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UM's strength program under new Golden rules

Strength and conditioning coach Andreu Swasey has seen a lot of change at the University of Miami over the last 11 years. The Hurricanes have gone from being a national championship-caliber team under Butch Davis and Larry Coker to last season's 7-6 mess under Randy Shannon.

UM strength and conditioning coach Andreu Swasey So what has Swasey seen in the early stages from his new boss, Al Golden? A lot of what he saw when he first got back to UM in 2000.

"Right now, I would compare him to Butch -- just on discipline, structure and what he's demanding," Swasey said. "The thing I know coach is stressing, that he wants, is mentally tough guys. He wants to find out when guys are going to crack and when they aren't going to crack."

Golden has asked Swasey to implement some new rules in the team's off-season workouts programs. Among the new additions and changes:

> The addition of "The Fifth Quarter."

"It's something at the end of the workout to target intensity," Swasey said. "It starts at five minutes, but can last longer. The kids love it. It's exciting. It's a post workout. It's high intensity. It could be forearm plate raises. It can be core [training] stuff. We could be outside flipping tires, doing a hammer hit, pushing sled, pulling sleds, doing a lot of different stuff. It's something that will challenge them after they're fatigued and tired. You just did a full workout, but now we're challenging you at the end of the workout."

> The addition of "Creative Excellence." After workouts, Swasey said, players are required to work on individual position drills by themselves or with their teammates. It's a mandatory 20 minutes -- at the very least.

"The first week they were throwing up right and left," Swasey said. "I think it's a great addition. He wants guys working on their craft each day, even if they worked out early and are dead tired. He wants them working on their actual individual position drills. The thing I love he said about it was, 'Painter's paint, singers sing, you're a football player you have to work on that too.' You have to lift weights, but at the end of the day you have to be a better football player. You have to go and work on your art after the weight room."

> Also a new Golden rule according to Swasey: Breakfast is mandatory.

Before Golden, Swasey said, there was no monitoring of what players ate before coming to him. And some, he said, would skip breakfast. "They have to come check in or we check on them to make sure they ate," Swasey said. "The good thing about that is they are getting 1200 to 1500 calories prior to starting. Some kids wouldn't eat until lunch before."

> Swasey said he loves the fact Golden has pushed the start of spring practice back to March 5th. Under Shannon, the team would start spring practice in mid-February. Swasey said adding a few more weeks in the weight room "will definitely help guys get bigger and stronger."

> Another new addition Swasey likes -- what players do in the weight room will actually count toward where they start out on the depth chart in spring ball.

"He told guys `You can start, can come out of spring ball a starter depending on how you rank in the weight room, your work ethic," Swasey said. "We want tough guys, guys that will fight, guys doing everything they're supposed to do, which makes you a champion."

Swasey said he feels blessed to still be with the program. When Shannon was fired, he wasn't sure if Golden would keep him on the staff. Swasey and Micheal Barrow are the only remaining holdovers from Shannon's staff.

"I think when I got back from the bowl game [is when I found out I was going to stay]," Swasey said. "He told me to write down somethings so we can get ready for spring, some ideas. He gave me some pointers on what he wanted to target and focus on. When I heard that, I was overly excited about it.

"But the bottomline is that we were 7-6. It is what it is. Whatever happened, can't happen anymore. Whatever's going on, we have to get better. I look at everything as a whole. No matter how we got to those six losses, we came up with them. The approach coach Golden has -- and that's what I love about him -- is that whatever we did last year wasn't good enough. That's a great approach. Right now, that's the approach we're pushing and have in the weight room."

Swasey said the team, which began lifting four days a week with him (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) for an hour and a half a week ago, will not do any strength tests until a week or two before the start of spring ball. But Golden has already been handed stat sheets with players weights, strength and speed numbers -- and he's expecting improvements.

"Right now we don't have a choice but to be better than 7-6," Swasey said. "I do believe we will be. One [reason] is because of Coach Golden's plan of attack and how he's doing it. Just the cohesiveness he's building. Two, I think he has a hell of a staff. We just have to keep working. Time will tell. But we're definitely ready to be a much better football team. We have to be a lot better than 7-6."


