In this episode, Brian Beckcom speaks with former American football player and coach, Jackie Wayne Sherrill.
In the early ‘60s, Jackie played as a linebacker and fullback for the University of Alabama, where he won two national championships playing under coach Paul William “Bear” Bryant.
In his career as a head coach, Jackie coached the likes of Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, Hugh Green, and Tony Dorsett. Coach Sherrill carries a compelling 180-120-4 record as a college football coach, holding three SWC championship titles and one SEC championship title. Additionally, coach Sherrill was the first college football coach in history to have ever been publicly paid more than a million dollars, sparking new controversies and paving the way for college football coaches to come.
Watch this episode on YouTube
Brian and Coach Sherrill discuss:
- How coach Sherrill became a legendary college football coach
- What it was like to play football under coach “Bear” Bryant for four years
- The beginning of an Aggie football tradition: The 12th man kickoff team
- Leadership and the importance of knowing your audience
- The NCAA and their inability to enforce rules fairly
- How the NCAA’s system fails to incentivize young athletes properly
- Whether or not college football even needs the NCAA
- The most critical games Coach Sherrill ever coached in
- And other topics
Jackie Wayne Sherrill served as a head coach for the Washington State Cougars, Pittsburgh Panthers, Texas A&M Aggies, and Mississippi State Bulldogs. He is generally considered to be college football royalty, holding an impressive record of 180-120-4. Additionally, Jackie has three Southwestern Conference (SWC) championships and one Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship under his belt. Aside from his titles, Jackie was the recipient of the Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award in 1981 and was honored as the Southwesters Conference Coach of the Year consecutively three times starting in 1985. Coach Sherrill is an incredible leader, a true American, and one heck of a football coach.
Read the show notes!
Brian Beckcom: Welcome to the lessons from leaders podcast. I'm your host, Brian Beckcom. My next guest is coach Jackie Wayne, Sherill, uh, coach Harold's a former American football player and coach. He won two national championships as a football player at the University of Alabama under coach Bear Bryant, coach Sherill then got his first head coaching job at Washington State. And a year later was hired at Pittsburgh. At Pittsburgh coach Sherill coached hall of fame quarterback, Dan Marino, the only defensive player to finish second in the Heisman trophy balloting, or at least the only pure defensive player, and coach Sherill thanks to Hugh Green actually should've won the Heisman trophy. He also coached Tony Dorsett and many other players. At Pittsburgh coach Sherill also hired Jimmy Johnson who ultimately ended up coaching, both at the University of Miami and for the Dallas Cowboys, and he coached Dave, he hired Dave Wannstedt, who became a pro football coach. Coach Sherill was then hired by Texas A&M. He was the first coach publicly to get paid more than a million dollars in his contract, which is a huge controversy at the time. I think coach Sherill was going to get paid $1.7 million over four years or so. And there were people in the news like daily Hanson, for instance, who thought that was the worst thing ever now, of course, coaches get paid millions of dollars a year, and we don't think anything of it. In fact, I would argue that the coaches get paid that much money by and large bring so much money and resources into the university that they've earned it. Coach Sherill, basically turned around the Texas A&M football program. After a couple of years at Texas A&M he started winning and winning. And when he won three Southwest conference championships and had some of the best football teams, the Texas A&M has ever seen, he also started, what I think is the most awesome, uh, tradition in college football. And that's the 12th man kickoff squad back in the early 1980s, coach Harold decided that every single player on the Texas A&M kickoff squad would be a walk on and they held university-wide tryouts. And it has since become one of the coolest traditions ever in college football. Coach Sherill talks in the podcast about how he came up with that, that idea and what it was like starting the 12th man, kickoff squad. Coach Sherill also has a lot of very strong opinions about the NCA, which I think you will really enjoy listening to, unless you don't like the NCA. Coach Sherill has always been focused first and foremost on the wellbeing of his players and coaches. And in his opinion, the NCA, maybe doesn't always have that focus and I could not agree with him more. I had a great time talking to coach Jackie Sherill. He is a true college football royalty. We talked about a lot of really fun stories about whether we'll play college football this year, why it's so important that we do. The best players he coached. The biggest games he coached in and a whole lot more. And now I give you coach Jackie Sherill.
Brian Beckcom: Hey everybody, Brian Beckcom here. And I have got coach Jackie Sherill. And I gotta tell you, coach right out of the shoot, my dad is so excited that you were on the show. And you know, I had coach Slocum on the show a few weeks ago and he, of course he was excited about that too. But my dad told me, he goes before coach Slocum came on, he goes, coach Slocum is one of my two favorite Aggies in the world and you know who the other one is, coach Jackie Sheryl. So coach, thanks for coming on the podcast. Before we get into the discussions we're going to have today, how you doing man?
Jackie Sherrill: Doing great. You know, like everybody else is trying to fight through or go through this issue of that COVID-19 and unfortunately, yeah, I don't know if we'll get any answers until the election in November.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, coach, I got to ask you, I'm going to ask you the same question I asked coach Slocum right out of the gate because I know a lot of people listening to the show right now are thinking about this. What's going to happen with college football this year? You think we're going to play?
Jackie Sherrill: Yes. And you know, the games that have been going on for the last three days and one tonight or last night, there's no question, that that's a precursor that you could do it. Unfortunately for the people and for the athletic departments, they're going to lose quite a bit of a revenue. But for, for their students, college football and you know, for the student on campus. Now the hardest job today used to be the easiest job. The hardest job today is being that AP. Now you're going to have to make decisions and it's your decision of who gets the tickets. Now you can push it over to, you know, the A&Ms case, the 12th man foundation, but who gets tickets? How many tickets do they get? Who is going to be allowed in that 25% in the stands? But that's where we are. And we'll have to deal with it, but you somebody who's going to answer it every day all these phone calls. By the way, who's that guy on the left side of your head?
Brian Beckcom: For the people that are just listening and not watching on YouTube. I've got a picture of on the left side of me, a very handsome very young coach Jackie Sherrill and he's right next to, I think that's Ray Childress, isn't it coach?
Jackie Sherrill: I wish I had knew where that went, but Ray Childress was one of the greatest players. People ask me all the time who was the best player or greatest player. And my answer is always what position, because in every position I had a hall of fame. And there's no question that, that Ray would, every day, we'd go to practice and he'd coach, I hate the practise. And the people in front of me during practice felt that hate also because he was on the practice field, he was as tenacious as he was on the game days.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah. And, you know, coach, I was going to ask you that earlier. I was going to ask you, I asked coach Slocum the same question and asking a coach who your favorite player is probably similar to saying, who's your favorite kid or something like that. I mean, you've coached Dan Marino, Tony Dorsett, Ray Childress and like you said, you've had a hall of fame player literally at every position. So when people ask you that question, you're typically answer is. Well, which hall of famer do you want? Right.
