Man Behind the Whistle Part 4: Howly Awards

The Man Behind the Whistle: Part 4: “The Howly Awards"

The month of July can be the dog days of summer for college football fans. It’s the time of year where you’re looking for every college football preview magazine and looking for any football news you can find. It’s also the time when all of the different football organizations announce which players will be on their award’s preseason watch lists. July is also when ESPN has their own awards show called the “Espy’s.” With all of that in mind, it’s time for Part 4 of our “The Man Behind the Whistle” series. In keeping with the awards theme, it’s time to hand out the “2015 Howly’s,” which recognize members of the football coaching staff for their unique talents as voted on by the coaching staff. So let’s go to the envelopes and see who’s taking home the hardware.


Football coaches spend a lot of time in the film room and in meeting rooms creating plays and game plans. At ASU the coaches also have access to Head Coach Blake Anderson’s infamous snack closet. That combination can be brutal to a guy’s waste line and physical endurance. However, despite those pitfalls around the football offices, there are actually guys on staff that stay in shape and are great athletes. So the first Howly will go to the member of the staff that his peers think is the Best Athlete. It was a close race between Coach Anderson and Offensive Graduate Assistant, Kyle Cefalo. Without further ado, the envelope reveals…Coach Blake Anderson is the “Best Athlete” on the staff. Coach Anderson couldn’t be here to accept this award so I’ll accept it on his behalf…wait, actually he came back for his second season so he will be able to accept his award.

It should be noted that an honorable mention goes to Coach Todd Baumgartner, the Red Wolves’ FCA Leader. There was also some controversy surrounding this award as a sizeable amount of votes were turned in for “me,” and I don’t mean the author of this piece. I mean a number of the coaches “think” they’re the best athlete. It’s an anonymous vote so I won’t reveal their names, but I’m looking towards the defensive line, wide receivers, cornerbacks, quarterbacks, safeties, and the graduate assistants(minus Coach Cefalo).


Just because you’re an athlete doesn’t mean you can play golf. In fact, Offensive Coordinator Walt Bell has been quoted as saying golfers aren’t athletes. Regardless of athletic prowess, not all golf swings are the same, and some golf swings are just awful displays of athleticism. Think “Charles Barkley bad.” This vote was not very close. Actually, just to be transparent, where as many on the staff were confident in their athleticism in the first category, they were a good number of guys willing to throw themselves under the bus in this category. The final vote came down to Director of Player Personnel, Dave Roberson, and Cornerbacks coach, Trooper Taylor, who some said they’ve never even seen pick up a club. The Howly goes to…Coach Roberson. He’s accepting donations now for golf lessons.


There’s a fine line between singing in the shower and singing at work. Apparently the winner of this Howly has displayed enough of both to win over the vote of his peers. Coach Anderson considered this category “a scary question.” Well, low and behold, this was a landslide race and Coach Anderson himself ran away with the vote as he walks away with his 2nd Howly. The one year grace period is over for Coach Anderson, so…it’s time to hear him sing. Just throwing it out there, but if the Red Wolves pull of the upset in the home opener against the Missouri Tigers at The Vault, I think a stage somewhere in Jonesboro needs to host Coach Anderson singing his best karaoke version of his favorite ‘Journey’ song. Who’s with me?


As we’ve clarified earlier in this article, the guys on this staff don’t get a lot of free time to do any non-football related activities. One such activity would be dancing. I’ll just say this about the staff’s dancing abilities; anonymous sources have told me the coaching staff is lucky that all video of dancing at Wide Receivers’ coach Luke Paschall’s recent wedding has been erased. However, there is one member of the staff whose dancing skills went viral early on in his Red Wolves’ tenure. So, without further ado, in another landslide, the Howly for the “Best Dancer On The Staff” goes to…Director of Football Operations, Jason Andrews. Rumor has it he got his start as backup dancer for Vanilla Ice’s Comeback Tour.


These guys work too hard not to have fun at some point. This award didn’t focus on the funniest guy, which many know is Trooper Taylor. Instead, this Howly recognizes the guy on the staff that people don’t realize is extremely funny. Once again, it was close race and there had to be a recount on this one. One vote was thrown out as Defensive Line coach Brian Early is hard to impress and doesn’t think anybody on the staff is that funny. Taking that into account it came down to Tight Ends coach Dan Dodd, Running Backs coach Anthony Tucker, and…Coach Early. After much debate, we’re proud to announce that the Howly goes to…Coach Dodd. Keep an eye out for Coach Dodd at various open mic nights throughout Jonesboro during the season.

Well there you have it folks. The first annual “Howly’s” have been awarded. If you didn’t win, don’t’ worry; now you know what you need to work harder on in order to be in position to win next year. Now it’s time for the closing credits for “The Man Behind the Whistle.” We’d like to thank the entire coaching staff for assisting in this article series and allowing the fans to see another side of them and what makes them tick. Also, based on some of the answers revealed, we’d like to thank the friends and family of the staff for working hard to remain sane around this crew. Either way, it’s clear to see there is a solid group of coaches leading Red Wolves’ Football and it’s time to start talking about the upcoming season again.