Bible nervous, excited for one shot with Pack
Posted December 29, 2012
Updated December 30, 2012
Nashville, Tenn. — North Carolina State University interim head coach Dana Bible entered the press room at LP Field in Nashville Saturday with a nervous smile, a wave and a greeting: “Hello, thanks for coming.”
He was casual in his gait and he was comfortable in his appearance, donning a long-sleeved red button-down with an NC State logo on the chest and the collar undone. He bounced a few jokes around, kidding that he would follow the lead of what the seasoned Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin did in front of the media.
“It shows huh?” Bible joked when asked about being nervous for the press conference. He then added, “It’s my first time as a head coach, and it will probably be the last time. That has its own story, and it’s not about me, but it has been challenging, interesting and, at times, fun.”
Bible often deflects attention away from himself, insisting that it’s not about him. Franklin said that Bible “is truly one of the great guys in the profession.”
In fact, Bible, a cancer survivor, will not address questions surrounding the simplest of deeds done just this year that meant so much to one in the Wolfpack family. When a stat keeper for the program for 25 years was diagnosed with leukemia this past summer, Bible called her every week until she passed away from the disease.
This weekend, however, Bible cannot duck the attention. The 59-year-old, who has been in the collegiate coaching ranks in some capacity since 1976, is now the man in charge, even if it is for only the one game.
“When we started this, we made a promise as a staff that we were going to work our tails off and give them the very best chance to succeed in this game,” Bible said of his interim tag.
“In return, what we wanted from them is the same commitment that they would give us their very best right back to us. That’s about as far as it’s gone. It isn’t about ‘let’s when the game for whoever,’ it hasn’t been that way. There are those story lines, I’m sure, and I’m sure there are certain motivations that different players have, but by and large it has been, ‘we’ve worked hard together, we’ve stayed together and had our successes and we want that one more time to play together.' We’re in this for each other.”
Quarterback Mike Glennon echoed the struggles of a single motivating factor for the players in times of transition.
“I think it’s a little weird. (O’Brien) is the one that recruited us, and we will definitely be thinking of him,” Glennon said. “It would be nice if we could win the game for many reasons, but that’s definitely one of them.”
Battling freezing rain and snow flurries during their final practice and walk-through Saturday, Bible showed that he is capable of leading a team as he coasted through the groups – offense, defense and special teams.
“I have more of an appreciation for the position of a head coach and the responsibility that goes with it,” Bible said. “I have also found that it’s interesting, impactful and fun to be part of a whole team. When you are an offensive coordinator, the truth of the matter is that you only know half the team. To be part of the whole group, the dynamics of that is exciting, and I really enjoy it.”
Transitions, motivations, compliments and jokes aside, the nerves for Bible must stay in the media room because, as he says, football is what he knows.
“I’ll be honest, I’m not that nervous,” Bible said. “I just tell myself it's football. When I do that, I’m in my comfort zone. I’m at home.”