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Texas A&M Football

Legendary R.C. Slocum 'encouraged' by Elko's leadership & approach

November 30, 2023
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College football hall-of-famer R.C. Slocum has won more games at Texas A&M than any other coach in history. With the Aggies bringing in Mike Elko, Slocum joined TexAgs Radio to share some of his wisdom and expertise on what makes Elko a good fit in Aggieland.



Key notes from R.C. Slocum interview

  • I am very pleased with the hire. I knew Mike Elko when he was here before. I thought he did great work at Texas A&M, and I thought he was a good guy. In terms of being a defensive head coach, there are a couple of guys who are defensive head coaches, and they’ve done pretty well. The coach at Alabama and the coach at Georgia both come from defensive backgrounds, and I knew both of them when they were assistants. They’ve done a great job. A defensive coach has spent his career in the film room watching offenses, so he knows full well what is really hard and what wins games.
     
  • I think it’s really important to have a relationship with the high school coaches, and I am so glad to see Elko reach out to them. This is a great football state. You could make the argument that it’s the best, but it’s definitely one of the best two or three that produces college and NFL players. At Texas A&M, your base recruiting has to be in Texas. You can see these kids from when they’re young and make good evaluations. It’s not about just getting guys. It’s about getting the guys that fit your program and want to be here. You can get in the car and drive three hours in any direction and come across a lot of great college prospects.
     
  • You know the coaches have a relationship with them, and you get straight information. If you go into a high school, a coach has had a number of players who have gone on to be good college players. You can get good information. I remember going into a school and a coach telling me to keep an eye on a sophomore. It might have been Aaron Wallace or someone like that. You can’t spend enough time in New Jersey, South Carolina or Ohio to get that kind of information.
     
  • With the name A&M has, there are always people from around the country who will have reasons to come here from out of state. I recruited Sirr Parker, and his family wanted him to get out of Los Angeles because they were worried about the atmosphere. He had an aunt who lived in Houston. There are situations like that where you can hand-pick players from around the country, but you ought to make your living in Texas.
     
  • I always wanted players to have their parents in the stands and to be looking for them in the stands after a big win. We lost four home games in 10 years, and we had a lot of mothers and fathers in the stands watching those kids. We had a lot of Texas kids, and I think 54 were drafted during my time.
     
  • I didn’t worry about five-star or three-star. I told my coaches that they should not overlook a five-star, but I wanted them to do a thorough evaluation. In no way did I want to take a guy because he was a five-star. I recently talked to an NFL coach, and when you compare the NFL Draft to guys coming out of high school, it is roughly broken down into thirds. One-third were five-stars out of high school, one-third were four-stars, and one-third were three-stars or lower. You can get caught up in all of that. I want to know what my coaches have players ranked, and I’ll evaluate if this guy fits into our program. The coaches are how you get that information.
     
  • My coaches and I would go every year to the high school coaches' clinic. It was always in San Angelo. I spent about 25 years out there to be around and let those guys know that their work was important to me.
     
  • I wish I had the answer to why there hasn’t been sustained success. When I was coaching, I felt we were way behind in our facilities. I told people that. I couldn’t get it done fast enough. When we started The Zone, that project was intended for football facilities for our players, but The Zone helped us sell tickets and helped improve the north endzone. It didn’t do anything for the players, and it wasn’t a recruiting advantage. We needed that locker room facility, the Bright building. I went out and raised the money to do that, but I got fired before I ever got to use the building. We were recruiting on it, and my last year was a really good recruiting year. There was a quarterback from Baytown that was committed to us. He went to Iowa and was the offensive player of the year in the Big Ten as a sophomore.
     
  • Facilities make a huge difference, and A&M has done a great job. Our former students have stepped up. The school has stepped up. We have comparable facilities to all the top programs in the country. That is paying dividends and will continue to pay dividends.
     
  • We have great leadership right now. I love our new president. I think he’s a great leader who will do a great job at A&M.
     
  • The pieces are in place. We need someone to come in and pick the right guys and develop them. It’s very easy to be misled by a great recruiting year and so many five-stars, but how many did you get in here that played and were disciplined? That’s the next phase for us. Picking the right guys and developing the right guys. I think Mike Elko will do that. He has been at a place where they had to develop guys. I’m encouraged. I think it’s all lining up right now.
     
