September 21, 2001

New Head Coach Means a New Philosophy

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When head coach Tim Pendergast talks about his role in the football program, it almost sounds like he’s just passing through.

“I’m the caretaker,” he said. “[Schoellkopf] has been around a long time. I have the opportunity now to maybe paint the walls a different color and fix some windows that are cracked.”

Yet, a walk around the stadium and the locker room, a few words with the players and perhaps a conversation with Pendergast himself are all that are needed to comprehend the indelible impression he has already left in just a few months at Cornell.

Hired after former head coach Pete Mangurian left for the NFL, Pendergast has taken the old system and virtually turned it on its head. Shove aside for the moment the structural changes he has implemented in the gameplan. Of course, players are now playing new positions and the defense has been radically transformed.

But Pendergast’s burgeoning legacy is already the change he has affected in the football team’s environment. No longer does the Red espouse a tense, rigid, win at all costs mentality —