News, Notes & Quotes - March 10

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Friday March 10, 2017

- Two schools open spring practice today, three more do over the weekend, and one has its spring game Saturday.

LA Tech and San Jose State open Friday. LSU and Maryland open on Saturday, and New Mexico State has its spring game. On Sunday, Kansas opens.

SJSU has a new staff under Brent Brennan, LSU has its first spring under Ed Orgeron, and Kansas has several new coaches.

Keep track of spring dates here.

- Lane Kiffin recounted what Nick Saban wanted when he brought him aboard.

Speaking to Colin Cowherd this week, Kiffin said Saban wanted a change, and that's what they got.

"When I interviewed with coach Saban over three years ago, they had just lost the last two games: the Iron Bowl with The Kick and they got beat in the Sugar Bowl by Oklahoma,” Kiffin said. “So we're on a two-game losing streak, and our offense right now, I think he said, 'is like a Ferrari going off the edge of a cliff. We have to change something.'

"It was nothing against coaches or anything like that. He was honest: going faster, more tempo and playing like teams that were beating people at that time. I think we did that."

But in replacing Kiffin now, Alabama may move back to a pro-style focus with Brian Daboll from the Patriots. Saban and Kiffin didn’t see eye-to-eye all the time with regards to the offense. Saban made a major change with Kiffin. He may be going back to his roots with Daboll.

- What would Tom Izzo tell his younger self? More work-life balance.

USA Today asked several college hoops coaches what they would change, looking back.

“I wish I had done a little better job of working more efficiently — not getting less done, but doing it more efficiently,” Izzo said. “… Balance, whether it be with my family or with myself. I think coaches burn out, too. It’s about finding a way to enjoy other things. Early on, the pressure was to keep my job. But the university has been good to me, and I’ve never felt threatened in the last 15 years about my job. It’s self-imposed pressure, but I’m sure that’s the same for 90% of people who are successful.

“Also, I would say: Enjoy some of the accomplishments. I listen to (Nick) Saban, and he’s watching film on the way home from the championship game they won. He’s watching recruiting tape. All that is good, it’s driven — but how do you not (burn out)? He’s done better. I know he has a place in Georgia. He does go there. When he was here, he had a summer home up in Northern Michigan. He’d take a little time.”

- A parent of a youth athlete is warning other parents not to go overboard with their kids.

Mark Cullen’s son was diagnosed with an disease partially caused by overexertion, and he wanted to tell his story to the LA Times. Too many parents try to live through their kids and don’t let them have fun. Read the whole story here.

“Everybody cheered him so much, I felt like they were cheering for me,” Cullen said. I loved it. I loved the power of it.”

In a time when kids are specializing in a single sport and playing year-round, Cullen wanted to tell a cautionary tale.

“The reason I’m doing this is because of how much I love my son, I adore him, I’m so very proud of him for enduring this brutal disease that I may have helped cause,” he said. “I want parents to realize we’re pushing our kids way too hard. Don’t do travel leagues. Don’t play year round. Kids will find their way.”

- Here’s a look at Florida State practice.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 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