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1) Does Fuente have an in-program confidant like Beamer had in John Ballein? I remember Beamer always saying that Ballein could talk him through those tough weeks/months. Seems Fuente probably needs one of those inside advisors right now and am wondering if he actually has an outlet to go to. – HolidayInnHokie
Chris Coleman: John Ballein was more than just a confidant of Frank Beamer. He was an advisor, an organizer, a motivator…some would even say the bad cop to Frank’s good cop. I’ve had a few former players tell me that Ballein kicked more guys off the team than Beamer did. I think one of the reasons Beamer is so beloved by the players is that he could afford to take the good cop role because he had guys like Ballein on the staff.
I don’t think Fuente is unpopular with his players like some suggest, but I also don’t think he’s as beloved as Beamer was. I think the players view him as just a regular football coach, like most players at almost all schools view their head coach. There are some who like him more than others, and others who probably don’t like him, and that goes for just about every program anywhere. Part of that is probably because there isn’t a bad cop in the program. Fuente has to be the bad cop at times.
For what it’s worth, that’s not unique. What we had was unique. Frank Beamer was unique. I probably didn’t quite realize it until I read this question and started thinking about...
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