For years George O’Leary has been the hard-nosed, no-nonsense kind of football coach.
He at times came off as annoyed at press conferences and angry during games. All of that has changed throughout his years at UCF…and in 2015 we have a new George O’Leary all-together. Anybody who has known Coach O’Leary off the field for any length of time might already know this version of him, but I’m not sure we’ve ever seen it in August.
Typically August is a stressful month for college football coaches, and really all football coaches.
You’re putting together your final roster and implementing the newest version of the playbook. You’re dealing with players coming in at all different levels of preparedness and of course managing all of the off the field nonsense that comes with the territory. That can turn anybody into a curmudgeon.
The thing is, Coach O’Leary isn’t a curmudgeon this year.
We saw the more chill O’Leary at the media day press conference when he began reminiscing about catching the train to Yankees games as a kid and we saw even more of it in the video at the top of the page. O’Leary is having fun and this is a great sign for UCF fans.
Rumors of retirement have been credited for this upbeat attitude, but I’m not buying it. If a coach has a garbage football team it doesn’t matter how satisfied with his career he is, how reminiscent of his past he is or anything like that. A good football coach would be mad that his team wasn’t up to snuff.
Think about it.
There’s a whole new crop of wide receivers, a new mix on the offensive line and massive holes to be filled defensively. Justin Holman’s growth at quarterback is still in progress and of course you can never escape the unsatisfied fans. There are plenty of things on the table to show that UCF could take a little bit of a stumble in 2015… but Coach O’Leary is still happy, still chill.
I know what a lot of you are thinking, “this has nothing to do with anything.”
Well, to me it does. To me it feels a lot like that historic 2013 season did in August. To me, it feels like Coach isn’t just happy his career has ended well at UCF… he’s happy it’s about to end even better than anybody anticipates it will.
If O’Leary is in fact going to step down as head coach and become the full-time Athletic’s Director at the end of the season, then he’s going to be on top of his game more than ever.
I truly think that this upbeat attitude from O’Leary and relaxed atmosphere around the program is a sign of great things to come this season. Whether it be another AAC Title with a 10+ win season or another 2013-esque historic season… it’s going to be a good year to be a Knight.
Get ready Knights fans, this year is going to be fun!
Any and all feedback welcomed! Get me on Twitter (@Ditti33) or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org!