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The Drive with Josh Graham - Wake Forest HC Dave Clawson Interview

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
The Truth Network Radio
September 19, 2019 6:34 pm

The Drive with Josh Graham - Wake Forest HC Dave Clawson Interview

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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September 19, 2019 6:34 pm

WSJS Sports Hub Triad's Josh Graham interviews Wake Forest Head Coach Dave Clawson as the Demon Deacons prepare for homecoming vs Elon on Saturday Sept 21st.


Tune into The Drive with Josh Graham Mon-Fri 3-6pm on Sports Hub Triad!



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We're now being joined by Wake Forest head football coach Dave Claussen ahead of the Deac's first Saturday game of the year. It's homecoming as well, Saturday BB&T Field, Elon in town. And it should be noted, Wake Forest asked us to pass this along today, that there's going to be a heat plan for homecoming this weekend. Fans are allowed to bring in one unopened bottle of water per person at BB&T Field.

There's also going to be misting stations available for fans. So don't let the heat deter you from going to watch Wake football this year, and particularly Saturday against Elon. Coach, it's good to have you on the show. How does it feel to return to normalcy with a Saturday noon kick, the first Saturday kick of the year for you guys?

It actually feels good. I mean, we certainly enjoyed being three and on Fridays, but our preferred date to play college football games has always been Saturday. So we're back into our normal routine now and we enjoy that. Yeah, both crowds that you had at home very good. And last night with your coaches show, you got a standing ovation as you were walking in and that place was packed too. Is this the kind of following you envisioned having when you took the Wake Forest job all those years ago?

Well, it's certainly what you hope to create. I mean, when we first got here, there weren't a lot of people in the stands and there wasn't a big following. And I always felt it was our job to put a product on the field worth watching.

And I think we've done that. And it's now great to have our team get the support I think they deserve. I mean, our fan base, our students, the first two games, Utah State and North Carolina were two of the most electric atmospheres we've had here in my six years.

And I hope we can keep that going for Elon and Florida State and, you know, Louisville and NC State and Duke and all the other games that we have coming up. Connor O'Neill and Les Johns were hanging out in here a few days ago for a Wake Forest roundtable. And we were talking about Jamie Newman and how you discovered this guy despite the fact he's a two-way high school quarterback for a program that wasn't as as prominent as some of the other ones even in his conference. And now here he is 3-0 and off to a great start in his collegiate career.

Tell me about the first time you came across Jamie. Well, he was a guy that was local and our offensive coordinator Warren Ruggiero was aware of him. And, you know, when you look at Jamie, I mean, he was such a big physical presence. He was a good athlete. He had a strong arm. He just was going to have to be developed.

He was not one of these guys that, you know, had a quarterback coach from the time he was eight years old. And we knew he was a little bit of a developmental project, but we thought with the physical skills he had, that if he loved football and intangible qualities and things like that, that he could develop into a good player. And fortunately, we were right that he's really, you know, really the second half of last season and this year is, I think, really become one of the best quarterbacks in the conference. And obviously you would have hoped injuries don't happen and last year you had a ton of them, but you weathered that storm and then the stuff on the defensive side of the ball to have your third consecutive winning season. But many of those guys who were thrust into positions where they had to play very early on, they're now guys who have his depth players and some have been starters for this season. How much do you think this 3-0 start can be stemmed even to last year, guys getting their feet wet, Jamie included? There's no question that it was tough last year. That was not a fun season with all the injuries we had and we had to play some kids before we were ready. But I think this year they're probably playing at a higher level than they would have been if they didn't have to play last year.

So we're getting a little bit of residual benefit from that. And I think Nasir Greer is a great example. I mean, we really wanted to redshirt Nasir Greer last year and because of the injuries he had to play and, you know, in the first half of the year he didn't play very well. But the second half of the year he really came on and now he's become one of our best defensive players this year so far. How are you feeling about the way Boogie Basham has been playing? Because before the year you told us at one of the scrimmages that he has potential to be a very special player for you.

Yeah, I mean Boogie's a high-end player. We've always felt that way about him, that he had that potential and now that potential is being termed into performance. I mean, every game has made an impact on the game. You know, the pressure in the Utah State game on their two-minute drill that led to Justin Strenod's pick. You know, the Rice game, he had the sack strip fumble that led to our second touchdown in the Carolina game. The play, he had a couple of sacks, I think two and a half sacks, and then the pressure that he had on their two-minute drive that we forced him inbounds. So Boogie's a very good player.

He's made an impact in every game and we expect him to be that way the rest of the year. It's Wake Forest head coach Dave Klossen with us. Noon kickoff for Elon and Wake Forest at BB&T Field Saturday afternoon. It is the fifth annual Extra Yard for Teachers Week in college football, the College Football Foundation putting this on. And one of the coolest things I saw this week, Coach, Ohio State football coach Ryan Day opened his press conference talking about the importance of teachers. And since you're a football coach and you're at an institution of higher learning, you're someone I view to be a teacher and I'm sure, much like all of us, you've had a teacher or somebody who was very instrumental in your life getting you where you need to be.

