Everett Withers on players leaving: This isn't basketball... You've gotta love it

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday March 24, 2016

Texas State has seen several players depart the program over the past few months, but first-year head coach Everett Withers says he wants players who love the game of football, because it's not easy.

Players left for various reasons, from graduating early to family issues to undisclosed reasons. There’s typically some roster turnover when a new coach comes in, but Withers doesn’t think it directly has to do with his changes.

“I don’t think it’s that they didn’t like what we were doing,” Withers said. “You have to really love this game. It’s really hard. It’s not like playing basketball where you can roll out a ball. Across the street, I see a lot of people playing basketball. How many do you see playing football? Not many. You’ve got to love this game.

“When you go through a change with the coaching staff, and a new guy comes in with a plan and says, ‘This is how we’re going to do it.’ Sometimes, you figure out, ‘Maybe I’m done with this.’ No disrespect for those kids. It’s like when somebody takes over IBM or Google and people leave. That’s what happens in football programs.” 

Four of the departures were offensive linemen, and building depth is vital this spring. Every job is up for grabs, and Withers says he probably won’t decide on a starting quarterback until the first game week.

Withers takes over a program that went 3-9 last year and was near the bottom in scoring offense and scoring defense. As part of the new head coaching job, he’s getting out to meet with fans, and he specifically puts it on himself to get students from the parking lot into the stadium.

“I want to get our students to come to our games,” he said. “I don’t want them sitting in the parking lot, drinking and going home. I want them, after they drink and do all that, to come in the game. I know, as a head coach, it’s my job to give them a reason to come to the game. I’m excited about that part.”

Texas State’s spring game is scheduled for April 9.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.