Jackie Sherrill: Well, which position, you know, go position by position, Hugh Green and Ricky Jackson, you know, you go on. I've had the opportunity to coach a lot of great players, but Danny Marino's offensive line from left or right. Was Jimbo Covert left tackle, Ammo Boars left guard, Russ Grimm at center, Bill Fralic at right guard and Martin Mayhew at right tackle. Now three out of those five will be in the pro hall of fame, two of them already. And, but all five will be, eventually being the college football hall of fame.
Brian Beckcom:: And coach not only, and I didn't realize this, I've been following you since I was 10 years old, basically. I mean, you're in all honesty, you're one of the main reasons I went to A&M even though my dad and granddad went there, I remember going back, my dad took me to the games in the eighties when literally there's cotton raining out of the stands. And I thought, yeah, this is the coolest place ever. But, you also have some assistant coaches that people may have heard of at Pittsburgh. Jimmy Johnson was one of your assistant coaches. Dave Wannstedt was one of your assistant coaches, you also played, for Bear Bryant and won two national championships at Alabama with Bear Bryant. You are literally college football coaching royalty. And so coach, I know there's a lot of people listening to this podcast and I want to talk to you quite a bit today about, the NCA, some of the controversies with the NCA. But before we do that for the young folks, or even the folks that are in middle school and high school that want to become college coaches, can you tell us a little bit about, you know, as literally college football royalty, how you got into coaching and kind of what your path was to becoming a college football coach?
Jackie Sherrill: Well, I really was not going in to coaching. I went to Alabama, started off [inaudible 09:40] and switched to business. And when I got out started my graduate program and I was actually going into the business world and paying for my graduate program I was a GA at Alabama. Then I went to Arkansas to finish it. And coach Majors was at Arkansas.
Brian Beckcom: That’s Johnny Majors, coach Johnny Majors. Yeah. Other famous coach by the way.
Jackie Sherrill: And he took the job at Iowa State. And I just walked in his office one day and I said, “Coach, you know, hire me.” And he did. That's how I got started in coaching. And I had the opportunity to play in coach for coach Bryant and coach for coach [inaudible 10:25] and work for coach Majors eight years. And during those eight years, he allowed me to do everything from the office to recruiting to what you name it, he allowed me to do, and my first hit job, interview. I was more prepared than all the other coaches that they had brought in to interview because he had allowed me to do those jobs. I knew the budgets, I knew the academics A to Z and really all, everything far as preparing me to be a coach Majors. However, you know, a lot of the style, that I received from coach Bryant in playing and coaching.
Brian Beckcom: So coach you kind of, so it sounds like you were not planning on becoming a coach. You were going to go into the business world. So what was it that changed your mind? I mean, what made you decide, “Hey, maybe I should try this coaching thing instead of going into the business world?”
Brian Beckcom: 4 I was young married person with a young child and I said, “Well, I think I need to make some money.”
Brian Beckcom: Very well. Good. Well, really good answer, coach. You know, a lot of people, they work their way up to the high school coaching ranks and assistant coaching ranks. But for some people that aren't involved in coaching, especially college and pro coaching, I think don't realize that the stuff you see on Saturday, Sundays is just the tip of the iceberg. I mean, there's a massive amount of work. I mean, you're basically a CEO of a large organization when you're a college football coach.
Jackie Sherrill: Today you are. Yeah. You're dealing with an awful lot of things, not only the players or coaches, but you're dealing with the alumni and that's just, it you're helping raise money. You know, tilt is just like any phase of it, of an organization or a university, who's the president of Alabama? You know, who's the president of Michigan? Yeah. Uh, who's the president of Texas A&M?
Brian Beckcom: I wouldn't know the answer to that question. Yeah, for sure. So the face of the programs is the head football coach. And that's why it's so important, you know, that you have to win. If you're going to be successful in competitive, uh, you have to have a coach that has the ability to do a lot of things. There's a lot of good things, football coaches. With a lot of great assistance, but they're very few great head coaches.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah. And coach, let me ask you this question. I started this podcast four or five months ago to highlight mainly positive leadership principles. And so, one of the things about being a college football coach, particularly a college football coach at a prominent school is when you fail, you fail publicly, right? Like everybody knows when you win or lose. And so. Give us some ideas about how you dealt with being such a prominent person and dealing with not only the good stuff, cause you want a lot more than you lost, but how do you, how did you deal with the criticism? As a public figure when things didn't go the way you wanted them to go, like what, what would you tell people about that kind of thing?
Jackie Sherrill: Well, the hardest is on your family. Coaches get up and go to work the next day, getting ready either in recruiting or getting ready for the next game. So, you know, it's a 24/7 job, but you know, for the families and your kids in school, in high school or at college, they're the ones that receive most of the negative blood. Like, you know, my daughter in grade school and junior high, the teachers would say after we lost the game, “Sell, I hear you, your dad's going to get fired.“ In the classroom.
Brian Beckcom: She probably comes back to you and says, dad, are you getting fired? Like, this is what I heard. Like, what do you tell your kids when they say, when they say something like that?
Jackie Sherrill: Well, she would then ask mom.
Brian Beckcom: Smart kid, man. Smart. What coach, let's talk about a little bit, about some of the, for example, what was it like playing at the University of Alabama for Bear Bryant? What, was he like?
Jackie Sherrill: Well, I had the opportunity, like I said, for, to cook play and coach for coach Bryant. And, you know, he was a man's man. He was very large in statute six, four, you know, 200 and probably 70 pounds, uh, very physical, but yet very, very smart. He had the ability to read people in three to five minutes that coaches hated coach Bryant to go recruit with them because they would work two and three years on a kid. And when coach Bryant would go he may stay five minutes or, and get up late and say, we don't want him. But it's your job to tell the kid and his family, and also your job to tell that head coach, because you brought the kid to me saying he could play for us. And he had all the tools, but coach Bryant could read people extremely well, and he could motivate people. He took average players and made them very good players, good players, and made them great players. However, you didn't stay burn long if you are not understanding that you had to earn that position. And our freshman year, there were 67 of us, I believe or I think 67 or 76. And when we were seniors, there was only seven left of us that were seniors. There were only seven in that class. We had the smallest clash that Alabama ever had.
Brian Beckcom: That kind of reminds me of two experiences. I had coach, I was in the Cory cadets at A&M and also in law school. I mean, I was told in law school, you know, look to your left, look to your right those two people won't be here in a year. Same thing with the Cory. You can start off with 30 guys in your outfit or 30 guys and girls in your outfit. By the end of the year, you got 10 left. What, what do you think it was coach? About you personally, that you were one of the remaining seven when it was all said and done, like, what was it, what principles were… Seriously, I mean, you must've been tough as nails if you made it, four years with coach Bryant?
