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Gameplanning with College Football Coaches: A Musical Exploration

We got to wondering what other coaches were listening to while getting ready. Here's what we found.


By this point, hopefully everyone has read, or at least skimmed, the beauty that is Bruce Feldman's 8 day All Access pass into Texas A&M's preparation for the Alabama game.  There are far too many great morsels to list - seriously, go read the article - but surely one detail above all others jumped out at perceptive readers:

11:05 a.m.: McKinney sits at his desk, watching Alabama film on his computer as A Tribe Called Quest's album, The Low End Theory, plays in the background.

Because of COURSE offensive coordinator Clarence McKinney put together a gameplan to eviscerate the Tide while listening to "the most consistent and flowing hip-hop album ever recorded . . . an unqualified success, the perfect marriage of intelligent, flowing raps to nuanced, groove-centered productions."  Which might very well describe the Kevin Sumlin Air Raid.

It also got us at Good Bull Hunting World Headquarters to thinking; what music and media do other coaches gameplan to?  Why not employ our extensive Reveille Rolodex and see what turns up?  We emailed our friends in various SID departments across the country, and the following emails contain their responses.  Many thanks to those folks for responding so quickly.

Dana Holgorsen: 'Nonstop Slayer, all the damn time.  It's really ridiculous, the screaming, the demands for additional RedBulls, etc.  Luckily, he's usually not in the office 'till after 2 or 3pm, so the noise is somewhat kept to a minimum.'

Paul Pasqualoni: 'He's actually a big early 90's rap guy.  NWA, Geto Boyz, 2LiveCrew, Chuck D, all of it.  We're used to it now, but the first time we heard him screaming out lyrics to Dr. Dre's Deep Cover, well, that took us all by surprise.'

June Jones: 'Usually takes his afternoon nap to some Jack Johnson.  I'll occasionally find him clutching a map of Hawaii and gently sobbing, at that point I try to back out of the room before he notices anything.'

Dabo Swinney: 'The Wiggles. That's pretty much it.'

Bill Snyder: 'Al Jolson, Louie Armstrong, Bessie Smith, all the big names.  Wait, what?'

Bob Stoops: 'He actually is contractually obliged to listen to Toby Keith, but you can tell he pretty much just hates the guy.'

Gary Patterson: 'Oddly enough, he just puts himself on repeat all day.  I really hate that CD.'

Mack Brown: 'Honestly, for the past two years he's listened to nothing but Rodney Crowell on a loop while watching highlights of the 2005 Rose Bowl.  I don't even think he's looked at game film since 2009.  Is that weird?'

Kirk Ferentz: 'These days, he mainly just watches Shawshank Redemption over and over.  It's gotten pretty damn depressing back there.'

Bo Pelini: 'I'm not sure if I'm supposed to say this or not, but coach is a HUGE Insane Clown Posse guy.  Spends half his work week in the juggalo makeup.  Things really haven't been the same since Carl left.'

Urban Meyer: 'I think he arrived in November of 2011?  I work in an office down the hall and he hasn't spoken to me yet.  I'm pretty confident this will be the week though.'

Skip Holtz: 'The first time he tried to turn on the CD player, it burst into flames and ended up melting all the notes Sonny left for him.  We really don't let him near electronic equipment, or really anything with a sharp edge anymore.'

Bobby Petrino: 'Most days he just puts on the Easy Rider soundtrack and stares forlornly out the window.  Been a little tense since he got here.'

Lane Kiffin: 'Oh, you know, whatever's cool and totally awesome!  Ryan Adams . . is he still cool?  People like him?  Lots of, um, Girl Talk?!  Yeah!  That's the shit!  Seriously, I'm supposed to be making him a mix CD and I have no idea what to put on it.'

Mike Leach: 'Hell Jimmy Buffet's been living in our conference room for two weeks and has yet to leave.  It's starting to get a little bit awkward.'

P.J. Fleck: 'He actually commissioned a Kid Rock cover of Row Your Boat.  He's probably taking all these metaphors a little too far.'

Nick Saban: 'Jim McElwain turned on the stereo.  Once.  He lives in Fort Collins now.'

David Shaw: 'Really more of an All Things Considered guy than anything else.  Lots of Dave Ramsey.  Our walkon tight ends formed a Venture Capital fund last summer that's up about 37% so that's been taking up a pretty good amount of his time lately.'

Bret Bielema: 'Most days he just sits in his Trans Am in the far corner of the parking lot and blares Ratt.  He thinks we can't hear it, but we can.  Oh, can we ever.'

Mark Richt: 'He went through a Michael W. Smith phase a couple of years ago but feared the kids might think he was getting a little off-track, so he's back to nothing but Bill Gaither.  Have a blessed day!'