Inside the Headset with the AFCA podcast

Inside the Headset with the AFCA

American Football Coaches Association

Inside the Headset with the AFCA takes you in-depth with interviews, anecdotes, and breakdown of X&O's with football coaches around the country.

249 Episodes

  • Inside the Headset with the AFCA podcast

    David Dean, Head Coach - University of West Georgia


    This week on Inside the Headset, we are featuring West Georgia Head Coach, David Dean. Coach Dean shares why he loves coaching in the state of Georgia, highlights how he builds a positive team culture within his program, and shares his personal experience with the AFCA. David Dean is currently in his fifth season as the Head Coach of WGU, returning to a program where he was part of two Gulf South Conference championships and three trips to the NCAA Playoffs as an assistant in the 1990s. Since returning back to the WGU sidelines, Coach Dean has continued the programs success as and has lead the Wolves to multiple Division II playoff appearances while producing numerous All-Americans. In the second week of the season in 2019, Coach Dean rewrote history, becoming the third coach in Gulf South Conference history with 100 wins Prior to arriving to West Georgia, Coach Dean spent 16 years coaching at Valdosta Sate including 9 years as the Head Coach. During his time at Valdosta State, Coach Dean won two Division II national championships while leading one of the best programs in the country during that time. The success of Dean’s Valdosta State program resulted in numerous individual plaudits. He captured American Football Coaches Association Division II Coach of the Year honors following both national titles. He was also named 2007 Coach of the Year by Schutt Sports, AFCA Regional Coach of the Year, and GSC Coach of the Year in 2010. [1:48] Start of Interview [2:02] Coaching in the state of Georgia [3:44] Building culture in a program [6:55] Preparing for a big matchup [9:09] Challenges of coaching at historically strong programs [11:36] Personal connection with the FCA [14:15] Camaraderie within the AFCA [15:30] Value of the AFCA annual convention
  • Inside the Headset with the AFCA podcast

    Will Finley, Head Coach - Waldorf University


    This week on Inside the Headset, we are featuring Waldorf University Head Coach, Will Finley. Coach Finley shares his plan for handling adversity, highlights the importance of building a strong coaching staff, and explains his motivations that drive his passion for coaching. Will Finley became the head coach for the Warriors in the spring of 2020 after spending one season as the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. In his first season as the Warriors head coach, Finley led Waldorf to a 6-3 record overall and in NSAA play, good for a third-place finish in the standings. Coach Finley was also named to the 35 Under 35 Coaches Leadership Institute by the AFCA. Coach Finley's team earned a season-best ranking of No. 24 in the NAIAFBALL Top 25 poll, landed 17 players on the NSAA All-Conference Teams and 1 player the first 1st Team All-American honors in program history. As defensive coordinator in 2019, his first season on the Waldorf staff, Coach Finley helped the team to a 7-3 overall record and the program's first NAIA Top 25 ranking as Waldorf finished the season No. 23 in the nation. Coach Finley began his coaching career as the running backs coach at Benedictine from 2011-13, while working on his Masters, and moved to linebackers coach at Benedictine from 2013 through 2018. He also served as interim defensive coordinator for the Ravens in 2018, helping guide the team to the NAIA National Championship game. [1:48] Start of Interview [3:14] Biggest change in year two as a head coach [4:41] Handling adversity [6:01] Preparing to become a head coach [7:26] Building a coaching staff [10:22] Learning from other coaches [13:36] Motivation for coaching [15:04] Building a playbook [18:53] 35 Under 35 experience
  • Inside the Headset with the AFCA podcast

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  • Inside the Headset with the AFCA podcast

    Bob Trott, Defensive Coach


    This week on Inside the Headset, we are featuring longtime college coach, Bob Trott. Coach Trott discusses the importance of cultivating relationships throughout the coaching journey, discusses the evolution of recruiting in the college game, and gives advice on how to maintain professional development. Bob Trott is a former College and NFL coach where he most recently spent time as the Defensive Coordinator at East Carolina. His coaching career spans four decades, which includes 17 years at the FBS level and nine seasons in the NFL. Coach Trott has experienced action in 12 bowl games as either a player or coach. Coach Trott was also Defensive Coordinator and Safeties coach at James Madison for three years (2016-18) prior to ac­cepting the Pirates’ post. Coach Trott groomed seven FCS All-America selections, a national and CAA defensive player-of-the-year choice and 18 all-league picks while at JMU. Coach Trott's NFL experience includes defensive staff assignments with the New York Giants (1991-92), New England Patriots (1993-95) and Cleveland Browns (2005-08). In addition to JMU and Richmond, Coach Trott also served as de­fensive coordinator at Arkansas (1984-89), Clemson (1990), Duke (1996-01), Baylor (2002) and Louisi­ana-Monroe (2003-04).  In 2017, Coach Trott received the FCS Coordinator-of-the-Year honors. [1:49] Start of Interview [2:49] Enjoying every spot in the coaching journey [4:43] Building the culture at Air Force [5:38] Cultivating relationships [13:06] Evolution of college recruiting [16:56] Adapting on the defensive side of the ball [20:43] Maintaining professional development [23:38] Protecting the game of football
  • Inside the Headset with the AFCA podcast

