It's our first guest post in awhile! My buddies Mike and Sean accompanied me to the ESPN 1420 Sports Fest about a month ago and Mike wrote something up about one of his experiences there that I think was particularly impactful to him. So without further ado…..
"For four years, we watched homegrown Richard Torres help anchor the Warrior's secondary and electrify the stadium with his interception returns. Now two years later, he returns in a very different role as a first-year graduate assistant. Currently his focus is on the side of the ball he knows best, but from a different angle up in the stadium booths. Utilizing his experience in reading the offense, he'll help the coaches recognize the schemes and identify player substitutions in order to help make the appropriate adjustments. His personal goal for this season will be to improve his analysis and editing so that he can prepare players for the film sessions. Hopefully his past experience and leadership will translate well during film sessions, but he understands that the narrow age gap between himself and the players is likely to be his biggest challenge in trying to provide coaching. For that, he jokingly said that he has been training at a local gym with Mixed Martial Arts. I think if I knew my coach was well versed in MMA, I would fall in line as well. As he gains more experience and begins to contribute more to the coaching side of football, we hope to see the same dividends that we saw on the gridiron just a few years ago. Best of luck Richard!"
Round of applause for Mike! Truth be told, there were quite a few players there at the sportsfest, whose attitudes about signing autographs ranged from "hey how are you nice to meet you!!" to "what the eff am I doing here I'm gonna kill my agent, get the hell away from me." To his credit, Richard was definitively on the friendly end, super happy to talk story about both his playing career as well as what he anticipated the future held for him.
I've been to about 5 practices so far for the team during the fall, and he looks like he's fitting in quite well. He's not doing a lot of actual coaching, but that's about right for a grad assistant. Most of the time he's frantically scurrying around to make sure that things are working logistically. I guess not totally unlike what he did when he was playing on the field. Good job Richard!