Q & A at Eastern Oregon University football camp at Fernley High School

Fernley High School graduate Lonnie Slapinski instructs players during a defensive line drill at the Eastern Oregon Football Camp at Fernley High School on June 13. (Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter)

Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

Fernley High School played host to the Eastern Oregon University football camp held June 11-14 and headed by Eastern Oregon head coach Tim Camp and his staff. The following conversations are with Fernley head coach Anfernee Sloan, Eastern Oregon player and Fernley High graduate Lonnie Slapinski, who is preparing for his last year at Eastern Oregon, followed by coach Tim Camp.

Fernley coach Anfernee Sloan

How’s the camp gone so far, you’ve been out here, this is the third day?

Yep, yep, third day. I think the camp’s gone really, really well, for our kids especially.  I think this is a big time year for us, especially going into this camp, because last year around this time I had about 40 kids signed up, and we’re just below 80. So I think that kind of tells you the direction in which we’re going, the excitement it is that we got kind of going, and kind of growing within our room, in the classroom, out here on the field. No, super, super excited and again it’s always a pleasure having Eastern Oregon University here.


I see you’ve got Lovelock here, and what other teams are here?

We got Lovelock, we got Mammoth, they actually came all the way from California, which I thought was pretty awesome, an 8-man man school that carries just about 30 kids, they got about 15 to 16 here right now and they went 10-1 last year.  They got a pretty senior dominant class this next year and the coach was like yeah, we wanna bring our guys here to this camp and I think that’s a pretty awesome opportunity. I got a couple PL kids out here and I’m also including our 8th graders as well.

That’s awesome. How many 8th graders did you get out?

I was able to get about 10 of them, something small but I think, as you know, it goes…

And those are guys that are going to be in 8th grade not going to be freshmen, right?

Right, they’re going to be 8th graders. So yeah, super exciting. Like I said, it’s growing, we’re back up. Last year just below 100, we’re sitting, just got almost 140 kids here today so it’s going. It’s going,

So for your team what do you look forward to get out of the camp?

Oh, I think as far as getting something out of this camp I want to be able to take this as an opportunity to kind of kick start their summer. It kind of gets them kind of in the football mindset, it gets them a little bit more excited because after this, after tomorrow they’re checking that gear back in and now hey, it’s time to get back to work. We’re going back into the film lab, we’re going back into the fitness laboratory, right, we’re going back out here to the gridiron, doing all things that kind of nobody ever gets to really see. I think this is a good opportunity for them to kind of get, knock some dust off the boots and take away some different techniques and things it is that Eastern Oregon uses with their football players, and kind of, again, look to continue to enhance that toolbox of ours

So you’re working more like individual skills, fundamentals, footwork, a lot of those things?

The vast majority of it, yes, is a lot technique work, a lot of footwork stuff like you just said right there. We had some team competition stuff this morning, and yesterday morning we also did like a scouty 7-on-7 type thing with all the teams, and then this afternoon here in about an hour or so we’re gonna look to get into scrimmages, so we’re gonna put the ball down, we’re gonna play some full contact, thud type stuff, not going to the ground or anything, but kind of get the ball going, getting these guys ramped playing some football

What’s the attitude, the enthusiasm been like?

Good. Real good. I think last week kind of set the tone. You know it was really interesting because me and coach McCullar, we actually, you could just tell there’s a different buzz, there’s a different want to, there’s a different attitude, a different mindset. You know, kind of like last year’s team. You could see at the beginning of the year like, Oh my god, we got a lot of work to do, but then by the end of it they had so much confidence in what it is they were doing it was like hey, they don’t care, we’re just gonna go and get it done because we got to go and do it. The same thing, last week I made it a very difficult week just because I wanted to see mentally where we were at and I didn’t have a single kid complain, I didn’t have a single kid (unintelligible because of wind). They embraced it, they brought the energy, and it was a little bit of a different, what’s the word I want to look for here, it’s like a little bit of a different mindset, I think, which is the big thing and again, I think a lot of that stems from just success we’ve had to kind of finish the back half of the season off last year, and staying on them all year throughout the school year. So yeah, I think the attitude’s in the right place. I think now we just gotta kind of find the pieces and find what works for these guys and once we figure that out, it’s gonna be a fun thing to watch this next year. I can promise you that.

