Larry Vaught goes one-on-one with Kentucky wide receivers coach Pat Washington.
Question: Since you are so soft spoken and mild mannered, can you be hard on players if need be and how would the receivers describe you?
Washington: "I am not sure exactly how they would describe me. When I?need to speak up, I can speak up and they know it. We have been in meetings and things like that and they have seen that. What I try to do is be as positive as possible and try to teach what they have to do in games. If they need some extra encouragement,?I may not do it loudly. I may bring them over and give them a choice word or two."
Question: Do you like to do things with your players, have them over to your house?
Washington: "First thing I have to get in a house, but we are looking forward to having events this summer where we will all get together. Part of this process of being a coach is that I want them to see me in a different environment. I want them to see me as a husband, as a father and know that I?am human and there is nothing different from me than their fathers or as they become fathers. Hopefully I can show them how you treat a woman and how you treat your kids. Also discipline my kids and they go, ‘He's bad.' Yeah, they are no different than you and I am no different than you. We are all the same, but some kids didn't have a father and I want to show them how to be a father and husband."
Question: Does your family embrace having players around?
Washington: "It depends. My kids and my wife we are all private people, but at the same time they like to get to know the guys I?am coaching. They want to know who they are and of course they want them to know who they are. It is a family atmosphere and as much time as we can spend with the guys, we do it. Again, let your hair down, let them see the human side of you and not always the coach side of you. They can relate to things you say. In the coaching field, even in the meeting rooms, there are times that are teaching moments and are not about football. You try to relate it to life. As you relate it to life, if they have been in your home it helps. I will be talking about something and say, ‘This reminds me of my son,' and they will know which son I am talking about. That kind of stuff is really good for all the kids and is part of growing up in college. College is a great experience. You learn a lot — good and bad — and then you take that with you and become who you want to be in life. So it's important for them to see me as more than just a coach."