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John Fuquay article was written circa 2015 about Coach Strong
I just finished reading this email and wanted to share something. I'm in the construction business and have a project going on in the LBJ Library parking lot adjacent to the practice field. A couple weeks ago I stopped by the job to check on things. Across the street the team was practicing in preparation for the Texas Bowl (won't talk about that one!). It was fun to be nearby and hear the "horn" being blown right on schedule. It actually made me miss "practice" a little bit.
Anyway, before too long, the team was passing by heading back to the locker room. Since I had not met Coach Strong I figured this was a good opportunity to introduce myself when he passed by. When I saw him he was walking with a couple of players and an assistant coach or two. I was probably about 10-15 yards away when I called out to him. At first he didn't turn to look but, after calling out to him again, he glanced over as I was walking towards him. I could see the look on his face and I'm sure he was thinking, "Crap! I don't have time for this. What the hell could this guy want?" He took a deep breath, stopped, and turned around as the others walked on. I quickly introduced myself as a former player under Coach McWilliams and my name. At that point his demeanor completely changed and he became completely engaged in the conversation. We talked a bit about the season and I complemented him on making a bowl game.
Now, the reason I am telling you this story is because when I told him I was in total support of the changes he had made and his efforts to clean up the program, I could see that meant something to him. Almost as if he needed to hear that former players support his decision to build a "strong" disciplined program. He then told me that the players didn't understand what it takes to be a winner....yet. They were WAY to soft and that everything had come WAY to easy for them. He was completely disgusted that the team got beat by Baylor and TCU and said, "The University of Texas should NOT get beat by those teams!" I gently reminded him that those teams were pretty good this year but, quickly told him I completely agree. With that we finished up our brief conversation and both went about our day.
For the record...I agree with the writer. I think as former players, we should all demand a disciplined program. There have been way too many players names show up in the Austin American Statesman over the years that have nothing to do with football. If the players can't win off the field and in the classroom, what makes anyone think they can win on the field. I don't know if Coach Strong will turn the program around or not but I'm willing to give him a shot.
One final thought. I know we all have expectations of winning a National Championship (I do too). However, we also know that is a REALLY hard thing to do. All the stars have to line up....an injury, an untimely turnover, one missed tackle...and those dreams fade away. The fact is, most of us in this network haven't won a National Championship but, at the end of the day, it's the Orange/White and that awesome freaking logo on the side of our helmet that is part of who WE are long after our football days are over. It's what binds all of us together. The Longhorn "brand" must be protected at all cost and I believe it starts with a disciplined program on the 40 acres......regardless of who is coaching the team!