INDIANAPOLIS – Colts owner Jim Irsay dropped a bombshell on the football world two weeks ago when he named former All-Pro center Jeff Saturday interim head coach.
“I go to the Colts’ Twitter account and sure enough, right there,” said Colten Gauthier. “Jeff Saturday named interim head coach and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ I mean, this dude was coaching me a couple years ago. That’s a little bit of a jump, don’t you think?”
That reaction was widespread.
Colten Gauthier was Saturday’s starting quarterback at Hebron Christian Academy in Georgia.
After the news broke, he found himself glued to his phone, watching Saturday’s press conferences and seeing the same coach he played for just a few years ago.
“There’s no disconnect between that very interview to practice on a Tuesday afternoon or pre-game before one of the biggest games of the season,” Gauthier said. “That’s how it was. That was the standard. We were lucky to have that. That’s just normal ‘Coach Sat.'”
Despite Saturday’s lack of pro or college coaching experience, Gauthier, who now plays at South Carolina, says his presence on the field proves he is up to this task with the Colts now.
“He went from like this weird little high school to the league now,” said Gauthier. “I was at that weird little high school and let me tell you something, it wasn’t a joke. It wasn’t just a fun little gig that he did on the side and he went golfing in the afternoon.”
“I had done all those roles,” Saturday said. “I had been a coordinator, so I called plays. I put game plans together and the way people communicate whether it’s formations or personnel groups. I felt very comfortable.”
Now, both are reveling in the past and eagerly watching this opportunity in front of Saturday play out.
“Those experiences, I draw on them,” said Saturday. “The passion they played with and some of the games that we won. Man, those are highlights for me.”
“He wasn’t the kind of guy to get in your face and cuss and yell,” Gauthier added. “When he said something, he said it sternly and it meant something. I’m not surprised at all. I’m really not and I think that this is only the beginning.”