Welcome back, Coaches. We hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday. We’ve got three stories for you.
1. California state semifinalist used three QBs (Los Angeles Times)
Corona Centennial (Calif.) football coach Matt Logan has been known to use unique and innovative strategies to help his team win games. He stunned the high school world in 2014 when the Huskies won the Southern Section Division 1 championship by alternating two quarterbacks every new series.
This year, he took his mad scientist ways to an even stranger level — playing three quarterbacks. The Huskies eventually fell in the playoffs against St. John Bosco, but not before reaching the Division 1 semifinal.
According to Logan, the three-QB system wouldn’t work if the quarterbacks weren’t willing to sacrifice individual stats for the good of the team.
“Their stats are evenly dispersed,” Logan said. “They’re equal in the way they’ve performed. They each have their days and are each playing at a high level. It’s been good competition for themselves and raised their level of play.”
What’s preventing you from using multiple quarterbacks with differing skill sets?
2. From high school coach to Bengals’ ‘rock star’ and Zac Taylor’s right-hand man (ESPN)
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor made it one of his top priorities after getting hired to recruit a high school coach to his staff.
Doug Rosfeld, a Cincinnati native, was at his dream job. The 40-year-old had just wrapped up his first year as the head coach of Cincinnati’s Archbishop Moeller High School, Rosfeld’s alma mater and a place where he spent nine years as an assistant. He had declined overtures from college staffs to stay at Moeller and had no intention of leaving when he met with Taylor in February.
But Taylor, a 36-year-old who had never been a head coach, quickly realized he needed an old friend to be his right-hand man.
Officially, Rosfeld is the Bengals’ director of coaching operations. Unofficially, he’s Taylor’s chief aide who handles a litany of tasks. One year after Rosfeld was coaching high school kids, he’s in the pros and is one of the most important people to an NFL coach.
The role is significant when it comes to establishing Taylor’s vision for the Bengals.
When Taylor wants a change made to the practice schedule, Rosfeld is the one who pumps it out to everyone around the organization and posts it on the monitors around the facility.
And in the midst of an 0-10 season, which is one loss shy of the worst start in franchise history, Rosfeld plays a significant role in reinforcing the culture Taylor wants to build as he tries to turn around the Bengals.
“Watch his energy on the sideline trying to get guys going,” Taylor said of Rosfeld. “His reaction to plays is always positive. There’s no negative body language. He’s just a rock star.”
But from a more tangible standpoint, Rosfeld’s job with the Bengals revolves around one thing — efficiency. When he started crafting the team schedules during OTAs, he had them littered around him everywhere, including the medicine cabinet in his bathroom.
He helps the coaching staff build the various presentations that are given to the players and to other coaches each week. He checks to see whether there will be frost on the practice field, which then requires a shift to move practice inside Paul Brown Stadium instead of on the usual grass fields across the street. Rosfeld even will put on a scout-team jersey during walkthroughs.
Rosfeld said, football players share a lot of commonalities at every level, something he has experienced firsthand at every level of the sport.
“They’re giving their all — their physical health, everything they’ve got — for a team,” Rosfeld said. “When you see that in a guy, you like working and being around it.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s a young guy or a college player or a professional athlete. When you see somebody giving everything they’ve got for the benefit of the team and the guy next to him, it doesn’t matter. You want to be around it. You want to help them in any way you can.”
What checks and balances do you have in place to make sure your team is functioning efficiently?
3. Nation’s winningest football coach, John McKissick, dead at 93 (FNF Carolinas)
Our thoughts go out to the Summerville High (S.C.) football community after the loss of John McKissick over the Thanksgiving weekend. McKissick, whose 621 victories at South Carolina’s Summerville High made him the nation’s winningest football coach at any level, has died at age 93.
We did a story on McKissick in 2014, the year he retired, for FNF Carolinas. We went back and found it today, and it will give you goosebumps to read about it. McKissick shares the memories of his first practice.
McKissick arrived at the little practice field behind the Summerville stadium that is now named after him for his first practice as a head coach. He had 32 players, all in full pads, and no assistant coaches.
“That first practice, I looked out there and saw we had this big-ole kid. I said, ‘Man, that’s a big-ole guy.’ I look back at it now and he was 6-foot-2, 190 pounds. He was an offensive and defensive tackle,” said McKissick, who turns 88 in September. “There’s a lot of teaching that goes on in the first practice. But, first of all, you have to let the kids know they’re out there to have fun.”
His first practice lasted 2 ½ hours. He coached the offense, defense and special teams on his own. The practice opened with calisthenics and included a punting drill and a full-speed, one-on-one tackling drill.
“Back then, you were looking for the ones that would stick their heads in the briar patch,” McKissick said. “You wanted the kids who wouldn’t turn their heads when they hit. We’d never do that stuff these days.”
High school football’s all-time winningest coach, McKissick felt like he never worked a day of his life.
“I’ve always enjoyed getting up and going to work, looked forward to it; never dreaded going to work one day of my life,” McKissick concluded.
What do you want your coaching legacy to be?