Q: Coaching a college football team is generally considered a 24-7 occupation. You've turned it into a 24-6 proposition by choosing not to work or practice on Sundays. Is that purely a faith-based decision or is it your personal feeling that the football team will be better off with a day to recharge spiritually, physically and emotionally?
Q: Right now, you've got two children who are involved in the college process. I'm curious what it's like to be the dad when your kids are being recruited by college programs, since that's what you do. Do you push some buttons regular parents can't push or do you assume the same role as the parents that you meet with on recruiting visits?
A: I think the one thing, my daughter went through it in lacrosse, and I was able to help her from that standpoint, because it all sounds good. When people came to talk to her, everybody had the nicest facilities, all the coaches are nice, everybody has the best academic services or whatever. I just tried to help. I didn't put any pressure on here. "Just make sure you go with your heart, and whatever you feel comfortable with, I'm going to support you." I didn't want to get too much into her thought process. We allowed her to take her visits. But when she went to Maryland, she knew that was the school for her. She goes, "I know." I said: "Well, if you know, tell everyone else you know where you're going to go. Give them the common courtesy of "Thank you, but this is where I'm going to go to school." It's the same thing with my son. I've tried to help him know the lay of the land. I've been very upfront with him, but I have been a parent. I've helped him put his highlight tape together. We've sent it out. But I've also told him, so-and-so may recruit you or so-and-so might not recruit you. If you get a letter from somebody, it doesn't necessarily mean they are recruiting you. If you get this, it doesn't necessarily mean you're [being] recruited. Just trying to help him with what certain things mean. Just try to be a counselor and an adviser to try to help him, but I've stayed out of his hair, so to speak, and let him make his own decision as I give him advice.
Q: But you do have one extra layer of network, in that if there's a coach out there who doesn't have a great reputation that you might be more likely to know that than a regular parent.
A: And what I've allowed him to do, he tells me, "These are the schools I'm thinking about," and what you've said is exactly right. As soon as he's told me the schools, I've thought about the head coach and what kind of man he was. Fortunately, the schools he's thought about, I know the coaches and I know they are good people, so I will support him in that decision.
Q: So, is he thinking about Navy, too?
A: Well, he said he doesn't want to play for me, so ... (Laughing)
Q: What are the rules about contact when you live in the same house?
A: I'll leave the recruiting part of that to my wife.
Q: I'll give you a head-scratcher. Do you think being the father of student-athletes gives you a better insight into being a coach or does being a coach give you a better insight or perspective on your role as a father of a student-athlete?
A: I think the first. Just being a father to a student-athlete, it makes you as a coach realize that's still somebody's son. If I lose my temper at times, I've got to catch myself, you know what, that's somebody's son. Just treat them with respect. That's definitely helped me because I know how I want my kids treated.
Q: It's pretty unusual for a head coach to spend his entire career in one place. Before you got the opportunity to coach Navy, was there any other coaching job you thought would be perfect for you, and I guess, in my mind, I would think Hawaii, because that's your home?
A: I thought about Hawaii. I thought that would be a cool job. I thought about BYU. You know, I'm Mormon, so I thought that would be cool, but I love this job. Those were jobs, before I got a head job, that I thought would be pretty cool places to coach, but this is a great place to be, a great place to coach.
Q: Last question: Would it be OK with you if you retired someday having only been the head coach of one major college program?
A: I would have thought I had died and gone to heaven. That would be perfect.
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