Weber State began preparations for the University of Wyoming in earnest last Wednesday, about a week and a half before this Saturday's season opener at Laramie.
That's about the length of time it takes Wildcats coach Ron McBride, 71, to start itching for some more football at the end of a season.
"It's good when (football games get) here," McBride said. "After you work for about five weeks, 14 hours a day, you're kind of saying, what the hell am I doing? As soon as you're done with the season, you're a little tired. It takes about 10 days to get yourself right, but then you get bored and you want to go back to work.
"As long as you feel that way, and you've got a passion for what you're doing, well, then why not do it?"
McBride, who will turn 72 on October 14, is the sixth oldest active head coach in NCAA Division I football behind Penn State's Joe Paterno, Albany's Bob Ford, Appalachian State's Jerry Moore, Kansas State's Bill Snyder and Florida Atlantic's Howard Schnellenberger.
Last week, McBride wore a bandage on his ear after having a small cancerous growth removed from his skin, but his doctors tell him he's healthy and "It was no big deal," he said.
McBride is 38-32 (29-18 Big Sky) as Weber State's coach. He continues to work out and swim laps every day, he plays golf on some of the most beautiful courses in the country during the summers, but it's football that keeps him looking toward every fall instead of looking toward the links.
"Everybody asks me when I'm retiring," he says with a smile. "I get that question every day. 'How old are you? 71? What are you doing? Are you crazy? How many hours a day do you work? Are you broke?' I say, no, I'm all right. It's just not my time yet."
In his seventh season at Weber State and his 20th as a Division I head coach, McBride also enjoys working with the younger assistants on his staff.
"I've got a lot of guys that played for me here and are working their way up in the profession," McBride said. "It's fun to go to work when you've got good guys that work for you. They're hungry to succeed and I like to see them do well."
Junior All-American offensive guard J.C. Oram, a Fremont High product, says McBride is the reason he's a Wildcat.
"Coach Mac recruited my brother at (the University of) Utah; when he got fired there, my brother lost his scholarship," Oram said. "I've known him pretty much my whole life. When he lost my brother, he said he was going to get one of us. He got me and I'm glad I'm here."
"He's a little senile," Oram jokes, "but he still has that spark, has that want-to-win, so I'm glad to be here."
Senior linebacker Nick Webb, an all-Big Sky Conference first-teamer, describes playing for Mac as "indescribable."
"The guy knows the game, inside and out. I watched him at the U as a kid, I've read his book, I know a lot about him," Webb said. "Just to be around him, he's definitely a family oriented guy. He's almost like a grandpa to me. He's taught me things I never thought I'd know. He definitely holds a high standard for those players that are trying to succeed."
In addition to a young man's ability to curse like a sailor -- even during team prayers -- McBride has plenty of energy left in the tank, Webb said.
"If you gave him a Red Bull, he'd probably have a heart attack. He's got more energy than anybody I've ever met at his age."
The Weber State Wildcat Club's 2011 bi-monthly coaches luncheons have been moved to a new location at the Marriott Hotel on 24th Street in Ogden.
The first luncheon is today at noon; future 2011 luncheons are scheduled for Sept. 12, Sept. 26, Oct. 10, Oct. 24, Nov. 7, Nov. 21, Dec. 5 and Dec. 19.
McBride will speak at each luncheon during the football season; other WSU coaches and student-athletes will speak during their seasons. The cost is $10 per person and the luncheons are open to the public. For more information, contact the Wildcat Club at 801-626-6576 or visit WeberStateSports.com.
Roy Burton covers Weber State football and basketball for the Standard-Examiner. He posts news and updates about the Wildcats at blogs.standard.net/wsu-sports-blog and at twitter.com/RoyBurton. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.