What do you guys do football-wise leading into the camp, and then coming out of the camp what does that lead you into?

Coming in, so basically what we utilize those first six practices of the spring for was to kind of get ready for this. We’re figuring out who’s coming to the camp, we’re again working on just our techniques and stuff that we use to be successful, and we use it as kind of a little bit of a refresher way to kind of polish their minds the way that allows them to be successful here in camp. Now coming out of it, like I said I think it kind of just primes the whole engine right there. Now once we get out of this thing, we’re right back at it. Thursday we’re gonna be in here, out in the weight room, in the laboratory, out here on the field getting back after it, because I got 6-7 weeks before the end of July, you know it’s game on August 18th. August 11th we’re going up to Manogue, and then August 18th Bishop’s coming here.

You lost a lot of production with your quarterback, a couple receivers, but you got a lot back too, so will you start looking right away about how you’re going to fill some of those holes?

100 percent, you know, I think that’s the beautiful thing that comes with the job, I think being able to find the guys that are going to be the best guy to get the job done is a big challenge, which I think makes it fun, but again I think the nice thing about what is it we did last year is we had so many guys, young guys playing for us, that kind of built that depth up and just because we lost certain guys like the Tollestrups of the world, which again that’s a big one for us, that’s OK, it’s 100 percent OK, because we got guys below him that took a lot of mental reps but also learned a lot from him.

If you’re gonna have a good program, you’re gonna be replacing good players every year.

Yeah, there’s a reason why those guys are the way that they are. It’s because we have that intersquad competition 24/7, which again makes those guys behind them a lot better. So, again I don’t know if replace is probably the thing I like to use, like I said we’re not here to rebuild, we’re here to reload and continue to go forward and continue to do what we’re doing, and that’s exactly the case. I look around right now it’s just, my god, Joey Machado, the kid was a stud last year and he looks good right now. You got Ulises Hernandez that’s gonna be another big time senior for us. Bryce Stephens, he looks like he’s about 25 to 30 pounds bigger than what he was this time last year too. It’s a pretty exciting moment and I’m excited. It should be good.

Some of the guys too, you mentioned Joey Machado, had a little bit of wrestling, got some playing time at shortstop in baseball, Keeshawn Love just coming off a second place…


… Pretty close finish in that race too. So how much do those things help you?

Oh, I think what it does is it keeps those guys active throughout the entire year. I think it keeps them in that competitive mindset. I think that you can have, and continue to instill that competitive mindset in a lot of those guys, what you’re gonna get in the long run is you’re gonna get a lot more productivity out of them, you’re going to get a much better athlete because they just understand how to compete in a wide variety of different ways and different formats, and what it does is it really reinforces just those guys being able to be good, solid athletes. So to me that’s huge.

When the season ends and you’re getting ready for a new season, for you is it like at the end of Friday Night Lights when the coach starts pulling the plaques off the magnets and putting new ones up there? You got something like that in there?

No, no, no. In my brain I got something like that. We got a good idea. We got a good idea, you know. This last year we didn’t really have that big of a senior class only lost about seven guys off of a 34-man roster.

Yeah and a couple of those didn’t see a lot of time.

“They didn’t play a lot, but they also played a significant role on special teams and all that other kind of stuff,  but again I think we did a really good job last year as a staff being able to bring up a lot of those younger guys because we knew what we were getting set up for. We knew we had to kind of get them ready for the future and all that kind of stuff and that just comes with the game. Now we’re in a good position now, any one of those guys that played for us last year, played a lot of football snaps for us, they can do what we ask them. I don’t have to hesitate. It allows us to put more focus into the young group coming up. Now it’s just we’re cycling through, repeating what we’re doing.

