Crushing an opening press conference to announce your hire doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to win a lot of football games in the near future. But Brent Pry put on a performance this morning that certainly won a lot of people over.
He was smooth, even – dare I say – debonair. I’ve never read so many comments on social media about a coach’s “great hair.” He came across as sincere, likeable, approachable…and very much wanting to be in Blacksburg.
He invoked the great names of Hokie football past, from Frank Beamer to Bud Foster, and hit all the right notes, at times even being emotional and showing a vulnerable side. I’ve often said when you look at the great coaches, the one common trait they have is they care. It’s not something you can fake either, as either you do or you don’t.
Brent Pry convinced a lot of people he cares.
I’m a former sales guy who has been involved in a turnaround situation before, so I was looking for two traits: One was that recruiting, which is very much like sales, isn’t as much a matter of personality, but moreso a case of working your backside off. It’s not just the person you’re selling, it’s knowing about their friends, their family, the important dates in their lives, their favorite sports teams, etc, because that knowledge builds familiarity and leads to a strong relationship.
So when Pry said of recruiting that it’s details, details, details…even to the point of not only knowing a prospects coach and friends, but even knowing the guy in the barbershop who cuts his hair, I found myself thinking “he gets it.”