HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- For new JMU head football coach Everett Withers, it's about building a culture.
It certainly won't be easy for him, following legendary coach Mickey Matthews, but he seems to be up to the challenge.
When you play for Everett Withers, you hit the ground running first thing and you hit it hard.
"We're just trying to teach them about competing in everything they do," said Withers. "It's all about whatever you do, you have to have, each individual has a competitive spirit, and we're trying to grow our team's competitive spirit, and we feel like if we grow that competitive spirit in each individual, then our team becomes more competitive, and we become better at playing the game."
For Withers it's about more than just football.
"There's something about doing things right and being the best at what you're doing all the time, and that means on the field, off the field, in the classroom, in the public eye, around your friends, socially, just learning how to do things right. If you learn to do those things, it becomes easier to have success down the road. So, we're just trying to build that culture here."
He want his entire staff to be thinking, not just listening to his opinions.
"What we do is as we sit down, we're going to be real meticulous about this. I want to make sure that we're all evaluating guys. That we're all giving opinions."
Recruiting is also a big part of the job and JMU's tradition gives Withers a great place to start.
"We'll never forget about the history of James Madison. What coach Matthews and his staff has done over the years. What we want to do is start building on that now and using that to recruit, using that to sell people in the region and up and down the eastern seaboard, but we wont ever forget that history. In the long term, we just hope that we build that culture, that we can go and recruit guys that fit that culture, and that we can win a lot of games on the way," said Withers. " I have a dream of holding up a CAA championship, and also being the best team in this conference APR-wise. I mean I really do. I have that goal and that dream. I want that to happen here at JMU, and that takes every ounce of my energy and our staff's energy to do that. Because that's what we do as coaches, as mentors, as men, that's what you do with kids. You mentor them so that they're the best at everything that they do."
But where is this all headed and what are Madison fans going to see when they come to Bridgeforth Stadium in the fall?
"Give the fans a product on Saturdays that they want to come back and keep seeing each Saturday. We want to be able to fill that stadium. It's a beautiful stadium. It deserves to be full on Saturdays, and the only way you do that is you put a product out there that obviously is exciting, creative, competitive, and wins a bunch of games. And that's what we want to do."
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