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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Football

Sumlin teaches gridiron basics


Fan Heather Sheffield was one of several attendees who walked in the shoes of a Cougar player during a tour of the locker room. Fans also participated in on-field and weight room demonstrations with head coach Kevin Sumlin’s staff.  | Jack Wehman/The Daily Cougar

Fan Heather Sheffield was one of several attendees who walked in the shoes of a Cougar player during a tour of the locker room. Fans also participated in on-field and weight room demonstrations with head coach Kevin Sumlin’s staff. | Jack Wehman/The Daily Cougar

Head coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff welcomed over 100 Cougar fans to the Athletics/Alumni Center on Thursday for the Fourth Annual Football 101 for Women.

Described by Sumlin as the “Oprah of football,” the ladies-only seminar sought to enliven Cougar support for the upcoming season and provide female fans with an opportunity to learn the basics of the game through interactive lectures and demonstrations from players and coaches.

The seminar has received great feedback from the UH fan base and this year’s meeting was no exception.

“This has been a great event for us every year,” Sumlin said. “It’s educational, and more importantly, a chance for the ladies to have a good time.”

Natalie Dupre, a first-time attendee and 2006 graduate, said that she enjoyed the event.

“I really just wanted to learn more about the game,” Dupre said. “All I really know is that it’s a fall start. My husband knows everything about football though. I’m definitely a die-hard Cougar fan, but I can’t say I know much of anything about the game.”

The tutorial opened with presentations from defensive coordinator Brian Stewart, and co-offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury.

Stewart and Kingsbury laid out the basics of the Cougars’ defensive and offensive philosophies through several demonstrations and question and answer opportunities.

Special teams coordinator Tony Levine stole the show though. Levine’s explained the purpose of special teams with a video presentation backed by music from Lady Gaga, and garnered the most laughs of the evening.

Levine also kept the ladies on their toes with a short trivia session at the end of his presentation to make sure all of the nuts and bolts of kickoff coverage and field position sunk in.

Following the presentations by the coaching staff, participants were treated to a tour of the training facilities, engaged in interactive on-field demonstrations and even put on the pads during a tour of the locker room.

“I want the women to remember they had fun” said Sumlin. “Hopefully we’ve conveyed a bit of knowledge. With knowledge comes respect [for the game]. A knowledgeable fan is a more interested fan.”

Sumlin has succeeded at that and is starting to see repeat customers.

“This is my second year in a row coming here,” senior Gladys Hernandez said. “I already know what’s going on. I just come to get pumped up for the season. I’m so excited about Keenum coming back and I can’t wait for it to start.”

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