Football culture: The basis for success

Football culture: The basis for success

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MITCH ESPLIN/THE ARBITER – BSU linebackers run to their next drill during spring practice.

If one thing stands out about Boise State football, it is the culture that surrounds the program.

Team culture is a little discussed but extremely important and sensitive aspect of performance. The way players and coaches act, react, practice and perform often can be measured by not only the outcome of the games but by the perspective of the stakeholders in the program.

The Broncos buy into what has been become a proven model of leadership and family set up by head coach Chris Petersen and his staff.

“I think what’s obviously done here, it can’t get much better than 14-0,” defensive assistant coach Bob Gregory said. “I think there is a model of success here. I think Coach Petersen’s staff has done a nice job of creating that success.”

With other regional programs such as Oregon struggling to find positive aspects to draw on in the wake of quarterback Jeremiah Masoli’s conviction of burglary, running back LaMichael James battery charges and athletic director and Mike Belotti abruptly announcing his departure from Oregon for a position with ESPN, the need for consistency within a program and a constant, cultivating culture that fosters camaraderie within the ranks becomes ever more important.

Senior quarterback Mike Coughlin believes the culture of the Broncos to be as strong, especially the senior class, than it ever has been since joining the team in 2006.

“Since I’ve got here I think our class has been a lot more unified than I’ve seen,” Coughlin said of the team. “We try to do a lot of stuff together. I definitely think it shows on the field. We’re a bunch of brothers and more of a family than I think there’s been in the past. But I think it definitely helps us.”

Players and coaches have a difficult time putting there finger on a particular person who best represents the Broncos’ culture. Answers ranged from seniors Kevin Sapien, Jeron Johnson and Derrell Acrey – according to Coughlin – to the “CEO” of the Broncos in Petersen – according to Gregory.

Regardless of who the poster child for the program might be, one thing becomes clear. The diversity of answers shows there are multiple candidates for mentorship and familial interaction with multiple players.

For many of the young players transitioning to a high school program to the collegiate realm can be a stressful endeavor. For players who have had time to analyze the process through their freshman seasons, it is an easier transition than many would think.

“The older guys are really good at getting us in right away and really just accepting everyone…That was big for us as freshman,” redshirt freshman quarterback Joe Southwick said. “They like us and they want us to be good. They want us to get better.”

With new players starting to grasp what it means to be a Bronco and the culture they’ve to become a part of, a the fluid schema takes shape with a slightly changed team and multiple personalities to wade through.

“I think you start in the offseason…We need to see who’s going to buy into that culture,” assistant head coach/wide receivers coach Brent Pease said. “Then they can show that they’re trustworthy and that kind of takes on to the field.”

With the pieces in place for a spring analysis of the football program, the Broncos will trek forward to continue establishing themselves as a model culture in the college football universe.

BSU’s holds it’s first spring scrimmage is Wednesday, March 24 at Bronco Stadium.

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