Our guest today is Cincinnati St. Xavier head coach Steve Specht. Coach Specht has been the coach of St. Xavier for 18 seasons, leading the team to three state championships. He is the 2012 recipient of the NFL’s Don Shula National High School Coach of the Year Award. Coach Specht recently published a book: 4th and Redemption — Faith, Football and the Journey Down the “Long Blue Line”. The book shares the story of the 2016 season when Specht’s squad, decimated by injury and a 5-5 start to the season, went on to win a state championship.
Coach Specht talks about how he was influenced by Bill Belichick and John Wooden (1:45), and how he’s adopted the St. Xavier school mission to establish his team’s culture (3:00). He talks about the importance of players self-policing each other (4:30) and the need for leaders to take accountability for losses (6:30). He talks about “The Long Blue Line” at St. X and the mission of making it “look right”.
The 2016 season was one filled with adversity for St. X (13:00), but his team’s culture empowered the players to prevail (16:00). He explains what it means to make it “look right” in practice, in the strength room and in the classroom. He shares how his team has dealt with a COVID season (21:30), how recruiting is being impacted (24:15), and how his players got in shape despite the stoppages in the spring and summer (27:00). He also talks about how he has filled the void with a lack of conferences and clinics in 2020 (30:30).