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Faulkner: Emerson aims to move players

Colleges

April 24, 2014|By Barry Faulkner
(SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

Hank Stram, a former NFL coach in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, used to describe his offense's drives as matriculating the ball down the field.

Kevin Emerson, introduced formally on Thursday as the Orange Coast College football coach, believes that matriculating the ball down the field is no more important than helping his players matriculate to four-year schools.

It was one of his points of emphasis in a brief address delivered before a group of coaches, administrators and others in the foyer of the OCC gym.

Other bullet points included:

•His desire to make OCC the leading destination for local high school football standouts.

"We want to be THE school for Orange County student-athletes," said the former head coach at San Bernardino Valley and Citrus community colleges. "I don't want an athlete ever to drive by our school to go to another school, for whatever reason."

•His desire to lure athletes with the promise of more than just football.

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"We want to make sure they understand that when they do come here, there is something for them," Emerson, 44, said. "You are not coming here just to play athletics. You are going to come here, No. 1, for the next 65 years of your life … for that [associate arts] degree and for the opportunity to transfer. We want athletes who come here to graduate and move on and matriculate. It's our job as educators to matriculate our students and our athletes. My staff of coaches will do everything we can to see them get anywhere from New York to the West Coast."

•His desire to win consistently.

"We want to be successful on the football field," said Emerson, who will coach quarterbacks and coordinate a diversified no-huddle offense. "In doing so, the atmosphere will change. The buzz will change among the [high school] coaches in the area, that this is a place they want to send their guys. They are going to want to send them here to play good football, to get a good education and to matriculate."

•His desire to win immediately, despite getting a late start on recruiting for the 2014 season.

"Our goal right now is to find 25 guys who want to play right now," Emerson said. "If they are out there and they don't want to wait through 10 or 12 guys at each position, if they want to come in and compete at a national level right now … this is a place they can play right now and they will be marketed at the next level.

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