    Bud Foster, Former DC - Virginia Tech


    This week on Inside the Headset, we are featuring longtime Virginia Tech Defensive Coordinator, Bud Foster. Coach Foster shares the life lessons he learned through coaching, speaks on his personal relationship with Hall of Fame Coach Frank Beamer, and highlights how he adapted his defensive schemes to compete with everchanging offenses. Bud Foster is the former longtime Virginia Tech Defensive Coordinator where he spent 33 seasons coaching. The architect of Tech’s famed Lunch Pail Defense, Foster was the the longest continually tenured FBS assistant coach at the same school with those 33 years of service until his retirement in 2019. Coach Foster held the distinction of serving as Tech’s defensive signal caller starting in 1995 before taking over sole possession of defensive coordinator duties in 1996. Coach Foster was a key component in helping the Hokies register the nation’s longest active bowl streak recognized by the NCAA, a 26-year stretch that began in 1993. Coach Foster was a recipient of the 2006 Broyles Award, given annually to the top assistant coach in the country, and was a finalist on three other occasions (1999, 2001, 2005). Coach Foster was named the Division I-A Defensive Coordinator of the Year by the AFCA after helping lead the Hokies to the 1999 national championship game. Under Coach Foster's leadership, his defenses had led the nation in a major defensive statistical category nine times and have placed in the top five 44 different times. Since Coach Foster was promoted to Defensive Coordinator (1996), 45 of his defensive players where drafted into the NFL including 11 players picked in the first/second round. [1:05] Start of Interview [1:58] Life lessons football teaches [6:22] Favorite memories while coaching [11:50] Relationship with Frank Beamer [19:12] Navigating coaching opportunities [24:00] Staying at one school for most of your career [28:42] Adapting defensive schemes over the years
  • Inside the Headset with the AFCA podcast

    Alex Washington, Head Coach - Carroll HS (LA)


    This week on Inside the Headset, we are featuring Carroll High School Head Coach, Alex Washington. Coach Washington highlights his experience transitioning from player to coach, shares lessons he learned while working as a Graduate Assistant, and discusses his methods on how he keeps his players accountable on and off the field. Alex Washington is entering his fourth season as the Head Coach of Carroll High School in Monroe, Louisiana. This is his fifth season overall coaching at Carroll since beginning as an assistant coach in 2017. Prior to Carroll, Coach Washington spent two seasons at Bastrop High school (LA) as an assistant coach under head coach Brad Bradshaw. Before transitioning to the high school level, Coach Washington spent two seasons at Division II Livingstone College (NC). Washington got his start in the coaching world from AFCA Executive Director, Todd Berry when he hired him onto his coaching staff at the University of Louisiana-Monroe as a Graduate Assistant in 2012. Coach Washington is no stranger to Carroll High School, having played for the Bulldogs from 2003-2006. Washington had a decorated high school career where he was an All-State Offensive Linemen and a highly touted recruit. He ended up signing with the University of Ole Miss where he played in 38 games and helped lead the Rebels to two Cotton Bowl victories during his time in Oxford. [1:03] Start of Interview [1:55] Starting in the coaching profession [3:52] Maintaining relationships with former coaches [5:03] Personal transition from playing to coaching [6:33] Lessons learned while as a Graduate Assistant [9:13] Networking and looking for jobs [13:00] Maintaining a positive public image [15:18] Separating yourself from other coaching candidates [18:53] Keeping players accountable on and off the field.
  • Inside the Headset with the AFCA podcast

