A Player's Perspective on Sal Alosi

Jun. 25 -- Former linebacker Todd Golper provides his own perspective on Sal Alosi...

Photo of Sal Alosi by BRO Photographer Steve Cheng

For those you of who have any questions or concerns in regards to Coach Sal Alosi’s integrity, honesty, and ethics -- quell them now. Being a former player who worked with him for unfortunately only one season (I wish we had four years), he is the type of man I hope my sons grow up to be. Coach Alosi is quiet, humble, intense and absolutely one of the hardest working men I have ever had the pleasure of working alongside and being mentored by in my life. There is no mediocrity with him, neither in his personal life nor in his professional life. I think people generally misunderstand him because he isn’t raucous or rambunctious from a personality standpoint. It is incredibly disheartening to me to see outsiders like ESPN and others rain on his integrity because it is one of the things he has worked so hard to redeem and continue to purvey to others.

Coach generally is a quiet man and doesn’t go in depth with words about his emotions. He carries himself in a professional and honest manner with his players. Coach Alosi has an expectation that is “old-school” as some would put it. Cultural sentiments like “Sharpen your sword quietly” or “our business is our business.” It is a “be there 15 minutes early and you’re on time” type of attitude. He sets his expectations once and expects you to listen. He doesn’t repeat himself because if he has to, that means you weren’t listening and didn’t respect him enough to care. It’s simple.

Sal Alosi (USA Today)
Coach Alosi is the type of guy who absolutely cannot stand attention. He wants nothing to do with awards or accolades but only to see his guys succeed. Their success is a testament to his work. That is what gives him the most energy. That is what inspires him on a day-to-day basis. This is a guy who you would never know because he doesn’t flaunt it but does a ton of work with the Navy Seals and military veteran non-profit organizations. He treats everyone equally. If you respect his program, his vision and dream as well as his staff, he will respect you and do everything in his right mind to help you. I know this because to this day, Coach Alosi sends me workout cards to work around my injuries, yet I am almost three seasons out of the program. Me, a special teams player for almost all of my career (injured for the other half), and he still goes out of his way to make sure I am taken care of to the best extent his expertise can provide. THAT is the type of man he is. A guy who looks out for those who give everything they have. A man who takes care of those who respect his words, his program, and his values. He has very few expectations of performance. There is just one expectation that will never go away. Work your butt off, show your teammates/the staff you care, and give everything you have for us and we will do the same for you. It’s simple. It’s why he treats everyone the same way, from a walk-on to an Anthony Barr or Eric Kendricks. He is the type of man, if I were to go to war, I’d want him to be right beside me. His loyalty is undeniable. His values are second to none in regards to what he believes in and stands for. He doesn’t say much when he doesn’t have to. When he says something, you take it and you respect it, because he didn’t say the words for any other reason than to make you a better man, teammate, and player…in that order.

The best story I can give about Coach Alosi is from the first day that Coach Mora introduced the staff to us. Coach Alosi came in and didn’t say a word. All he did was put a video up of the New York incident in the team room. He said, “I’m going to address the elephant in the room right now. Yes, that was me. Yes, I did that. Yes, I made the worst mistake of my life and professional career and I’m telling you now, I accept full responsibility for my actions and have dearly paid the price for it. I want you to know I’m not perfect. I am human. I have made mistakes. I am going to give you my word as a man that I am going to work harder than any one you have ever seen to get us to where we want to go. Any questions?”

Coach will probably be pissed at me for sharing that story because I know he would never share it. To me and pretty much 99% of the room, he won our respect that day. Anyone who can stare in the mirror, face responsibility and have accountability to their actions to a group of men who have no idea who you are, who only have judged you from afar and to set them in their place…Boy that was a sight to see. It is a testament of the kind of man he is and why he is the incredible leader and mentor he is today. It’s just something that I don’t see much with people anymore, which is why I have the utmost respect for him.

Coach Alosi is the foundation of success to UCLA’s football program. I hope people can one day realize how much of an impact he has had on everyone who trains with him, who has worked alongside him, and has had the pleasure of being in his presence. He is a blue-collar, no nonsense man that is exactly what UCLA needs and will always need. It is a shame to see a helicopter parent attempt to discredit this man’s reputation, someone who has worked so hard to have the success he wants everyone around him to have.

I hope the UCLA community stands firm behind him because I will forever.

Bruin Report Online Top Stories