Bye, contact: Golesh misses interactions with his players
Co-offensive coordinator is adjusting to job amid virus
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.