COLORADO SPRINGS – Colorado football coach Mike MacIntyre has an encyclopedia of football stories, many involving his father George’s coaching career at Vanderbilt.
The younger MacIntyre told this one at Wednesday’s lunch in Pueblo, the second stop on the Colorado Coaches Caravan, the State Stampede circa 2013:
Mike was a junior high schooler in Nashville and spending as much time as possible around his father’s team. The Commodores were scheduled to open the Southeastern Conference season at home against Bear Bryant’s Alabama team. It would also be George MacIntyre’s SEC debut.
The good news: Vandy scored first and took a 3-0 lead. The bad news: ‘Bama scored the next 66 and won 66-3. In his postgame press conference, George MacIntyre theorized, “Maybe we shouldn’t have scored first; I think we got ‘em mad.”
The next season – 1982 – Vandy went to Tuscaloosa to face the Crimson Tide. Only 2-2 and very large underdogs, the Commodores surged to a 21-0 halftime lead.
Vanderbilt held Alabama at bay almost to the final gun, but after what Mike MacIntyre classified as a couple of questionable calls, the Tide scored late and won 24-21.
At mid-field afterward, Bryant told George MacIntyre, “Your boys kicked our butts,” and asked MacIntyre if he could address the Commodores in their locker room.
MacIntyre agreed, and after he spoke to his team, Bryant entered the Vandy locker room and told the Commodores how well they played, how their confidence showed and closed by telling them if they finished the season with that same effort they wouldn’t lose again.
|Basketball All-American and CU Hall of Famer Burdie Haldorson (right) and former CU Regent Jerry Rutledge (center) with Mike MacIntyre, Linda Lappe, Tad Boyle and Chip.|
Bryant’s message apparently took. Vandy won its next six games, finished 8-3 and earned a postseason berth against Air Force in the Hall of Fame Bowl in Birmingham. The Falcons won 43-42, but George MacIntyre’s Commodores had learned something about themselves that his son hopes to instill in his first Buffs team. “You have to believe in yourselves and believe in the guy next you,” he said.
Wednesday’s stops included Rutledge’s clothing store in Colorado Springs (Jerry Rutledge is a former CU Regent), lunch at the Waterfront Banquet Hall in Pueblo, a private tour at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs and a happy hour finale at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort.
Hitting Wednesday’s high points:
- MacIntyre said three of his defensive linemen have lost 20 pounds each but have 14 more to lose before they begin August camp. He wants a couple of linebackers to lose 15 pounds each, several offensive linemen to drop 10 to 12 and has a couple of receivers earmarked to gain 8 to 10 pounds. He said his team’s first-year weight loss task at San Jose State was more difficult, but “we came around OK . . . the next year we radically changed.” He expects the same results eventually at CU.
- Men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle reflecting on Tuesday’s drive-through duty at the McDonald’s at 1350 W. Colfax: “The coaching profession can be a little tenuous. You’ve got to prepare for a second career.”
- Josh Scott weight update: Boyle said his 6-10 sophomore-to-be has gained 10 pounds since the end of the 2012-13 season and is planning to put on 15 more before practices begins in October. Those additional 15 pounds would put Scott at about 245.
- In the day’s final stop in Colorado Springs, Boyle called the city “our most fertile in-state recruiting area.” He landed Scott and Wesley Gordon, a 6-8 forward who takes his redshirt off this season, in the Class of 2013.
- In Pueblo, Boyle was asked about the late recruitment of George King, the 6-5 San Antonio product who returned his signed national letter-of-intent on Monday. Boyle termed his decision to pursue King “a no-brainer (but) we’ll see if I have any brains or not.”
- A couple of King family stats: George’s father is 6-8, his mother 6-3. George has a 6-11 wingspan and wears a size 16 shoe. Yes, he could grow a bit more, but even if he doesn’t Boyle and his staff like everything about King at his current size.
- Boyle is planning a return trip in late September for the Navy SEALS, who put last season’s team through workouts for portions of three days. Boyle, who got the idea from close friend/Maryland coach Mark Turgeon, called the SEALS experience one of the best things he’s done for one of his teams.
CU Regent Kyle Hybl hosted the CU Coaches Caravan for a breakfast at the Broadmoor Wednesday.
- The Caravan made a post-lunch stop in Pueblo at the Center For American Values, where the portraits of 144 Medal of Honor recipients who were living in 1999 are featured. Of those 144, 80 are still living. If a Most Moving Stop is named at the Caravan’s conclusion, I can’t imagine any overtaking this one. If you didn’t leave with misty eyes and a lump in your throat, you slept through the 11-minute video that featured Medal recipients describing their honor and what it meant to them.
- Pueblo has had four Medal recipients, including Drew Dix, who spearheaded the Center’s formation. The CU contingent was briefed by Gallery Coordinator T Branson, who has seen former Buffs assistant John Wristen bring many of his CSU-Pueblo recruits in to watch the video and take the tour. (Wristen’s CSU-Pueblo staff includes former Buffs players Donnell Leomiti, Bernard Jackson, Chris Symington and Paul Creighton.) The Center tour and video is a moving experience, one that focuses on courage, selflessness and sacrifice. Or, as one of the recipients in the video said, this is about “ordinary people behaving in an extraordinary fashion.” But it’s also – and mostly – a story about humility after heroism. If you haven’t been to the Center, make a special trip.
- Following the Pueblo stop, the Caravan wound its way back north to Peterson Air Force Base, where the head man – Four-Star General Chuck Jacoby – took time to brief the visitors for nearly half an hour.
- Then came a tour of the NORAD Command Center, where no cameras, recorders or cell phones were permitted. A notepad and pen were permitted, but with security that tight who can feel good about taking meticulous notes? Seems like a good time to end this postcard.
For Thursday’s public tour stops visit CUBuffs.com/coachescaravan