Stanford Football Begins A New Era In 2002 With Coach Teevens
Aug. 2, 2002
Stanford, Calif. - Coming off one of the finest seasons in school history, Stanford begins anew in 2002 as Buddy Teevens, a veteran college coach, takes over a Cardinal program that finished 9-3 a year ago and ranked 16th in the final Associated Press poll. It marked the 11th time in school history that Stanford won at least nine games in a season.
'We want to be a very disciplined team with high energy and a relentless style of play on both sides of the ball.'
Head Coach Buddy Teevens
Teevens, who has 12 years of head coaching experience, was most recently the assistant offensive coordinator under Steve Spurrier at the University of Florida. His previous head coaching stops were at Maine, Dartmouth and Tulane. He inherits a team with 37 returning letterwinners and nine starters, including seven on offense. The Cardinal is rich in offensive firepower in 2002, a fact not lost on the offensive-minded Teevens.
'We'd like to be a wide-open team that runs the ball and throws the ball effectively,' said Teevens. 'We'll use multiple formations, spread the field with wide receivers, push theball down the field through a pro-style passing game while realizing we need a strong run component as well,' he said.
Defensively, the first-year coaching staff will have more of a challenge. Nine starters are gone, including All-America FS Tank Williams, All-Pac-10 ILB Coy Wire and some of thefinest leaders on the team. Stanford must replace its entire linebacking corps, two starters on the defensive line and its entire secondary.
Teevens, however, will bring an aggressive, attacking style of play to The Farm and look for players who fit that mold. 'We want to have an attacking, pressure-type package aslong as our personnel allows us to carry it out,' he said. 'The key here is can our coverage guys play man-to-man and allow our pressure people to get home and force the QB to get rid of the ball quickly, congest running lanes and really pressure the quarterback in passing situations. The defensive personnel will dictate what we're capable of doing.'
The good news heading into the 2002 season is that the cupboard is certainly not bare on the offensive side of the ball. Gone are starters Randy Fasani at quarterback, Brian Allen at running back and offensive linemen Eric Heitmann and Zack Quaccia. But, the other seven starters and some very capable replacements should make the Cardinal offense one of the most explosive in college football.
Replacing Fasani at quarterback will be junior Chris Lewis, who has started seven games the past two years and is ready to take his place among the best QBs in the conference. Senior Kerry Carter, who shared time with Allen at RB, will now take over the No. 1 spot on a full-time basis.
All-conference linemen Greg Schindler, Kwame Harris and Kirk Chambers are all back, giving Stanford three quality and experienced linemen. Senior Paul Weinacht, another veteran player with starting experience, will move into a starting role on the offensive line.
The receiving corps returns intact, led by Luke Powell, a First-Team All-American kick returner, Teyo Johnson, the 2001 Co-Freshman of the Year in the Pac-10, and veteran Ryan Wells. The Cardinal is also well stocked at tight end, where returning starter Brett Pierce is joined by backup Alex Smith.
Stanford is loaded with talented young players on defense who have patiently waited their turn to take the spotlight - and 2002 will be the year their number is called. Returning veterans Matt Leonard at DT, FS Colin Branch, NT Trey Freeman and NT Craig Albrecht give Stanford a solid corps of experienced players with which to build the defense.
'We lost a lot of great defensive players off last year's team, but there is great potential with the young players on the roster,' said Teevens. 'The key is for the defense to emerge after the spring session as a cohesive and productive group. Our defense needs to have an aggressive, attacking, get-to-the-football mindset. We feel like we have players to do just that.'
'We want to be a very disciplined team with high energy and a relentless style of play on both sides of the ball,' he said.