Valpey, Back from 10-Week Tour, Opens '49 Grid Season
Coach Finds Crowded Schedule And Bulging Desk Here; Sets Spring Practice for March 14
Art Valpey yesterday announced the opening of the 1949 football season. The well-fed varsity football coach and his staff, having covered about 400 alumni and high school diners since the Yale game, are new turning down bids from the creamed-chicken circuit in order to concentrate on next fall.
Yesterday was Art's seventh day in his Blockhouse headquarters since November 20. His desk was jammed with reports, correspondence, and schedules. And he plans a lot of work on these plus the movies of last year's games before spring practice opens on March 14.
Art's conversation yesterday clearly proved that football coaching is a year-round job. In the week after the Harvard season finale, he scouted two teams for next fall: Cornell, against Pennsylvania, and Army, against Navy. Then came ten weeks and 10,000 miles of playing the visiting dignitary--sometimes as much as six times a day.
Work on Films
Meanwhile, his staff, under the direction of backfield coach Davey Nelson, centered its speeches in the local area and thus could average three hours a day on breaking down movies of Harvard's 1948 games. The breakdowns are so thorough--down to individual plays and players--that the staff has only completed the first four games.
Now Art must not only clean out his desk and catch up on the movies, but must also get the other four movies analyzed before March 14.
Then comes six weeks of spring practice--the job of polishing and sizing up freshman and jayvee material for future varsity competition. Art doesn't look for much help from last fall's below-par Freshman team.
He expects that only four or five boys will help out next fall on the varsity, but points out that this factor will be out-balanced by the fact that only four of what he considers his first 30 ball players are graduating.
When spring practice ends April 30, Art will have exactly four months away from the drill fields. But this simply means moving indoors to the charts and the blackboard; for during the summer, Art and his staff must re-evaluate the squad's strength on the basis of spring practice and the annual academic harvest. He must also elaborate on his system to fit the schedule and the capabilities of his personnel.
September 1 is the opening date of fall practice. The Art gives up lunches and starts on his 14-hour work day--seven days a week. This 98-hour work week--just 38 hours more than that which Martin Van Buren once proposed--lasts for almost three months. Then Art's yearly cycle begins again.
Not bad for 8,000 peanuts a year, huh?