are you going into the season?
I really like our football team. I think they displayed a great work ethic. I'm excited about this year. It could be great for Tech football.
Knowing that you've yet to get them for a practice, which freshman has impressed you the most?
We really haven't had a chance to see the freshmen yet. We'll open on Thursday. It will be hard to single anyone out until we see them in practice.
Do you have any specific goals for the season?
The goal setting, I let each team set them, with a little bit of guidance. There usually isn't a lot of difference from one year to the next. We'll try to emphasize one aspect or another, but I think it's important for the team to set their own goals.
We open camp on Thursday. We're extremely excited about this season. Can't wait to kick it off!
We have Fan Day on Aug. 30.
Thanks to all of the ACC coaches for chatting today! Tuesday we'll have six more of the coaches stopping by!