> Defensive end Olsen Pierre became the second early enrollee Friday. He will start classes Monday. Pierre (6-4, 240) was a three-star recruiting according to ESPN out of Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy. 

> UM had its first baseball practice of the spring Friday. I'll have some more news and notes from coach Jim Morris and several of his players. The Canes are ranked 18th in two preseason polls and were picked to finish third in the ACC Coastal Division.


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Hey Manny, what is the final, complete list of players, transfer or early high school grads, that are now at the U? I believe they had until January 31 to start class.

Last Shannon comment! I think Shannon was a good defensive coordinator in the past because the Head Coaches at the time were excellent recruiters and helluva defensive coordinators themselves. Shannon it is obvious didn't have the CEO/Leadeship acumen to be without guidance himself. Those Head Coaches when he was DC did the evaluation, recruited, set program guidelines and I'm "sure" assisted Shannon in developing the defensive schemes, personnel and game day plans. In other words those HC's brought in the best ingredients and all Shannon did was make sure he didn't burn the roast. I have no doubt what so ever we will be a team to be reckoned with again. ITS ALL ABOUT THE U!!!

As a Black man,tax paying, college educated (USF 85')USA citizen, none of us can or will deny racism is wide spread. Heck you know better than us because you know whats said and done behind closed doors. But that aside. Shannons firing had nothing to do with race. He was a poster child for a coach needing to be fired, especially after what we're finding out now. In fact I would venture to say he did "nothing" well! He certainly didn't excel at any of the skills necessary to lead a D-1 top tier university or develop young mens talents. Plus he has some psychological issues from his life experiences that make him resentful to all the "silver spooners" it was necessary for him to deal with at that level. He failed this program not in appreciation for the U, but in his ability to guide it back to prominence.

Love the fifth quarter work outs. Think about how many games we lost in the forth quarter over the last 4 years. Conditioning is not just physical as well. How about all of those bad timed forth quarter penalties that blew us out of games? Mental conditioning as well. 5th Quarter. Love it! One last thing, give me a bunch of 3 and a few 4 stars, put them with the Golden machine and a new, young staff, and let's see our Canes get back to offensive billiance, defensive confidence and aggression, special team assignement football. 3 stars become 5 stars. 5 stars have no where to go because their little heads have swollen too much. Plus they are worrying about the other 5 stars that they compete with. 3's and 4's play with a different kind of intensity. I really like our recruiting class so far. The kids coming in want to fight and are hungry. All that Golden is doing is spot on for success. Let's win the friggin ACC first before we talk NC. Worry about him leaving for Penn State down the road. Let's build here first, let's get back to winning. 7-6 is not winning, its surviving and its an embarrassment to all of us Alum. We have ohio plate or whoever they are at home. To say that we need to totally dismantle their big tail ends is an understatement. Since 02 people I still get sick about that call. Let's focus on them and everyone else that we helped to look good. Like the song "Change Gonna Come." GO CANES!!!!

We got your back Manny, lots of gaytor semihole trolls visit cane sites. They have to keep up with what the best are doing. Very sad, could not imagine visiting gaytor or semihole sites myself but then again I don't need to. If I want to keep up with the best I just follow my the canes!

I am a Central Florida Cane who graduated from UCF. When I was at UCF it was mandatory for the football team to eat five meals a day, especially breakfast. Everything there is monitored by the head coach finally my Hurricanes are catching up with the times.

Manny, JayEl must not frequet this site; for if he did he would of known that you always give credit when credit is do.

And you do a great job with it Manny. Thanks!

Nice one Manny. I am shocked at how RS really didnt have as much control as everyone thought.

Tampa Cane,
Agree with your points.
Support yours and everyone's
optimism for the future!
That is where we are headed!
Can't wait!
Go Canes!

Can we file his 300 page plan as a copyright to success?

