Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers interim head coach Lance Guidry looks on in the third quarter of the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl against the Central Michigan University Chippewas at Ford Field on December 26, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The Chippewas defeated the Hilltoppers 24-21. (Photo by Mark A. Cunningham/Getty Images)
Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY Sports
Step one: Name Lance Guidry as your interim coach. Step two: Make a bowl game. Step three: Put a camera on Guidry during his pregame speech. Step four: Enjoy.
Western Kentucky named Guidry, the team's defensive coordinator, as its interim coach earlier this month after coach Willie Taggart accepted the same position at South Florida. This was the second time Guidry had served in this capacity in three seasons, joining a similar stint at Miami (Ohio) for the 2011 GoDaddy.com Bowl (following the 2010 season).
As in early 2011, Guidry was filmed by ESPN cameras giving his team a fire-and-brimstone motivational speech prior to Wednesday night's Little Caesars Bowl against Central Michigan. He didn't disappoint - though I do think his first speech was better, in my opinion.
Now, his speech at Miami two years ago:
Similarities? Both ended with "Let's go get that damn trophy," for one. Both used the "everybody doubted us" card. I like the gladiator metaphor from Wednesday night, to be honest.
On Dec. 13, Guidry spoke with USA TODAY Sports about how he handles the duties of becoming an interim coach during the postseason. He also thought that this year's speech could be his best yet.
"I've got some things I want to say about our seniors, the kinds of things they've gone through," Guidry said. "I think this one has a chance to be better."
Said Guidry, "I've done a lot of pregame speeches before, because I've been a high school head coach. I've always had kind of a knack for it. I think it's because I'm from the South and I'm a Cajun. We just kind of roll with things. We 'impromptu' a lot."
Unfortunately, the chatter after the 24-21 loss to Central Michigan didn't circle around Guidry's pregame speech but a controversial late-game coaching decision. Down 24-21 with 51 seconds left and at the CMU 19-yard line, Guidry sent his offense on the field to convert a fourth-and-2 rather than attempt the potential game-tying 36-yard field goal.
A pass fell incomplete, turning possession over to CMU and ending Western Kentucky's hopes for its first bowl win since transitioning up to the FBS level in 2009. It was a disappointing end to a feel-good season. But from such disappointment great speeches are made.
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