Players ready to start practice after measuring impressions
Assistant Sports Editor
The Irish football team met with new head coach George O'Leary Sunday morning, a meeting that allowed for first impressions of the man that will lead the team's development as football players.
"He's going to do a good job," said quarterback Carlyle Holiday. "He's a business-like person. We all got that impression that he wants to get things done."
For players who were anxious for a new coach to be named after a week of rampant speculation and rumors following Bob Davie's firing last Sunday, O'Leary's hiring was welcome.
"I'm just excited that Coach O'Leary's here and we can get started," said quarterback Matt LoVecchio. "I have confidence in our administration that they'd find the right guy."
For rising senior tight end Gary Godsey, Notre Dame's hiring of O'Leary hit especially close to home. His brother George Godsey is the quarterback of Georgia Tech, O'Leary's former employer.
"It's been weird but it's also been exciting," said Gary Godsey. "I know the team is happy with the decision Dr. White has made. We're just anxious to get started with spring football."
O'Leary's direct, sometimes brash style is very different from that of Davie, and O'Leary's style suits Holiday just fine.
"I think [his style] will mesh fine," said Holiday. "We need that kind of a person, a guy like that. We just have to figure out how we're working out and getting along together."
Holiday might have special incentive to take O'Leary's coaching to heart. O'Leary coached former Yellow Jacket quarterback Joe Hamilton, the 1999 Heisman trophy runner-up. A multi-talented player with a style similar to Holiday's, Hamilton threw for 8,882 yards and ran for another 1758 in his four year career for Georgia Tech.
"I remember watching Joe Hamilton and it's an exciting offense to watch with so many things going on," said Holiday. "That's a big bonus with us. We can do so much with that kind of scheme."
And after a week of anxious waiting, the Irish football team has a new general.
"We can relax now because we know we have a coach and we have a system," said Holiday. "Now we can start thinking about football for next year and concentrate on academics and work into the system he has."
All Sports Stories for Monday, December 10, 2001