  • The NFL and the NIL. I really wanted guys who aspired to be NFL players and had the ability. If we couldn’t project him to be in the NFL, then we shouldn’t bring him here because that’s what we’d play against with the good teams. That should be a major part of recruiting. The second thing is the character issue of getting a guy who is a good person. I would go into every home and tell the parents that I would try to keep their son going on the path they had him on. There were some athletic guys that I would not bring him to A&M because he had demonstrated his character. I wasn’t in the rescue business of taking thugs. I was in the business of taking good guys and putting the polish on them to help them be better.
     
  • The NIL is a new direction in college football, and I’m not a big fan of it. That being said, if that’s the rule, I am glad that A&M donors have stepped up and that we’re being competitive in that market. You have to be very careful not to get into bidding wars with NIL. That is not a reason to come here, but players will be compensated like they would elsewhere.
Discussion from...

Legendary R.C. Slocum 'encouraged' by Elko's leadership & approach

12,471 Views | 27 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by SinKiller
_mpaul
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AG
Listening to that interview reminds me how stupid we were to fire RC.
AginKS
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_mpaul said:

Listening to that interview reminds me how stupid we were to fire RC.


Does anyone remember why he was fired? I remember being sad and disgusted by his being let go. Being reminded of just 4 home losses really stings.
fieldtrailer
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AG
has anyone ever read a negative story about a coaching hire? Where the school did interviews and stated they had reservations, concerns, issues with it? Just curious. Seems every day that goes by, this hire gets better and better.

Lets see what happens 1st. Its a solid hire. But there is something behind the scenes that keeps Texas A&M from winning. Until that is fixed, nothing will change. There's been too many coaches and too much invested in infrastructure for all of the issues/problems to be on the coach. Coaches matter, but I'm convinced something else is causing the majority of the issues (35 years of watching) and hope the administration is looking at that aspect. Start with reviewing that mission statement and 20/20 vision plan and see what, if anything is holding the student athletes back. A lot has changed since that plan was originally made. It is probably outdated with regard to NIL, transfer portal and the amount of money in general college sports is generating.
_mpaul
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AginKS said:

_mpaul said:

Listening to that interview reminds me how stupid we were to fire RC.
Does anyone remember why he was fired? I remember being sad and disgusted by his being let go. Being reminded of just 4 home losses really stings.
Bob Stoops and Mack Brown. The irony was we lost of a lot of games in 2002 because of defense rather than offense. The offense was pretty good after the first three games when he "reassigned" Dino Babers and promoted Kevin Sumlin to OC.

Still, the defense finished 35th in Total Defense that year, RC's worst finish in his career. After 2002, we did not do better than 35th in Total Defense until 2019.

I was telling my son yesterday how spoiled I was. I was an undergrad for the 1991 - 1994 seasons. We've been trying to reobtain that level of success (or better) ever since.
aggiephoenix02
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RC!

My favorite Aggie Football coach, AND my favorite soda pop…
Flashdiaz
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AG
" I wasn't in the rescue business of taking thugs."



12mn95
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Would have liked to have seen what he could have done as far as recruiting vs Mack and Stoops with better facilities. Slocum was and still is a decent human being. With no problem I would have sent my kids to play defense for him...
sleepybeagle
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God Bless RC!
Iraq2xVeteran
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Thank you for sharing this interview. Legendary coach RC Slocum articulated why he is encouraged with the hiring of Mike Elko. Even with the NIL, transfer portal, and realignments drastically altering the college football landscape, it is still crucial to have a relationship with high school coaches.
headshrinker
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RC's logic is so sound here. Some advice is timeless, regardless of the times. I recall meeting him on multiple occasions at my family's steakhouse that hosted the high school coaches meeting in San Angelo. While being a fine gentleman in this discourse, it's clear that RC was making an indirect reference to his disapproval of Fisher's priorities not being focused on Texas players and their coaches, including but not limited to his refusal to attend the annual coaches meeting in San Angelo. Wish we could have fired him for cause as far as insubordination to the athletic director, though Bjork may have not made it a clear directive.
TyperWoods
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AginKS said:

_mpaul said:

Listening to that interview reminds me how stupid we were to fire RC.


Does anyone remember why he was fired? I remember being sad and disgusted by his being let go. Being reminded of just 4 home losses really stings.


Trajectory of the program had been in decline for several years.

