Those Who Do Facebook Right

Recently I wrote a blog post about unstable Facebook users. Not so recently I have also authored blog posts criticizing other ways in which people utilize the world’s largest social media network. Tonight I felt I should put an end to my negativity and shed light on a few of the people who use Facebook really well.

I have admiration for those people who use Facebook to convey life experiences in either an interesting, humorous, or helpful way. These folks, who really are few and far between, don’t leave a one sentence cryptic status or ramble on for 500 words. They don’t share a thousand memes a day or share their newest lame blog post on a nightly basis (self-deprecating humor). Rather, they usually write a paragraph (or sometimes two) of engaging content on a consistent basis, usually 4-5 times a week.

To me, these people have perfected the art of using Facebook. They have made their page almost like their own mini blog. I find this method to be effective. I think the users who practice this style come across as more intelligent, more honest, and more human. They receive better results as well. Look at anyone who posts short, informative/humorous content consistently on Facebook and you will quickly see that they are receiving above average comments and likes.

When I think of folks who practice the techniques I just briefly mentioned, I automatically think of three people on my friend list. If the Facebook algorithm isn’t already serving me their content on my newsfeed, I am manually typing their names in and checking out their pages. Let me briefly identity each one.

Rob Oviatt – No questions asked, I find no one’s Facebook page more interesting than the one maintained by Coach Oviatt. A man who served all over the country as the head strength and conditioning coach for numerous college football programs, we crossed paths when we both worked in the athletic department at the University of Montana. Because of Oviatt’s storied athletic history, he has come in contact with just about every big name not just in college football but really the whole sporting arena. Additionally, he has coached in hundreds of different football stadiums. He shares his experiences and insight on his Facebook page in a humble and honest way. One post he will talk about meeting Randy Johnson in an airport and the next he will share how Nick Saban showed him humility after his staff was fired at LSU. He just doesn’t cover encounters with famous people, however. He addresses lessons he learned and accomplishments of lesser-known athletes he knew over the years. I look forward to every post.

Coach Oviatt has hundreds of really cool stories to share. When he tells one on Facebook, his friends gather around the "virtual" fire to listen.

Coach Oviatt has hundreds of really cool stories to share. When he tells one on Facebook, his friends gather around the “virtual” fire to listen.

Jenna Holloway – The wife of my cousin, Jenna uses her Facebook page to discuss life raising five young kids. She routinely posts about the joys and challenges of raising a large family. What separates her from millions of other moms on Facebook, however, is that she doesn’t take every opportunity possible to boast about her three daughters and two sons. Of course she recognizes their achievements but it isn’t a deal where she is constantly laying it on thick. She has a terrific sense of humor that always comes through in her posts and I can always visualize exactly the scenario she is describing. Her Facebook content is always on point in length and in clarity.

Jenna discusses the challenges and joys of raising five kids.

Jenna discusses the challenges and joys of raising five kids.

April Betsch – When it comes to documenting one’s adventures in a funny and non-overwhelming way, I think no one is better at it on Facebook than April Betsch. Coined “BETSCHventures,” April often writes about the good times enjoyed by herself and her husband of a little over a year, David. She injects a funny twist into her content and does a great job at adding relevant (and hilarious) photos to tell the story. Believe me, just being friends with her on Facebook is a “BETSCHventure.”

You never know what is going to happen during the "BETSCHventures" of April and David.

You never know what is going to happen during the “BETSCHventures” of April and David.


Great work to these three on maintaining terrific Facebook pages. Once you become a Facebook friend with one of them, you will never press the “unfriend” button. Although some thought a couple years ago that Facebook would die, it really has just continued to get stronger. It pays to run an account that is engaging and authentic. Don’t Blink.

So Long, Coach Oviatt

Yesterday we informed Griz Nation via our website and social media outlets that football strength and conditioning coach Rob Oviatt had left the team due to personal reasons. Coach Oviatt served in his position at Grizzly Athletics for four seasons.

I quite often say that I don’t get too close to the coaches. They are busy doing their thing and I am busy doing my thing. While there are some exceptions (I am friends with some of the younger coaches) I never developed much of a relationship with Rob. Of course that had nothing to do with conflicting personalities or a feud, our paths just didn’t cross that much. He was always very gracious when I would bring down groups of young children through the weight room for tours and of course I would see him on a daily basis in the athletic department or out in the stadium but it never led to in-depth discussions about life.

A photo I took of Rob Oviatt at the 2012 Montana Pro Day.

A photo I took of Rob Oviatt at the 2012 Montana Pro Day.

So why am I writing a blog post about Rob Oviatt if I really never had a connection with him? Well, I actually do have a connection that I will get to later but that is not the answer to my question. Rather, I am just writing to say I am sad to see him go because of the reputation and experience he brought to Grizzly Athletics.

Out of everyone in our athletic department, no one matched the resume of Rob Oviatt when it came to experience at top-tier athletic programs across the nation. Not any coach, not any administrator, not any marketer, not any trainer, etc. The places that Coach Oviatt not only worked at but succeeded at would make anyone with just a smidge of intercollegiate athletics knowledge take immediate notice. While he headed the strength and conditioning programs at Pac-12 schools like Oregon State and Washington State, he also worked for several powerhouse football schools as well. We are talking about places such as Ole Miss, Texas A&M, and LSU. During his time at the University of Kentucky he was twice voted the SEC Strength Coach of the Year (1997 and 1998). Yep, during his 30+ year career he left his mark all across the nation.

I snapped this one in North Carolina when Coach Oviatt led the linemen on to the field at Appalachian State.

I snapped this one in North Carolina when Coach Oviatt led players to the field at Appalachian State.

Although I am not qualified to determine what a successful strength program constitutes, others rate his work here at Montana as outstanding. Probably legitimizing that sentiment the most is our head football coach who didn’t even originally hire Oviatt. According to Dave’s release, Mick Delaney credited Coach Oviatt with conditioning the team in such a way that only two players this past season went down with season ending injuries, a rarity for any football program at any level. Mick also noted the high amount of respect that all the players had for him.

I just find it cool that our athletes and staff got to experience the work of a guy who coached at the very highest level of college football and was recognized as the best at his trade. If you worked in our department you would find out that several people have their own good-natured colorful stories and memories of Rob. Mine would be just watching him out at practice monitoring his stop watch and sounding the air horn for practice session changes while also welcoming and chatting with the NFL scouts that would come by to watch practice. He knew them all.

Coach Oviatt was always looking at his stop watch.

Coach Oviatt was always looking at his stop watch.

But I do have one more memory and it regards the connection I mentioned at the start of this post. During my junior and senior years of high school my football team would travel over to Pullman, Washington, for the Washington State summer team camp. The head strength and conditioning coach of the Cougars at that time was no other than Rob Oviatt. Over the course of those four days in both 2003 and 2004, Coach stretched us out before each practice session under the hot Pullman sun. Then, later in the evenings, we linemen would report to the football weight room and he would put us through a mini workout session. I remember him and the other guy helping to run things made it perfectly clear to us that any collegiate gear other than Washington State apparel was not allowed in the facility…they were always really nice about it.

Of course in my high school state I looked on at college football strength and conditioning coaches with a certain awe and reverence. If you told my 16 year old self that I one day would be on the same payroll as Coach Oviatt I would probably tell you to get out of town.

Best of luck, Rob Oviatt. Griz Nation sends its best wishes to you and your family. Don’t Blink.