Leadership-wise, who are some of the guys? Is it some of the guys that were young last year that are assuming that or do you have some…

So I’m actually taking a different approach to that this year. Typically what we’ve always done is have four captains, but we’re going a little bit more old school on it. We’re going to take the top 10 numbers. We’re going to have specific guys who got those ten numbers, you guys are now the 10 leaders of this team. I’m going to take three big boy numbers, they’re the three leaders of the big boys and it’s just one of those things. It’s kind of a tier system. If you’re number one you obviously are the dude, right, you do everything right, you get the awesome grades…

What criteria determines that?

A wide variety of different things. How is it you lift throughout the summer, the way they act in the classroom, stuff they do in the community. If you are somebody that is an example. I think that’s how we’re gonna kind of approach it, but now on the flip side, it’s one of those things, just because you’re in the top 10 doesn’t mean you can’t lose it. Whoever is 11 means they’re knocking on the door. If one of those top 10 guys messes up, well, give me your stuff. I’m now going to put somebody else in there that can get the job done because now you gotta go back in the waiting list. Teaching a little bit more responsibility, but I think what it does is it’s gonna allow me to get more of that leadership it is that I’m looking for, in a wide variety of different ways because it’s kind of forcing my hand, that you have to because you can have something taken from you, which, they’ll respond. That’s the one thing I like about the direction that we’re going in, I kinda ask these kids do something and they respond to it and it’s an immediate reaction because I think they understand my expectation, my standard that we have set forth.

I know this time last year you were just getting ready for your first year as a head coach and I know you probably knew what you were doing, or at least thought you did, and had ideas how you want to do it. Now you’ve gone through the whole cycle though, as a head coach, a season, an offseason, preparing. What did you learn or what did you, something that you didn’t know?

Oh, that’s a good question. I think last year just because I came in at such a hot time of the year and only like, it’s getting going we gotta make sure all this is done, I really was just trying to keep my head above the water majority of the time. I think the one big thing I took away from last year was to stay ahead, and I think once you’re ahead you can take care of all the logistic side of it, the spirit packs, and all the fun stuff nobody realizes goes on in the world of football. You’re so much more better off, because now it allows me to put more focus into the weights, into those guys academically being successful. All this other stuff, like you said, I had a good idea, trust me. I came from a university. I understand that, I worked for that guy right over there for three years. I have a good idea how a football program is run, but when you’re actually the guy in charge and you have to do all this other stuff, it kind of eats away at that time. So yeah, I think the big thing was that, to stay ahead and then again continuing to just keep keeping those guys moving forward and ultimately maintaining that good head of steam, and when I say that, like high energy, like have a purpose all throughout the year. It shows. You can just look around. The team looks completely different. We look bigger, we look stronger, we look ready. We don’t look like we did last year, kind of premature. Again I’m excited just because you can see the work’s been put in. We got a little bit longer and before you know it, we’ll be strapping this thing up and we’ll be showing people. We’re the darkhorse. There’s a reason we’re the darkhorse this next year coming into the whole thing. It’s exciting.

You mentioned the guy over there and that’s Eastern Oregon head coach Tim Camp. You played for him, you coached under him and now you’re here as a head coach. Is there some part of you that wants to show your mentor, kind of show out for him and then say ‘be proud of what I’m doing’?

Always. That’s the one thing about the guy, he’s always had this weird, like, innate way of being able to kind of develop his former players into really, really good football coaches. You know I got several buddies that are head football coaches within different states at big time football programs, and those guys are all doing successful things. But we’re all doing the same thing. That’s part of the system. I don’t know what it is but he, my god, we were talking about it earlier today, he was so amazed because he remembered last year we only had 40 guys and now we’re sitting just below 90 here at this camp. And he’s just like ‘holy crap, what you’ve been able to do in a matter of the last two years is incredible. You could just tell, like he said what they’re doing with their physiques. He said ‘whatever you’re doing, it’s working. Continue to trust the process, continue to do everything it is that I taught you.’ Hey, I don’t know what it is, it makes his day because, to me I’m one of his kids, and you know he invested a lot into me, and he said it’s a pretty awesome honor to be able to watch me do that from a different perspective as opposed to me working for him.

