How can anyone be as positive, on a consistent basis, as new University of Minnesota football coach Tim Brewster?
Job expectations, financial burdens, family concerns, etc., have a tendency to knock a person down now and then.
Meeting Brewster for the first time before Wednesday's mini clinic for lakes area high school football coaches confirmed what I had read, watched and heard about him.
He's the real deal. Genuine. Accommodating. Congenial.
"I'm a very positive person," Brewster said at the Lodge at Brainerd Lakes on Highway 371 North. "I wake up in the morning excited about what the day is going to present. I look at the positive aspects of the day, rather than the negative.
"Some days that's hard. Obviously, I've got my periods when I'm not quite as excited about life but for the most part I'm very excited. I'm particularly excited about being the head football coach in a place that's so special like the University of Minnesota."
University of Minnesota head football coach Tim Brewster (left) talked with John Erickson of Brainerd before Wednesday's coaching clinic at the Lodge at Brainerd Lakes. Brainerd Dispatch/Nels Norquist » Purchase reprints of this photo.
Brewster has been on the job about three months, replacing Glen Mason, who was fired after the Gophers blew a 31-point third-quarter lead and lost to Texas Tech in the Insight Bowl. The Gophers played their spring game earlier this month. Brewster was impressed with the players that return but is cognizant of Minnesota's needs.
"There are a lot of solid football players in our program," he said. "The attitude and effort has been outstanding but we've got to recruit some more dynamic-quality type players, receivers without question. We want to run the spread offense and we don't have enough receivers. We've got to get guys who can change and impact the game on a single down, guys defensively that have great speed.
"We're going to be a very fast, aggressive football team. That will be evident when you watch us play. We've got some guys that fit the bill but we've got to get more."
One way to get more players is to build relationships with the state's high school football coaches, which Brewster has done. Brainerd was the site of one of four mini-clinics, all in the outstate, that the Gophers will conduct. Brewster or a staff member will try to visit every high school in Minnesota in the next two weeks.
"This is another great way for us to connect with the state high school coaches in the state of Minnesota and share our program," Brewster said. "That's really important to us.
"Without question, that's vital to our success. The relationship we have with high school coaches will ultimately, in my mind, determine the long-term success we have as a program."
Brewster said becoming the head coach at Minnesota has been everything he had hoped. What also has impressed him is the quality of coaching and the quality of the talent at the high school level in Minnesota.
"We've already offered nine kids in the state of Minnesota scholarships," Brewster said. "Six have already taken us up on our offer and have decided to be Gophers. That's a verbal commitment. They will sign in February.
"This is just a wonderful state. The people have been unbelievable as far as embracing us and our program and the way we want to do things, the passion we want to coach with and want the team to play with."
Brewster has confronted his first brush with adversity. Three Gophers have been accused of sexual assault. Brewster suspended them from the team until an investigation is complete.
"Nobody promised sunny days every day," he said. "How we handle the adversity that we're up against will determine true success for us.
"The thing I've got to make sure is each kid on our football team understands what's acceptable and what's not. I have to make certain those kids in our program have tremendous respect, honor and trust for the great university the University of Minnesota is. I have to make certain that every young guy understands that. We have to honor the University of Minnesota by the way we act, with everything we do, each and every day."
As Brainerd Warriors coach Ron Stolski said last week, "These guys can coach. If they don't get it done in three, four or five years, it can't be done."
Mike Bialka, sports editor, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5861.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.