Texas State head coach Everett Withers is employing a bold strategy after a two-win season. He's attacking former players.
After the 2015 season, Withers took over for Dennis Franchione, the only other head coach since the Bobcats joined the FBS in 2012. Withers, a former Appalachian State defensive back, had 11 previous coaching stops, including head coach at North Carolina in 2011 and head coach at James Madison from 2014-15.
Texas State went just 2-10 in his first year, their worst mark in five FBS seasons, and scored 14 or fewer points in eight of their 12 games. Their lone win over an FBS team was a triple-overtime triumph over Ohio in the season opener.
Although the Bobcats lost more than a dozen key contributors from last year's team and they'll have less talent by Withers' own admission, their head coach is more excited about the 2017 season. Following last Saturday's spring game, Withers made a couple comments that will draw the ire of last year's team.
“I didn’t like those guys last year," he told the Austin American-Statesman. "I didn’t like them, just so you know.”
He then praised this year's group, saying he and his assistant coaches could bring their family around the team now without worry of being "infested".
"Are we more talented? No, we’re not,” he added. “But I like being around them. I like being around our guys. They are good people. Generally, I feel they have a better care for each other than a year ago. I want to be around them; I want my son to be around them. I want our coaches’ families to be around. Last year, I didn’t bring my kids over here because I didn’t want them to be infested with what was going on."
Rarely do we see a head coach publicly criticize his own players — current or past. It will be interesting to see the reactions to his comments and how his players respond in the fall.