This guy is more organized than Shannon and Coker combined.

How can you be the CEO if you don't know what is going on to keep your team from losing six games.

I am impressed simply by his attention to detail. We lost those six games long before we ever played the game. I just hope he develops Jacory to be more like a Ken Dorsey. Jacory has accuracy but where he messes up is not knowing how to read an defense. He gets baited into throwing the deep ball way too often. That is the difference between him and Morris. Morris takes what the defense gives him, but if Harris learned to wait till the defense gives him single coverage on a guy like Benjamin to throw the deep ball then those INTs will drop significantly.

Tampa cane. Right on. You hit it smack in the center of the fairway.
I too am a USF grad, 1987. That's why Ican't believe the U lost to USF. Never believed it could happen, esp at home. But when USF took it to the siemn holes at the Choak I realized they have florida speed at all positions.

The last 4-5 yrs have been about :

1) Lack of leadership starting withlack of a oohesive head coach with a vision for the program

2) truly, lack of recruiting. Going to Miami NW and blowing your recruiting wad there at the sacrifice of other high schools was stupid

3) Lack of a QB. Kyle Wright was bad. Kirby Freeman was worse. J12 is even worse than that.

4) Poor conditioning. Really, were Swayseys hands tied by Shannon?

This is truly a new era. I just hope that the energy and enthusiasm of this new coaching staff (which is not even close to that Shannon's had even from the beginning)translates to performance on the field. I am looking (hoping) for a 10-2 season in 2011 with losses against FSU and "possibly" at a bowl, and then to begin a new run of ships.

Hey Manny, what is the final, complete list of players, transfer or early high school grads, that are now at the U? I believe they had until January 31 to start class.
Posted by: tranquilizar | January 29, 2011 at 04:00 AM

A: Only two are in early -- DE Olsen Pierre and CB Thomas Finnie. They probably will be the only two to get in early. Everybody had to be enrolled and in class by Monday, Jan. 31.

Nice one Manny. I am shocked at how RS really didnt have as much control as everyone thought.

Posted by: brian | January 29, 2011 at 09:25 AM

The more and more we get a chance to talk to people, the more you realize Randy wasn't doing things right. I was blown away by the breakfast talk.

Why didn't Swasey think of any of these innovations?

Right on. Hopefully, Golden will light the fire in Swasey once again. Sounds like he is popular with the players, but could benefit from new direction.I note that FSU has a full-time (pretty sure) dietician, and that the players participate in a rigorous food program.

Does the fact that Pierre and Finney entering class on 1/31 mean we get two more commitments in this class? We usually have more who enter early, if in fact this does offer up more to recruit, too bad we didn't have more.

You better believe it starts from the top and trickles down.

Gosh, it all makes sense NOW!!! If I remember correctly all of RS teams started out with winning records and then hit the wall. This happened in the last two years when the U had chances to return to prominence.

Give EM H#$$ Manny; same silly fans that think they know it all. Will stand behind this team until they loose then they will run to another team and BIT@# and complain about the coaching staff and or players. If bt chance we go on to win it all they are the first in line telling everyone that no matter what they love this team. What a crock of So. Fla. crab meat.

Do you really expect Manny to write everything fresh. I have told you guys before, Manny gets paid scrap from the Herald. He has to have time to make a living other ways besides catering to you guys. Find your material where you can and be glad there are Guys like Manny and Cane Sport. Back in the day you never got the exposure you do now and here you are complaining about it and how and where you get it.

