BUILDING A PROGRAM

Georgia State Champion Coach Uses Postgame Speeches to Foster Team Unity

By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Coaches Editor

Marist had an undefeated 13-0 season, outsourcing opponents by an average of 33 points per game. The War Eagles defense allowed just over 3 points per game and shut out 8 of their 13 opponents including three in the playoffs.

With 24 seniors on his roster, Marist coach Alan Chadwick knew his team had a chance to make a deep run, but he worried that a COVID outbreak could disrupt the season.

“We asked them to make so many sacrifices,” Chadwick said. “I know they got tired of hearing us tell them to put their facemasks on. There were no pregame meals, no going in the locker room to hang out. We had them space apart on buses for away games. They didn’t complain about a single thing we asked them to do.”

Due to COVID restrictions, Chadwick was forced to cancel many of the normal team-bonding experiences like an off-campus preseason camp, Thursday night get-togethers, pool parties or position group outings. However, the coach did use the time normally allotted for his post-game speech to bring the team together.

“After a game, I had each coach get up and talk to the team,” Chadwick said. “It gave us a chance to congratulate them and motivate them for the next week. We didn’t have the same opportunities to bond this year, but that gave us a chance to ground them before they got out of there for the weekend. It gave us a chance to say, ‘Hey — This is what we are and what we’ve got going. Let’s not jeopardize anything.’”