Weekend Spotlight: Tulane’s Time Is NowColumns
There’s a sense of urgency around Tulane these days.
When the Green Wave went after red-hot Vanderbilt assistant Travis Jewett a few years ago, they did so with the idea of eventually replicating the success he had in Nashville to another music city, New Orleans.
The attempts to do that were unsuccessful in his first two seasons in the Big Easy. The Green Wave went 27-31 back in 2017 before trending slightly down last season with a 25-33 overall record. It was after last season that Jewett and his players decided enough was enough. This team and program needed to be better. Actually, they had to be better.
That important call did not fall on deaf ears, and the Green Wave has begun the 2019 campaign in impressive fashion. Tulane swept George Washington on Opening Weekend before almost taking two of three from Ole Miss at home the second week. Overall, they’ve established something already this season they haven’t had since David Pierce patrolled the dugout at Turchin Stadium — consistency.
“There’s definitely some urgency around here, from the coaches to the players,” Jewett said. “It’s like drawing a line in the sand. Enough was enough, and these kids are winners, too, and they were like we have to do something about this. That’s helped the team really buy-in to what we’re trying to do, and it’s really helped the connectivity of our group.
“These guys we have right now represent the program really well and it’s a timely group, and one that really invests in training,” he continued. “I think all those things, guys buying in, the team concept, those things — it’s all beginning to show up.”
Given the importance of this season, Jewett and his coaching staff made fall workouts and the early spring action a more competitive environment in the way they approached practices and other items. That approach already has paid off the first few weeks, as the Green Wave has shown noticeable across the board improvements, while also sitting pretty with a 10-3 record entering this weekend’s series against UC Santa Barbara, another program looking to rebound from the past couple of seasons.
“It is early, but I’m definitely seeing an uptick in the kind of play. I think we’ve done a pretty good job thus far and creating a more competitive environment leading up to the season has gotten us some good results,” he said. “Our roster is becoming more and more layered and I think there’s a really good competitive balance in our program right now.