Is there anybody who stands out you'd be willing to share with us? Yeah, I mean, certainly my high school basketball coach, a guy named Jim Walker, who was also a teacher, was probably one of the reasons I got into coaching. He was so dedicated to his craft and his players. And my senior year, we had a team that won a league championship and really overachieved in a lot of ways because of the quality of coaching we had. And whenever you have someone like that that shapes a life experience, that is one of those great, great memories. I think there's no question if you don't have that experience as a student athlete, you probably don't want to get into the coaching profession. So he's a guy that I still to this day keep in touch with.

And he texted me last week after the win and I had him down on the sidelines for the Notre Dame game a year ago. And those relationships are important. How much do you try to be present and thinking that you potentially could have that same impact on one of the guys you're coaching right now? I mean, if I don't, I'm certainly not doing it right. And that's one of the great things about this job is that every day that we go out to practice or every interaction we have, that we have an opportunity to impact a young man in a positive way. And the flip side of that is if we don't do things correctly, we can impact them in a negative way.

And I don't think anyone ever wants to do that. So you have to be very careful with the words you use and how you address young men and make sure that you're always treating them with respect and you're creating an environment that they look forward to coming to. Coach, best of luck on Saturday. Appreciate you doing this. We'll be talking soon. OK, thanks, Josh.

Take care. You got it. That's Wake Forest head football coach Dave Klassen. No kickoff time.

They're going to have misting stations and such. And I can tell you that is very helpful for noon kickoff times. NC State has had those installed other places, too. So don't let the heat deter you from going to watch a very good football team, one I believe to be the best college football team in the state of North Carolina right now. But as I mentioned with coach, the College Football Foundation, they're celebrating teachers.

It's the fifth annual extra yard for Teachers Week. Des, I don't know if anybody comes to mind for you, but like, I think everybody has that person. For Coach Klassen, I think the guy's last name was Walker. Everyone has a Coach Walker maybe in their life who impacted them at some point. I know for me, it was my sophomore year in high school. I knew very early on this was something I wanted to do. I wanted to be on the air talking about sports. When I was in fourth grade, I was somebody rattling off all the statistics and such. And I just always had an affinity for these things.

My parents would say at times they'd catch me with the sound turned down and broadcasting games that are on TV. But my sophomore year in high school, I remember I was at a public charter and there were opportunities, a public charter high school. They had some equipment for technology like classes.

It was very early on with the internet and they were streaming out there, but it's not nearly as prevalent as it was today. This is about 12 years ago. But I remember getting called down to the office at my high school one day thinking I was in trouble because this teacher was also the wife of the principal. So I didn't quite know what was up. I wasn't in any of these technology courses, but she came up to me one day calling me down.

I was worried I was in trouble. She said, would you be interested in broadcasting high school basketball games on the internet? You would do varsity and JV for boys and girls.

And I said, I would love that more than anything else. So we're getting this thing started. I'm doing a bunch of prep. I'm wearing a suit for some reason, even though I'm a junior in high school at this point when they started playing games and we had the broadcast together. But right before I got ready to do my first game, I asked the teacher, I asked her name's Lori Mihaly. I asked her, why did you pick me? And she said, I brought it up to both the classes I had and every single person in there said I needed to talk to you.

That's awesome. And so that's how my broadcasting career essentially began as a junior in high school, broadcasting every high school home game for JV and varsity. And that would not have happened if it wasn't for that teacher giving me an opportunity and allowing some kid who didn't know what the hell he was doing to, to get reps and to get familiar with things and then jumping two feet at college with tape when nobody had tape.

So people ask, you said yesterday, last week was the first time you went to an East Carolina football game in the stands. How does that happen? Well, I was working all four years. And the reason that happens is because I had experience for two years in high school. That's how it works. So that's the person that I look at.

What about you? I am. And many people that went to East Forsyth back in the 90s would recognize his name. But Mr. Slater for me was probably that main guy. He he's the one that inspired me to continue writing. He's probably the number one reason why I actually went to college, because at the time I felt like I didn't need to go.

And he's the one that convinced me to go. And he he left me with a statement that I keep with myself every single day. He told me this while we were in the hallway walking my senior year of high school and I was upset about something that I didn't get or whatever was going on.

And he told me, never let anyone make you feel like you don't deserve what you truly want. And I've kept that with me my entire life. And that's that's kind of that saying. I've just led my life through that that mentality. And I owe that man a lot. A lot of kids around here do. That's the good stuff, man. Coming up, why this week should serve as a warning to Kyler Murray's long term NFL health, says the drive.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-10 11:41:05 / 2023-02-10 11:46:27 / 5

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