Everette Sands was never tackled for a loss during his four years as a Citadel fullback, during which the Bulldogs won the Southern Conference title in 1992. The Conway native finished his career with 3,926 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns. He's coached at Ohio University and Elon, and is now in the sixth season of his second stint as an assistant at The Citadel, where he coaches running backs. Sands talked about the Bulldogs' move back to the triple-option offense and his coaching career when he went One-on-One with The Post and Courier's Jeff Hartsell:
How excited were you when (head coach) Kevin Higgins told you The Citadel was going back to the triple option, an offense similar to the wishbone you ran under Charlie Taaffe?
"Very excited. It's an opportunity to get back to the sustained success we had back then, when we were running this type of offense. It's a great offense, and I think the transition is going well so far."
Did coach Higgins talk to you about it before he made the decision?
"No, he just came into the staff room one day and said, 'I've thought about this for a while. I looked back, and when The Citadel was really good, this is what they were doing. So we're going back to it.' "
Did you have a big grin on your face?
"I was surprised, more than anything. I was definitely smiling inside, but I was surprised."
Why do you think this offense is a good fit for The Citadel?
"Mostly because it's a very disciplined offense. There's not really a 'star.' We need everybody to do their part. If all 11 of our guys do what they are supposed to do, nobody can stop it, unless we are not doing what we are supposed to do. Georgia Tech and Navy show that it still works, and I just think the type of kids we have, if they get behind it and believe in it, it can work here, too."
You are coaching the running backs. Do you think guy like Terrell Dallas, Rickey Anderson and Van Dyke Jones can run this offense?
"I do. Not to compare Terrell with me, but he's a lot faster than I was. He actually ran a 4.49 a couple of weeks ago. If Rickey stays healthy, he has a chance to be a real good back. He has the body type of an Erick Little, from back in our day. And Van Dyke, he's just an elusive guy who makes things happen."
What was the reaction from the guys you played with to the news that the Bulldogs were going back to the option?
"They are excited. Some of them said, 'It's about time.' The perception is that for fans, it's not an exciting offense. But when you get good at it and win, the fans will get behind you."
You were part of the NCAA's Expert Coaches Academy this summer. What's that all about?
"There were 19 minority coaches selected from around the country, and I was fortunate to be one. What it does is prepare you to be a head coach. They talk to you about meeting with athletic directors, with presidents, with media. It's a great program to get you prepared for that next step."
You have three kids, including 9-year-old son Tre. Does he like football?
"He loves it. The other day, he told his mom, 'I want to be an NFL player.' And then after he plays in the NFL, he wants to be a scientist."