You probably feel pretty proud that he is acknowledging you for that right?

Without a doubt. Without a doubt. And now he’s working on Lonnie. Lonnie’s got his sixth year coming up because he got granted another year of eligibility, but Coach is paying for his masters so he can be a teacher, and you know when Lonnie had that injury last year, Coach actually kept him on, he asked him to coach, so he got his feet wet a little bit and he got to experience that side of it while he was kind of rehabbing. He said he’s working with him all the time, and again, he’s doing it because he knows he’s probably going to end up back here and be working for me. He’ll be good. He’ll be real good, and I’ll owe him. Just to kind of go back to what you’re saying, he’s all the time man, high energy, he’s excited, he loves what he does, he’s going into who knows how many years coaching football, and he’s just like Ward. Father Time, 30 plus years, he loves it though, and it ain’t gonna stop. He’ll probably go to his grave with a football in his hand or something. No, it’s a pretty cool experience being able to kind of share this aspect of my life in football with him, for sure.

Alright. Well I love this time of year, excited to see you guys out here and I know you guys are excited to be out here and hopefully it’s going to be fun and we’ll get to talk to you 12 or 13 times this season.

That’s the plan. That’s that the plan. I want to freakin’ put on a good show for you guys, and like always, we’re coming. Just gotta get there.

Lonnie Slapinski

So Lonnie tell me a little bit that you were you were mentioning before, some of the adversity that you’ve had to deal with since you went to Eastern Oregon.

Yeah, so you know I just dealt with two really big injuries. First was COVID, we weren’t able to play our season, that season got canceled. Then the season following I blew out, tore my Achilles tendon, rehab that, was able to come back for only like two games in 2021. Then this last season in spring ball blew out my knee and tore my ACL, MCL and meniscus, so I had to miss another year.

Was that the same leg?

Other leg. Kind of like when Klay Thompson, he did his ACL and his Achilles, so you know just one of those unfortunate things happened, just a freak accident. But this season I was able to go through spring ball healthy, came back and did a whole year of rehab and had a really good spring ball, exceeded my own expectations. I’m really excited for the season to get back out there. It’s been almost three years since I’ve been able to get out there with my boys, so I’m excited.

How is the experience overall? I know it’s been just a lot of work and pain. I’ve seen a lot of your social media stuff, just coming back from it, but what’s the experience like being around the program?

One thing one thing about Eastern, football’s been great, and I made a lot of, built a lot of relationships, and made the right choice in that realm. But I definitely made the right choice in going to school there. One thing about our program that sets us above a lot of others is just how hard our coach is on academics. Every single day we have to check in with him with him, a thing called Academic Game Plan. We’re filling out a sheet with all our grades and he sits there and talks to us and gets us help, tutors. We just have a lot of resources that helped me be successful academically. I actually am graduating this Saturday and I’m going for my masters degree next year and I honestly don’t think I could have been able to do that without coach Camp. He’s been tremendous with helping me in my academics. Not only me but my entire team. We actually have averaged a 3.4 GPA as a team with over 100-plus guys over the last six or seven terms.

What did you get your degree in and what masters are you pursuing?

I’m getting my masters in kinesiology. I did my degree in history and political science. Right now I’m going on the realm I want to be a college football coach and strength coach. I plan to coach for coach Camp while I get my masters degree, this is going to be my last year of football and kind of work under him and see where that goes.

Kind of follow the Anfernee Sloan plan, huh?

Yeah, absolutely. Exactly.

What’s it like to come back here as an alum and work the camp as a coach here?

