Coaches are often asked difficult questions by media and parents about their team and coaching decisions that occur during the course of the season. Having suffered two consecutive losses, Jacksonville State Head Coach John Grass was grilled on Tuesday about criticisms of his coaching and his football team. This is the same Jacksonville State coach whose team defeated Florida State earlier in the season. The Gamecocks have a record of 2-3 so far. Instead of lashing out, Grass showed his composure and great leadership of the Jacksonville State program.
Grass is a former Alabama high school coach who was head coach at Ashville, Albertville, Moody, Spain Park and Oxford before becoming the head coach at JSU.
All coaches should read his comments. Here is what he said.
"I don't hear any of the critics because I'm on no social media or pay attention to it. We have a job to do, and we look to do as much with each and every day that we have and get better, and that's the life of a football player and a football coach. You can't listen to what's outside our building.
"I will say this: I'm glad that we do have critics. It's very, very good to be in a place that cares about football, and I don't think everywhere in the country can say that. You've got places where they could care less about athletics and could care less about football. They don't really even like football.
"So, for us to have a passionate fan base, hey, we're excited to be playing at home at homecoming this weekend. We ought to have 20,000-plus. You go to Kennesaw last week, they couldn't even fill up an 8,000-seat stadium. ...
"Our folks are passionate. This is home to people. This is what homecoming means to me. I'm excited about our fan base being passionate. And, I'll take the criticism. Hey, put that loss on me Saturday. It's my job to have us better prepared and to play better. Last time I checked, we built the expectations in Division I football here.
"Hey, there's nobody who expects to win more than John Grass does, I can promise you that. Nobody takes it harder. I hurt for my guys when they get out there and they don't perform well. I know it hurts them. There's nobody out there who tried to miss a tackle or miss a block. They're trying the very best they can. They're getting after it, and I'm going to support them 100 percent. We're going to work on things, and we're going to get better. We're going to rise to the challenge this week. We're going to play better this week, and do everything in our power to get that W.
"Like I said, it goes back to, I welcome the criticism because I want people to care about football."