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Inside the Headset with the AFCA

Oct 24, 2019

This week on Inside the Headset we speak with Seth Littrell, Head Coach for the University of North Texas, and Lovie Smith, Head Coach for the University of Illinois. With Coach Littrell we discuss his use of the Air Raid offense and how he builds relationships in his program. With Coach Smith we discuss his entrance to the coaching profession and the importance of building relationships with players.

Coach Littrell's career began as a graduate assistant at Kansas (2002-2004). His first full-time staff position came as the running backs coach for Texas Tech under Mike Leach (2005-2008). In 2009, Littrell joined the staff at Arizona working with the running backs and tight ends, but he added the title of co-offensive coordinator in 2010, and was the lone offensive coordinator in 2011. Coach Littrell spent the 2012-2013 seasons at Indiana as the offensive coordinator before being named the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at North Carolina (2014-2015). After the 2015 season, Littrell was named Head Coach for the Mean Green football program.

  • [0:28] Start of interview
  • [0:40] Unique style of football
  • [2:05] Implementing the Air Raid offense
  • [3:56] Evolving the Air Raid
  • [5:13] Importance of mental toughness
  • [6:28] Building relationships
  • [8:19] Cookie night

You can follow Seth Littrell on Twitter.

Coach Smith's career began as the defensive coordinator at Big Sandy HS in Texas in 1980. After spending the 1981-1982 at Cascia Hall Prep (OK), Smith made the jump to the collegiate level at Tulsa (1983-1986) working with the linebackers at his alma mater. He continued to work with the linebackers during his stints at Wisconsin (1987), Arizona State (1988-1991), and Kentucky (1992) before switching to the secondary while at Tennessee (1993-1994) and Ohio State (1995). Smith made the jump to the NFL in 1996 as an assistant with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaching linebackers (1996-2000), and he was the defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams (2001-2003). In 2004, Lovie Smith was named Head Coach for the Chicago Bears (2004-2012), leading the team to an appearance in Super Bowl XLI, and he later served as the Buccaneers Head Coach (2014-2015). In 2016, Smith was named Head Coach of the Fighting Illini football program.

  • [9:49] Start of interview
  • [10:07] Coaching in the NFL
  • [11:18] Lessons learned as a young football coach
  • [12:29] Mentoring and influencing student-athletes

You can follow Lovie Smith on Twitter.

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