FNF Coaches Talk for Oct. 19

Game Day is here! We hope you’re feeling prepared and confident. Before you take the field, give us a chance to share a few of the stories we’re talking about today.

1. Ohio Coach Refs Games on Weekends to Raise Money for His Program (WTOL 11)

Here’s a story many football coaches can relate to. How many of us have to hold down second and third jobs to make ends meet? This Ohio coach, Scott High’s Mark Weaver, works three jobs (truck driver, coach, youth football referee) and puts all of the income from his weekend work back into his program.

“Weaver will buy food for his players, most of which aren’t getting proper meals at home. For Weaver, it’s a no-brainer.”

We bet there are hundreds of coaches across the country who make similar sacrifices for their respective programs. No coach does it for the money, and when you consider the number of hours spent giving back to players and the community, the compensation likely doesn’t even amount to minimum wage in many cases. But working a third job to support the program? That’s pretty special.

“I had an old coach of mine tell me ‘you should be more than just a football coach,’” said Weaver. “If all you’re going to do is teach football, you’re wasting your time. I just feel like what better way to get my point across than to try to get these guys to see how hard I work. I want them to see that. A lot of them don’t see a positive male in their lives working.”

Inspiring stuff from Coach Weaver.

What are some of the things you do as a football coach to go above and beyond the job description?

2. A 47-year coach on the key to success: ‘”I haven’t stopped learning’ (The Reading Eagle)

We often do stories on coaching legends, and one common theme that always comes up is professional development. You can’t stay in the business for 40 or 50 years without evolving and growing. The Reading Eagle did a story on 47-year Wyomissing High (Pa.) coach Bob Wolfrum as he approaches his 300th career win, and he summarized the key to his success.

“Yet each offseason, you’ll find the Wyomissing coach at various clinics, listening to others explain their defensive concepts or blocking scheme. In the spring, he’ll stop by college practices to make mental notes.

Wolfrum could be hosting these clinics and charging younger coaches to watch him diagram Wing-T plays on a white board. Instead, he finds a seat in the auditorium and takes notes.

“I haven’t stopped learning,” said the 68-year-old coaching icon.

Every experience can teach us something — even if it’s learning to rebound from a loss or set an example of how to be gracious in defeat. Wolfrum won his first championship 30 years ago, but he never closed his mind to potential learning opportunities. In fact, one of the people he considers a mentor now — Kutztown University’s head coach George Baldwin — is his former assistant coach.

“He huddled often with Baldwin, Kutztown University’s head coach, to better learn the Wing-T blocking schemes.”

It takes humility to lean on a former assistant for advice on implementing scheme. Early congratulations go to Coach Wolfrum on his 300th win.

How do you keep your learning going and performance improving as a coach?

3. Emmanuel Sanders TRICK PLAY TD pass to Courtland Sutton: Broncos vs Cardinals Week 7 (NFL)

Finally, it’s Friday, so we know your mind is on X’s and O’s. This play from last night’s NFL game goes along with the theme from one of the stories in yesterday’s FNF Coaches Talk. The top story in that roundup is about Pulaski Academy (Ark.) coach Kevin Kelley unearthing stats that show that plays are more likely to go for 20-plus yards when more than two players touch the ball. So, he came up with the strategy to have receivers lateral the ball after making catches downfield.

This Broncos highlight shows three players touching the ball on a play that goes for more than 20 yards and a touchdown.

Consider adding that one to your playbook.

What play would you call if you needed to pick up 20-plus yards on fourth down?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk!