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Mike Bobo: The human element behind the head coach (videos)

Brett Smaller Avatar
August 22, 2015

A head coach is an enigma. He has public persona and one players see behind the scenes, as well.

Every player that BSN has interviewed during Colorado State Rams fall camp has told a long tale about their coach, Mike Bobo. They don’t speak about his impressive record with the Georgia Bulldogs, the players he helped produce or how hard it is adjusting to a new coach. CSU players talk about how they wish they could go back in time and have four years with him, how when times were hard he was there, how he gets them fired up and how he is a joker.

The environment is interesting in Rams fall camp. There was a quarterback battle but every QB was completely willing to stand behind whoever was designated the leader. The running back race is a dead heat right now since Treyous Jarrells will be out for a few weeks due to a knee scope, but Jasen Oden Jr. (probably the No. 1 RB) is wearing Treyous’ number out of respect. And a sign of comradery.

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Coach Bobo is vocal that he wants more intensity out of his defense and when we interviewed Joe Kawulok, the senior defensive end said the portion the media doesn’t see of practice is getting better every day. Coach even acknowledged a pass rush the other day. There were several sacks. He likes to stress that it is more about disrupting the quarterback than necessarily getting a sack.

From the outside looking in, Bobo seems to be a kind hearted man who makes every effort to get a positive interaction with his whole team. He is rich in faith and has high expectations. These players seem to really be responding to his leadership. Not on a surface level, but something deeper. He even was thoughtful enough in spring practice to show up in an ice cream truck to surprise the team.

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Bobo has told the media that he wants more out of his defense and today he reported that the defense had a better day than the offense in practice. These players are responding in ways that bring up memories of great teams, great things. When players buy in like they appear to be buying in great things can happen. For example Ben Watson of the New England Patriots once chased down Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey after he intercepted the ball and ran it back 99 yards only to be tackled at the one-yard-line. While discussing the incident Watson remembered his college coach telling him, “Those kind of plays don’t really require that much talent.”

This kind of dedication can drive a young man to do great things. To run faster, block better, tackle harder and if they are lucky be inspired to do something great off of the field as well.

Coach Bobo emphasizes the little things, the fundamentals that allow players to succeed not only on the field but in life. He pays attention to his players and makes an impression on all of them. SteveO Michaels remembered when he had to miss the first few practices that Bobo reached out and made it known that Bobo supported him. Kevin Pierre-Lewis spoke about the coach’s passion and how funny he is. Jasen Oden and SteveO Michaels spoke about how the coach is moving players into new positions to get more out of each young man. When Cory James was asked what his favorite thing about Bobo was he said his southern accent.

All the leaders from Colorado State have bought into what Bobo is selling, which is winning football and being. He’s setting them up for success.

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