The head coach of the North Carolina Tar Heels Mack Brown joined “XL Primetime” on 1010XL recently to talk about what life is like as a college football coach during the Coronavirus pandemic. Brown discussed how he and his staff are changing up their normal routines.
“What we are trying to do is get a new normal and do as much as we can remotely,” Brown told 1010XL. “The bottom line is this is about the kids, about the kids’ health, well-being and safety. Obviously, the most important thing is they continue to make progress toward a degree. We have facility members that are teaching online that have never done that before much less kids that are trying to learn online so there is a big learning curve for all of us.”
There is speculation that the 2020 college football season could be postponed or even canceled all together because of this out break. Brown was asked if it is too early for some of that talk.
“I think so,” Brown said. “This is totally my opinion and nothing else, but when you are at home all the time you have a lot of time to sit and read and you have to be careful to separate fear from fact. I’m trusting the (Centers for Disease Control), they’re talking about the middle of May where we can start getting people back together.
“I would have to think if we start doing what we are supposed to do with social distancing, washing our hands and taking care of each other, this thing will start slowing down in seven or eight weeks and we can start getting back to somewhat of normalcy.”
Brown was asked what message he and his staff are conveying to his players.
“We are meeting with them a lot,” Brown said. “We have a staff meeting on Zoom every Monday and Friday. First, we are saying keep all the people that are losing their jobs and that are sick in your thoughts and prayers because this is real stuff. We need to keep our wits about us, but we also need to understand that this is tragic.
“We also had a doctor meet with our team recently and the doctor over Zoom talked to our kids about how this is not new. We have had these viruses and diseases in countries before, the difference is we travel so much now that it is spreading and this is one that spreads rather quickly.
“We also talked to them about how this is family time and you won’t have this time with your family again. So make sure you enjoy and appreciate your family and you’re part of the cure here. Take every precaution to make sure you’re not getting the disease and don’t spread it.
“Finally we said you guys need to be accountable. The hardest workers in the weight room and the class room are going to be the ones that play next fall. We told them we believe we can get advantages over our competitors right now if we do everything right because not everyone will do things right.”
Finally Brown reflected on the 2019 season, which was his first season back on the sidelines in over five years.
“Last year even though we lost some close games, I enjoyed every game, I enjoyed our staff and I enjoyed the kids,” he said. “In my five years in sports media I saw a lot of miserable coaches and I said I’m not going back and being miserable, I’m going back and I’m going to be happy. I think that is the take away. We are off to a great start.
“We have changed facilities, we have sold out the stands, we have everybody back just about from last year, we have a great young quarterback and we have a chance to have some fun in the near future and we are going to take full advantage of that.”
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreen1010XL)