A surprising inside look at a Carolina football week.
A married father of three named Jeff Greenberg got Larry Fedora to allow him inside access for the last three days before the James Madison home opener. The detailed three-part series on Goheels.com had some surprises.
Fedora is the first to arrive at Kenan Field House most mornings at 6:30 and unlocks the building. He turns on the coffee machine himself and doesn’t appear to chug Red Bull as much as advertised.
Coaches intentionally make the first part of week stressful, putting pressure on the players to get their assignments right, then try to create a calm and confident atmosphere later in the week.
Fedora eats dinner with his family every Thursday, and then takes his daughter to school on Friday morning. It’s the only day he’s not in the office by 6:30. Assistant coaches are superstitious about where they eat Thursday night; a restaurant falls off the grid if they lose the game two days later.
Each Friday morning, the full staff meeting starts with a Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, and then the coaches break up into position staff meetings for rest of day until player meetings and practice that afternoon.
Fedora takes 15 minutes for lunch every day he eats at the training table. The team eats a silent meal for dinner on Friday night before staying at a hotel prior to home, as well as road games.
Assistant coaches fan out Friday night to watch high school football. Fedora and staff sleep at home the night before home games and then meet the team at the hotel for the bus ride to the stadium. In final team meeting before getting on the bus, players are randomly tested by coaches who ask about their specific assignments for that game. Most of the questions are answered correctly. After a week of non-stop coaches meetings and players spending up to six hours a day preparing and practicing, they had better have the right answers.