Jackie Sherrill: Well, we always say we didn't know any better and it's kind of like a talk about it. You know, freshman quarterback come in and all of a sudden has a great year that he didn't know any better until he knows better. In other words, until he loses the game by throwing an interception or illusion as a game because of his mistakes. And that's what, and the ones that stayed, we probably didn't know any better at that time. We would go play football.
Brian Beckcom: And you were a both a fullback and a linebacker. Did you actually play it both ways?
Jackie Sherrill: Yeah. Well, back then you did play both ways. You got only substitute of the freshman year. You didn't play varsity, you played freshmen games, but you played both ways and you can only substitute two people for them. My sophomore year, they got allowed free substitution on second and third down. But on first and fourth, you could still, and then my junior year, it was free substitution, but you still played both ways. And that's one of the famous defensive teams ever was the Chinese bandits. And that's why they were able to do that because they would sit a whole team on the field and that's all they did. You had large teams back then. We'd go to practice where they have, the red team and the white team, the blue team, the gold team, the brown team. I mean, I would go on and on and many teams and it was really comical. Because most players would make sure that they sprinted because everybody was listed on the board as you walked into the locker room. And if you didn't practice well that day before for you were not on the red team or the white team, you may be on the blue or the green.
Brian Beckcom: It's just, you know, coaches for us nowadays it's just kind of hard to imagine. The sport as physical as football being on the field all the time. Like essentially getting no rest. I mean, what was it like playing at a school like Alabama at a high level for national championships where you literally having to play essentially the entire game. What's that like?
Jackie Sherrill: Well, I mean there's today players are faster, stronger, and bigger and more specialized than we were back then. And there are players today, when you talking about the elite players, they are elite. And we may have, would have had one, two, three, Joe Namath was elite and it was amazing to watch his, even today when people ask. The best athlete I've ever played or coached. And it was Joe Namath.
Brian Beckcom: Was it really interesting? So what made him such a good athlete? Was it his physical abilities? Was it his toughness? Was it as intelligence?
Jackie Sherrill: Well, all of it, but he ran, he ran four or five. On the field. We would have track guys. But on the grass, he could out run them. He couldn't outrun them on the track. He could own grass and he had tremendous skills. Every day in practice it was really amazing to watch him play. But far as it didn't matter, if you wanted to play pool, he'd beat you. If you wanted to throw coins, he had beat you and you'd go to basketball. If he guarded you, you never got a shout out. And you know, he would stuff, the basket backhanded. Going to baseline. But baseball. Was a great, you know, in most great quarterbacks, you go to Johnny Manziel or if you go Kenny Stabler, most, Dan Pastorini, I mean, you can go on and on, most great quarterbacks or also great baseball players.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah. Why do you think that is coach?
Jackie Sherrill: Because of their throwing motion? You watch today, you watch Wilson. Yeah. And see all the homes, the same thing. You watch, all the throwing motions. They have side arm over under they, they were great baseball players and sure enough, both of them were outstanding baseball players and probably played first or second. I mean, second or third, our shortstop.
Brian Beckcom: I'll tell you another good example of that, who comes to mind, coach is John Elway. I think John Elway played very high level football and very high level baseball in college.
Jackie Sherrill: His true love was baseball, I thought I was going to lose him to baseball.
Brian Beckcom: Coach, you started as a head coach at, I think Washington State and you were there for only a year and then you went to Pittsburgh. Is that right?
Jackie Sherrill: Yeah. So that was at Pittsburgh and I got interviewed in the Washington State. I called Bryant and I said coach, “You want me to just stay at Pittsburgh instead of”, and because they were thinking coach majors might leave and go back to Tennessee. And he always said the same thing. He said. ”Oh, Jackie, I ain't telling you what to do or can't tell you what to do” but he would tell me a story of what to do. In that case, he said when he was at Alabama and he was going to go to Maryland, they wanted him to stay at Alabama for the same reason. And he went and talked to his father-in-law, which was a banker of a good businessman. And he said, if they want you to now they'll want you to later. So what he was telling me, you need to go get experience because if they want you, they'll want you to later. And so that's why I went to Washington State because of conversation with coach Bryant. I went to Washington State and then they came after me.
Brian Beckcom: And so you went to, you were at Pitt, was it in the late seventies that you first went to Pitt?
Jackie Sherrill: Well, we were at Iowa State. And went to Pittsburgh in 73. 73 was the first year. And then I went to Pitt, Oregon State 76 came back in 77, then went A&M in 1982.
Brian Beckcom: And you had a, like I said, Jimmy Johnson work where you Dave Wannstedt and coach Dan Marino, who's a hall of fame quarterback now, was Tony Dorsett there when you were there.
Jackie Sherrill: I recruited Tony.
Brian Beckcom: You recruited Tony, one of the most phenomenal running backs and college football history and history, right?
Jackie Sherrill: He could have, he could have been an Olympic sprinter.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah. He was super-fast. And you know, the thing I remember about Tony the most is the 99 yard touchdown run, which was longest in NFL history. And then you also coached Hugh Green, who, if I'm remembering correctly, Hugh Green, as a defensive player, finished second in the Heisman trophy validating his, I think his junior or senior year is that right.
Jackie Sherrill: Should have won it. George Rogers shot Carolina won it. Not taking anything away from George, but Hugh Green should have won the Heisman trophy.
Brian Beckcom: So how does it, we always have this debate about like, can a defensive player legitimately be considered the best player in college football and you're saying, you know, no question in my mind should have won it. So what was it about him that made him in your mind? The best player in college football?
Jackie Sherrill: He wasn't big. He weighed two 15, maybe the heaviest he weighed in college was maybe to 18 to 20. But he had such great quickness and explosive acquaintance. My first game we played we're playing Syracuse, they have a 300 pound tackle and the very, very first nap he has that 300 pound tackle jacked up with his left hand, looking down the line. I mean, he had so much quickness and strength and we're playing again, Syracuse a year later, two years later and he makes three plays in a row. Each sacks, the quarterback chases, a quarterback down, run the option to the, to the right. And then they, they come back in each section him again. So, I mean he was all over the field. Great, athlete.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah. And so you had some right pains at Pittsburgh. Coach. I got to tell you this story. From my perspective, I was, I was much younger at the time, but I remember when you got hired at any of them, it was part of the controversy was you were going to get paid $1.7 million over something like four or five years. And there were people like Dale Hanson, who I still haven't forgiven for this bitching about the fact that A&M was paying a coach a million dollars a year, and they were putting athletics before academics. And now we look back and we see how stupid that sounds, right. But that was a little bit of a controversy. Cause I think you were the first coach in college football to get a million dollar plus contract. Right.
