Welcome to a new week, Coaches. We hope you enjoyed your weekend. Here are some stories we’re talking about today.
1. Kirby Smart: Georgia football ‘had a guy wide open’ on failed fake punt (Dawg Nation)
We all know that a fake punt call can make a coach look like a genius if it works — and the opposite if it doesn’t work out. Georgia coach Kirby Smart had to deal with the bad side of making a bold call after his team’s 35-28 loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.
The fake punt failed miserably, with freshman quarterback Justin Fields resigned to scramble for 2 yards after he was unable to find an open receiver on fourth-and-11 in a 28-28 game, resulting in a turnover on downs. But Smart defended the decision after the game.
“Thought it was there, and it was there today,” Smart said when asked about the fake punt. “We were going to snap the ball quick. We took too long to snap the ball. They didn’t have a guy covered. We had a guy wide open.”
It’s worth wondering why Smart didn’t call a timeout after the snap took longer than he wanted. Take a look at the play and see what you think.
Coaches — How much do you consider the criticism you’ll face if a trick play doesn’t work out?
2. Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder: High School Coaches Need to Stress Academics (FNF Coaches)
In honor of Kansas State University coach Bill Snyder retiring, we’ll give you a throwback article from FNF Coaches. Snyder was the subject of our College Q&A in January of 2017. The former high school football coach gave timeless advice to high school coaches about making education the highest priority for high school student-athletes.
“The thing is to make sure the youngsters are invested in academics. Coaches should understand that an element of their responsibility is what the kids are doing behaviorally and academically. It should be an ongoing thing, with coaches digging deeply into the progress of each youngster in the classroom and in terms of social development.”
Snyder stresses that high school coaches can show that education is a priority by engaging with other educators in the building. This way, they make themselves approachable and available if a teacher has an issue with a player.
“I’d suggest engaging with the faculty. Hopefully a program is in place with an exchange of ideas and thoughts that would help promote both their academic programs and your football program.
How do you show your players that their education is a priority for your coaching staff?
3. X’s, O’s and plenty of Zeros: Texas high school football coaches salary database (The Star-Telegram)
Everything is bigger in Texas, and that apparently includes salaries of high school football coaches. We all have interest in salaries across the profession, and we have an opportunity to look at the high end of the pendulum since The Star-Telegram obtained salary records of all of the 5A and 6A coaches in Texas.
If you want to know the salary ceiling for a high school football coach in this country, consider this:
Texas high school football coaches of 5A and 6A programs average nearly $100,000 per year, according to records obtained by the Star-Telegram. Here are the salaries for each of those head coaches, which includes 41 that make at least $120,000 and 11 that make at least $130,000. Austin Lake Travis’ Hank Carter is the highest-paid coach in the state at $158,512. He and Austin Westlake’s Todd Dodge are the only coaches in the state to make over $150,000.
It’s also important to note many football coach in Texas are not classroom teachers in addition to their athletic responsibilities. Not a bad gig if you can get it.
What could your district do to make salaries for football coaches more reflective of the contribution to the community?
What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk!