Monthly Archives: July 2019

Steve Ellis – DB’s Coach University of South Florida

The guest of today’s episode is Coach Steve Ellis. Ellis is the DB’s coach at The University of South Florida. Prior to USF, he spent 10 seasons at Middle Tennessee State and before that, Nichols State. Coach Ellis is a maser at developing talent. Having coached some of the NFL bests such as Lardarius Webb and Kevin Byard.

But what struck me the most about Coach Ellis is his passion. I’ll tell you why. Normally when I interact and reach out to a coach, I send him my questions and discuss topics I’d like to cover while being on the pod. Most of them say, “Great, can’t wait to do it, see you soon.” Not Ellis.  When I sent him my questions, he responded with 28 different topics where he fine tuned mine and made other suggestions of what he’d like to discuss. That show you how diligent of a man Ellis is and how much he cares about his profession. Ellis came into the podcast with his notes out and ready to go. Coach, I really appreciate that – thank you.

Coach Ellis and I now talk weekly, sometimes even daily. And most importantly, all the coaches I speak with who know Coach all say the same thing. Ellis is the flat out man. He’s the master at his craft and one of the best DB and defensive coaches around.

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Danny Rocco – Head Coach University of Delaware

On today’s episode I sit down with Head Coach of The University of Delaware – Danny Rocco.  Coach Rocco has coached at programs such as UVA, Texas, Maryland, Boston College, and in the NFL with the Jets.  In 13 seasons as being a head coach, he has never had a losing season!!! That’s unbelievable.  Head coach at Liberty, Richmond, and UD.  Rocco was also named the CAA coach of the year in 2015 while at Richmond.
Coach Rocco comes from a football heavy background.  He and his brother were both players, and his dad was their ultimate mentor – a longtime high school head coach in Pennsylvania.  You can tell that football is literally in Rocco’s blood.  He’s intense, passionate, and clearly has a definitive plan to being successful which we discuss on the pod.
As being a born and raised Delawarean, I must say that it was an honor and awesome experience to meet finally meet and spend time with Coach.  In this small state of Delaware, we do not have a pro team, so the Blue Hen’s are the one’s we follow week in and week out, and we follow them heavily.  One thing that landed Coach Rocco away from Richmond to Delaware was the passionate fan base.  Coach elaborates on the podcast, but unless you have been to a game you have no idea how the Blue Hen Faithful is.  They really truly care – I saw it with my sister during her basketball career at Delaware.  Plus – at any game, you can catch Senator Coons, Senator Carper, Governor Carney, and Vice President Joe Biden (all monster UD supporters) sitting next to President Assanis…..a pretty cool experience.

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Matt Shadeed – Head Strength Coach UMass Football

Matt Shadeed, head strength coach of UMASS Football. Coach Shadeed has previously coached at Baylor, Arkansas State, Ole Miss, and Southern Miss and has spent a good portion of his career with head coach – Walt Bell.

When visiting UMASS and spending the day with Shadeed, I was amazed by his energy. Seriously, I’ve never seen anything like it. I asked him about it on the pod you’ll find interesting.

One of the biggest hires for a head football coach is the strength coach. The strength coach is the glue of the program, the one person who is around the players the most, whether it be during season or the off season. He is responsible for transforming an 18 year old freshman boy into a 22 – 23 year old senior man.  This is why the strength coach is also one of the highest paid coaches on a staff…..they are THAT important.

It was evident the level of respect the UMASS players have for Coach Shadeed. They look up to him, they workout and have fun with him, they rally around him. Walt Bell made a great hire here, and it’s going to be fun to watch Bell and Shadeed build the UMASS program brick by brick to prominence.

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Willie Simmons – Head Coach Florida A&M

Willie Simmons, head coach at FAMU, also known as Florida A&M. Coming out of high school, Simmons was a stud QB highly recruited and committed to Clemson and then transferred to the Citadel where he finished his college playing career. Coach Simmons then hit the coaching world as a RB’s coach at Middle Tennessee State and became the OC where he had a top 20 offense in the country. He was responsible for turning around the Alcorn State program’s offense as well as Prairie View A&M where he was the head coach and had one of the top scoring offenses in the nation. Today, Willie and his program at FAMU are set to be at the top of the MEAC and FCS. Needless to say, at age 38, the future is very bright for Coach Simmons.

I remember when Coach was our RB’s coach at MTSU. Always  cool, calm and collected, coach had an unbelievable rapport with us players and of course his fellow coaches. It was great to reconnect with Willie, and spend the day with him. As he drove me around the FAMU campus, I had no idea that it and Florida State touch borders. Obviously a great recruiting tool for Simmons at FAMU, Tallahassee has a lot to offer. A college town, but still has what a large city has to offer. Seeing where Willie is now and how successful he has been, I can only think about where he’ll be in 5-7 years. I would say a head coach at a big time university. I hope you enjoy the pod, and as always let me know your thoughts via the website at

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