Coach's Corner

And now we enter one of the dullest sports periods on the calendar. We are currently right in the middle of summer with no football, no basketball, and bad baseball.

Golf is even boring and I'm sorry, there's no way I can sit and watch tennis on television even if it is Wimbledon or whatever it is.

The Huskies hiring a softball coach is the big news for Dawg fans because football essentially shuts down in the month of July.

Bringing back a Husky to coach the team was a great move. I got to know Heather Tarr when she was a student-athlete and she is a great choice to carry on the tradition started by Teresa Wilson. I think Heather should offer Teresa the opportunity to still be a part of Husky Softball in some way or another.

It must be a hard situation for Tarr in some ways because she is loyal and cares about Teresa.

July is family month for football and all the coaches are doing just that. This is their only vacation for the entire year. Once the staff reconvenes on August first, they will not have a day off until signing day, which is the first Wednesday in February.

If you're at a bowl, which I'm sure every player and coach at Washington expects to be, then even Christmas has some sort of work involved.

It's important for people to realize that none of the men involved in coaching the Huskies will even have a Sunday off for the next six months, much less a vacation. I know every one of them to be real family orientated men and certainly this is an important month for all of them to be with their kids. Many golf but family will have their highest priority for the next few weeks.

So, with the Coaches gone, what are the players doing? Most are regular visitors to the Kaligis and Emtman house of horrors. The weight room and subsequent conditioning drills run like clockwork. Summer school is really big, as it gives kids a chance to get ahead on credits for graduation. This is why you have seen the graduation rates at Washington rise continually every year. The summer school push has been going on for over a decade and it really makes sense for kids to just push on thru and get it done in four to five years. There have been many who, if they red shirt, only have to take 1 class for their 5th or senior year of football. Some have even graduated before their fifth year.

It's not by accident that Jim Lambright had the highest rate of graduation of any head coach at Washington. Summer school was pushed hard by Lambo.

Conditioning during summer months has become universally accepted throughout America. Teams literally continue to practice all year long now, particularly in big time college football. At WSU they have had as many as 90% of their team stay in Pullman for the summer. Go figure! I did that once and it almost killed me.

Almost killed my marriage as well, but that's a different story.

I got a chuckle once out of Mike Price admitting that he has the players work out during the summer on a grass field right outside his office. Of course, he couldn't watch because that would be a violation.

This year there are about 65-75 Huskies working out on a regular basis. It will increase as the month goes on and when the freshmen are officially accepted to school, then they too can join in the drills. Pete Kaligis and Steve Emtman will make this team jell during this month. That's what a lot of people forget to take into consideration when making predictions about this team. Never underestimate the pride and tradition of being a Husky. And, it just so happens that those two guys in the weight room exemplify it more than anyone.

In conjunction with the conditioning and weight training there is a regular PO/PD or Pass offense vs. pass defense. This is completely run by the players and they always stretch, and always play skeleton 7 on 7. It gives the defensive players a chance to call different coverages and use man and zone techniques. It allows the quarterbacks to go through their reads and for all the receivers to review and synchronize their routes.

So, there you have it. The Dawg days of summer. Now you just hope that maybe they can stay out of the news for a while.

For the meantime, you'll just have to live off of recruiting information from our own Chris Fetters (who is attending the Big Kahuna camp as I write this) and Magazines that are predicting the Huskies to finish at the bottom of the Pac-10.

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