Triangle coaches trade jokes before games begin
Posted July 25, 2013
Updated July 26, 2013
Cary, N.C. — Their conference media days complete and practices yet to begin, college football coaches from across the Triangle gathered Thursday for a rare opportunity at levity before the serious work of the season sets in.
The annual Pigskin Preview luncheon, a combination fundraiser and press conference, turned into a cut-up contest between coaches going for the biggest laugh.
Duke's David Cutcliffe credited superstition with his team's 6-7 record and Belk Bowl appearance.
"I was actually pulling into the stadium and a dang black cat on Friday the 13th walked right in front of me," he said. "So I backed up and went all the way around to the other side of campus to go in. That's the reason we played in a bowl game last year!"
A few feet away, North Carolina Central head coach Henry Frazier III turned that story into a lesson. "I'm going to send a bunch of black cats over to Duke on Aug. 31," he said. Frazier's Eagles open the season against the Blue Devils.
In his second season, Larry Fedora, of the University of North Carolina, has adapted to the good-natured ribbing and camaraderie of the ACC.
"You guys are used to this. I think it's taken for granted," he said. "It's no where like this anywhere else in the country."
"Some conferences, their coaches don't get along," said East Carolina's Ruffin McNeill. "But this group does. Life is short, so enjoy it."
For the newcomer to the group, Dave Doeren of North Carolina State University, the fit is a little too close for comfort.
"I like being around other coaches. I like talking football with them, but this close to when we're trying to beat each other, it's overkill a little bit," he said.