VandyMania Interview: Bobby Johnson

Fans likely think of the month of June as a down time, but it's a busy time of year for Vanderbilt's football coaching staff. Head Coach Bobby Johnson talked Monday about some of the events and activities planned for the summer, and looked ahead briefly to the 2004 season.


VandyMania: Fans probably think of this time of year when there's not that much going on, but really, with camps and everything, this is one of your busier times of year, isn't it?

Head Coach Bobby Johnson: It's fairly busy, yeah. We've got several weekends worth of camp, and a lot of our evaluations are going on by film, on guys that our coaches picked up when they were out visiting schools in April and May. We've also got the caravan ["Commodores in the Community"] going around to various locations around Nashville, so that's an important time for us. We coaches actually start planning our preseason practices during this time too. We have a junior recruiting day next Saturday, and after that we're planning to take a little time off and recharge the batteries, and get ready for next season.

VM: You held your Senior All-Positions Camp on Sunday... was this one of the best-looking groups you've had in for camp since you've been at Vanderbilt?

Coach Johnson: Well, it was a good group. We enjoyed having them in. It's always good to get that kind of young men to come to your campus. Our guys did a great job instructing them in football. It was great to have them come.

VM: Those two weeks in late June is about the only time you get off all year, isn't it?

Coach Johnson: Yeah, that week from about June 19 through July 4.

VM: What's the situation with the kickoff time for the South Carolina game? That's still kind of up in the air, correct?

Coach Johnson: Well, it's not officially been named Jefferson-Pilot Game of the Week, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be, which means it will be an 11:30 kickoff. So probably just like last year against Mississippi, it's going to be very hot. That's what you have to go through sometimes to get some exposure, for our program to get on TV. We're not thrilled about that, but it will get us on TV and let a lot of people see us play.

VM: This has been just an incredible spring for Vanderbilt sports... it seems as though all the spring sports on campus have had great success. Is that something you can take to your team and say, look, guys, we can do this too? Or something along those lines. Is it something that you can use as a motivator?

Coach Johnson: We're thrilled that all the other teams are doing well, but whether they did well or not, we're going on with our plan, and our plan is to excel. I don't think our guys need any extra motivation. They work extremely hard, and our coaches work extremely hard. We're dedicated to making a winner out of Vanderbilt football, no matter what else is happening around campus.

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