    Cody Wells, Wide Receivers - Jacksonville State


    This week on Inside the Headset, we are featuring Jacksonville State Receivers Coach, Cody Wells. Coach Wells reflects on this past year’s football season that was impacted by COVID, discusses last week’s thrilling upset victory over Florida State, and gives insight on how to keep a team focused going forward after a big win. Cody Wells enters his sixth season on John Grass’ staff after returning in 2016 to take over as the quarterbacks coach. The 2021 season will be his third leading the JSU wide receivers. He has played a large role in helping JSU claim three OVC titles and just six OVC losses in four seasons, extending the Gamecocks’ streak of conference titles to an OVC-record five from 2014-18. While leading the receiver room, Wells has coached three All-Conference players and lead a unit that has been consistently at the top of the conference in multiple receiving categories. Wells returned to JSU after spending the 2015 campaign as quarterbacks coach of the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks. Prior to ULM, Coach Wells assisted with the JSU wide receiver uint that helped propel the Gamecocks to an unprecedented amount of success during his one season in 2014. In that season, the Gamecocks went 10-2, which included a perfect OVC record and fourth OVC title. [1:05] Start of Interview [1:51] Playing football during the Covid season [3:45] Learning from losses [8:55] Live in the moment, play in the now [10:56] 2 minute drill mentality [13:59] Beating FSU on the final play [19:45] Keeping focused after a big win
  • Inside the Headset with the AFCA podcast

    Todd Berry, Charlie Weatherbie, & Fisher DeBerry - Former HC's for Army, Navy, & Air Force


    This week on this special edition of Inside the Headset, we are featuring the former Head Coaches of the military academies that coached during the tragedy of 9/11. These coaches include former Air Force Head Coach Fisher DeBerry, former Navy Head Coach Charlie Weatherbie, and former Army Head Coach Todd Berry. In this episode all three coaches tell their personal 9/11 stories while coaching at their military academy institution, discuss what recruiting was like post 9/11, and highlight the unique experiences of coaching at a military academy. Todd Berry is the current Executive Director for the AFCA where he has served since 2016. Coach Berry served four years as the Head Coach for the Army Black Knights from 2000-2003 which included the 2001 9/11 season. Prior to his stint at Army, Coach Berry was the Head Coach of Illinois State from 1996-1999 where he lead the Red Birds to two FCS postseason playoff appearances. Most recently Coach Berry was the Head Coach of the Louisiana-Monroe football program where he coached from 2010-2015. Fisher Deberry is the former Head Coach of the Air Force Falcons. Coach DeBerry coached the Falcons from 1984-2006 and achieved a great amount of on-field success during his 21 seasons at Air Force. Under Coach DeBerrys leadership, Air Force dominated the Commander-in-Chiefs series going on to win the trophy 14 times. In addition to that, Coach DeBerrys Air Force teams won three conference titles and also went to numerous postseason bowl games where they won a total of six during his tenure. Due to Coach DeBerry's historic career where he won six coach of the year awards, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011. Charlie Weatherbie is the former Head Coach of the Navy Midshipmen. Coach Weatherbie spent seven seasons (1995-2001) at Navy where he lead the Midshipmen to one bowl win. Prior to Navy, Coach Weatherbie spent three seasons as the Utah State Head Coach where he won a conference championship in 1993. Coach Weatherbie's last head coaching spot was at the University of Louisiana-Monroe where he coach from 2003-2009. During his time at Louisiana-Monroe Coach Weatherbie lead the Warhawks to a conference championship in 2005. Coach Weatherbie is currently the director of the First Baptist Orlando Love Orlando Initiative, which distributes funds in the greater Orlando, Florida area to prevent homelessness. [1:16] Start of Interview [2:35] Life at West Point on 9/11 [3:59] Message to players on 9/11 [8:05] Managing adversity on and off the field [13:52] Recruiting post 9/11 [22:24] Playing for the Commander-in-Chiefs Trophy [27:24] Experience coaching at multiple Academy Institutions [29:38] Closing thoughts on the 9/11 Anniversary
  • Inside the Headset with the AFCA podcast

    Tyler Sutton, OC - San Diego


    This week on Inside the Headset, we are featuring University of San Diego’s Offensive Coordinator and Running Backs Coach Tyler Sutton. Coach Sutton highlights his early coaching experience as a graduate assistant, shares advice on how to become an effective coordinator, and explains his philosophy for coaching running backs. Tyler Sutton enters his ninth season as an assistant coach with San Diego in 2021 and his second as the offensive coordinator. Sutton has risen through San Diego’s coaching ranks over the last eight seasons after joining the Toreros in 2013 as a volunteer offensive assistant before being promoted to assistant coach for the 2014 season. He started coaching the running backs before taking on the special teams coordinator role in 2018. He also served as the team’s recruiting coordinator during his tenure. In his time with USD, Sutton has been a part of six consecutive seasons of nine or more wins, seven conference championships, five FCS Playoffs appearances, and two FCS playoff wins. Prior to coaching in San Diego, Sutton spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons as a graduate assistant coach at his alma mater, University of Redlands. He served as the Bulldogs’ defensive line coach and added special teams coordinator responsibilities for the 2012 season. Sutton began his coaching career at Granite Hills High School in San Diego County. Coach Sutton played football at The University of Redlands where he spent four seasons and received All-Conference honors his senior year. [1:03] Start of Interview [1:57] Personal start into coaching [4:13] Lessons learned working as a graduate assistant [6:10] Interviewing for coaching jobs [7:44] Coaching players that you played with [9:06] Becoming an effective coordinator [11:17] Getting players to "buy in" [12:50] Running Back coaching Philosophy
  • Inside the Headset with the AFCA podcast

    Reilly Murphy, Head Coach - Lake Erie College


    This week on Inside the Headset, we are featuring Lake Erie College Head Coach, Reilly Murphy. Coach Murphy discusses his different experiences coaching at various college levels, provides insight on how to turn a struggling program around, and highlights the culture of accountability he has created within his team. Reilly Murphy is entering his third season as the Head Football Coach at Lake Erie College.  Murphy came to Lake Erie College after serving as the offensive coordinator for fellow Division II member Fayetteville State University. While heading the offensive side of the ball the Broncos ranked among the top offenses in the country with an average of 32.33 points per game while rushing for 216 yards per contest, 26th in Division II. Fayetteville State was also in contention for the NCAA playoffs after being ranked regionally before the defeat in the championship game. Murphy’s coaching career is diverse as he has coordinated offenses at private, public, and historically black colleges. He previously also served as the offensive coordinator of Dixie State University. Before that he was the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Western New Mexico University. Murphy has also coached at Bethel College, Notre Dame College, and Grossmont College. During his collegiate career, Murphy attended Grossmont where he played quarterback and led the Griffins to a national championship in 2005. He was an Academic All-American and was honored with the Joe Roth Memorial Award given annually to a California Junior College football player who best exemplifies characteristics of leadership, humility, and class. He was then granted a scholarship to play at Indiana State where he was a two-year starter and named the Gateway Conference’s Newcomer of the Year in 2006. [1:04] Start of Interview [1:17] Coaching at different college levels [3:11] Being an effective recruiter [6:1] Turning a program around [9:13] Building up players in a program [11:55] Culture of accountability [19:08] Personal 35 Under 35 experience
  • Inside the Headset with the AFCA podcast

    Cris Reisert, Head Coach - Tiffin University


    This week on Inside the Headset, we are featuring Tiffin University Head Coach, Cris Reisert. Coach Reisert shares the importance of learning the opposite side of the ball, discusses his personal transition from player to coach, and goes into detail throughout his journey to becoming a head coach. Cris Reisert is entering his third season as the Head Football Coach at Tiffin University. Tiffin officially claimed the conference championship title in 2020 with a perfect 6-0 mark, playing a spring season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Reisert earned his second consecutive Great Midwest Coach of the Year honor with an undefeated run through the league standings to officially make it back-to-back trophies. During the 2019 campaign, Reisert led the Dragons to arguably the best season in program history. Tiffin finished the regular season 9-1 along with a perfect 7-0 mark in GMAC play to claim the conference title. As a result, the Dragons earned their first-ever berth into the NCAA DII playoffs. Prior to Tiffin, Reisert served for two seasons as Ohio Dominican's offensive coordinator, helping to lead the Panthers to some of the top offensive numbers in Division II. Reisert directed one of the best offenses in the nation in 2017 as ODU led the country in completion percentage, passing efficiency and fewest turnovers committed, ranked second in third-down conversions, third in passing offense and fourth in total offense. Prior to that Reisert spent three seasons as the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator at Elon University. Prior to working at Elon, Reisert spent the 2013 season as the assistant offensive line coach at Ball State University. As a four-year starter at quarterback for Ohio Dominican, Reisert set 10 NAIA passing records and was named the 2007 NAIA Player of the Year. [0:27] Start of Interview [0:56] Learning the opposite side of the ball [3:22] Transition from playing to coaching [6:33] Lessons learned coaching the Offensive Line [9:50] Coaching Tight Ends [13:32] Becoming a Coordinator [16:39] Learning from other coaches [19:05] Putting together a coaching staff [22:30] Personal 35 Under 35 testimony

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