When the Arkansas State Red Wolves take the field Friday night, they’ll be led by a 25-year-old Silicon Valley entrepreneur, who until Monday had nothing to do with their program.
Nick Bhardwaj won an eBay auction for the opportunity to coach the team in its spring game.
“I dropped out of San Jose State and didn’t have a chance to enjoy the full college experience,” Bhardwaj told ESPN.com. “Doing this, even for a day, is a way to make up for that.”
Bhwardaj, CEO of Beyond Games, is excited to immerse himself in the college football gameday experience. According to the auction posting, Bhardwaj’s experience will include giving the pregame and halftime talks, deciding whether the team goes for it or punts on fourth downs, calling deep passes, trick plays, blitzes, runs and passes, and even a Gatorade shower.
“Once in a lifetime experience. Now just need to go down as the only undefeated coach in NCAA football history,” he tweeted. “Hopefully we can bring some more data to College Football to increase play calling efficiency and player usage stats.”
And for those who think Bhardwaj isn’t taking this seriously, he’s already familiarizing himself with the Red Wolves’ fast-break offense, planning to watch tapes of the University of Oregon, the University of North Carolina and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Arkansas State head coach Blake Anderson doesn’t seem to be in any fear of losing his job permanently. In fact, it was his idea to hold the action to raise money for the program. He had seen the opportunity auctioned to boosters at previous coaching stops. But this time, the school decided to put the auction online and open it up to anyone.
The decision paid off to the tune of $11,700 for the program.