As the summer days begin to shorten and our countdown to the start of college football season grows with anticipation, college football coaches begin to wind down their respective summers.
In the days leading up to conference media days, there are vacations and retreats and public appearances.
In most cases, they’re routine events, much like the dreaded “what I did on my summer vacation” homework assignment, where you realize that there’s no way you can convince any of your classmates that going to the zoo was cool.
Especially when you know at least one of your friends went on an exotic vacation – somewhere like Orlando or the beach or Europe.
For the 125 college head football coaches in the FBS, those exotic vacation friends are Frank Beamer, James Franklin and Frank Solich.
Read their stories and weep, coaches. Maybe next summer, if you’re lucky, they’ll send you a postcard.
Beamer: Posed in a photo booth in a Viking helmet
Give the ACC some credit – it’s becoming the source of the most entertaining offseason gatherings. After holding a “kickoff” earlier in the month, complete with mascots riding on a boat, the conference added some color to the traditional media day festivities by adding a photo booth.
Which obviously excited Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, who posed quite eagerly wearing a Viking helmet.
He also donned a flowered lei and sunglasses, but this photo comes off as a bit more creepy than anyone should be comfortable with.
Just stick to coaching there, Frank.
Franklin: Went cliff-diving in Chattanooga
Vanderbilt coach James Franklin is quite familiar with outlandish events, but this one might top them all.
While on an end-of-summer retreat with his coaching staff near Chattanooga, the group (for whatever reason) decided jumping off a cliff into a lake was a good idea.
An even better idea? Capturing the whole thing on video.
So yes, this is a video of Franklin, jumping off a cliff, yelling his signature “Anchor Down” as he nears the water.
When asked about the plunge upon his return, Franklin played it off as no big deal.
“Guys (on the staff) were jumping and they kind of kept on me to do it,” Franklin told The Tennessean. “I let them go first and once I made sure that the water was deep enough and no one got hurt, I decided to get up there and do it myself.”
Solich: Wrecked in a tricycle race
Saving the best for last, obviously, as Ohio coach Frank Solich competed in a tricycle race in a charity event for a local hospital and the American Heart Association.
Let that sink in for a moment.
A head coach. Of a MAC school. On a tricycle. Wearing a helmet.
As if that photo wasn’t enough, it gets better. He wrecked.
No really. Thanks to some Athens journalism students who apparently didn’t get a summer vacation, we’re able to watch the video recap as Solich fell off the back of the bike while trying to navigate the first turn. (Solich’s heat begins at the 0:50 mark; the carnage can be seen at 1:01.)
Needless to say, Solich didn’t advance to the next round.
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