We asked Dan Whitehurst, our latest Garnet & Great guest, about his position coach at FSU, the now famous Bill Parcells. Those of us who covered the team back in the early 70s remember Parcells as the loudest coach on the practice field. Whitehurst agreed:
"Yeah, he was also the roughest and meanest. I told him he could yell at me all he wanted to, but to never put his hands on me. So one time we were doing a field drill and he grabbed me by the hips and slung me down. Well, I just came back wide open. I had on full pads and he had on nothing. So I knocked him out. Actually, I thought I was going to be kicked off the team. And I was called in the next morning to a coaches' meeting. I walked in the room and Coach Peterson was sitting at the head of the table -- it was like a board meeting -- and Parcells got up on the other side of the room, walked over to me, stuck his hand out and said, "Whitehurst, I've got a lot of respect for you, son." That was my sophomore year, and I started for him 33 more games.
"We never had any cross words since then, and we're real close now. We talk fairly often and we're good friends. In fact, we did a little brokerage deal together a few years ago. And I went up to New York to see him and we just have a personal relationship now. He'd always tell me when I was a player that we were building relationships like soldiers in a fox hole. Back then it didn't mean anything to me, but now I realize what he was talking about."