Jackie Sherrill: Publicly, there were other coaches that were making more than that. Joe Paterno was making more than that. Yeah. You know, coach Bryant years ago, when he, when he came to A&M there were a lot of games in Houston and games and in Dallas, because he got part of the gate and when he went to Alabama, there was an awful lot of games in Birmingham, Alabama. And I would say that his contract, even at Alabama said that, but fraternal contract, which was very huge, I don't have facts, but you know, the story is that he had the, either it was Coke or Pepsi contract at Beaver stadium. So all the cold drinks at sessions. Now that made him a lot of money too.
Brian Beckcom: And the equivalent of that, I suppose, nowadays, is coaches that get the shoe contracts and, things of that nature. But publicly back at the time, was this 1982, when you got hired again.
Jackie Sherrill: 82.
Brian Beckcom:: Publicly, you were the first coach, uh, that publicly got a million dollar contract. And do you remember the controversy around that? People just could not believe that an accurate quote academic institution was paying a football coach that much money.
Jackie Sherrill: Well, you know, do they deserve a showery they're making the day. When you look at the budgets that they have and the amount of money they're bringing in, you could justify, but active in the academic world. Can you justify it? No.
Brian Beckcom: Well, so let me push back on that a little bit, coach. I think you actually maybe can just buy it at least in some instances, because like you said, the football programs at most major institutions essentially fund every other sport institution. Right? So without these big football programs, you don't have women's soccer at a lot of these programs.
Jackie Sherrill: Well, you look at Stanford right now. They cut 30 sports or 22 sport. You also look right now, if we do not have football this fall, then there's going to be a lot of personnel and sports at every university cut.
Brian Beckcom: No doubt, no doubt about it. You aren't, like you said, you're already seeing it. And I think some people are a little shortsighted about this and they don't recognize, it's not just about the football. The football creates other sports programs. It creates all sorts of financial income for the universities that they can use for all different sorts of needs. And so, hey you might want to think twice before you start complaining about the football program, because you're not thinking about the consequences, the potential consequences to a lot of other things at the school, if you don't have a successful football program.
Jackie Sherrill: Yeah. I have some great friends that are, are women basketball coaches, and they're scared to death because if there's not football this fall and we don't get come out of this, then they will lose personnel, meaning own their staff and they will, their budgets will be cut. The NCAA and again, I got a preference, anything I say is my opinion, but when you read where they furloughed 600 people, how in the hell can the NCAA justify of a payroll of 600 people, not including the top administration?
Brian Beckcom: When you told me that we were talking about that right before we went on the air coach. And my first reaction to that is how do they have 600 people working for them to begin with? And I think your comment was that doesn't even include all the high-paid executives. I don't know if you've ever heard, the, the saying, what do you do, what does the NCAA do when they catch University of Texas chief-mate give SMU the death penalty.
Jackie Sherrill: That's not far off.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah. I want to talk to you a bunch about the NCAA, but before we get into that coach, I got to ask you a couple of questions about your time in A&M. And so you started what I think, I'm a little biased about this, but it is the coolest tradition in college football vote today, back when you started and that's the 12th man kickoff squad. So for people that don't know what the 12th man kickoff squad is real quick, the 12th man kickoff squad was something coach Jackie Sherrill started at Texas A&M where every single player on the kickoff squad was a walk on. And so coach. Tell us where you came up with that idea. Tell us what it was like, having this 1200 kickoff team, like what kind of reaction did you get to it initially? And how did he come up with that idea?
Jackie Sherrill: It really started because of the bonfire. And so driving home, 11, 12, one o'clock at night, I would pass the bonfire. So finally I stopped one night and then within. 10 minutes they had me up on the fourth stack wearing blocks. And so through that and coming back, and then all of a sudden I came back one night and there was a small bonfire about 20 yards from the stack. And there was a red pot beating a 55 gallon drum with that accent. The junior red pots were on the fourth stack. When he stopped, they slid down the stacks. And for people that don't understand those stack, every log wired to two other logs. So they're sliding down, they're cutting their hands and cause they're going down vertical and they run over the first one bends over and he takes three slats. And I'm not talking about a small either. And then on the third one after the third one, he says, take your best shot. So in the routine, when you had enough, then you say, take your best shot, which means I've had enough. You get one more shot. On the fourth one, the ax handle broke. So when that happens, you start all over. You've been in the court. You understand some of this? I knew what that felt like, because going through A club, I did the same thing. And during the week we got slighted, no big deal. It hurt, it didn't hurt, but Saturday morning and I had to, we all had two [inaudible 35:55] left. And when I took the first one, my knees hit the top of the coke box. The old slide. And I said, that's it. I ain't taking another and there's not anybody in your big enough to make me either. I'm walking out. They said, Jackie, you got to, you joined the A club. I said, so I'm not going to do it. A senior talked me into it, so I knew what that felt like. There was no expressions, no movement on the junior red pot. And that's when I went, the next day and on staff meeting, I said, we're going to start the 12th man kickoff team. And they all thought I was crazy, Holman was the only one that felt like it could work because he was a student at Texas A&M before. And Archie says, coach, you must have fell off that stack. But I knew it would work because there were 40,000 students. There were enough male students on campus, that were athletic that would do anything. To be on camera, feel, run down on a kickoff. And that's how we started and the first meeting we had, there were 252, came to the meeting, two females came. And so we would have let down to 40 and we'd allowed 40 to come out in the spring. And then from the 40, we would only keep 20 for the fall. But every year you had to make that team again.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah. I'd start over, right?
Jackie Sherrill: Yes. It didn't matter a tumor on the team the year before. If somebody was good enough to beat you out, you, lost your job.
Brian Beckcom: Do you remember a guy by the name of Dave Coolidge?
Jackie Sherrill: Very well?
Brian Beckcom: Yeah. So Dave is a good friend of mine. I did not know he was on one of the original 12th man team. And for people who don't know, Dave Coolidge. He's about six, but he weighs 185 pounds. He's extremely successful. I can't even, I can't overstate how successful he's been in business, but I didn't know he was on the 12th man team. Anyways, I was going to, the, and I was with a buddy of mine, Nicky Washington, who's a lawyer. You probably remember Nicky too.
