Coach Lea gives an update on Vanderbilt football and the state of CFB headed into the season
JACKSON, TENN (WNBJ)-
We are just about a month away from the college football season and Vanderbilt head coach Clark Lea’s second year at the helm. He believes they saw improvement last year, but the coach thinks there is still a way to go, “I think progress is never linear. It's you know, it's comes in in in in spurts. But we're pleased with where we are. We think we've made advancement from year one to year two…we're not guaranteed any results by the progress we made, but we can be excited that we're on a course," Coach Lea said.
Coach Lea recalls when he first took the job, he had to revive the pride of being a Commodore in the hearts of his players. Now he has high hopes for his team's future. At the recent SEC media days coach Lea said “in time, vanderbilt will be the program in the country."
Lea responds to the uproar over his recent comment, “I understand how people, you know, want to take a cynical view on on what's possible. That's just not how i choose to, to live. I mean, what what i want to be is a part of something that's always striving to set a standard, to be at level best…i would never want to be a part of nor would i ever lead something that didn't have that as the objective. And i believe that we have everything we need at vanderbilt to do that.”
College football conferences continue to restructure... And the SEC is adding Texas and Oklahoma, but Leaisn’t worried about the changes, “I don't spend a lot of time and energy thinking about what what will be next in terms of expansion. I leave that to the to the commissioner and the chancellors and presidents and athletic directors kind of to work through all the all those logistics. What i know is that the scc is going to be the best conference in college football," he said.
Another big change in college football: NCAA rules will now allow athletes to make money off (NIL deals) their name, image and likeness. Coach Lea hopes to keep his team focused on the game, "you know, we want to make sure that the conditions are right within our program to build a team that that can be a true brotherhood, can, you know, play really hard and play together and fight for something of importance together. On saturdays when you start to introduce transaction to that, you can you can certainly lose that that true spirit of team.... But we want to make sure that we are supporting NIL efforts," He said.
The coach wants to build student athletes who take all parts of their lives seriously, giving their all to football, school and relationships.
The team has adopted a “Warrior Bond” a covenant to true brotherhood, pride in everything they do, striving to earn it everyday, holding each other accountable and recycling positive energy.
“I think we'll measure success both off, you know, the wins that we have on the field as well as the success that our roster grows into and the long term impact they have off the field," Lea said.
Above all else, Lea is committed to making the Vanderbilt Commodores football program the best it can be
“good things take time. It's going to require consistent and and steady investment. It's going to require that we push ourselves to our highest possible level each and every day, each and every year," He said.