Coach's Corner

There are going to be a lot of people who won't like Tyrone Willingham's approach to coaching. Then again, most of those won't be on his team anyway. That is the key word in understanding his tight lipped and no nonsense approach when dealing with the alumni, media, and fans. He holds the relationships of the "team" as the most important factor in anything he does or says.

There is no question with who is in charge of Husky football. The players have already realized he is serious, direct, and can be trusted. He will not lay them out in the press. He will not second guess them just as he expects them not to second guess the coaches. He expects loyalty and he gives loyalty back. He sets standards for them and he sets standards for himself and his coaches. He is a man of honor and dignity and expects them to develop as both players and young men. He expects them to go to class and he expects them to be on time. He expects that the team comes first and then the individual.

For us old school guys, the program is changing back to where it was. Keith Gilbertson was caught in the transition period of change, and although he too attempted a change in culture, the players didn't all buy into the change.

Make no mistake - The players of this Husky team are buying in.

They only have to look at their own performance and see the need for change. They can't do things their own way anymore. They do them the right way.

The right way is explained to them and that is the way it is going to be. If they are all told to get hair cuts and clean up their acts, then they all get haircuts and shave and clean up their acts. They all dress alike during workouts, be it in the weight room, the indoor center, or the practice field. If you are told to attend every class, you'd better be attending every class. If you're required to attend any meeting, tutorial, or workout, you'd better be there early, sit in the front, and pay attention.

It's real simple. Do the right thing.

This is what team is all about. Make the total commitment to being as good as an individual as you can possibly be and thereby improve the team chain by making your link as strong as possible. The carry over will be the personal discipline and character development that will carry you for the rest of your life.

Tyrone Willingham is a sports educator. He cares about the development of his players. He wants them to be serious about their missions in life and two of those involve family and team. The others involve God and education.

If you sign on with Tyrone Willingham then you better expect to graduate. He wants you to have a degree as much as he wants you to have a Rose Bowl ring. He will also expect you to make the right decisions and make the right choices. He will make sure you do or you won't be playing for him.

With this understanding, people on the outside of the team must realize that much of what is "news" will stay in-house.

That means is will be family business. There is privacy that comes with team. There will be sanctity of team that many outside of the program will have trouble understanding. The goal (and hope) is that in the long run these Huskies will become better men. In the short run they will probably win more games. But the bottom line is that when it comes to being a part of Coach Willingham's team, you'd better make the full commitment. Top Stories