A great communicator, Mack Brown wants to over-communicate.
All coaches claim they love their players and put them first. Some do and some don’t. But Carolina has special coaches with all of their varsity programs and is lucky to have them. At the top of the list is Mack Brown, and it’s not hard to see his sincerity.
Brown isn’t exactly high tech, preferring to exchange hand-written notes instead of emails. He does text, mostly to stay in contact with his players. Monday, he learned how to do a press conference on Zoom, and he spent almost an hour answering questions.
Brown is a Univac when it comes to football, a coach who in his 40 years of the profession knows every aspect of running a program and looking out for his players and coaches on and off the field. But these are different times. Here are a few of things he covered:
Once UNC shut down its campus in the face of COVID-19, Brown relied on his bosses and younger coaches at Carolina to learn every possible way to provide for their players, like making sure they get money for meals they would have had at the training table.
While his trainers and strength coaches are helping the Tar Heels stay in shape while sequestered at home, Brown is just as concerned with their mental health. He has arranged for counselors to talk to players who might be worried about illnesses or lost jobs in their families and could be subject to depression and anxiety.
“That’s our biggest concern,” he said. “I have no interests outside of football, my family and my faith. So I have to find new routines to stay connected to our team. We want to prioritize our lives as football coaches.”
Will there be a spring practice, even though it might be in the summer? Brown hopes so, even if it has to be added to the beginning of fall practice in late July. He’s planning for every possible scenario.
Will there even be a 2020 season? Brown has heard talk of a partial schedule, maybe only conference games, to minimize the travel. When he knows, so will we – through his over-communicating.