Jackie Sherrill: Nicky was a great player.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah, Nicky's a fantastic guy. But anyways, I was talking to Nicky and at the time Dave was coaching my older son basketball, youth basketball, and somehow his name comes up and Nikki goes, Dave Coolidge. And he goes, Dave coach, man. He said, yeah, he goes, he was on the 12th man team. I said, really? I didn't know that Nikki goes. Dave Coolidge put the hardest hit on any… And Mickey played six years in the NFL on anybody I've ever seen in practice. It was one of those hits, just perfectly time. But the thing that, people maybe don't appreciate about the 12 team man, like you're saying is when you have 40,000 students, you're going to find 12 to 15 guys like Dave Coolidge, right?
Jackie Sherrill: Yes. And the good thing about it is, they were is like any other special ops you're trained to do one thing. I came out 30 minutes prior to practice and they had open field tackling drips. I go through practice now in going through, and especially the guys picture, have a buddy. He wasn't very nice to those guys. Yeah. And then they stayed 30 minutes after practice and actually covered kickoffs. So they had an hour, a day strictly own covering open pill, tackling a kickoffs. Now, when you equate that to a team, most football teams don't even work on kickoffs until Friday. And they're not usually not in full patch. So those, guys, and a lot more special work to them and they became, their average was 12.5. Now, and for five years, they were always in the top five. And for two years out of that five, they were number one in the nation.
Brian Beckcom: They were incredible. Incredible.
Jackie Sherrill: But when you realized 12.5, even today, if you have a 20 yard are less, you're good in kickoff coverage.
Brian Beckcom: For sure. And, coach, one of the things that there's two things about this that really stand out to me from a leadership perspective. One is what you started in 1982 it still has ripple effects today the latest 12th man from Texas A&M is now, has made the roster for the Houston Texans two years in a row. And so that has had ripple effects over decades. The other thing I'll say about this coach is…
Jackie Sherrill: The mistake I made is I did not patent the 12th man towel. If I had done that…
Brian Beckcom: NCAA probably would've gotten mad at you for that. Because then they can't make the money off of this deal.
Jackie Sherrill: I couldn’t make some of it, but we wouldn't be doing this today. I'd be somewhere drinking a cold one right now.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah. You'd be sitting in Dave Coolidge's box or you'd have a box right next to him. The other thing about this coach that I think is really interesting from a leadership perspective is when you went to A&M you tapped in to the culture there, you really were able to figure out a way to create something that the entire student body and all the alumni reacted to very passionate. And so don't you think that part of leadership is knowing your audience and knowing how to inspire your audience?
Jackie Sherrill: I've always said, if you're a coach at A&M and you don't understand A&M you're not going to win. I don't, care how good a coach you are.
Brian Beckcom: And maybe you can, take those principles outside of the coaching rank and say, for instance, if you're a lawyer, and you're dealing with a certain, type of jury and you don't know what that jury, what inspires them, what likes them. Same if you're a businessman running a business and you, got people that work for you, you can take these principles even outside the coaching rank, right?
Jackie Sherrill: Yes. But the good thing about it, is your, you were able to give. I wish I could take credit that I was at smart. I had no idea the 12th man kickoff team and the student body, how much that would bring them together.
Brian Beckcom: Exactly.
Jackie Sherrill: And it was part of their, in their mentality or heritage, they're saying that's me out there on the field. There were signs, as there were signs with their names on them and cheering for them more than they were for our, some of our regular players. But when you, go back, I didn't have a choice. The students came and got me and put me in to all the traditions. I had a young man, James, he was a head red pot, he burst in my office one day and he says, “Do you want to be the Aggie football coach? Or do you want to be just another Aggie football coach?” I said, “Sure I do”. He took me out and put me in elephant walk. That was first time. And it's probably still the only time that a head football coach was out in elephant walk with, the students.
Brian Beckcom: And the other thing people you were talking about lighting the bonfire. And so for the people that are listening, that don't know what that means that thing was multiple stories, high, multiple layers of logs and the head football coach at Texas A&M is climbing up and down that thing with students. You're being, I appreciate your humility about that coach, part of the, reason you were so successful at A&M, I think is, maybe, you didn't understand the school at first, but you were willing to listen. You were willing to go out there and learn about the traditions and a lot of people just keep their doors shut and I just want to focus on what they're doing, but what you were out there with the students doing what they were doing.
Jackie Sherrill: And it paid off because like you've said, you know, there's seven things you have to have the wins. The administration is the most important. They give you a chance to win, or they take that chance away. The faculty is more important than what people really realize, because if they feel that you're abusing the players academically, they're not going to be part of it. And they can help with those students. The students themselves, because you're in clash, the players are in class every day, but you got 24 hours, four hours football. So where are the other 20 hours, they're with the other students. And then, you know, the, former students, the players themselves, the coaches and the media and the media is a lot more important then what people realize. I mean, you look across the country today, the media that likes and helps the teams, they also help them win.
Brian Beckcom: But anyway, we were talking about coach, how listening to the students, and to the red pots and all those folks and being open to learning about new cultures ended up being one of the best things that ever happened to you. And frankly, I think to our school, Texas, A&M.
Jackie Sherrill: Well, I appreciate that. I was given the honor to go into the shack. That was the only non-red pot ever allowed into the shack.
Brian Beckcom: Best friends, a guy named Carl Bag. He was a head red pot, I am very, very close with Carl, by the way, he said, you're his favorite Aggie of all time. He was super excited you were coming on the podcast. And one of the things he told me was, and he knows a lot of the football players, he goes, “You know, the thing about coach Sherrill is his ex-players by and large are extremely loyal to him”, which I think is the mark by the way, or one of the marks of a great coach. But for people that don't understand what we're talking about, the red pots ran the bonfire. There were not that many of them, it was a very big deal to be a red pot. You had to be a tough sob. To be at red pot and they had a little shack and the only people that were allowed to go in that shack were red pots. Nobody else was allowed in there other than coach Jackie Sherill.
Jackie Sherrill: I was in there one night playing cards. Yeah. They have a, you know, a fire, I mean, that's still a burner. And it blew up. They didn't even flinch they just kept playing cards. They were tough.
Brian Beckcom: And a lot of times I think people think that tough guys aren't smart guys too. I mean, the, the red pots, I know were lawyers, doctors, and businessman, and people like Dave Coolidge. He wasn't a red pop, but he's on the 12 men, but they're smart. They're smart and tough. Coach, let's talk a little bit about, you won three straight Southwest conference championships at A&M, you had a phenomenal run at A&M. And then you ended up at Mississippi state after you left A&M and the NCAA, you've had a long history with the NCAA, and we were talking a little bit before the podcast about, you were telling me some things that I didn't know, and by the way, for if people are listening and you're a big fan of the NCAA, you might want to turn off the gas right now, because…
Jackie Sherrill: I don't know. I don't know if anybody is a fan of the NCAA.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah, no, I think you're right about that. But you were telling me a story coach about how. So one of my problems with the NCAA or two of my problems has always been number one. I don't think they enforce the rules consistently across the board. And number two. I don't think the amount of money they make and the amount of profits they make, visa VI the student athletes and the coaches and stuff is appropriate. But you were telling me that it's been like this. I think you said the sixties, right?
