Comparing the Big East coaches on Twitter
We try to oh-so-subtly remind you ever so often that we're on Twitter.com -- could crack 300 followers today -- and we told you last week that USF coach Jim Leavitt and his staff are now tweeting in an impressive embrace of modern technology.
So how do the rest of the Big East coaches compare? Five of the league's eight head football coaches have their own Twitter pages now, with Cincinnati's Brian Kelly, Connecticut's Randy Edsall and Rutgers' Greg Schiano the relative Luddites of the Big East ranks.
None of the five Twitter coaches has been doing it long -- Leavitt and Pitt's Dave Wannstedt just started in the past week, and West Virginia's Bill Stewart, the Twitter dean of the league, started way back in mid-March. So here's a closer look at all five, in order of their number of followers ...
Bill Stewart, West Virginia: His following of 2,084 is quadruple the closest Big East coach, and he's easily the most prolific with 224 tweets -- that's a healthy average about three a day. Stewart will congratulate other West Virginia teams and even link to newspaper stories he likes. Actual tweet: "Mountaineers Rules for Living No. 11 - You won't make $50K out of high school. You won't be a VP with a car phone, until you earn both."
Doug Marrone, Syracuse: The new guy in the league started April 28 and has impressively built up 482 followers on just 33 updates. He replies to @comments, and even does the full disclosure: "I am writing my own tweets, but on occasion will have some folks help me post them." He's showing a love of minor-league baseball, taking batting practice with the Binghamton Mets and signing autographs at a Rochester Red Wings game. Actual tweet: "You can take the man out of the Bronx but you can't take the Bronx out of the man."
Jim Leavitt, USF: In a week, he's gotten 202 followers on an economic 16 tweets. He's texting in his tweets and trying to convey an overall excitement -- 11 of 16 tweets have at least one exclamation point! Comes off as genuine, though, with an insider feel -- Tyrone McKenzie is just "T-Mac," and Jerrell Young is just "j young," which is how Leavitt really talks about them. Actual tweet: "Back home! So nice to be in Tampa! We need South Florida T Shirts in Our Home Airport!"
Dave Wannstedt, Pitt: Started a day after Leavitt, but has just eight updates and 149 followers. He's following nine Tweets, including Pitt hoops coach Jamie Dixon and news feeds from CNN, Fox and ESPN. Seems to always go the full 140 characters, making the most of his updates. Actual tweet: "The mayor of Harrisburg declared May “LeSean McCoy Month.” I knew Shady was popular in Harrisburg but wow! Great honor for a great kid."
Steve Kragthorpe, Louisville: We'd linked Tuesday to this Twitter, only after calling Louisville and confirming that it was legitimate, and that the Rick Pitino page cross-linked from there was also legitimate. Turns out that's a fake Kragthorpe -- there's an inappropriate-for-head-coach Matt Simms reference we overlooked that should have given it away. The real Kragthorpe, we're told, is parked here -- it has no followers and no updates, but has a pretty picture of the Louisville coach. Sorry for any confusion ...