The Wolfpacker

July 2013 Football Preview

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 33 of 163

Football 2013 One Pack, One Goal Dave Doeren Is Changing The Culture Of Wolfpack Football D By Ryan Tice ave Doeren might be the ACC's youngest head coach at 41 years old, but this isn't his first rodeo. After he led Northern Illinois to the Orange Bowl and 23 wins in his two years at the helm, he took the NC State job with very specific things in mind that he wanted to implement. He has been in the process of changing the Wolfpack football program ever since. "The thing that we're real careful of is not trying to compare what we've done with what they used to do," he said. "I think there are a lot of ways to do things as a coach. My way is different — it doesn't mean my way is better — but for what I like to get done, there have been a lot of things we had to change." It has been a complete overhaul, from what jersey color the offense and defense wear at practice to the signs posted in the locker room. Field turf replaced grass on one of the three practice fields, but not all of the changes are so obvious — a leadership council was voted on by the players and the coaching staff encourages intrasquad competitions in every way possible. The coaches also compete amongst themselves on the recruiting trail, and it shows with a class that includes the Pack's first in-state prospect ranked among North Carolina's top 10 since 2010 and a pair of fourstar prospects. The program hasn't landed multiple four- or five-star recruits in any of the last three classes, and there is a definite buzz around the program, thanks to the staff and their social media presence. The strength and conditioning program and almost every other aspect of the program will pit players against others from their own position groups, but it will also match up athletes regardless of size or position. "That's one of the things that I felt when I got here — the kids all liked each other, but they didn't do a lot together," Doeren explained. "The offense was kind of with the offense, the defense was with the defense, the kickers were on their own. That can happen really easily in football. That's where the, 'One Pack, One Goal' motto came from, trying to get everybody to work with each other and for each other." Holding Each Other Accountable The coaches have also implemented what Doeren calls accountability competitions. "We're just trying to create a chemistry and camaraderie," he said. "Accountability is a big part of it." The members of the leadership council — who were voted on by their position groups — were split into six teams by the coaches, with three leaders on each squad. Then, they drafted their teammates considering not only athletic ability, but also off-the-field qualities because points are awarded and lost on GPA, class attendance, class tardies and community service, among several other categories and competitions. "It puts a little pressure on those other guys that aren't doing so well to pick up their performance," the coach said. "It's really about transparency, because on the football field when you make a mistake it hurts everybody; everybody sees it. If we can get everyone to learn to be accountable all the time to each other, it starts to carry over on the field. "I think they like it. I think all kids want discipline. I think they want guys to carry their own weight. I think for the guys that we've had to really put a thumb on, it's been 32  ■  the wolfpacker 32-33.FB Team Overview.indd 32 7/1/13 9:24 AM

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