Good afternoon, Coaches. We hope you enjoy these three stories.

1. How Ohio State’s Ryan Day balances being a head coach and play-caller (Buckeye Extra)

It’s a common debate among head coaches who came up through the ranks as coordinators: Should they continue to call plays or should they pass the duties off to a coordinator? Some coaches feel like they’re sacrificing one of their biggest strengths by handing off those duties, while others feel that managing the head coaching duties on game day requires their full focus.

Ohio State’s Ryan Day has continued to call offensive plays as a head coach, and he’s done so with full support of his offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson.

Wilson urged Day to become immersed in the game plan for the offense, which was to be installed over the following practices.
If Day, who has remained the Buckeyes’ primary play-caller in his first full season as head coach, was to succeed in his dual role, continued involvement was paramount.
“If he doesn’t get a comfort level in practice, he’s not going to be comfortable wanting to call it or do it (in a game),” Wilson said. “There’s got to be the right amount of time that he gets with our staff, or what we’re putting on the practice tape, and we’re getting the looks we need, that he has confidence in what’s going on.”

Of course, in order for Day to pull this off, he has to make some sacrifices on the head coaching front. From the sounds of things, he has very little oversight on the defensive strategy.

Rather than running the offense and defense, Day spends most of his time in offensive game-planning or overseeing special teams.

“When you’re running your side of the ball, you really want to do it your way,” Day said. “And too many cooks in the kitchen isn’t good. So those guys are doing their deal and then they obviously report to me, and whatever they think is best we’ll have a conversation about it, move forward.”

How do you feel about a head coach retaining play-calling responsibilities?

2. Replay technology is changing how we coach high school football (Friday Night Drive)

This story talks about how a couple of Illinois schools — Huntley and Cary-Grove — are benefiting from replay technology, which allows teams to study game film from devices on the sidelines. We’ve done stories on this before, and it certainly helps with in-game adjustments when you can get a second and third look at how opposing teams are playing your scheme in-game.

How has the rise of sideline replay systems affected your ability to make in-game adjustments?

3. HS football players surprise birthday boy dressed as superheroes (KOMO News)

Coaches — We know that not every season is going to end in a championship, but we still often hold that as the barometer of whether the season is a success. Until you read a story like this one.

It really helps put things in perspective. Winning isn’t everything.

Players from Lake Stevens High in Texas surprised a 4-year-old boy whose parents are in a bad way at the moment.

Grayson’s mom and dad, Alicia and Aaron, are having a rough go of it.
Alicia was already dealing with multiple sclerosis and now she’s dealing with cancer: A rare form of lymphoma.
Money has been hard to come by lately. But they wanted somebody to entertain Grayson on his birthday.
“I just posted on Facebook, like Stevens mom’s, and asked if one of their high schoolers would be willing to dress as a superhero. I’d buy the costume for $20,” Alicia said.

Coach Jim Lussier brought Grayson an arm-load of presents to make the day extra special.

“I threw a text message out to the coaches and immediately within five minutes everybody said, ‘We’re all in, what do you need?” Coach Jim said.

Of what off-the-field accomplishment are you most proud of your team this season?

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

About the author

Dan Guttenplan