Lancaster County's Cody Booth up for NCAA Division 1 TE Coach of the Year
Penn Manor Graduate Cody Booth has carved his own path both as a player and as a coach. A two-time All League First team selection for the Comets, Booth played four seasons for the Temple Owls earning his way to the rosters of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington Football Team and Chicago Bears. Cody Booth was one of the best players to come out of Lancaster County in recent memory.
After he was done playing the former Tight End has made the transition to coaching. Working his way through several GA positions, Booth was promoted to Tight Ends Coach with the Colorado State Rams back in 2020. Unfortunately, the Rams struggled under Coach Addazio and he was let go, which also means Booth will be looking for another job over the next month or so. This is a common occurrence among staff changes through college football, what makes his situation so unique is that while the Rams overall struggled, his Tight Ends were among the best in the nation. Under Coach Booth’s watch Trey Mcbride was named the John Mackey award winner and unanimous First Team All-American by the Associated Press. Not only did Mcbride turn into a star under Coach Booth’s watch, he also developed quite the talented Tight End Room.
I was able to catch up with Cody to discuss his transition to coaching, how proud he was of his position group and what does his future hold:
1. Being Nominated for Tight End Coach of the year is quite the honor, tell us more about not only your All-American Tight End (Trey Mcbride) but the whole TE room and the work you have put in.
I appreciate that. I enjoyed coming to work every day. Our room was pretty loaded with potential. We had some great competition and a great mixture of young and old players. Obviously Trey is just different. Unbelievable ball skills and running after the catch. He’s going to be a match up nightmare in the NFL. He really improved over the last two years with his fundamentals in blocking and route running.
I’m really excited to watch him continue to develop at the next level. Cam Butler was a senior who has been injured throughout his career but stayed healthy this year and found a way to add value with his dynamic ability. He has hips like a wide receiver but can also play in power and in bed in the run game. I think he will have a great pro day and will be in a camp this summer and could really surprise some people. Gary Williams is a guy who I’m very proud to have coached. He improved so much in the last 2 years with fully understanding mentally and physically what it takes to be a complete and successful tight end. He’s a play maker and fun to be around.
Brian Polendey transferred from Miami two years ago and was stuck behind a couple good players but still found a way to get himself a role on the field. He continued to develop his two years with us and became a really strong blocker at the point of attack. Freshman Tanner Arkin practiced with us all year as we were trying to get him ready if needed and he ended up playing in the last couple games and quickly showed he has a bright future. As a group we held each other to a high standard and demanded more out of each other.
We played with 2 and 3 TEs every snap and we had 4-5 guys that could play quality time so competition was real every day. They pushed each other in practice and I think that competition naturally helped guys like (Junior) Gary Williams and (freshman) Tanner Arkin to develop at a fast rate and helped our seniors like Trey McBride and Cam Butler to set that standard of what competitive excellence looks like day in and day out. Trey was a captain this year so he took the leadership role alongside fellow senior Cam Butler. As a room we wanted to make sure we were Accountable and Dependable to each other and to the team.
We also stressed being durable - given we were playing with 2 and 3 TEs every snap we needed to be in the best shape as possible mentally and physically. I think my guys did a great job rising to those challenges.
2. What was the main factor in transitioning from your playing career to becoming a coach?
I think as a player I knew I always wanted to get into coaching once I was done playing. My dad was a coach so I grew up around football my entire life. So as a player, I took a little bit from every coach that I’ve ever played for trying to mold my coaching style as I went along. Once I was done playing, I spent 1 year coaching with Todd Mealy in high school and just being around him from a coaching side of it really helped me figure out who I really wanted to be as a coach. I think the biggest factor is understanding how to relate to players. You have to keep in mind that players come from all different backgrounds and all players learn differently or respond to authority differently. I think it’s important to take that all in when you’re a coach/teacher who is developing young men or women.
3. Tell us more about your experience at both Penn Manor and Temple, were you a part of two major turnaround at both levels?
Penn Manor was such a fun time in my life. I loved playing for Todd Mealy and I loved my teammates. We were really close friends (still are) and held each other to a high standard. We wanted to do something special and make history and pave the way for the classes behind us. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy but we had a great summer and off-season leading into our senior year. That tough off season propelled us into the fall with great momentum and confidence. We had a little swag to us and confidence was key for us because Penn Manor wasn’t known for winning. We ended up having a special year starting 7-0 and winning the first home playoff game in school history.
Temple also holds a special place in my heart. I wasn’t really highly recruited coming out of high school but I knew I wanted to play Division 1. I ended up walking on at Temple and then earning a scholarship after my first year. Temple is a place that preached toughness and excellence. The city life grew on me every year but it definitely was a transition coming from the farm fields of Lancaster. Philadelphia is a beautiful city and growing up an Eagles fan made it a dream come true since we played our home games at Lincoln Financial Field. I met some of my best friends at Temple and played for some great coaches (Al Golden, Matt Rhule, Steve Addazio) who all had the same mindset and vision and I think that’s why it was such an easy transition year in and year out. You knew if you kept trusting the process that success was coming it was just a matter of time. You could just feel it. The players gained confidence and trust in each other and in the brand Temple Tuff.
4. What does a typical off-season schedule look like for a FBS level football coach?
The off-season is actually pretty busy. You go out on the road for spring recruiting for a couple months and then once you come back to campus you start the off-season program and then spring football. Once spring ball is over you get ready for summer camps where you can evaluate prospective athletes while at the same time continue to work with your own team as you prepare for the fall training camp and season.
5. Colorado State is bringing in a new coaching staff, what has the process been like for you trying to land another coaching gig?
Yeah it was tough leaving Colorado State as I was pretty close to the Tight Ends in my room. The process is just a waiting game right now. In the coaching world there’s a couple month window from about mid December to February where there’s a lot of movement with coaches taking jobs or leaving for other teams or retiring and within those couple months interviews happen, coaches take jobs and get ready for the next fall. We shall see what the next opportunity brings. I'm keeping all options open.
Cody Booth continues to shine a positive light on what remains a tough situation in finding a new coaching job. Knowing him for nearly two decades, there is little doubt from this reporter he will land on his feet quickly. I know there are certain schools on the east coast that certainly could use the help. Do not expect him to be out of a job for long, this young man is a heck of a coach and a heck of a person.