FNF Coaches Talk

Welcome back, Coaches. We’ve got some stories for you.

1. South Carolina coach Will Muschamp calls his shot in halftime interview (SEC Network)

Have you ever had the feeling that you tell the opposing coaching staff what play you’re going to run and STILL run it successfully? Well, South Carolina coach Will Muschamp didn’t exactly share his upcoming play call with the Kentucky coaching staff, but he DID share it with a national television audience. Muschamp said he wanted to get back to running the ball from the 12 formation to the nub side, and then he went ahead and ran it for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage in the second half.

What is one offensive play call your team could run successfully even if the defense knew it was coming?

2. Flashback: Winning a Texas HS football state title can advance coaches to the NCAA or beyond. Here’s why many choose to stay at the grassroots level instead. (The Dallas Morning News)

Are you looking to advance your career to the college or even pro level? If so, this is an interesting read.

It explores which paths Texas high school football coaches can take in order to reach the highest level of coaching. Unsurprisingly, very few high school coaches have ambitions of reaching a higher level of football.

In a survey of Dallas-area head coaches, 59 of 70 anonymous respondents said they expect to remain in high school, at least for the next five years, citing their abilities to impact kids at a grassroots level and maintain stability for their families and personal lives as top priorities.

Opportunities for promotion, to college football or the NFL, exist. In some cases, we see coaches make the jump to college each year.

However, it’s important to understand that the coaching hot seats get much hotter at the next level. Job security is a big perk at the high school level.

Of the 59 Dallas-area teams to qualify for the Class 6A or 5A playoffs this season, 31 had head coaches who’ve led the program for at least five seasons, including 15 that have had the same coach for at least 10 seasons.
Of the 181 high school teams in the Dallas area, including public and private schools, just 21 endured head-coaching changes last offseason.
Meanwhile, four of the five Power Five programs in the state — Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor — replaced head coaches in the last two seasons. That often leaves assistants also scrambling to find a new job or hoping to remain on staff under the next leader.

Where would you like to be coaching 10 years from now?

3. Show Your Toughness As a Coach (Coaches Toolbox)

This is a great column by University of Arkansas women’s basketball coach Mike Neighbors. It kind of flips the script of what coaching toughness is all about. It’s not about screaming at players and pounding your fist into your desk.

It’s about showing players had to face adversity and identify your own areas for improvement.

Athletes must trust their coach to handle bad news. If they trust you to handle bad news, they are more willing to share it. If you blast them the first time they do, you can bet they will be reluctant to do it again.
A tough coach can handle the truth (there is my Few Good Men mandatory reference).
If you handle bad news early in a season with a team or early in the career of an athlete, you will build trust that lasts forever. Betray that trust and you may never hear the whole truth and nothing but the truth again.

One of the greatest lessons a coach can give a player is to show that he recognizes he doesn’t know everything. Listen to your players, and surround yourself with smart coaches.

TOUGH coaches are not threatened by people smarter than they are. In fact, they seek them out and surround themselves with them. This is one of the easiest TOUGHNESS qualities to spot. If the head coach is the only person that ever talks in a huddle, they probably have not done this. If the head coach is the only person that has a voice in practice, they probably have not done this.

In what ways do you show your toughness to your players?

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