Jackie Sherrill: Yeah. Now I want to preface anything. I say it's my opinion.
Brian Beckcom: Yes, I am too. These are all my opinions and coach Sherill's opinions. Okay. Everybody, these are just our opinions.
Jackie Sherrill: There are some facts. Yeah. It's just like the NCAA, in my opinion, it's never been for the student athlete. Yeah. It's an organization. They have policy and procedures and that they can hide behind and say, well, the president voted on it. Well, I would say 99% of the presidents had no idea of what they actually voted on. So they take and then interpret that vote.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah.
Jackie Sherrill: They put in the bylaws and you know, they can change the bylaws at any time in a room, i.e. Danny Marino at that time, when Danny was in high school, they are literally, it wasn't voted on by the body of all the universities. They arbitrarily changed. The rule that if you signed a baseball contract, you can not be on a football scholarship.
Brian Beckcom: Really, man, they must've changed that real good Ricky Williams and some other guys went a different route, right? So back then you couldn't play football. If you signed a baseball contract.
Jackie Sherrill: Well, you could, but you had to pay your own way.
Brian Beckcom: Gotcha.
Jackie Sherrill: No, it was whatever the tuition fees were you had to pay? They had Danny Ainge BYU, Kurt Gibson, Michigan State, and they had a kid named Wilson that was going to go to Maryland. The year before all of them signed. All of them played baseball in the summer, but Danny played basketball, Kurt played football and the same people person that gave Michigan State to permission, all of a sudden was one of the people of the NCAA that interpreted if you signed a major league contract, you were a professional, therefore you can not, you could play football, but you had to pay your own way. And I was wearing a mask, in fact, so I've tracked down the guy that worked at the NCAA that gave Michigan State that permission the year before. And I said, “You gave Michigan State and Kurt Gibson permission, and now you're the same guy or one of them” and quote, he said, Jackie, “If you don't back off, you weren’t there Monday.”
Brian Beckcom: That is an amazing story. And isn't that kind of what we were talking about earlier that the consistency and the interpretation of the rules as the different schools.
Jackie Sherrill: That's just like on the waivers. There are no consistently on the waiver. Now the attorney was at little rock Arkansas and he, all the students went to him. He's handled their cases and all the students got waivers. Well guess who hired him?
Brian Beckcom: The NCAA.
Jackie Sherrill: The NCAA hired him because in my opinion, I couldn't beat him. So they hired him.
Brian Beckcom: Well can I tell another story about that? When I was at the university of Texas law school, I worked for probably the most prominent federal procedures law professor in the country.
Jackie Sherrill: Charles Allen.
Brian Beckcom: For sure. And represented Richard Nixon in the Watergate. I worked for a professor, who is dead now, but I worked for him for a year in law school and he was on the NCAA and fractions committee. And he controlled it. And so, and he was at the university of Texas and he liked the university of Texas football. Matter of fact, he had a flag football team called Legal Eagles. I was on that team too, and be used to recruit A&M and UT football players to the law school. But is it surprising that certain schools get treated differently than other schools when that kind of thing is going on? And coach, I got to ask you this question because it sounds to me like you've been pushing back against the NCAA your whole career, and maybe that's one of the reasons they've come after you.
Jackie Sherrill: Well, yeah, we can't, I'm not going to get into that, but I did send a message to one of them. I said, for 22 years, you've had all my phone calls, all my travel, all my checking account, all my expense accounts now. Either I'm the smartest guy in the world or you’re the dumbest. I believe it's a little of both.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Brian Beckcom: You were telling me earlier in the sixties with Pell Grants that…
Jackie Sherrill: Well, all the way back to the 60.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah. Tell us about that story real quick.
Jackie Sherrill: It wasn't a Pell Grant back then. Back then it was called basic educational opportunity grant B E O G. A track star at the University of Kansas sued the NCAA because the NCAA would not allow the student to receive their full BEOG, which is now the Pell Grant at that time. And they would receive the full from the government, but the government would pay it. But it would pay it to the school. And the school would only allow him to get what the NCAA allowed. Well, what happened was the NCAA was sued and forced to give all the money that was rightfully so to the students and fast forward, the same thing. I mean, it's been that way for years and even in the Pell Grant, you know, the NCAA. The big 10 pack 12 back then back in and made American voted in a block boat to do away with the dormitories and the cafeterias. At that time, the Southwest County Prince, the big eight, the ACC had the advantage because they had athletic dormitories and athletic cafeteria. Now what happened was the big 10, pack 10 men American voted because they did not have the advantage, the group over here had the advantage. So they got the help of the NCAA. They pushed it through, they took the mail plan away the cafeterias and the dormitories. It gave them the advantage because now you only received breakfast and lunch. You were given one meal a day, breakfast, lunch, or dinner, one meal? And at Mississippi state at that time. You had $3 for breakfast, $5 for lunch and $7 for dinner. So tell me where a 300 pounder can eat breakfast.
Brian Beckcom: Absolutely, absolutely.
Jackie Sherrill: But it gave the schools that were in the metropolitan areas. Stanford, Washington, I mean, you can go on at all more money because of the room and board, but it took away from the SCC. They want it. They're trying to make it in their mind equal. And there's no such thing as being an equal. You know, what pay spend at the university, Alabama and what they spend at Troy state. That's not equal.
Brian Beckcom: It's never going to be equal. No, never going to be equal.
Jackie Sherrill: But they, they, and you know, you can have a lot of by hand, a lot of things. Now I will have to give university of Texas credit because when they were in investigate and they went in front of the infractions committee, they hired, they get the NCAA investigator as their compliance director.
Brian Beckcom: Smart.
Jackie Sherrill: More than smart. You get a slap on the wrist that way.
Brian Beckcom: And, you know, coach, I think that a lot of people me included the, the primary problem, I think I have with the NCAA is I just don't feel like they have the best interest of the student athletes in mind. Like if they, if they were totally focused on the student athletes and that was it, that would be one thing, but I just don't get that sense. Really at all. I mean, you know, when you can look at these instances, like when Johnny Manziel was at A&M and they're literally selling A&M jerseys on NCAA websites, I mean, I, I just, I have a problem with that. Sorry.
