Changing the culture of a team doesn’t happen overnight, although the foundation for that change can be laid long after the sun has gone down.
First-year University of West Florida men’s basketball coach Jeff Burkhamer did exactly that with the Argonauts the minute they could begin preseason practice in October.
“The first minute after midnight we were doing pushups in the sprinklers on the football field,” Burkhamer said at the winter sports media day Nov. 4. We had our guys do the climbing wall, they did a cycling class, they did workouts in the pool and we were out running on the track. They had a good attitude about it and they have a great work ethic.”
The Argonauts struggled through a 7-21 season a year ago and are picked to finish last in the Gulf South Conference this year.
They have no intentions of meeting those low standards.
“We have high expectations for our players and high expectations for our program,” Burkhamer said. “We want to play for championships here.”
Seven players are back for UWF, including Lendward Griffin, a graduate student forward who averaged 11.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
Read the full story in the Nov. 12 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.