Ask Coach Baird

Hello Dawg fans. It's going to be a difficult uphill battle for the Huskies to get into the NCAA tournament now, but there is still some slim hope. Keep the faith, and GO DAWGS! And now onto the letters . . .


From Frank
Coach Baird,
: Just sharing a story I heard about Jim Owens from Mike Walsh who was an Oregon high school running back in the late 50's or early 60's. When Mike was on a recruiting trip to UW he watched one of Jim Owens' special team practices. On a kick off the receiver caught the ball and returned it for a touchdown. Mike told me that Jim tore into the entire defense with a vengeance and when the receiver who just took the ball to the house, returned with a big grin on his face, Jim tore into him too. He cut left when he should of cut right to follow his blockers and Jim gave him a big chewing out for not running the correct route. Mike was President of Union Pacific Railroad at the time and used this as an example of needing to do things the right way regardless of the outcome.

A: Some lessons are hard to understand but I think the message came through to everyone when it came to coach Owens. Although I never played for him myself, his presence was what always what made him. He was actually in his late 20's when he became the head coach so obviously he learned along the way. Whatever, his stature was such that he simply carried his authority with him. A great coach and even a finer man.
From Justin Weber
Coach Baird,
: I have been reading your work for a while now and I love your take on the Dawgs! I just had to write to let you know that you know that in the Spring of 1998 when I walked on to the team I was scared speechless. But you made me feel like I was just part of the guys. You made my experience as a Dawg very memorable. No one can ever take that experience away from me. I really enjoyed my short time playing for you on the Team, and I am glad that you have stayed involved with the program, you are a great asset to the fans of UDub all over the country. Now being a transplant in Denver, CO it is great to be able to get the scoop from someone who knows what they are talking about concerning football! Thanks. I will always be a DAWG and will always be grateful to you for your coaching and guidance. I look forward to passing on your football teachings and expertise on to others and especially my own kids when that time comes. I hope your family is well! Best Regards and Go Dawgs!

A: Thank you for such a nice letter! Good luck to you Justin and keep in touch. You know where to read me.
From Larry Snyder
Coach Baird,
: JUST A QUICK QUESTION COACH. WILL JORDAN WHITE-FRISBEE EVER BE ABLE TO PLAY AGAIN?

A: He is currently an offensive linemen and it is obvious he has a chance to compete there. I think he would be an excellent road grader to replace either Daniels or Walker. He certainly has the bulk and strength to be a good guard. He's just starting to learn the position however, but should be better than any young kid. I think he could and should really help the offense – of course ONLY if he is healthy. They sure do need him.
From Guy Holliday
Coach Baird,
: If Tyrone has another losing season will UW make a change or will they give him time to build a program that was down for a number of years?

A: Ty has the support of his boss – Turner will stick by him and give him the time he needs to turn it around. Things are already turning around, last year before Stanback went down they were right there in the hunt. This team now knows how to win and competes hard. Those are two big hurdles Tyrone has cleared – now he needs to get to a bowl game.
From Eric Arena
Coach Baird,
: I happened to play for Frosty at PLU and wanted to thank you for your comments about him in your latest series of columns. I wanted to ask this question. With all of the disloyalty in college football these days, I can't help but appreciate how Coach Romar took Coach Bender's recruits and sort of "made them his own". He never looked to bring in his own guys immediately and get rid of Coach Bender's guys. He used Bender's recruits to build the foundation of a very solid men's basketball program at UW. Coach Willingham has had two years in the program and hasn't seen a full class through, so has Ty embraced or not embraced those not recruited by Rick and Gilby? The guys that had not earned a fifth year would seem to point towards Ty not embracing Rick and Gilby's guys. But on the other hand, when you think of the job that he and Coach Lappano did with Stanback, you do see him obviously embracing one of Rick's guys. Where do you see Coach Willingham in this regard? Thanks Coach Baird.

A: I think Coach Willingham has played the cards he inherited professionally and is very loyal to his own players. He has never openly or publicly said anything negative with regard to the players left behind. They all became his players and he played and kept the ones he thought bought into his system. Remember, Coach Romar got rid of the best player in the program one year after taking over the program. There were also a number of basketball kids who also transferred out when Romar became the coach. Coach Willingham is a sports-educator and is extremely private when dealing with his players. Coach Willingham is doing the exact same thing Jim Owens, Don James, or Rick Neuheisel did when they took over. You weed out the program and find the right ones to do the job. Dane Looker, Marques Hairston, and Joe Jarzynka. They were all starters then hardly played their senior years. It just happens with turnover. Some kids just get lost in the shuffle.
From Dan Stevenson
Coach Baird,
: As more and more information leaks out about Reggie Bush and a sports agent, why does it seem like nothing is being investigated. It sounds like what occurred is much, much worse than what happened with Billy Joe Hobert and at that time EVERYBODY wanted to jump on the bandwagon to bring down the University Of Washington and with this case it's like, well it's USC, just sweep it under the carpet, it's just the way things are now. We suffered a death blow to our football program and we still haven't recovered after 15 years. It just doesn't seem fair!

A: I think that the Pac-10 now realizes that they were unfair and unjust in their dealings with the Husky Football sanctions nearly 15 years ago. You need to remember that it was the local media who fanned the Husky flames and the LA papers are being very protective of the USC situation. USC's administration initiated the investigation and has kept it focused on just the issues at hand. In Washington's case the AD at the time opened the book on any and all aspects of the program. There was a media firestorm then and they specifically sought out disgruntled ex-players, many who had been kicked off the team. I promise you, USC has cleaned up its housing program and has its house now in order as a result of the situation(s). The USC defense has always been it was an agent's doing and they have no control over agents. Punishing USC because the UW got screwed years ago doesn't make it any better but pointing out the discrepancies in the two cases probably does. I never want any school in this conference to suffer the same injustices that we did. It was a total witch hunt and it was enabled by the UW administration who decided not to back Coach James. At least Pete Carroll has the backing of his own AD and college president.

Dawgman.com columnist and KJR 950 Sports Radio personality, Dick Baird.
Dick Baird was an Assistant Coach (Linebackers) and Recruiting Coordinator at the UW from 1985-1998. He has joined the Dawgman.com staff as a featured columnist for both the web site and Sports Washington magazine. In addition to his regular editorial columns, Coach Baird will try to provide some of his unique perspective by answering a few of your selected questions online. If you would like to send in your questions, please CLICK HERE.


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