Jackie Sherrill: Well, here's, if you go back the final four, if you took the mid court section, those were all their tickets, their freebies. They're in a tank. If you push, they're not going to give it to you, what their parties, that they have, the gifts that they give away, the entertainment they do, how much that would be at the final four, it probably would be enough to pay it all the kids in the final four a stipend of a hundred dollars or $200 a month forever. And back then their parents were in Roe, Jay, when they had the mid-court section. Now they're going to justify it and say, well, that was because of our sponsors. Wait a minute. Those student athletes got you there. They don't do dessert tickets in the same area. Yeah. Yeah. And even today I will saved the student tickets for their parents. Or not in the mid-court section.
Brian Beckcom: And people sometimes forget that many student athletes don't come from wealthy backgrounds. And they have to go to school and play sports. So it's very, very difficult for them to get like a job in college or something.
Jackie Sherrill: There's no such thing as a football player having a job.
Brian Beckcom: You can't have a job. Yeah, no, you just don't have time. I mean, playing college, sports, football, especially and going to school is, I mean, you just don't have any extra time at all. And so we take. Kids that don't have a lot to begin with. And then they have no enzyme and they're making hundreds of millions of dollars a year for the NCAA. And then we put their parents in the bleachers, you know, in the, in the, in the cheap seats that just doesn't seem right.
Jackie Sherrill: There's 24 hours a day. If you take four hours for football, you got 20 left. And if you take four to five hours at class, so now you're at 15. And then if you take your study time, two to three hours, now you're down to 12. Now you take three hours of going to, and from eating, showering and going to classes. Then if you take seven hours of sleep, you got one hour left. Maybe.
Brian Beckcom: Maybe, maybe.
Jackie Sherrill: So tell me when w where do they have free time to work?
Brian Beckcom: What do you think going forward? What, what, like, in terms of reforming kind of the way college sports is with respect to the NCA, what do you think, you know, one or two ideas maybe you have that might incur it, create the right incentives and make things a little bit fair for the student?
Jackie Sherrill: You can go on the website and look for the cost of attendance. Every university puts in their cost of attendance. They include the trip trips back home. They include going to a movie, they include going out to eat pizza,or whatever. So that cost of living, meaning to attend that athlete should automatically receive in their scholarship. Now all the other things that we're talking about likeness and that's gonna come. Yeah, there's no way, politically, legally they can keep that from that now. Well, will it be an enormous amount of money? No, it's not going to be now. Will some players, uh, receive more than others? Absolutely. But you know, what I would like to see is somehow they're able to put that into a pot. And when the kid graduates that’s his was graduation present.
Brian Beckcom: Awesome. Love that idea of coach and you know, it's I think you're right. I think that's inevitable. I think the idea of somebody else profiting off of a 19 or 20 year’s old kids lightness is just that, that just can't last any longer than I think I, I read somewhere coach and tell me if this is right the pack. I think the pack 10 schools. Said something about allowing the players to profit off of their lightness going forward.
Jackie Sherrill: The California sued the State.
Brian Beckcom: That's right.
Jackie Sherrill: You know, the NCAA is furloughed everybody, and now weather the pack 10 to the big 12, the pack 12. If they're not playing. You know, a lot of people say it's political. A lot of people are saying, you know, that that's part of it because they don't have to come up with an answer today. And, you know, the NCAA just furloughed, 600 people. You know, how can you justify a corporation having 600 employees? Now what what's happening with the big tent of the, the big 12, the SCC, ACC going with fall sports? If we are able to push fall sports through, then they're going to round Robin the championship in golf and tennis, you know, soccer then what's going to come of this is why does the power of five need the NCAA?
Brian Beckcom: You're right about that, man. I thought about that. So what happens, what you're saying is we're going to end up having a fall sports and some round tables, and everybody's going to look around and say, you know what, maybe we don't need the NCAA.
Jackie Sherrill: They don't. And the NCAA, in my opinion is not here much longer, when you talked about the power of five. Yeah, because the power of five is separated. Everybody else, the NCAA can go and do their deal with them. You know, you can't ever make Southwest Texas, our Texas State, living. I mean, that they will never beat Texas or Texas A&M, TCU, SNU are Texas Tech.
Brian Beckcom: The other thing is as if athletes in California are allowed to profit off their likeness, that's going to be used as a recruiting tool. I think you're going to have to change the rule. Every place. You can't have it that way, just in one place. Right?
Jackie Sherrill: Once it opens. Everybody is going to be open to everybody.
Brian Beckcom: Well, coach, I got a few more questions for you. We've gone a little bit over the time I reserved. Do you have a couple more minutes? I got a couple more questions.
Jackie Sherrill: You know for an Aggie I will.
Brian Beckcom: Thank you coach. So let me ask you this. We already talked a little bit about some of your best players. What, what were the one or two in your mind, most important games you coached ever in your career?
Jackie Sherrill: Again at what university, they're all different. In Texas the most important. When we beat Texas, in Austin, 37 to 12. Because up until that time, Texas own Texas A&M, but the real deal for A&M and I mean, Houston in 82, I'm in a car with Earl Bondegulch, great guy and what driving down I10 in Houston. So we're talking about bowl games. And I said earlier, there's a lot of Baroque bowl games. They just opened up the Hawaii bowl and it's nice. He slams on his brakes in the middle of I10. He looked at me and he said, “Jackie, there's only one bowl we want to go to”, you get asked to the cotton bowl, we’ll chip in the Palm trees, the sand. That told me how important, because yeah, Texas had dominated for all these years and the cotton bowl. In reality, there were four major bowls, you know, the Rose there's the cotton, the sugar and the orange. And getting to the cotton bowl meant that you were the champions and that game of going in 85 and going to the 86 cotton bowl was the game for Texas A&M.
Brian Beckcom: And I think any Aggie over the age of 45 or so. We'll remember that game. I was at that game. Matter of fact, my dad used to tell me, coach, cause I used to go to Austin and we didn't win there very often, man. It was miserable walking and poor Aggies as miserable. And I asked him, I said, man, I'm not sure I want to do that anymore. He goes, the only reason I continue to go to those games in Austin is because we win. We win. It's so satisfying walking out.
Jackie Sherrill: When you say that in 1983. 82, we play in Austin, 82, we're playing in on cow field. We jumped out of head and, you know, bright light, I said, okay, we'll wear all maroon. That's the last time we were all maroon. At the end of the game they're chaining, poor Aggies. And I asked Billy Picker, ”What, what are they saying?” And he's saying, “Poor Aggies.” And I looked at him, I said, “Billy that’s last time they’ll say that!”
Brian Beckcom: Yes sir.
