Entering his 12th season as the head coach, George O’Leary has won 81 games with Central Florida, including 31 over the last three years. Back in 2004, the Knights went winless in his first tenured season, but it didn’t take long to create a winning culture and sustain it.
That’s because he got rid of all the cockroaches on his team and replaced them with ants. But really.
“I talk about ants and roaches,” O’Leary said while on Wake Up Call with Dan Tortora, according to CoachingSearch.com. “I want a team of ants, that get in line and follow each other around, and everybody’s under the same roof. Not a bunch of roaches that are going to run around in different corners when it gets sticky. I get rid of those roaches real quick, because roaches breed baby roaches. You don’t need them around.
“All it takes is one or two bad apples in your program, and if you don’t deal with it, you’ve got problems. I’m very aware of that. The support staff is aware of that and the coaches are.”
— Dan Tortora (@CallDT) June 9, 2015
Well, that’s one analogy that I don’t think I’ll be forgetting anytime soon.
Anyway, could it be possible that O’Leary is hinting at a “sticky” upcoming season? In my UCF preview that was published the other day, I projected the Knights to take a few punches and finish with a 7-5 record this fall. That, of course, might constitute a “when it gets sticky” kind of year.
Hence the roaches.