Bible brings human element to bowl game
Posted December 30, 2012
Nashville, Tenn. — Dana Bible could not have looked more out of his element as he entered the Music City Bowl press conference on Saturday afternoon. The bowl-game charade is a series of new experiences for a guy who has never been a head coach.
Sitting next to the polished and practiced Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin, Bible looked more like a giddy kid getting ready for something really exciting. He greeted the room with a shy, almost half-wave and said, "Hello everyone".
I asked him if he was nervous and he said, "It shows, huh?"
Even with the obvious inexperience in this setting, Bible didn't come off as unprepared. He answered all of the questions with the authority and personality you would expect from a veteran.
His lack of polish was almost endearing.
Bible was put in a tough spot when North Carolina State Athletics Director Debbie Yow asked him to coach this bowl game. His longtime boss and friend Tom O'Brien had just been fired. He knew he was also out of a job and yet had to come up with a way to put that aside and create a plan for the guys on the field.
He will tell you that's a part of coaching. All good coaches will tell you being fired is a part of the game, but to watch a guy do it, and do it with such class, is quite another thing.
Yow was in the press conference room on Saturday. He knew he had to choose his words carefully when the question of motivation for this game was asked.
He adjusted himself in his chair.
Started his thought and restarted again.
Eventually, Bible came up with an eloquent description of what he, his staff and his players feel heading into Monday's game.
"I think there are different motivations," he said. "It isn't win one for the whoever. It hasn't been that way. There are those story lines, I am sure. But it's been, 'we've worked hard together. We've stayed together through this season. We've had our share of successes and we want that one more time to play together.'"
It is very easy to lose site of the human side of a coaching change. Bible made it real for everyone in the room. He could not have been more human, and in a sport of millionaire coaches with tired rehearsed rhetoric, it was refreshing to see a guy who is excited about just having a chance to coach a game.