Jackie Sherrill: Seven years in a row now. And the eighth time. And we played Texas when I was at Mississippi State in the cotton bowl. And I get a letter from a minister. And I knew he was a minister because had reverend on the top of the letterhead. Anyway, he was asking my forgiveness because he was a Texas ex, he was in the stands and at the end of the game, they started chaining, poor Jackie. And he said, I got tied up in it and I apologize for it. And please forgive me. I wrote him back and I said, that's one of the nicest thing that Texas ever said.
Brian Beckcom: That's a great story, coach. You know, there's another, you brought up Mississippi State. There's another story that you're famous for about the bull castration. And I think like you're saying the media has a lot of power. I think this has been spawn in such a way that people literally think you went and grabbed the bull and rode him over to the football field and physically them yourself. Right.
Jackie Sherrill: That's not exactly what happened, but I carry a knife. And when somebody brings that up, you know, I open the knife and I'd say it only takes three seconds. You don't want me to show you.
Brian Beckcom: I'm glad we're doing this by zoom by the way.
Jackie Sherrill: Most stories get thrown out. And my mistake was not taking our team to South Florida. We're in a, we're in a meeting, a squad meeting. I said, “Anybody knows what is tier?” We're playing in Texas 19. And that was, 92 in Austin. And no one raised their hand and only had one Jimmy which played at Texas. He knew what it was, assistant coach. So we're all in a way to practice and one of the managers come to run it up to me. And he said, coach, “My dad's in the cattle business. They're in North Mississippi.” And he said, “We castrate 25 to 30 bulls a day. You want me to bring one, bring one down.” And I just said, “Yeah.” You know, just off the cuff. So make a long story short. They the vet came with him, the vet gave him a shot of penicillin. And unfortunately there was a tractor running across the field and what she saw, wasn't the real, what she thought she saw. But anyway, her mother worked at the vet school. So all of a sudden it started spreading and it spread like wildfire. And like you said, it was me I held the knife between my teeth, through him on the ground and castrated. Lampley called me, Jim Lampley. And I said, Jim, “You know what a [inaudible 73:57] is?” He said, “No.” I said, “Well, you do now.” It wasn't anywhere near, but it got, it got pretty wild. Now the feds did come out of DC and came in my office on a Monday and. Oh, yeah, I stayed for a week. And then on Friday came back, said, see you again and kind of laughed a little bit and took off.
Brian Beckcom: What a story we'll coach. I've got one more question for you. And I've asked this question of a us Congressman will Hurd. I've asked this of coach Slocum. I've asked this of the Marine Corps combat officers that have been on the show and others we're in very difficult times right now. It's early September. We've got this pandemic. We've got a lot of civil unrest. We've got all this political fighting, all this stuff. And so you're a leader. You've been a leader of men your entire life. What, what are you telling the people around you about how we get through this? How we work our way through all these problems? What do you think's gonna be the next six, eight, 12 months is going to look like, like coach us up. Give us some coaching.
Jackie Sherrill: Probably the best thing is, I was doing stuff for Bill Glass, president ministry. Yeah. And when bill came to me and I said, “Bill, I'm not carrying a Bible. I'm not going into quote are preached to anybody.” And he looked me and he kind of smiled. He said, “Jackie, we have people can do that. Your job is to get the inmates out of the prison cells.” Which I did. And, but he didn't tell me that he was tried me in. So all of a sudden my assignment was to go in to have the Sunday worship it in the Livingston and. So I'm thinking, what am I going to? He told me that on Saturday night, so I'm thinking, what am I going to say? And all of a sudden, the Bible opens Matthew one seven judge not do you not be judged. So you know, all these things that are happening right now we want to blame somebody. Where we're pushing in judging people. There's only one judge in our life. So, you know, we don't have a right to opinionate against now. I’m very strong and strong opinion. No one has a right to burn somebody's building. To set anything on fire to hurt anybody or to destroy anything. They should be prosecuted. And I'm talking about heavily prosecuted.
Brian Beckcom: A hundred percent.
Jackie Sherrill: They should not. Now there's no way that we can say I'll walk in your shoes. Cause I don’t. You know, are you not acknowledgeable enough to say things in judge people you're saying things are judging people and you know, there's always two sides and sometimes three sides to a story. I'm dealing with one right now with, helping a former player and I remember a kid, years ago, one of my former players came in and he was charged with a very serious crime. And I looked at him and I said, “I want to believe you.” So I turned in Dallas mother on the phone and I said, “I will hire an investigator, former FBI investigator to go find the truth, whatever the truth is. That's what it's going to be. And if your son is innocent, I'll put my job on the line for it. I said, but if he's not, there's not anything I can do.” Well, they came back with a 32 page report that he was innocent. So, you know, there it's hard to, to judge, I feel. And I don't know what you can say. No one deserves to be abused. No one deserves to be harmed, but if you do those things and set fire and do those things that you shouldn't and destroyed property and hurt people. You should go to jail.
Brian Beckcom: And you're not helping anything by the way, whatever, if you're destroying people's property and burning stuff down and you think that's going to help anything, let me tell you something you're sadly mistaken. There's a lot of people that support the protest as long as they are peaceful. Once you start breaking stuff and looting property and things like that, you just, you just lose support. It's not a smart thing to do, coach.
Jackie Sherrill: No, no. So, and you know, we'll all vote on December the third.
Brian Beckcom: November the third.
Jackie Sherrill: I mean, November the third.
Brian Beckcom: December, the third you're too late.
Jackie Sherrill: Yeah. That's right. Well, you can vote early.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah, you can vote early that's right.
Jackie Sherrill: But, whatever happens happens, regardless here's what I have an issue is the president of the United State deserves respect. It doesn't matter who it is. You know, if you go through school and you become a professor, you become a doctor. If you become a coach, you deserve respect. President of United States deserves respect and to be disrespectful and the same thing disrespectful to our service people they have no idea what those guys went through.
Brian Beckcom: Well, coach, I've taken up a little more of your time than I promised you I would, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this. I there's a couple of things. I just want to say before we get off the air, one of those is coach. Well, one of the reasons I've always looked up to you and I'm sure there's literally thousands of people that feel the same way is you're a man of principle. And what I mean by that is you've taken a lot of criticism over your career. Very public criticism. But my impression is you knew what you do, just like you, that story you just told about with your ex-football player, you do what you do cause you think it's the right thing to do. And the reason that all your former players of the vast majority of your former players are so loyal to you is because they know that about you. And so I just want to say, I think coach you you truly are college football and college sports royalty, but beyond that, I think you're a great American. And so thank you so much for coming on the show coach and a man. By the way you look great. What are you 76 now?
Jackie Sherrill: 77, real quick.
Brian Beckcom: Almost 77. You look great.
Jackie Sherrill: Well, Kathy captioned, the players laugh and say, you know that devil's keeping him young for some reason.
Brian Beckcom: Great talking to you coach.