We sat down with UCF football’s Scott Frost to find out what he expects from his first season as head coach and how he has been preparing the team for their first game on Sept. 3.
Lifestyle Magazine: Do you expect to see a lot of action from the new recruits?
Scott Frost: I think there’s going to be great opportunity for some young guys to get some playing time and to contribute early on. It’s up to them to make it happen. We don’t promise anybody anything in recruiting because I think that’s dishonest. All we promise them is an opportunity, and then it’s up to them to come and take the bull by the horns and grab the opportunity. But there’s going to be a lot of chances for our young guys to get on the field if they take care of their business.
So how are the players responding to your methods? You have a lot of guys that were here under a different coach, and I’m sure your methodology’s different.
Yeah, everybody’s program is run a little bit different. Our players are having a lot of fun right now. That’s one of the first things we had to make sure that we accomplished with a change of culture: getting our players to love the game again and find their love for the game. Coming off an 0-12 season, it’s easy to get discouraged. There’s a lot of excitement around this right now, a lot of enthusiasm. It starts with our players. Just watching their excitement level and how that leads into their work ethic in the weight room and on the field, I think we’re accomplishing a lot. It’s fun to see those guys having fun.
Like you mentioned, 2015 was an 0-12 season. What would you define as a successful 2016 season for you personally?
We’re going to try to be process driven, not results driven around here. I believe in the process that we’re setting in front of our players. I believe that if they follow it they’re going to be really excited with where they are at the end. We’re going to make sure and stick to our process. Doing things the right way every day. I think success this year is going to be measured on marked improvement every time we go out there. If we’re better tomorrow than we are today, and we continue that pattern on through the season, I think we’ll look up at the end of the year and be really excited with where we are.
You guys also added a mantra, “Rise and Conquer” on the collar of the jerseys. What does that mean to you and to your players when they see that?
I want “Rise and Conquer” to mean something to our guys. It doesn’t just mean “win.” I want “Rise and Conquer” to mean to these guys that every day they wake up, every challenge they encounter, that they’re stepping up and giving absolutely everything they have to try to overcome the challenges that present themselves to them. Every day I want our guys getting up and attacking whatever challenge is in front of them, whether it’s school, where it’s off the field, whether it’s practice, whether it’s a game. Then you put your head on the pillow, and you wake up the next morning and try to do it even better. If we have that kind of attitude around here and it permeates our entire organization, we’re going to make some big strides going forward.
What has been the hardest part so far of being a new coach at UCF?
In order to get everything set up the way we want to we’ve had to start fresh. There’s a hundred challenges, a hundred things to change, alter. We’ve been working to get our processes in place for almost everything that happens around this building. To get it set up the way we want it, we have to start over. Year two is going to be a lot easier because a lot of these things are going to be easy, and they’re going to run themselves because the process will be in place. Taking over something brand new, everybody is trying to get that kind of organizational level in place. It’s been a challenge, but it’s been fun, too.
How would you encourage somebody that’s never been to a UCF game to come out and experience what you guys are trying to build?
First and foremost, we’re building a culture around here where I think they’re going to be really proud of the players. We’re doing a lot of work to make sure our players aren’t just successful on the field, but that they’re good brothers and they’re good sons and they’re good students and they’re good teammates. I think we’re going to put a lot of guys on the field that fans can be proud of, not just as football players, but as young men. When we get that done and they can come watch guys that are conducting themselves as UCF Knights on and off the field, I think it’s a product that a lot of people are going to embrace. We’re going to play a fast, fun style of football with good people. I think that makes it easy for a fan to get behind our team.
Photo Courtesy of UCF