Love RC.
SlobberKnock
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I liked this quote:

The coach at Alabama and the coach at Georgia both come from defensive backgrounds, and I knew both of them when they were assistants.

Ags77
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Coach Slocum !! My favorite coach and always will be.
headshrinker
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And yet, when all the chatter started about getting rid of RC, he pulled his team together and beat #1 Oklahoma, which was an unprecedented feat, and they fired him anyway.
MaroonStain
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_mpaul said:

Listening to that interview reminds me how stupid we were to fire RC.


OU '99 changed the landscape. Mike Leach offense and Stoops defense. Remember this game? It was a "portend of things to come".

That staff beat us in Kyle Field in 2000 with a weak armed lefty transfer QB and a midget RB. Proceeded to win MNC that year with leftovers from Blake era and transfers.

The FEB 1999 recruiting class was 18 offense and 1 defense player (Brian Gamble).

The biggest IF question was what could have an above average OC with RC at HC done with Reggie in '03 and '04 then McGee in '05 and '06.
Gil Renard
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Me and My RC
vwbug
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I spy Alex Caruso's dad
dreyOO
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_mpaul said:

AginKS said:

_mpaul said:

Listening to that interview reminds me how stupid we were to fire RC.
Does anyone remember why he was fired? I remember being sad and disgusted by his being let go. Being reminded of just 4 home losses really stings.
Bob Stoops and Mack Brown. The irony was we lost of a lot of games in 2002 because of defense rather than offense. The offense was pretty good after the first three games when he "reassigned" Dino Babers and promoted Kevin Sumlin to OC.

Still, the defense finished 35th in Total Defense that year, RC's worst finish in his career. After 2002, we did not do better than 35th in Total Defense until 2019.

I was telling my son yesterday how spoiled I was. I was an undergrad for the 1991 - 1994 seasons. We've been trying to reobtain that level of success (or better) ever since.

Boy that takes me back. Mike hankwitz was the Durkin of that era. A solid step down from the better DCs before him. Decent enough stats, but couldn't make the key stops to save a game. That was when Mike Leach was rolling up BIG tallies against us.

Slocum was slow to change, but at least willing. Completely unlike Jimbo imo.
WC94
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54 draft picks
Karl124
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In 2002, despite a strong offense, defensive struggles led to a 35th-place finish in Total Defense, marking a low for coach RC. Surprisingly, it took until 2019 to surpass that rank.

Reflecting on the 1991-1994 seasons as an undergrad, the quest to reclaim or exceed that success has been ongoing ever since. You can also check lottery details on Numerodehoy.
_mpaul
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AG
dreyOO said:

_mpaul said:

AginKS said:

_mpaul said:

Listening to that interview reminds me how stupid we were to fire RC.
Does anyone remember why he was fired? I remember being sad and disgusted by his being let go. Being reminded of just 4 home losses really stings.
Bob Stoops and Mack Brown. The irony was we lost of a lot of games in 2002 because of defense rather than offense. The offense was pretty good after the first three games when he "reassigned" Dino Babers and promoted Kevin Sumlin to OC.

Still, the defense finished 35th in Total Defense that year, RC's worst finish in his career. After 2002, we did not do better than 35th in Total Defense until 2019.

I was telling my son yesterday how spoiled I was. I was an undergrad for the 1991 - 1994 seasons. We've been trying to reobtain that level of success (or better) ever since.
Boy that takes me back. Mike hankwitz was the Durkin of that era. A solid step down from the better DCs before him. Decent enough stats, but couldn't make the key stops to save a game. That was when Mike Leach was rolling up BIG tallies against us.

Slocum was slow to change, but at least willing. Completely unlike Jimbo imo.
Hankwitz was a pretty damn good DC. I think it was more about Mike Leach and the new style of offense than it was deficiencies in Hankwitz or his scheme.

Remember, before Hankwitz was Phil Bennett for two years and Bob Davie before that, but the offense Hankwitz was dealing with were a lot difference that what Davie was dealing with. I would not say Hankwitz was a "solid step down" from Phil Bennett.

From his Wikipedia page: "Hankwitz was the defensive coordinator, linebackers coach, and punting coach at Texas A&M University from 1997 to 2002, where he guided the Aggies' famed "Wrecking Crew" defense. During that span he had three top-10 ranked defenses and two more top-20 defenses[.]" I'm not sure what "measure" they are using for ranking defense, but if it is Total Defense, that means only in 2002 was Hankwitz's Texas A&M defense outside the Top 20.
_mpaul
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MaroonStain said:

_mpaul said:

Listening to that interview reminds me how stupid we were to fire RC.