It’s awesome, you know a lot of these guys, I saw them when they were in youth football and I used to junior coach when I was in high school. To see a lot of these guys and how they’ve grown to be such great athletes, seeing them grow up, it’s been awesome. Just talking to one of the guys, I couldn’t believe he’s a freshman in high school, I was just coaching him. It’s kind of cool seeing them build. It’s just awesome, cool to give back to coaches that were so awesome to me, helped me at my game, just a great feeling to get back here.

As a player, and you’re doing a little coaching here in the camp and you’re demonstrating drills, does that help you as a player?

Absolutely, because here this camp has been a lot revolved around the basics, and as an offensive lineman, the basics is what gets the job done. So I’m teaching these guys a lot of things that coach Camp teaches us every single day, keeping a good base, keeping our hands inside, making sure we’re striking from the chest. A lot of that stuff is what I use every single day, so when I get to demonstrate it, not only is it helping me remind myself, but it’s also making me make sure I’m doing everything perfectly so I’m not teaching them something wrong. So it definitely helps me to reinsure that I’m doing things right and that absolutely helps.

When you get done with the camp here will you be doing other camps this summer?

Yeah. So my plan is, we got an 8-man camp that I’m going to do next weekend, and then we got our team camp in July. That’s a really big camp, a lot of teams go to it, so I’m really excited to do that.

Is that there at Eastern Oregon?

Yeah. I actually did that camp when I was in high school. It’s actually a camp that helped me get recruited there. It’s a really cool camp, a really exciting camp. I’m excited to work that one, for sure.

So now going in, this will be your sixth year even though actually be your second or third playing, right? But what are you looking forward to this season? What kind of goals do you have?

Honestly, just finishing my story. I just don’t want to be remembered as the guy who had a lot of potential and got hurt. I was really considering being done last year after that last one, but I’m kind of just doing it for the 10-year-old in me who loves football, who loved football so much as a kid. I just have to prove to myself that I can still do it and ride off in the sunset the right way.

Eastern Oregon head coach Tim Camp

So how’s this one going for you?

It’s good. It’s exciting to be back down here. Just like I told you, it’s one of my favorite camps, right. We just got out of passing league, we had a team camp on campus, had a youth camp on campus already, so this is our fourth camp of this camp season so far.

Out of how many?

We’re gonna go nine this year, so it’s gonna be pretty fun and we do we some odd and end things for some old guys. It gives these guys that (we’re) relying on the chance to become a coach and do some things that they normally wouldn’t get to do. So to come down, started a long time with coach Ward, and continue with one of our players, coach Sloan, so super excited to be juiced here. Fernley’s always been a really good place for us to be and I really enjoy it.

Before we started, you mentioned proud Papa. That the kind of the feeling that you get when you watch your old players doing this?

I have so many guys that are high school coaches or college coaches now that have come through my program in 17 years, right, and so when I get to go and I get to watch them, and hopefully they’ve taken a couple things from our program, along the way, but they’re just really good people and to watch him lead a bunch of guys and hear him say some things that I know I’ve said to him, it means it has worked and it is working. And he’s become his own person, so it’s just that. A proud dad.

For us media types he’s really engaging and he’s really good at getting his point across. Some of that comes from you right?

He’s probably better than I’ll ever be, but at the end of the day it’s just like, to listen to him address his team, there’s some things that I coach him on now, still, as things that he’s having trouble with, I had trouble with 20 years ago. It’s the same thing. Kids never change. I told him earlier, I said you always will have a few kids who don’t buy all the way in, but it’s your job to get them to buy in, alright, and it’s your job to create an environment that the kids want to be around. And as you can see the numbers are changing for Fernley football.

Yeah they have twice as many kids as they had at this point last year.

 There’s some things going right. I’m super excited for the future of Fernley football.

This camp, the third day that we’re out here today, and I know we’re in a lighting delay right now…

I thought we were going to make it through without one.

What’s different this year, what’s new?

