By Kyle McKenna, FNF Coaches Contributor
In a legendary career, Baldwin (N.Y.) coach Steve Carroll has earned some of the top honors of his region – such as New York Jets Coach of the Week and Nassau County Coach of the Year.
Steve Carroll has been a part of Baldwin High football for most of his life. He grew up in Baldwin and played for the Bruins in the late 1970’s. Coach Carroll started as an assistant coach at Baldwin and moved up to the college level at the New York Institute of Technology before becoming head coach for the first time at St. Dominic’s (Oyster Bay, N.Y.).
Carroll has spent the last 32 seasons as the head coach at Baldwin. He also has served as an assistant principal and physical education teacher.
Coach Carroll is well versed in the history of football in the New York area. He has seen how the old-school mentality of many coaches has given way to differing philosophies on preparing teams to take the field.
“You always need tackling drills, and to do that, you will need to tackle,” Carroll explains. “However, the majority of our contact now is wrap and thud. In the beginning of my coaching career, every day was live and full contact. Now, to keep players sharp, we have backed off a lot with live days.”
One of Steve Carroll’s greatest accomplishments is that many of his players have gone on to become high school and college football coaches. In fact, three of the coaches in his league played football for him in high school and several others are currently on his staff. He has also been assisted throughout his career by his brother Richard, who has called the Baldwin Bruin defense for 31 years.
In Carroll’s Words
What drives your coaching decisions when it comes to pushing harder or pulling back with your football teams?
“First of all, I always want the players to be in the best physical shape they can be in. Most of our conditioning is in the beginning of the week and tapers off as we approach game day. We tend to push harder in training camp, but never use conditioning as punishment. You can see when your team needs a break.”
How has your thought process changed regarding practice structure throughout your coaching career?
“It used to be almost like survival of the fittest. However, I realized that we were losing a lot of players to injury in practice. So, as the years went on, I shifted to doing more situational practice. By the end of the week, players had a better understanding of the game plan and they were fresher for that week’s game.”
What advice would you offer a 25-year-old version of yourself?
“You have to remember that there are 16- to 18-year-old players in those helmets. You should be very aware of how you talk to them and treat them.”
The Steve Carroll Profile
Team: Baldwin High (New York)
Career Record: 158-104-4
Years as Head Coach: 32
County Championship: 2005
All County Players: 75
NFL Players Coached: Brandon Moore (San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals)
Family: Wife, Patricia; Children, Steven, Brendan
Accomplishments: New York Jets Coach of The Week, Four-Time Conference 1 Coach of the Year, Nassau County Coach of the Year, National Football Foundation Award for Contribution to Amateur Football (Nassau County Chapter)
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