FNF Coaches Talk — Training Coaches for Interviews, Scout Team Reps, Fathers Welcome Sons on First Day

Good afternoon, Coaches. We’ve got a few stories for you.

1. NCAA program gives black coaches the secret sauce for moving on up (The Undefeated)

Many aspiring head coaches, particularly African Americans, are woefully underrepresented in college football’s head-coaching ranks. Black coaches can be victims of negative racial stereotypes, weak professional networks and a shortage of useful information. The challenges they face are similar to those faced by black people in other industries, where top jobs go not just to the most talented or hardworking but to those with the best connections and inside knowledge.

The NCAA is attempting to address the yawning racial gap in head-coaching jobs with its Champion Forum, a professional development program aimed at helping promising black and other minority candidates climb to the top of the coaching ladder.

Working with the Power 5, college football’s top conferences, the NCAA each year identifies a half-dozen minority assistant coaches for intensive training. Some of these rising stars are already offensive and defensive coordinators, who are typically one step removed from a head-coaching job. Others are position coaches who are usually not immediately considered for head-coaching jobs but nonetheless look to have what it takes to rise to the top.

The program includes a three-day seminar during which the participants hear speakers on every aspect of coaching, from academics to fundraising. They engage in simulated job interviews that are closely critiqued. They meet with search firms that compile lists of candidates for schools looking to fill head-coaching jobs. They learn the basics of contracts, both for themselves and the staff they will hire if they ascend to a head-coaching position.

How do you prepare the coaches on your staff for job interviews? 

2. Geoff Collins bringing a different approach to scout teams (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

New Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins gave an overview of how he will operate the scout teams.

Scout teams are a staple of football teams everywhere, the groups of backups who run the plays of coming opponents to give starters and key reserves a picture of what they’ll face. It is a responsibility of selflessness. Scout-team players are there normally because they’re not expected to contribute in actual games. Collins’ distinction – he does not have scout teams.

“Everything we do is about development,” he said. “We are a developmental program, so we don’t call them scout teams. We call them developmental teams.”

The difference, Collins said, is that scout teams typically run plays drawn up on cards and shown to scout-team members on the practice field. Collins’ approach eschews the cards. Instead, players will run plays out of Tech’s own playbooks that approximate what the opponents do.

“If a team’s playing a lot of ‘quarters’ (pass coverage), we’ll call our quarters coverage, but it’ll be in our vernacular,” he said. “It’ll be our checks, our words, our schemes.”

How do you make sure your scout team is getting valuable reps in practice?

3. Fathers welcome their sons back to school on first day (Priscilla Shirer)

Coaches — Here’s a great tradition for the first day of school (or maybe even the first day of practice. Think about starting this tradition at your school!

How do you show your appreciation for your student-athletes’ commitment to academics?

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!