March Madness is upon us, and it’s claimed another fan: Colorado State Rams football head coach Jim McElwain.
Colorado State Universitybasketball just completed a special season and one of their biggest supporters this year was McElwain, who could be seen among the Moby Maniacs on many nights.
It turns out Coach Mac wasn’t just a fan, he was inspired by the team as well.
“First and foremost, I can’t tell you how excited I was for our basketball program and what they went ahead and did this season,” McElwain began his Spring Practice press conference. “And, being a basketball fan, watching those guys work and how hard they played together and the things that they overcame. And what a great win against Missouri. And [they] played their tails off against a really good team obviously in that last game.”
What Rams basketball did was inspiring indeed. It was a group of under-athletic young men that understood they had to work for everything they attained. These were players other schools didn’t want, working with a less than amazing athletic budget; CSU had to earn respect every step of the way.
Certainly, seeing as McElwain and his football team represent the same university, utilize the same budget and wear the same green and gold, the parallels present themselves.
CSU basketball playing the Louisville Cardinals in the third round of the NCAA Tournament may compare to CSU football playing the Alabama Crimson Tide, which will happen this September, oddly enough. Seeing his brethren in the national spotlight had to be somewhat endearing for McElwain, who hopes someday to elevate his football team to those heights.
“It’s a credit to Larry [Eustachy] and his staff and those seniors,” Mac continued. “When you look at the leadership part, that’s something I talked to our guys about. You could really see some things they took advantage of as a team.”
“I’m going to use that as we move forward. Because I was really excited about what they did and what they did for this university. That’s a step in the right direction for our whole athletic program. That, obviously, is really exciting,” he finished.
A rising tide lifts all boats. For McElwain, this meant not speaking highly of only the basketball team, but softball and other sports as well.
This is the bold new era of Colorado State athletics. It’s certainly encouraging to see this great group of coaches not only bond, but teach one another life lessons along the way as well.
Without a doubt, McElwain will be working even harder this year to make sure some of that national spotlight is shining on his team when football season finally kicks off.
For now, it’s time for spring ball and this head coach couldn’t be more excited.