THE FINAL 49:
We take a moment during each of the Final 49 weeks until Kickoff 2013 to look at various aspects of the Charlotte 49ers football program.
May 12, 2013
By Tom Whitestone
The Charlotte 49ers football coaching staff has made it a priority to be out and about. To be seen. To shake hands. To greet fans.
They have taken student-athletes to elementary schools. They’ve attended athletic events on campus and throughout town. They’ve been open and accessible.
They have, as a staff, helped bring Niner Nation into their program and along for the ride that is a start-up program.
And it doesn’t stop outside stadium walls. Through social media, they continue to be active and engaging on the road, from home or about town.
Assistant coaches Napolean Sykes (@CoachPoeWins), James Adams (@49erCoachAdams), Johnson Richardson (@CoachJJR87)and Drew Dayton (@CoachDrewDayton) among others are particularly active on twitter and they are helping define the culture that surrounds the 49ers football program.
“Don't miss out on a chance to be a part of HISTORY! We are looking for purpose driven men who aspire to be great”, Richardson tweets.
“What city has the fastest growing campus in NC, 26k students, 1k acre campus, 5 Pro teams & oh major COLLEGE FOOTBALL? #stateofcharlotte” Adams knowingly asks.
You would think that one of the best ways to get know a coach is at any of those face-to-face meetings at receptions, games, practices, special appearances. But reading through a twitter timeline can also give a substantial glimpse of a coach and his personality.
Sykes’ energy and attitude, for instance, comes through loud and clear in his tweets.
“We're coming for you! Doesn't matter what your offer list looks like. Never met a list I couldn't handle. Lock it down!”
Adams’ personality, likewise, lives in every tweet and retweet.
“What a tremendous opportunity a couple hundred young men will have earned before weekend's end. #2013Draft stay #hungry stay #humble”
And it’s certainly simple to see what Dayton values:
“No one ever said they regret the time they spent with their kids #dadswag”
The team has adopted hashtags, including the aforementioned #stateofcharlotte, #The 9, #TeamNoGloves. And they’re building a following.
They engage fans, other coaches, student-athletes – and they bring the energy, the attitude and the swagger with them.
“@cconsuegra @CoachMajor49 @CoachKLange @49erHall They'll come find you too! Ballers be on the look out for the C-Pick! #stateofcharlotte” Sykes wrote, starting a chain of tweets regarding the growing presence of the C-Pick.
Fans can join the coaches on their recruiting trips. Adams posts a twitpic from the road in south Georgia and talks of gas prices in Virginia. Richardson recommends a BBQ joint in N.C. Sykes sends shout outs to some local areas as he heads out on the recruiting trail.
Fans have responded by wishing them luck and tireless energy – the former of which never hurts, the latter seems abundant.
As a start-up staff, the 49ers coaching experience is noteworthy. The staff has coached for over 100 years and in over 20 college bowl games.
But there still exits a youthful energy that complements that vast experience.
The message is clear.
This is who we are. This is what we are about. Here’s a closer look.
Or as Sykes puts it:
“Come grab an ax and shovel. Get your nose bloodied. Callus those hands. Be a part of something great. Be the foundation! #stateofcharlotte”