Local News

New FSU Coach Using Tough Approach With Players

Posted August 21, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Fayetteville State University football team had a dismal season last year, but now it has a new look, a new coach and a new attitude. Players are giving up their personal freedom for the good of the team. New coach Jim Toon is cracking the whip on his players and playing for the team means making sacrifices.

"A lot different. We have more discipline now, you know," said a player.

Coach Toon is pushing discipline on and off the field. Attendance at team meetings and meals in mandatory. The same goes for classes. There's also a 10 p.m. curfew, and players can't drive their cars, except on Sundays.

"And that's primarily to go to a church of their choice, and we want them to get used to walking, being a part of the University," said Toon. "They aren't just football players. They're students first."

Toon wants to see his players win on the field, in the classroom, and in life.

The tough approach seems to be hitting home among the players.

After winning just two games last year, the team was ready for a change. Coach Toon is all that and more.

Before signing with Fayetteville State, Toon was at North Carolina A&T for 24 years, almost half of them as the football coach.