FNF Coaches Talk Podcast

FNF Coaches Podcast: Dowling Catholic Head Coach Tom Wilson


Iowa high school coaching legend Tom Wilson of Dowling Catholic led his team to state championships in seven consecutive seasons before that streak ended this fall. We took a deep dive on culture-building, and Coach Wilson talked about the steps he took to establish that culture when he was hired as head coach 16 years ago.

Topics include:

The first steps he took toward creating a championship culture after his hire (3:10).

The questions he asks applicants when they’re interviewing for a position on his staff (11:00).

How he sets expectations and holds players accountable (15:10).

How he structures his strength and conditioning program (18:30).

How he designed a point system to reward players for a 12-month commitment (22:30).

What his networking sessions are like with other coaches (26:30).

What he asks players annual exit interviews (29:45).

Why he loves off-site team-building campus with required reading (33:30).

How recruiting is different during the pandemic (34:30).

How he set up a feeder system (36:45).

How his Booster Club functions (42:20).

A 2020 fundraiser that worked with alumni on social media (43:30).

His tradition of calling alumni on the night before the state championship game (45:30).

A new piece of technology he started using in 2021 (48:00).

How he monitors players’ mental health more than ever (50:00)