NATCHITOCHES - Bill Clay was Bradley Dale Peveto's position coach at SMU in 1982-86, and for a few days this week, he's coaching the Northwestern State head coach again.
The veteran of nearly 50 years of college coaching, including being Les Miles' defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State from 2001-04, is spending three days in the Demons' preseason football camp with his eyes and ears wide open.
"He's giving us a lot of feedback on what he's seeing in all three phases and from all different angles," said Peveto. "He's sitting in staff meetings, position meetings, watching tape, going to practice and talking to everybody, evaluating everything we're doing. From players to coaches to our staff people, he's getting the best possible insight and telling us like it is, the good, the bad and the ugly."
Clay was sitting at the 50-yard-line six rows up in the student section of Turpin Stadium throughout Thursday morning's practice, just as he was for both workouts Wednesday. Along with fishing, it's one of his hobbies since Clay called it a career last December, and just a few days away from his 71st birthday, he was relishing the immersion into NSU's camp.
His access and dialog with the Demons' staff has been "top of the scale" of his trips to various programs in the region, within driving distance of his home in College Station, where he was on Dennis Franchione's Texas A&M staff.
"I bought a new pickup truck the day I retired (from Blinn Community College), and I've put a bunch of miles on it since December. I'll bring that bass boat, go visit the grandkids, go watch some practices or tape and visit with friends in the game, and try to get in some good fishing," said Clay.
Clay reflected on Peveto's intensity, which became a trigger for the nationally-ranked SMU teams he played on from 1982-86. Peveto was a safety and a special teams standout who was voted the Mustangs' permanent special teams captain after his senior year.
"We didn't go out (from the locker room for kickoff) 'til he threw up. When you heard Peveto, it was time to go," said Clay. "He played on almost every special team. He bounced around like an angry bumblebee."
Replied Peveto: "Somebody asked me, why you don't throw up every game when you're coaching, and I said, well, they're not coming to hit me now."
The Demons were doing a good amount of hitting in their practices Wednesday night and Thursday morning, pointing toward a Saturday evening 6 p.m. scrimmage, the second major one of camp.
"We had a fantastic Wednesday night practice and worked hard through our Thursday morning practice. We had some third down competition and a great two-minute drill competition, with the first defense and the second offense winning," said Peveto. "We've made strides."
NSU will go through its final two-a-day practices Friday, at 9:40 a.m. and 6:50 p.m., in full gear. The Saturday night scrimmage will be the final function of camp before classes begin Monday.