I think the energy level by the kids, that’s one thing that I’ve noticed is a little bit different, and that’s a credit to them, to be able to bring in guys. Now they’re still, kids, they got to be addressed as so, right, the attention to detail. Don’t overwhelm them with things, right. Be able to give them things that they can use, things they can retain coaching-wise. That’s the one thing I think I’ll try to do over the course of years, is really cater to what they need specifically. These guys need to be able to block people, they need to be able to tackle, they need to be able to catch the football, and again, those are just fundamentals of football. If you do that at a higher level than everybody else, you win football games. That’s speaking volumes to me too. That’s what I tell myself all the time. You don’t have to try to outscheme somebody all the time, you just gotta make sure that your kids are more fundamentally sound at the end of the day.

They play the same time you do all year, so do you have any chance at all to follow how some of them…

I always talk to, I try and talk to him probably once every two weeks, just kind of with all my guys. I always just shoot them a text saying how’d you do? Or they tell me first and foremost. They might be having some issues, ‘hey, what do you think here?’ Like I told them, as players, this is my 24th year in college coaching, I think there’s not a lot I haven’t seen, and if I don’t know something, I have the same resources, my coaches that coached me, at my call, because those are my guys. Those are the guys that I wanted to be like, so if they have a question and I don’t know, I can find out from people who know a lot more than I do about things. It’s good to watch them when they go through the good times, it’s good to watch them when they go through the struggles, because at the end of the day, we can’t lose sight, we’re just trying to build great young men with the silly game of football.

I know when you get into coaching that’s the biggest part of the motivation.

You can impact, I had I had three coaches that impacted me more than anybody in my entire life and I talk to them once about every two weeks, if not once a week. They’re just really good people. I always admired them, bringing their kids around, I could see them be a dad, their wives were around, see them be a husband, and then they were my coach. They were always there for me, and that’s something that I think that I tried to be for Anfernee and the guys from Fernley when they come up to Eastern. And really everybody. You got to be able to know your players, and make sure they know that you’re there and it’s not just football talk, he’s a good football player, you got to honestly care about somebody and be a guy who can make a change. It’s bigger than just football.

I know the four days that you’re here, you’re talking about all those things and you’re trying to make 150 guys out here better football players, but you might be trying to make three or four of them into Eastern Oregon football players.

Absolutely. I think the big thing is if they could just realize that if you have a desire to play college football there’s always an option. I mean there’s so many small colleges out there. They got coaches on the staff that played at Montana Western, they got guys from the town there that went to Eastern Oregon, guys that been at Nevada, you know what I mean? So there’s an opportunity to do something special and these coaches could help them, but it all starts, and I talk to them all the time about the academic piece. You could be the best football player in America, but if you can’t graduate, if you can’t add, you can’t write, you can’t do things, you wasted your time. So you gotta be a great student, you gotta make sure again that you have a player profile and you have a work ethic. Those are the guys that we try and recruit, and then if they have the desire to be something special, then they can do so.

Have you noticed any guys this week that you might want to get more information about?

I have already talked to coach Sloan about a couple guys that I think could (have) potential. They got a sophomore fullback that’s going to be a tremendous player. They got a defensive back that I know well after last year’s camp. I think there’s some guys that have opportunity. Now with all of these guys, this is a start. But now I know coach Sloan’s got a summer program, and the message I’m gonna give the guys tomorrow, hey, you were out here for four days. Now what are you going to do? This is just the start. Now you got to finish. If you want to change, you can’t complain about the results that you get with the work that you didn’t do. You know what I mean? You gotta put the work in if you want the results to hit. Absolutely

You’ve got a couple guys out here this week that are not here with their team, like a couple Pyramid Lake players. They’re not they’re not here with the rest of their team, so what do you want those guys to take back?

