Q&A with Jerry Schmidt: Part 4

OUInsider.com continues its exclusive series with OU Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Jerry Schmidt. Schmidt talks about the importance of the coaches setting an example for the players, his staff and former players who are in the NFL coming back to Norman to go through his workouts.

OUInsider.com continues its exclusive series with OU Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Jerry Schmidt.

JH: This coaching staff, including your staff, still works out pretty hard in the gym. In fact, Coach Jackie Shipp and Brent Venables both still get after very hard in the weight room. Coach Chuck Long and Cale Gundy both run a great deal and work in the weight room and they both still throw a football pretty well. Coach Bobby Jack Wright rides a bike 20 to 25 miles a day or smiles a mile when not on the bike. Coach Bob Stoops is on that treadmill every day or he is swimming. All the coaches do something to stay in shape. Are all of you just working out for your health or are you sending a message to your football team?

JS: "I think it is important that our players see our coaches out running around campus every day, even after two-a-days. When the players come out of showering up they will see all of us, as a coaching staff, run back to the locker room. It is important, because we are preaching to them to get in better shape. We make these guys run gassers after practice, so they see us always working to get in shape by running after practice.

"I think it keeps the coaches young and allows them to mingle a little bit with the athletes. I feel it makes the team closer. It is more of a family type deal and shows that all of us are in this grind together. We as coaches are practicing what we preach and working out is a part of our life."

JH: Coach Shipp looks pretty good. It looks like he can still throw up some good weight?

JS: "Oh yeah, he has great strength. I keep telling him that we can get one more year out of him in the NFL. He always laughs, but he can move some iron around. It is very important to him, as every day he works out. As a defensive line coach, you have to be strong working with guys down in the trenches. If you look at him ou know he is a defensive line coach just by his appearance and how good of shape he is in."

JH: You have a great staff, but you have had some great coaches who have been on your staff in the past haven't you?

JS: "I have had some great ones. Coach Corey Edmond and Mark Hill went from here to Arizona, and they have been a big part of that program up there. I think our staff is very important and sometimes I get too much credit. I have to have a good staff because we can get so much more done in a summer if my staff understands the importance of it and the importance of the drills that we are trying to teach.

"When we are teaching and working the players in agility drills, we have to have a good relationship with our players and they have to believe that we believe in what we are teaching. They have to know that we are having them do those drills to get them to reach another level.

"Coach Scott Kolok does a great job for me, as does Coach Larry Jackson. With have Rodney Rideau back with us now, who played safety here, he is doing a great job. Tim Overman helps us and helps with some other sports, and Jason Busher. I have a great staff that I feel very, very good about.

"If I have a number of groups in, I can send the running backs down with Rodney Rideau or Larry Jackson. I know they understand what we are trying to get done. The players respect them and they get their attention and get great intensity from the players. That is what we are looking for in any drill and all of my coaches can get that kind of intensity."

JH: When players get drafted many of them choose to stay and have you train them for their effort in the NFL. Not all the players stay, but most of them do. You have to feel very good about that don't you?

JS: "I think these guys know for being around me for so long that I am here for them and I am here with them. It is very important for them to know that I am always here to help them to get better. I love to see a guy like Jammal Brown and Mark Clayton come in as freshmen and then leave and be able to go take care of his family.

"You can't put a price tag on that or how they develop as student athletes. It is always great to see that fantastic smile from Roy Williams when he comes back around. I think they understand what can help them in life. Football can transfer over and they realize that football is going to be over someday. They have to understand that the reason why they are getting up every morning is to learn to be accountable to each other, and that is no different that being accountable for your family. Some day you are going to have a family and they are going to be your team, and some days you will not feel like getting up. But when that alarm goes off you have to get up and go take care of that family.

"The same thing happens in football. The guys count on each other to be there at practice or workouts in order to reach the goals they have set for themselves. We are just teaching guys to be on time and to be responsible, which is the same in life. There are a lot of people out there that don't want to work, so we teach our guys to go after it consistently and to go out there and try to out work people."

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