OU '99 changed the landscape. Mike Leach offense and Stoops defense. Remember this game? It was a "portend of things to come".



Not only do I remember it, I was there. I remember OU lining up in the ninja formation for the first time and us being completely discombobulated.
_mpaul
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Karl124 said:

In 2002, despite a strong offense, defensive struggles led to a 35th-place finish in Total Defense, marking a low for coach RC. Surprisingly, it took until 2019 to surpass that rank. Reflecting on the 1991-1994 seasons as an undergrad, the quest to reclaim or exceed that success has been ongoing ever since.
Did you literally take the first two paragraph of my post and reword it? I mean, that's fine, but sorta funny.
dreyOO
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Yep I don't disagree. I was just sick of seeing our linebackers drop back in zone and get picked apart by lesser talents in Lubbock. Seemed to degrade when we went to Bennett and another step down with Hankwitz. But it certainly had something to do with the changing of the times on offense.
SinKiller
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MaroonStain said:

_mpaul said:

Listening to that interview reminds me how stupid we were to fire RC.


OU '99 changed the landscape. Mike Leach offense and Stoops defense. Remember this game? It was a "portend of things to come".

That staff beat us in Kyle Field in 2000 with a weak armed lefty transfer QB and a midget RB. Proceeded to win MNC that year with leftovers from Blake era and transfers.

The FEB 1999 recruiting class was 18 offense and 1 defense player (Brian Gamble).

The biggest IF question was what could have an above average OC with RC at HC done with Reggie in '03 and '04 then McGee in '05 and '06.


I was at this game, and what a horrible game it was. I made a wrong turn and the next thing you know I'm blocking that stupid wagon with the Shetland ponies, it only got worse.

At O'Connels before the game, OU fans were just lamenting the fact that they were gonna get trounced, and were definitely not on board with Stoops, that would change quick.

I think college football changed this night, and really RC wasn't to be blamed. Early on we had them buried in their own territory, they were punting and I think from inside their own 10. Well, they snapped it to Calmus on a fake, and he ran forever. Heretofore, nobody would have done something as idiotic as that, it just wasn't done.

And then came the ninjas, again, nobody's fault for that, nobody had seen it on this level before. The WC was lost, nobody knew who to cover and the rout was on.

It was cold as crap, and just a miserable time. We sat next to the twins from the Guiness Book of World Records (if you know, you know), these dudes were in shorts and a tank tops, and probably hadn't showered in a month of Sundays, just miserable. I did meet Jarrin' Jay there for the 1st time.

The game didn't leave RC behind, the tactics just changed overnight. Football was about beating the guy in front of you, man on man. Overnight it was sleight of hand, and tricking the system. Think of Utah, and Boise State, the playing field just changed. RC would have reacted to it if given the chance.

At the very least, RC should have been given a chance to help pick his replacement, and transition out of that role. The best continuous era in A&M football and RC is discounted way too much. It's really not even arguable, he's the best coach we've ever had. The numbers don't lie.
_mpaul
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AG
SinKiller said:

MaroonStain said:

_mpaul said:

Listening to that interview reminds me how stupid we were to fire RC.


OU '99 changed the landscape. Mike Leach offense and Stoops defense. Remember this game? It was a "portend of things to come".

That staff beat us in Kyle Field in 2000 with a weak armed lefty transfer QB and a midget RB. Proceeded to win MNC that year with leftovers from Blake era and transfers.

The FEB 1999 recruiting class was 18 offense and 1 defense player (Brian Gamble).

The biggest IF question was what could have an above average OC with RC at HC done with Reggie in '03 and '04 then McGee in '05 and '06.
I was at this game, and what a horrible game it was. I made a wrong turn and the next thing you know I'm blocking that stupid wagon with the Shetland ponies, it only got worse.

At O'Connels before the game, OU fans were just lamenting the fact that they were gonna get trounced, and were definitely not on board with Stoops, that would change quick.

I think college football changed this night, and really RC wasn't to be blamed. Early on we had them buried in their own territory, they were punting and I think from inside their own 10. Well, they snapped it to Calmus on a fake, and he ran forever. Heretofore, nobody would have done something as idiotic as that, it just wasn't done.

