Meyer's Gators get visit from Doc Rivers
As part of its annual "Champions Day'', the Florida football team was honored with a visit and motivational speech from Doc Rivers, head coach of the NBA champion Boston Celtics.
Rivers spoke to the team Thursday night at the request of coach Urban Meyer.
"Just think, the NBA champion Doc Rivers took time out of his own personal time to come here and speak to the Florida Gators,'' Meyer said after Friday morning's practice. "Just think about that for a minute. The video was phenomenal and it was one of the best nights I’ve ever witnessed.''
Meyer said Rivers' message was similar to other speakers: have passion and intensity for what you do and chemistry is a key ingredient for any championship team.
Meyer first implemented the event after the Gators won their first basketball ncational championship, on the premise that players respond much better when champions speak.
"If you’ve never won a championship, I’m not sure you play football, it’s too hard,'' Meyer said. "And so we started this three years ago. On the way back on the airplane from Indianapolis, I thought this would be a great opportunity to do something in the summer. And our video staff puts together about a 15 minute video of locker room celebrations, of champions speaking. When you look at a champion speaking, they look different in the eyes than a non-champion. So I wanted our players to really, instead of me screaming at them all the time and yelling about that, let’s see one (a champion), let’s witness one.''
Previous guest speakers are UF basketball coach Billy Donovan and former NFL star receiver Cris Carter.
Incidentally, Rivers' daughter, Callie, is a sophomore on the Gator volleyball team.