I think they got to learn that the messages that are important, are being able to do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, and keep the standard. The standard is the standard if they do the right thing. Some of these guys, the standard is different than mine, but they got to be taught that. They’re just young. That’s the big message. And learn a couple things football that maybe your coach isn’t teaching, because we teach a lot of things that might be similar, but we also teach a lot of things that are different. It blows their minds sometimes, that that’s why I said ‘tone it down Tim Camp. You gotta stop. They can’t retain this.’ That’s why I think this camp’s pretty good. I test out a few things in this camp. I run it by the coach, coach Sloan obviously, but I wanted to look at a couple drills that I will take back to Eastern that I ran at our big man camp and I also ran at our youth camp, just to see if we can coach them effectively, because it’s all about teaching. But how’s it going to (unintelligible). There’s a couple linebacker drills we’re looking at right now. There’s an offensive line drill that I’ve had two coaches come up and already go, ‘Oh hey, I’ve heard about that.’ I got it from a former player that I used to coach who’s the O-line coach at Kansas State, so I know it works, I just haven’t done it yet. So we’ve been working on those things. It really helps us too.

Now I want to ask you about Lonnie Slapinski. He’s been up there with you for five years and he’s graduating and now he’s back here coaching this week with you and he might want to go forward with that. He’s just another one of those guys, but just a little bit about like what he’s been through and where he’s at.

Lonnie’s graduating. I’m so proud of him. He’s been through so many different things, injuries slash you know, but he’s always kept the attitude. I was just talking about him, he has got such a big heart and he has a passion for EOU football like nobody else. He’s graduating Saturday, I can’t believe it, but it’s exciting, and then he’s gonna be in the masters program. I mean it’s crazy that that kid started five years ago and he’s at where he’s at now and he has a chance to be an impact guy for us on the football field. So I’m super excited. I’d keep Lonnie around me for…, I’m hard on him now. I’m very hard on him, but hopefully he understands that it comes out of me wanting something for him and me loving and caring for him. He’s going to be a very good teacher and a very good coach. That’s why he’s at all of our camps, He loves it. To come home to his hometown, he’s a hero around here. I’m looking for him to be doing work and he’s over signing autographs. I joke with him all day. No, I’m pretty excited. He’s a very good person and I can’t wait to see where the future takes him.

I know you’re probably joking about Fernley being your favorite camp, but you come out here, you’ve been out here in the snow, you’ve been out here when it was 100 degrees, is this your first lightning…

It’s crazy. I thought we were gonna beat the lightning today, but like, these camps are crazy because like usually it’s 100 and some degrees out here. I leave with bloody lips, the wind chafed and all the above. This has been awesome. We were about 20 minutes away from being done anyway. I wanted to cut it a little bit short today so these guys are ready to go tomorrow. But at the end of the day, it’s like one of those things where you’re just sitting there going, this is a gold mine, this is a great place to be, and if you could surround yourself with enough good people, you could take this thing to a state championship, not for just a year or a drop in the hand, but for multiple years. I think you got the right people around and I think it’s going to get done. So pretty excited about being in town. I was telling the coaches on the way over, it’s already, tomorrow we’re done. I have a commencement meeting at Eastern Oregon tomorrow night at 7:30. This is going to be my, what, 17th graduation at Eastern. Getting old. Getting old, but I have a lot of energy though. I love it.

You’ve always been, ever since even when you were playing, have you always…

Oh I love it. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do. Just to be around young people, they keep me young. I love football, I don’t just like, I absolutely love it. And I’ve got a great wife, and she loves football. I’ve got two boys that play for me, and it’s been awesome for me. You know they both want coach. I’ve tried to talk them out of it. It’s been a great life and career and I plan on coaching until I can’t do it at a high level. That’s why I try and stay in shape, I try and lift weights, I try and run. I want to be able to demonstrate things to people because I think it’s important. That’s also why I do camps. People, oh camps are so hard. They’re only hard if you don’t. Even though you put a lot of work in and you get done ,do it right, that’s why at the end of the day I want to make sure that we do things the right way. Remember, I talked about there’s a standard.

I appreciate you taking a few minutes.

Absolutely, absolutely.

I look forward to talking to you every year, actually.

You better get out here every year. You better keep having me down.

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