National Championship winner Lloyd Carr, who won the title with the Michigan Wolverines in 1997, spoke on Monday about his life and career as a college football coach.
Carr, a Tennessee native, addressed fans at the weekly Knoxville Quarterback Club luncheon at Calhoun's on the River and talked about what he misses most and least about coaching.
"I don't miss injuries," Carr said. "I don't miss the losing ... or the winning either. I miss the relationship with the players and the grind."
The grind is what Carr calls "the routine of the coach." It consists of everything from watching tape, assessing injuries, grading player performances, and scouting next week's opponent, to mentally getting over the previous week's result, forming the practice schedule, and fulfilling media obligations- all within a week.
It's a process that repeats itself over and over, according to Carr, who coached Michigan from 1995-2007.
"You get up and do it again," Carr said. "And you do it for 12 weeks."
The attention to detail was always extremely important to Carr, especially with practice time.
"Every five minutes has to be a productive time," Carr said about the way he sectioned off the two hour practices into five minute blocks.
A horn would signal the end and beginning of each block, keeping players and coaches on task. It's a method similar to how UT coach Butch Jones operates his practices.
Carr's weekday schedule also consisted of watching practice film, calling recruits, and establishing a relationship with each player. That, in part, involved making sure words were not lost in translation with members of the press.
"The only coach that spoke to the media was me," Carr said. "I wanted the program to speak with one voice."
Tennessee head coach Butch Jones is in-tune with the job requirements of being a head coach according to Carr, who said that Tennessee is on the right track.
"I really believe that he has everything necessary to bring Tennessee back to where he wants it, and where (the fans) want it," Carr said.
A member of the current Tennessee coaching staff, wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni, in contrast to Carr, is a Michigan native now working with the Vols. He also spoke to the Quarterback Club and shed light on his transition to Knoxville.
"For the first time, (my wife and kids) feel comfortable," Azzanni said, speaking of his coaching travels that have led him from Central Michigan, Florida, Western Kentucky, and Wisconsin to Tennessee.
Azzanni echoed Jones' "brick by brick" policy of always improving. Azzanni said that his group of wide receivers, though young, are constantly getting better.
"It's a young group that I'm working with," Azzanni said. "A group I hope you see as growing weekly."
Azzanni highlighted this growth specifically in the game against South Carolina and in the second half against Alabama, praising the high work ethic of his players and their desire to make big plays.
"Those kids give an unbelievable effort," Azzanni said. "They're getting better every week with their route-running, their technique."