The term "players coach" has been thrown around a ton the past few years, so much so that it's almost become a cliché by now. So, forgive us if we were a bit skeptical when said term was used to describe new head coach Gary Andersen and what he would bring to Wisconsin.
Skepticism is a healthy thing, but so is keeping an open mind and verifying if you're instincts were correct before burying your head in the sand. So, as the months have ticked off and spring practice has begun to wind down consider this a case of skepticism turned around for this writer.
Why the turn? Well first off it's the fact that as fans we've been accustomed to associating the term "players coach" with being someone, ala Pete Carroll, who would parade celebs out to his players, make crazy pop culture references, become your favorite tweeter's favorite tweeter, and all sorts of crazy things. The basic gist of it all is that they are hip, cool, and with the times - all of which makes them somehow in-tune with their players and therefore having a special bond that makes their players love them.
Secondly, it's an article written by Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal. Credit where credit is due, this is one insightful and well done look at the program Gary Andersen is in the process of building. In the article Mulhern paints a picture of what it's really supposed to be like for a coach to be a "players coach." Andersen's not some older guy trying to be hip, in fact he readily admits to not being that kind of a guy.no comments