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Offbeat Friday: Florida State Recruiting Coordinator James Coley is the Solution to Your Commitment Issues

A few months ago, Tomahawk Nation was able to get exclusive access to the daily schedule of FSU's linebacker coach, Chuck Amato.  Since then, we have been working with our connections to try to find out just what it is some of the other coaches do with their time.

Today, our hard work has finally paid off.  Your humble proprietor of MattDNole's Premium Content was allowed to follow Coach Coley around for a day earlier this week.  Inside this story, you will find my journal entries of what that morning was like.

*Disclaimer- Due to the risk of over-HYPEment and excessive SWAGgeration, we ask that women who are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant, those with heart conditions, and the elderly refrain from trying to read this story.  This Coach Coley story is not for readers whose SWAG levels are currently maintained through the recreational use of Red Bull or other artificial stimulants.  Ask your doctor if reading this Coach Coley story might be right for you.

**Disclaimer 2: Electric Boogaloo- For those of you who are unaware, yesterday Coley secured the two commitments from Palm Beach, flew to Los Angeles and got a commitment from Mike Harris, then flew back to Miami in order to visit a prospect today.  You can follow Coach Coley on Twitter at


You know those old cartoons where they show a farm gently waking up in the morning?  There's always the same song with clarinets and oboes and stuff playing in the background, the Sun always seems to yawn and take a stretch, and the rooster gently crows as the quaint farmer and his wife get a start on their day.

Being woken up by James Coley is like being thrown on stage at a Metallica concert in your boxer shorts while people throw water balloons at you.  It's 4am and he's banging on my hotel room door wondering why I'm not dressed and ready to go yet. 

"The sun isn't even up yet, Coach."

"True Seminoles ATTACK the Sun.  Make the Sun afraid to get up today.  Dude.  I'm totally gonna tweet that."

"But it doesn't even make sense, Coach."

"Get dressed.  We've got work to do."


You know what's depressing?  Checking out of your hotel at 4:30 in the morning and looking over at where the complimentary breakfast will be in a few hours.

"Coach, do you think we could stop and get a donut or something?"

"I'd rather tweet than eat.  Besides, I've conditioned my body to live off Cuban coffee and Juicy Fruit.  I don't have time to eat."

We've got 4 recruiting visits scheduled for today.  One in Tampa, one in Orlando, and a couple in South Florida.  James likes to get an early jump on these visits.  In state recruits are important to the regrowth of the Florida State football program.  James likes to be as prepared as possible to meet Florida players and coaches.

"I've read every book report this kid has ever written.  Did you know he said he cried at the end of Where the Red Fern Grows?  That book about the dogs."

"Well that's a pretty sad book, Coach.  I mean... the dogs do die at the end."

"I had a dog once as a kid.  I took it out for a walk.  It died of exhaustion before we got home.  I still miss Swaggy."

"You named your dog Sw..."

"Not now man.  We made it to (NAME REDACTED FOR NCAA RULES PURPOSES)'s high school."

"Coach.  It's 5am.  Nobody is here yet."



It's been an interesting hour.  Coach and I scoured the outside of the high school building looking for windows that might have been left open and loose doors.  Coach wanted to get in and get a sense of the school.  "A true Seminole studies his environment" he claims.  When our efforts at breaking and entering failed, Coach and I drove to the school bus depot and convinced the foreman that (NAME REDACTED FOR NCAA RULES PURPOSES)'s regular driver was sick and we were the substitutes.  I am now sitting on a school bus as James impatiently waits at (NAME REDACTED FOR NCAA RULES PURPOSES)'s stop.

"No time to wait.  We got work to do."

"Coach, we're like 45 minutes early."

"45 minutes?  Then there's still time!!!"


Most people wouldn't be able to drive a big yellow school bus from Tampa to Orlando and back within 45 minutes.  Most people aren't James Coley.  Coley wanted to make sure he knew the directions to the next high school we had to visit, he had some free time, so he just drove there.  The most terrifying 45 minutes of my life.


Watching James Coley on a recruiting visit is like watching a potter work with clay.  He knows EVERYONE's name: secretaries, teachers, coaches, administrators... students.

"Coach, umm... how do you know these kids' names?"

"Facebook, man.  I studied (NAME REDACTED FOR NCAA RULES PURPOSES)'s friend list.  You gotta be prepared.  It's SWAG or b SWAGGED.  Ooh.. I'm gonna tweet that."

(under my breath) "I figured you might."

"What was that?"


Some people might feel shady about friending 18 year olds on Facebook.  For recruiting coordinators and college football fans, it's just a way of life.

Apparently Coley's intensive studying pays off.  In the last 2 hours he's secured commitments from 4 football players, 2 coaches, 8 cheerleaders, and a mascot.


Our last visit took a little longer than Coley had hoped.  He's behind schedule.  For the entire drive from Tampa to Orlando Coley checked his blackberry for updates on TomahawkNation and Warchant (This time the drive was accomplished in 15 minutes.  Don't ask me how.  I don't know.  I'm not sure if James Coley travels on land.  I think he elevates and the Earth moves beneath him.) He also constantly studied a 3 ring binder of information collected on our next recruit.  While driving.  105 mph.  On I-4.  I haven't wet my pants since I was 4 years old.





Until today.



Once again, Coley was able to work his magic.  The entire marching band just committed to Florida State.

"That was easier than I expected.  Those kids really wanted to be Noles.  We can actually take our time driving to our next stop.  Mmmm... I smell the 305!!! Hey, I'm gonna..."

"You're gonna tweet that."


The relaxed drive gives me a chance to get to know Coley a little better.  We are able to talk about life, hobbies, politics, and his favorite movies...

"And then he says 'Get the hell off my plane!'  And kicks him off the plane.  That was awesome, but I really don't know why Harrison Ford keeps copying me."

"Wait, what?  Harrison Ford is copying you?"

"Definitely.  I beat up 15 Russians just yesterday.  Just for fun."

"Coach, since we have some free time, can we get something to eat?"

"Here.  Drink some of this coffee."


I awake in a daze.  I cannot feel my lower extremities and my hair is mated to my face.

"You don't have enough SWAG for the coffee."




I beg Coley to drop me off at the nearest airport.  He has made his South Florida visits and decided to take a trip to Kansas to see a JUCO linebacker.  I simply cannot keep up.  Plus, I'm pretty sure I need my stomach pumped.  I thank Coley for his time before hastily leaving the car to catch my plane.

I'll leave you with a few interesting tidbits I gleaned during the day:

  • James Coley neither sleeps nor eats.  Both are consequences of his addiction to Cuban coffee.
  • The character of the Ultimate Warrior was based on the life of James Coley.  He was also a consultant for the movie "Scarface."  James was 9 at the time of filming.
  • Do not leave James Coley alone with your girlfriend.  Despite being a happily married man, he'll still recruit your lady just for kicks. He has no intentions of doing anything, he just likes the practice.  (PS- When your girlfriend calls him and he turns her down, he calls it a "non-commitable offer.")
  • After his 5th cup of Cuban coffee of the day, life slows down for James Coley and he sees everything as if it were in the Matrix.


The life of James Coley isn't for everyone.  It definitely wasn't for me.  But I am absolutely certain of one thing: James Coley is a baaaaaaaaad man.  And he's coming to get you.  And he'll probably talk you into committing to Florida State.