Bye, con­tact: Golesh misses in­ter­ac­tions with his play­ers

Co-of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor is ad­just­ing to job amid virus

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS FRIDAY - By Matt Murschel

UCF co-of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Alex Golesh said he’s missed the sim­ple things while iso­lated from his new play­ers and coaches as the Knights fol­low coro­n­avirus stay-at-home or­ders.

“I miss the daily pop your head into the of­fice in­ter­ac­tion,” Golesh said dur­ing a video­con­fer­ence with re­porters. “I think all of us coaches, we all re­al­ize that part that we love about this is day-to-day with our play­ers and the ca­ma­raderie with our coaches.

“I think when you get that taken away from you, it makes you love it even more.”

It’s been a unique start for Golesh, who left the Iowa State foot­ball pro­gram in Jan­uary to join the Knights’ coach­ing staff as co-of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor and tight ends coach. He spent the first few months get­ting ac­quainted with the staff and in­tro­duc­ing him­self to the play­ers be­fore the cam­pus closed and spring foot­ball work­outs were shut down in re­sponse to the COVID-19 out­break.

“It’s been a re­ally in­ter­est­ing cou­ple of

months here, but I think a pro­duc­tive cou­ple of months,” Golesh said. “It’s al­lowed us to get back and do some projects that you haven’t been able to do in the past. That you’re al­ways try­ing to find time for from self-scout­ing per­spec­tive to a deep-dive into your play­book and your process of how you ap­proach things.”

While the stay-ath­ome or­der has made foot­ball work­outs dif­fi­cult, one ad­van­tage has been the abil­ity to spend more time with the fam­ily.

“It’s been a once-in-al­ife­time op­por­tu­nity to see your kids through­out the day a lit­tle bit, which I’ve never seen their process of wak­ing up and get­ting ready for school and that part of it,” Golesh said. “That’s been fas­ci­nat­ing. It’s been some re­ally good pos­i­tive things in that re­gard.”

Golesh said his fam­ily moved from Ames, Iowa, to the Cen­tral Florida area around mid-March, just ahead of the stay-ath­ome or­der from the Florida gover­nor.

“They were able to get moved and set­tled in and then we went on this lock­down deal,” Golesh said. “… We were blessed to be able to get ev­ery­body moved down be­fore ev­ery­thing got shut down.”

Golesh said the coach­ing staff has been able to do a lot more now that the NCAA has re­laxed some of its rules about the num­ber of times coaches and play­ers can com­mu­ni­cate dur­ing a week.

“It’s been an in­ter­est­ing les­son in tech­nol­ogy,” added Golesh, who ad­mits he’s spent more time on Face Time than any time in the past.

Not hav­ing a full spring foot­ball camp has been a hur­dle for Golesh, who wanted to con­nect more with play­ers.

“I was ex­cited about the spring ball as­pect to build those re­la­tion­ships with the play­ers out­side of my po­si­tion group,” Golesh said. “I’ve been able to de­velop some, but it’s forced you as a coach to cre­ate those rather than al­low them to hap­pen or­gan­i­cally as you deal with sit­u­a­tions that come up through prac­tice.”

Golesh also has been try­ing to fos­ter re­la­tion­ships on the re­cruit­ing trail from a dis­tance.

Golesh had a rep­u­ta­tion as a strong re­cruiter and he ad­mits it’s been a chal­lenge re­cruit­ing with many lim­i­ta­tions. The NCAA has ex­tended the re­cruit­ing dead pe­riod through June 31, lim­it­ing coaches to vir­tual con­tact with high school prospects.

“It’s given you a lot more time to de­velop re­la­tion­ships with the re­cruits in terms of how you’ve been able to con­nect with them,” Golesh said. “The big­gest selling point out­side of the foot­ball pro­gram in the city of Or­lando and the beau­ti­ful cam­pus and there’s noth­ing like step­ping your feet on cam­pus and see­ing it.”

UCF of­fi­cials have not an­nounced when foot­ball play­ers can re­turn cam­pus. Golesh said once they do re­turn, it will be vi­tal for the staff to be­gin eval­u­at­ing play­ers’ fit­ness.

“You hope you get a lit­tle bit of sum­mer to col­lab­o­rate with these guys and find that out, but I think fall camp will be crit­i­cal,” he said. “It’s go­ing to be an in­ter­est­ing mix of how camp is go­ing to be han­dled in terms of you have to be smart with these guys to pre­vent in­juries, de­pend­ing on how much time you have with them lead­ing up to that.

“But at the same time, you have to strap it up and go a bit to find out when ad­ver­sity hits, who’s go­ing to re­spond.”


New UCF co-of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Alex Golesh said it has been es­pe­cially chal­leng­ing work­ing a dis­tance from play­ers af­ter just join­ing the Knights in Jan­uary.

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