With the CFSL season officially over and the season 12 champions crowned, it is time to get ready for the off-season festivities to commence. One of the big things to happen this season is we have six changes at AD, four being new AD’s and two returning to become AD’s. I got a chance to take a moment and ask them a few questions about the upcoming season and their new teams.
First up I spoke with the new AD of the University of Tennessee Hencerling.
Joey Zaza: First I wanna say congratulations on becoming the new AD of Tennessee, 1st question. You coached Eastern Michigan to a conference title last year, how do you think that has prepared you to be an AD?
Hencerling7: It gets me ready and lets me learn how to win! And thanks really excited what this team can do!
Joey Zaza: You are taking over a team that didn’t fare too well in the SEC last year, how do you feel your coaching style will shake things up for the team and the conference?
Hencerling7: The players on the team are excited due to my past resume and truly think we have a chance at winning it all next season!
Joey Zaza: So with that being said, do you see yourself as a playoff favorite, dark horse, or still building?
Hencerling7: Once this offseason is over we will have enough talent to be able to be a playoff favorite and with the new coaching staff I assemble together in the future!
Joey Zaza: Love it, well that’s all the questions I had, thanks for your time. Any final comments or statements?
Hencerling7: Tennessee is going to the MOON!
Next I spoke with Hornsnation, returning AD replacing Allan at the University of Michigan
Joey Zaza: First wanna say congratulations on becoming the AD for Michigan. First question, you have previously been an AD before and are now taking over for one of the longest tenured ADs in Allan. Can you tell me how it feels to be in that role again, and any parting words for the former AD?
Hornsnation: It feels good. I bounced around to South Carolina and NIU last season, so I was able to keep my skills sharp against the competition here in the league. Allan is a great leader and AD, so it’s big shoes to fill. He taught me how to sim in season two and I have always gone to him for help. He is going to stay on in some capacity here at Michigan, so we will have some continuity.
Joey Zaza: That’s great and I think it will be nice for some of the players so that’s good to hear. Your team obviously didn’t finish where you would have liked last year, how do you think your style of coaching and game planning will improve your team moving into next season and going forward?
Hornsnation: Well I’ll be one of the few ADs with a national championship title on my shelf. I have had to learn at each spot since then, so expect some tweaks to my offense and defense. But if it’s anything like my history as an AD, I have never had a losing season. I play to win.
Joey Zaza: I love the confidence, so with that being said do you see your team as playoff favorites, dark horse, or still building?
Hornsnation: Probably a dark horse, but Michigan is here to win it all.
Ran out of time with Hornsnation, wonderful getting a chance to talk with him. Up next was Jmel1125, who is better known as Jeff and will be the AD of Ohio State University.
Joey Zaza: First things first I wanna say congratulations on becoming the AD for Ohio State, You have been an AD before and coming back again now. What’s it like to be in the driver’s seat again? And also any kind words for the departing AD?
Jmel: Well for Monte Wyatt he did a great job. He stepped up when the program needed it and he did a great job despite maybe the outsiders thinking he didn’t. These players have only known him and now I’m trying to take the program to the next step. Season 9 is a couple seasons ago and Ohio State is known for competing for championships and that’s what I want to bring here. As for being back, it feels weird really, because I was at Notre Dame and now staying in the big 10 and leading a program that’s been here since 1 is a dream job.
Joey Zaza: That’s good to hear and I’m sure your fans love to hear that from their new AD, your team didn’t finish probably where they would have liked to last season. How do you think your coaching style will help change that and put you in contention in the Big 10?
Jmel: Well the big ten was very too heavy this season. Normally and historically it’s been competitive. My coaching style will fit in nicely. Since season 9 I have been coaching and so It’s not like I won’t be able to compete. I think we will surprise next season but I’m not going to be surprised. The locker room is hyped up and ready for next season already. They are like caged dogs. It’s been nice to see.
Joey Zaza: Caged dogs ready to be released I like that, So do you see yourselves as a playoff favorite, dark horse, or still building?
Jmel: Playoff favorite. I love the expectations. Pile on, cause I will prove you wrong, like I did at Notre Dame. Gotta have high expectations
Joey Zaza: Awesome, well that’s all the questions I had, thanks for your time. Any final comments or statements you wanna make?
JMel: I love the locker room and everything I do is for them. They are putting in the work and trying to make it easy on me but I love it. They are amazing athletes and they deserve everything they get next season after a down season this past season.
Great interview loved the energy, following that i sat down with the AD of one of the new programs Bigmurph with West Virginia University.
Joey Zaza: First I want to start off by saying congratulations on becoming the AD for West Virginia, it is a new school to the CFSL, what are you looking to establish as the foundation of your program?
Bigmurph: Thank you, I am honored and excited to start this journey. And to answer the question, I think the first thing that I want to make sure to establish here is trust and belief. A trust and belief in me that even as a new AD that I am going to do everything I can to make this a successful program. A trust and belief in the coaches that we have the best interest in our players and program in mind with everything we do. and a trust and belief in each other that we are all going to hold the rope, and pull in the same direction. We aren’t going to be 8-0 our first year more than likely. but we all have to trust and believe that we are going to improve each week and each season and then go out and do just that.
Joey Zaza: Very well said, I think trust and belief is one thing that every player wants to have in their school and coaching staff. You are becoming part of the Big 12. What do you think your coaching style and leadership will bring to a conference with a lot of big personalities and tough competition?