Hopefully AL can get us back to having a dominant o line explosive backs and playmakin wrs and a dominant defense like from 2000 - 2003 when we ran college football

Spank-em Manny!! ... Nice job on this article. As much as the nutrition the problems seemed to be with coaching, conditioning and a lack of intensity. You play games at 3:30 PM and you practice at 6 AM. That's a huge disconnect from reality. The team, since Butch left for Cleveland, has been soft and out of shape. They were physically handled by inferior teams because of lack of conditioning. I knew there was something terribly wrong with our Canes very early on into Coker and then Shannon. Hopefully Golden rights this, starting right now. I read on this blog where Sam Shields' coaches in Green Bay were in disbelief of his lack of knowledge prepping in the film room and also his poor technique. I spoke with him about the Canes in the locker room after the Packers beat the Eagles. "We gotta get this thing right down there" he said to me. Better believe it! Watch for the same story to emerge with players coming out this year especially with Allen Bailey. That guy is a stud and will prove it on sundays in the NFL. I will bet that B.Harris, Franklin, Hank and Bailey will start very soon on Sundays. Hope we can also see some development with DVD. Hopefully this staff is not too late for guys like Ray Ray, Telemaque and Spence. The players we have right now are very, very good and if this staff is as advertised, they are going to put some A-- WHUP on a lot of teams next year. BTW, THAT is how you get Swagger. You EARN it and nobody better to coach that to these guys than Coach ART. Bring in the guys that came before like Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, McGahee, etc to further re-inforce the way you prepare. I hope they start and finish next year angry. The mediocrity has gone on way way too long.

Everything Golden does makes Shannon and Coker before him look like a moron just by default. These guys were just in so far over their heads it isn't funny. You have to ask why wasn't the AD monitoring the monitors? Especially when he knew he had an inexperienced guy and weird, unexplained things are the norm! Breakfast? Really? Geez!!!!

Hey Hocutt, how about checking in on the basketball program? I wonder what basics are getting left out there?

FSU sucks

Appreciate your good work! You can't be everywhere at once.
Thanks for keeping us west coasters informed.
Go Canes!

You hit the nail on the head dbc. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Its real easy to blame the last guy for everything wrong with this program. If a kid doesn't train properly, that's his fault u guys keep babying these players. That's what is wrong with this team right now. If I go to work in the morning and don't eat breakfast, its not my boss fault I'm not fully nutritioned. I think randy sucked as a game day coach. I thought his recruiting was better than golden's so far. golden is a better public salesman, but don't make randy sound like a complete idiot. We had high expectations last year before our season ended up crashing and burning. So the guy had to be doing something right for us to be hoping for a bcs bowl last year.

I said it in another thread. Canes sport isn't right. They black balled me for no reason. I paid money to find out about UM sports and they black balled me for no reason. If these are the people representing the U then ill never give another dollar. I've been on the thread for a year and never broke a rule until I posted in the wrong thread. Read the blogs and the rules. Then tell me I should be black balled. Ill be posting wherever I can to be heard.

I remember Micheal Irvin talking about working out and throwing up and then working out more. Back then nobody worked harder than the Miami Hurricanes. Perhaps this dedication and work ethic will come back. National Championship runs all start in the off-season work outs. Golden sure does remind me of JJ when he first got here. I was perusing last years football mags and Phil Steeles College Football about Temple on page 248 sure does gush about Golden. In addition, The Sporting News College Football has an article about the top 5 coaches primed to move and pictured is Golden. I think the "U" got it right this time.

These blogs just prove the statement rue of the world being 95% followers and 5% leaders. The same exact guys that were posting here saying Shannon was too much of a disciplinarian and thats why we didnt have any swagger are the same guys saying he let the kids do what they wanted to do and didnt care. Your reactions are lead by how the article is written. You dont know football, you just know you want Miami to win. And whoever or whatever the media says is the problem or whoever or whatever gets the credit, you follow it. Classic Follwers. You people are FUNNY!

@Tampa Cane
Your are an insult to Black people. White people will take your one comment and use it as a tool to show all Black people are liers and complainers and there is no such thing as racism, see b/c Tampa Cane (whatever your real name is) is my friend and he said it,and he's Black. You see Bill Cosby said it too! Did you give Shannon a psychiatric exam? Well you just called a man a mentally unstable tool! There are whites that have no diversity and no understanding of Blacks and Black culture. There are some whites that are racist and use comments that you make as fuel, and there are other whites who arent racist but dont understand how and where racism or inequality exists. They just dont have a clue. But then it takes one person like you, to make them feel like every Black person is a complaining idiot.

