FNF Coaches Talk — Minnesota coach hacked opponent’s HUDL account, Nick Saban’s approach to rivalries, poverty’s effect on mental health

Welcome back, Coaches. We hope you enjoyed the weekend. We’ve got three stories for you.

1. Minnesota coach hacked another coach’s email, HUDL account (Twin Cities Pioneer Press)

I actually just finished watching the TV series, Mr. Robot, this weekend, and this story certainly has some similarities to the story line on that show.

Former Lakeville South football coach Tyler Krebs has been charged with a misdemeanor for unauthorized computer access after he allegedly accessed an opposing coach’s email and Hudl account, according to a complaint filed in Dakota County District Court.

According to the complaint, a head football coach in Apple Valley with the initials “K.S.” reported suspicious activity to the Apple Valley police department on Sept. 20. While the complaint doesn’t identify K.S, the football coach at Eastview in Apple Valley is Kelly Sherwin, and Krebs previously worked at Eastview and served on Sherwin’s staff. No other football coach in the district shares the initials K.S.

On Sept. 19, the complaint says, Sherwin noticed a message on his team’s Hudl account stating the team would be practicing at a different time on a turf field. He quickly corrected the post, saying he didn’t know who posted the info, but that the team would maintain its original practice time.
Sherwin suspected the post may have come from someone at Lakeville South — Eastview’s opponent that week. The coach looked up Lakeville South’s football schedule and found it matched the post from Eastview’s Hudl page.

According to the complaint, Hudl confirmed to Sherwin that the post came from his Hudl account, but not from his usual IP address. Records showed an IP address from the Lakeville school district repeatedly accessed Sherwin’s Hudl account, dating back to March. And, according to the complaint, data showed Krebs’ internet connection searched “6 Times the New England Patriots allegedly Cheated in Big Games” and “bill belichick cheater.”

The complaint stated that Lakeville South Athletic Director Tom Dasovich told police investigators that Krebs told him he accessed Sherwin’s Hudl account and email account. Police also were provided with a text message and voicemail from Krebs to Sherwin apologizing and acknowledging the harm caused to both football programs.

How careful are you about securing your team’s HUDL account after coaching changes?

2. Nick Saban’s developed his approach to rivalry games at Michigan State (Detroit Free Press)

It’s always fun to relate to the way the best in the business handle something we all experience throughout the course of the season: a rivalry matchup. This story is a great breakdown of how Nick Saban began developing his philosophy toward rivalry games as the head coach at Michigan State in the early 1990s.

MSU had very little success against Michigan prior to his hire as head coach. During his five seasons at MSU, the Spartans were 2-3 against the Wolverines.

To upgrade the talent, Saban realized he’d have to change the perception of the top high school players in the Spartans’ backyard. The quickest way to accomplish that was to beat Michigan on the field.

“That week was more intense,” Mosallam said. “He was more intense. His attention to detail seemed to be greater. He was dialed in.”

Saban did whatever he could to gain an edge. He resorted to motivational ploys, bringing in Buck Nystrom, the former All-American and 1955 national championship team member, to rally his bunch one year.

He also deviated from the norm, installing trick plays that would be folded into the game plans for the Wolverines.

Their new coach not only grasped, but prioritized, defeating the giant that stood 65 miles southeast in Ann Arbor.

Saban had been conditioned to take this approach — to feel this way — after serving on Earle Bruce’s staff at Ohio State and working under George Perles with the Spartans.

So, for the next five seasons, Michigan was never far from Saban’s mind, occupying space rent-free in his head as he tried to figure out a way to get the upper hand in a series that long favored the Wolverines.
“Every game, there was a high level of focus,” said Strayhorn, the former All-Big Ten center. “But there was more for the Michigan rivalry because he understood what it meant not only for the student body and the legacy, but recruiting, too.”

How does your approach to a game change when you’re playing your biggest rival?

3. After Bryce Gowdy’s suicide, let’s elevate the conversation about poverty’s effects on youth (Orlando Sentinel)

This is a sad story, but one we all must be aware of as we consider the ways in which we can lead off the field.

Bryce Gowdy, 17, died of suicide a week before the Deerfield Beach (Fla.) football star was due to start classes at Georgia Tech on a football scholarship Jan. 6.

Bryce, his mom and his brothers were homeless again, and family members said he wrestled with his emotions while preparing to chase college dreams as his immediate family struggled on the front lines of poverty.

This writer, Orlando Sentinel columnist Shannon Green, believes we can draw a direct line from poverty to mental health issues.

I’m also wondering if we’re failing to have a meaningful conversation about poverty and its connection to the 73% increase in suicide attempts among black teenagers from 1991 to 2017 according to the journal Pediatrics.
“Poverty and stress plays a major role in the development of young people,” said Pernell Bush, a clinically licensed social worker and therapist in Oviedo. “It’s hard for you to regulate emotion and study in the classroom and make connections with people when you’re dealing with poverty.”

Thousands of teenagers across the state of Florida are under tremendous stress because they are unsure of where they will sleep and where their next meal is coming from outside of school.

Some of these kids are excelling, all while being a good student, friend, brother or sister, son or daughter and, often, provider for the household.

Some of these kids are cracking under the weight and are branded as bad students or athletes.
And some, like Bryce, have the world in front of them and the crushing weight of it on their shoulders. The pressure is killing them. They are not OK.

What hope can you offer players who are living in poverty?

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