Bigmurph: I think early on I will have to find my coaching style. I have an idea in mind for what I want the team to be, but I also understand that I have to be willing to adapt. I think that will have a lot of impact in the locker room as well. If my guys (and girls) know that I am willing to adapt and adjust to make this program successful that will help make me a better leader. I know there are a lot of big personalities in the Big 12, and throughout the CFSL. I don’t think I have that kind of personality. I am competitive, and I am going to drive that with the team. But I’m not the fiery, in your face kind of guy. I’m not going to talk a lot. I’m going to let my team go out and do their thing. And hopefully, if I’ve done my job right throughout the week, we will show well on the field. And that will put WVU on the map, and the rest of the league on notice.
Joey Zaza: Well spoken indeed. I know it’s a bit early. We have transfers and recruiting to go. Where do you see WVU’s playoff favorite, dark horse, still building?
Bigmurph: I would love to say we can come out and be a dark horse right out of the gate. But I don’t know if that is being realistic. We are starting from the ground up at WVU. We are going to have to fight hard to get the transfers and recruits in to start building this program. We are definitely in the building phase. It may be a 2 season build, I hope not. I hope that we can get things put together solidly enough that we show that we can compete this season and then in season 14 we can be a contender. But only time will tell if I’m right.
Joey Zaza: I think that is good thinking, it’s a crazy league and anything can happen. Those are all the questions I have. Do you have any last statements or comments?
Bigmurph: Just to reiterate how much I appreciate the opportunity to bring my real life Alma Mater into the CFSL. It is an honor to be able to do this in such a great league with all these great people here. I can’t wait to get things going and establish WVU as a big time program in the league.
I next got a chance to sit down with another AD of the new school in the CFSL, 14davis who is the AD of the University of Kentucky.
Joey Zaza: First I wanna say congratulations about becoming the AD of Kentucky. With Kentucky being a new school to the CFSL, what are you looking to establish as the foundation for your program?
14davis: I’ve been a Kentucky fan my whole life so I feel a huge sense of responsibility to make this team not only successful in the the wins and loss category but also make this team become a team that anyone can see themselves play no matter who they root for irl
Joey Zaza: I think that’s a great philosophy to have and something all players will appreciate. You are coming to the SEC, a place that had a tight race for their second spot in the playoffs. What do you think about the conference as a whole?
14davis: The SEC gets slept on quite a bit but there is a great mixture of veteran and young AD’s. I think most of the teams in the conference are very close talent and coaching wise and I believe that it’s going to be a tight race again next season
Joey Zaza: I agree personally that last week where so many things could have happened had me super excited as a fan of great football. Next question, you coached Kent St and was a coach for Oregon. How did that prepare you for becoming an AD?
14davis: My time at Oregon was huge for me. Frosty really showed me the ropes and definitely helped me learn what to look for in sims and how to sim. He really opened my eyes to how to be a successful AD in this league. My experience at Kent State is invaluable because I had to run that team completely on my own. I learned how to take a loss and how to run a team with many personalities.
Joey Zaza: All valuable lessons I’m sure and greatly helped you on your journey. Since it was so close last season, I know it’s early we have transfers and recruiting to go but where do you see yourself in the mix of the conference? Playoff favorite, dark horse, still building?
14davis: My personal goal is to build a team that can compete with anyone in this league. I feel if I can stay in the mix in the conference until the very end of the season I’ll be happy. I really just want to establish a culture of togetherness more than counting the wins and losses.
Joey Zaza: That is a great philosophy to have and a good mind set. Thanks for your time, any final comments or statements you would like to make?
14davis: I just want to voice my appreciation to the admin team for giving me this opportunity to be the leader of my favorite program and I’m honored that they felt confident enough in me to had me the keys to an organization in this league.
Lastly, I got to sit down with the new AD of the University of Oklahoma DThall.
Joey Zaza: first wanna say congrats on becoming the AD for Oklahoma I know it was a school you wanted to run the program. How did coaching in the MAC and at Wisconsin prepare you for becoming an AD?
Dthall79: Getting the opportunity to assist in the coaches room gave me the basic foundation of what it takes to game plan week to week. Having the opportunity to step in at BGSU gave me the chance I needed to test my ability to recruit and to hold a locker room together through thick and thin as we built a brotherhood.
Joey Zaza: All factors that I would say definitely carry weight as an AD, you are taking over a program that was in the thick of the playoff race in the BIG 12, What do you think your style of coaching will bring to a team that has a foundation that seems strong?
Dthall79: Bringing stability to a team that has been through turmoil since it’s existence. I have a group of guys that just desire the leadership and commitment required to get us to the next level. They have the tools to succeed. My job is to put them in the right positions to make those tools work best.
Joey Zaza: Well said, the big 12 had a bunch of teams in the playoff mix, I know it’s early because we have transfers and recruiting but in your honest opinion where do you see yourself in the beginning of the season? Playoff favorite, dark horse or still building?
Dthall79: After talking things over with all the players and them thus far unanimously on board. I would like to think of ourselves in contention for a Big 12 championship. That is a huge ask from a year 1 AD, but I have faith that my guys will bring it week in and week out and leave it all on the field.
Joey Zaza: That’s all that any fan can ask for from their team and all a coach can ask for their players. Well that’s all I wanted to ask, not many questions. Do you have any final statements you wanted to say?
Dthall79: Just ready to get this ball rolling and ready to truly enjoy my rivalries. So I hope the cap guns are ready to misfire and the horns are ready to go down. BoomerSooner!!!
I enjoyed sitting down with all of the ADs that are coming into the league this season. I can’t wait to see what they can bring to their respective teams. They are a compelling bunch. We got one taking over a team that had a decent finish last season, we have two brand new schools with first time ADS. We have 3 AD’s taking over teams that struggled last season and are looking to right the ship. All that and every other team trying to stamp a path to the playoffs. I can’t wait for the season to get here!