And then came the ninjas, again, nobody's fault for that, nobody had seen it on this level before. The WC was lost, nobody knew who to cover and the rout was on.

It was cold as crap, and just a miserable time. We sat next to the twins from the Guiness Book of World Records (if you know, you know), these dudes were in shorts and a tank tops, and probably hadn't showered in a month of Sundays, just miserable. I did meet Jarrin' Jay there for the 1st time.

The game didn't leave RC behind, the tactics just changed overnight. Football was about beating the guy in front of you, man on man. Overnight it was sleight of hand, and tricking the system. Think of Utah, and Boise State, the playing field just changed. RC would have reacted to it if given the chance.

At the very least, RC should have been given a chance to help pick his replacement, and transition out of that role. The best continuous era in A&M football and RC is discounted way too much. It's really not even arguable, he's the best coach we've ever had. The numbers don't lie.
Oh, yeah . . . I remember that fake, come to think of it.

I have a thick parka-like coat. Very nice and fairly expensive when I bought it back in the 90s. I've worn it twice: once @ OU in 1997, and once @ OU in 1999. I remember in 1999 I found the ticket in my pocket from the '97 game. Those late-season games sitting in that endzone at OU, with the wind whipping through, were two of the coldest games I've been to. Let's add in '93 v. Texas and the Fran OSU game @ Stillwater where we blocked an extra point to win and I think Javorskie Lane had a 4th down one-handed catch on a bad pass to keep a drive alive.
SinKiller
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_mpaul said:

SinKiller said:

MaroonStain said:

_mpaul said:

Listening to that interview reminds me how stupid we were to fire RC.


OU '99 changed the landscape. Mike Leach offense and Stoops defense. Remember this game? It was a "portend of things to come".

That staff beat us in Kyle Field in 2000 with a weak armed lefty transfer QB and a midget RB. Proceeded to win MNC that year with leftovers from Blake era and transfers.

The FEB 1999 recruiting class was 18 offense and 1 defense player (Brian Gamble).

The biggest IF question was what could have an above average OC with RC at HC done with Reggie in '03 and '04 then McGee in '05 and '06.
I was at this game, and what a horrible game it was. I made a wrong turn and the next thing you know I'm blocking that stupid wagon with the Shetland ponies, it only got worse.

At O'Connels before the game, OU fans were just lamenting the fact that they were gonna get trounced, and were definitely not on board with Stoops, that would change quick.

I think college football changed this night, and really RC wasn't to be blamed. Early on we had them buried in their own territory, they were punting and I think from inside their own 10. Well, they snapped it to Calmus on a fake, and he ran forever. Heretofore, nobody would have done something as idiotic as that, it just wasn't done.

And then came the ninjas, again, nobody's fault for that, nobody had seen it on this level before. The WC was lost, nobody knew who to cover and the rout was on.

It was cold as crap, and just a miserable time. We sat next to the twins from the Guiness Book of World Records (if you know, you know), these dudes were in shorts and a tank tops, and probably hadn't showered in a month of Sundays, just miserable. I did meet Jarrin' Jay there for the 1st time.

The game didn't leave RC behind, the tactics just changed overnight. Football was about beating the guy in front of you, man on man. Overnight it was sleight of hand, and tricking the system. Think of Utah, and Boise State, the playing field just changed. RC would have reacted to it if given the chance.

At the very least, RC should have been given a chance to help pick his replacement, and transition out of that role. The best continuous era in A&M football and RC is discounted way too much. It's really not even arguable, he's the best coach we've ever had. The numbers don't lie.
Oh, yeah . . . I remember that fake, come to think of it.

I have a thick parka-like coat. Very nice and fairly expensive when I bought it back in the 90s. I've worn it twice: once @ OU in 1997, and once @ OU in 1999. I remember in 1999 I found the ticket in my pocket from the '97 game. Those late-season games sitting in that endzone at OU, with the wind whipping through, were two of the coldest games I've been to. Let's add in '93 v. Texas and the Fran OSU game @ Stillwater where we blocked an extra point to win and I think Javorskie Lane had a 4th down one-handed catch on a bad pass to keep a drive alive.


I was at that sip game, brutally cold...but at least we kicked their ass...I was with a couple of sips in the Ag section, Ags were throwing bowls around, get it? The sips were livid...I got to see Aaron Glenn coming all the way down the field to us. Just beautiful.
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