There is racism and there is respect. And Shannon failed b/c of no respect. He never had adequate assistants b/c he was never able to pay them. We had a Walmart paid coaching staff b/c the man was never able to field a adequate staff. Then entire time he was at UM there were only 1 assistant that made decent money at a time, Bill Young or Mark Whipple. It was a toss in the sky if he was ever able to find a talented supporting staff with the $$ he had to spend. Manny sould do a story on that.

These blogs just prove the statement rue of the world being 95% followers and 5% leaders. The same exact guys that were posting here saying Shannon was too much of a disciplinarian and thats why we didnt have any swagger are the same guys saying he let the kids do what they wanted to do and didnt care. Your reactions are lead by how the article is written. You dont know football, you just know you want Miami to win. And whoever or whatever the media says is the problem or whoever or whatever gets the credit, you follow it. Classic Follwers. You people are FUNNY!

Posted by: Caneboss | January 29, 2011 at 09:47 PM


This board is funny. One poster even said that Randy tried to destroy the U.. Really? wow!

For a first gig Miami is not the place. Shannon should have taken over a lesser known school and tryed to build it up.

Caneboss, would U quit trying to make one excuse after another for Shannon's failure. He hired his own assistants and made his bed and now he has to deal with it. He was the head coach and he is the reason we went 7 and 6 last year because he was lazy and did not know what he was doing. If he was so good then why hasn't one of the schools needing a head coach picked him up? Also if he was such a great DC why hasn't someone hired him for that position? Its because he sucks. He hired Nix, because his offense always gave Shannon trouble were Randy's words. Now as bad as Nix's offense was that should tell anyone who knows football just how stupid Shannon is. If that doesn't get it for U, look at what he said about playing at Duke. "Dukes and tough place to play at." Those were that Moron's words. Face the facts Shannon's problem was not racism it was stupidity. Plus if anyone is racist it was him running Marve and Cook off just so his boy Jacory could start, and we all know how that turned out for him. He got what he deserved. Thank god Holcutt and Shalala did not make us endure another year of watching him look stupid on the sideline and continue screwing up our team.

Way to respond Manny. I like it! Defend your house!

As for Golden, who can't be in love with this guy at this point. Talk about winning over a fan base, my goodness.

The Spring Game is going to be jam packed thanks to OUR new coach.

Even Bubba McD was juiced from Houston talking to Irvin about Golden. Saying he was fired up listening to his speech about welcoming the players back.

Lastly, the Canes rep'd big time at the Senior Bowl with plays all over the field and throwing up the U. Poor kids needed to be developed better. They will be now.

@ championships is all that matters

I cant respond to you. You have no comprehension of what I wrote. Had nothing to do with racism. Totally over your head... Your name is evident of how mostly all UM fans feel. You have surface views and intellect. But I dont make excuses...

Golden will bring us back to where we belong, but if Jacory is on the field at all next year we are F'ed.

i love what i just read

Caneboss, well then if U would please indulge me on just what your point was so I may be enlightened then.
The screen name is what the U is about "Championships".

And all U typed were excuses, "subpar assistants" this and that. Please enlighten me

@ Championships

Trust me, I want this team and program to win a smuch as you do. And yes Shannon did fail. Its not about excuses, its facts. What Shannon was offered was nowhere near what the first coaching candidates were offered. Greg Schiano (Rutgers) scoffed at the job. When Shannon was offered lesser $$ than Schiano and lesser $$ to hire assistants, he should have scoffed at the job too. But you're talking a lifetime Hurricane being offered his dream job. He really felt he could be successful at the job with what they were offering him. I honestly feel like he made a mistake by accepting the job. But he took the job and failed, and has no one to blame but himself. I am in no way saying he is not responsible, what I am saying is he had a uphill battle he was under equipped to be successfull at and the odds of him being successful were very very small.

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He wants guys working on their craft each day, even if they worked out early and are dead tired.

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