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Urban Meyer wants to duplicate culture of Popovich’s Spurs

Gregg Popovich

Good coaches often take notes and cues from other good coaches. If imitation is the cheapest form of flattery, then Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is getting a bargain by observing what makes the San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich tick. Popovich has led the Spurs to five NBA championships, the fifth coming last week against LeBron James and the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat. The Spurs not only won that series, but they were in firm control of the series from start to finish, winning in five games.

What is it about the Spurs that has led to so much success? As Meyer suggests, it is the culture around the franchise.

“[Popovich] talks about the culture, and if you don’t fit in the culture, you’ve got to go,” Meyer said in a Q&A with The Columbus Dispatch. “Now, it’s easier when you’re talking about six or 10 guys (on a basketball team) instead of 120 (on a football team). But that’s what I got out of it.”

Basketball fans and analysts will say something similar. The Spurs lack the true icons of the game that generate buzz the way LeBron, Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan ever have, but the Spurs buy into a different philosophy, one that is unselfish in style. That same philosophy can translate to any sport and can often be found somewhere on any championship team. That is what Meyer hopes to be able to develop in Columbus.

“We really study the NBA,” Meyer said when asked how much he pays attention to the pro basketball league. “This is exactly what we’re trying to get done here — culture, culture, culture.”

Ohio State is coming off a season that ended with a two-game losing streak in postseason play. After winning the first 24 games since Meyer was introduced as head coach, Ohio State was upended by Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game and then taken out by Clemson in the Orange Bowl. The Buckeyes are among the top favorites in the Big Ten once again in 2014 and are considered a strong candidate to land one of the four playoff spots in the new College Football Playoff.

If the Buckeyes are to get over what happened last season, embracing that Spurs-like culture will be a good starting point. In fact, the Spurs would be a good example for almost any team out there, regardless of sport.

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24 Responses to “Urban Meyer wants to duplicate culture of Popovich’s Spurs”
  1. rfmist8 says: Jun 22, 2014 6:12 PM

    Sorry, Urban…you have to start with team discipline!

  2. slash714 says: Jun 22, 2014 6:18 PM

    I’ll compare Meyers t

  3. slash714 says: Jun 22, 2014 6:20 PM

    I’ll compare Meyers track record at ohio state with anybody in the country..

  4. floridascuba1 says: Jun 22, 2014 7:11 PM

    Powder puff schedule OSU plays.

  5. 10kmp says: Jun 22, 2014 7:52 PM


    I think you’ve logged too many hours under water breathing through a tube… Ohio State’s 2014 strength of schedule is in the county’s top 25%. It’s not “powder puff”. Alabama at 93 and Oklahoma at 95??? That’s a different story.

  6. dwighthowardssmallhead says: Jun 22, 2014 8:12 PM

    OSU plays nobody.

  7. silverdeer says: Jun 22, 2014 9:01 PM

    He will succeed if he can keep his stars under the salary cap.

  8. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jun 22, 2014 9:22 PM

    Yo Urban it starts with integrity of which you have none. It starts with personal accountability of which you have none. It starts with class players of which you have none. Sorry Urban you are no Pop

  9. vols84 says: Jun 22, 2014 9:25 PM

    So glad Urban had to announce he’s studying Pops. Good for him. So are about a 1,000 other coaches.

  10. bonerchamp says: Jun 22, 2014 9:45 PM

    I kind of like the culture that he developed at Florida. Guys like Hernandez, the Punceys, J Jenkins, W. Hill and Harvin are all wonderful people.

  11. derekgorgonstar says: Jun 22, 2014 11:45 PM

    Did Tim Duncan just get arrested?

  12. sportsguy3434 says: Jun 22, 2014 11:59 PM

    Yes and Arkansas plays almost the same schedule except they play Texas Tech instead of WVU and a few comparable crossover games and are ranked #1 on SOS. That’s because Arkansas will be around .500 and so the opponents will have more wins and Alabama will give teams more losses.

    Win your conference and then you will have something to talk about maybe.

  13. stopthemadness101 says: Jun 23, 2014 7:36 AM

    Urban is a joke

  14. cfballfan1 says: Jun 23, 2014 8:30 AM

    Urby can talk “culture” but he can’t lead by example. His recruiting tactics teach young players they are more important than the team before they even become part of the team.

  15. Straight Cash Homie says: Jun 23, 2014 8:44 AM

    Ummm I don’t see how that’s possible. Everywhere Urban has gone has basically been Thug U and OSU already had that rep before he got there. Last time I checked Pop ran a tight ship where team discipline, max effort, and has his players knowing the team shares the ball and that nobody is above the team. Last time I checked those are qualities that Urban never had. Good luck with the Urban.

  16. Scott Hevel says: Jun 23, 2014 10:58 AM

    I think by culture, he means he wants to recruit 25-30 guys a year and when any of those guys don’t make it on the two deep, he wants a reason to take them off scholarship. That’s the culture he wants.

  17. nkillion2013 says: Jun 23, 2014 11:55 AM

    So, what IS the Spurs culture; explain. Or, does Popovich have abook out on the subject?

  18. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Jun 23, 2014 1:02 PM

    @ cash

    Yeah, I hear Bowling Green and Utah were stock full of law violators and character challenges.

    Great point. Totally validated.

  19. angelheartsbuckeyes says: Jun 23, 2014 1:14 PM

    @ Scott

    So he wants an SEC culture? Is that what you’re saying? Saban practically birthed this concept.

  20. mkoogs says: Jun 23, 2014 2:22 PM

    And so the haters come out of the basements. We’ll keep Urban at OSU and thanks for all the comments

  21. gatorprof says: Jun 23, 2014 4:35 PM

    brownsmakemecrazy nailed it.

    You don’t see Pop feigning illness to cover his tracks for cheating on his wife, then tossing his family under the bus as the reason that he needs to stop coaching only to switch jobs 10 months later.

    Yes, Meyer won 2 titles. He did not run a clean program nor did he conduct himself with dignity and class.

    He is not Pop.

  22. jimbo75025 says: Jun 23, 2014 8:54 PM

    Isn’t it about time for Meyer to have another health scare?

    Seriously Buckeye fans,you will win quite a few games with Urban as your coach. When it’s over though, you are gonna find yourself in the shower scrubbing yourself as hard as you can

  23. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jun 24, 2014 9:42 PM

    Thanks gatorprof

  24. bornahawker says: Jun 25, 2014 1:07 AM

    Urban Meyer cannot hold Pops jock

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