The Coaching Carousel

A Football Coaches Guide To Job Opportunities

In the Spring, the coaching carousel slows down and you can reflect upon the lessons learned from this turbulent time of the year when coaches are hired, fired and moving from place to place at an unprecedented pace.

In speaking with an Athletic Director friend of mine, he made mention that he wondered if football coaches are ever really happy where they are…

How much time is wasted in search of the next job?

In our profession, we have websites and social media that directly relate to the football coaching market. Two of the most utilized are coachingsearch.com and footballscoop.com. In many ways, these type of media are brilliantly disguised as coaching information sources but one can see that the most viewed pages are related to searching for the next job.

I did a simple study of this a few months ago. I signed up for Twitter alerts to see how often and what type of information would come my way for 30 days. I told myself that I would open the Twitter notification when it showed up on my phone and read whatever came my way and spend time researching any and every job that came which I could tie myself in some capacity to (more on that later) …. It became addictive and time-wasting at the same time. (more…)

Stop Hoping for Completion

Tomorrow May Never Come

Some football coaches make the error of thinking that one day it will be done. They think, “If I can work enough, then one day I can take a break.” Or, “One day my program will be entirely organized and life will be on auto-pilot.” The common error is to think that eventually things will be different in some way. They won’t. It never ends – that’s just part of the grind. As long as you are a football coach, there will be a creative tussle with the present moment as you give your unique gift to the world. (more…)

A Football Coach’s Guide to Self Assessment

Annual Personal Inventory: Analyze Your Past

Today I went through my morning ritual and I was inspired to create some information to get the New Year rolling with a self assessment. Realize that the New Year can start at any time. For most of us, it’s on January 1st. However, you can start the New Year when you are compelled to make a change and move forward.

Self Assessment: Do Not Wait

The time will never be perfect. Start where you are and work with your current situation to take command of your future. New Year’s resolutions are useless.

In my estimation, It’s because most people check in on these commitments…. (more…)

Is Life Balance Possible Coaching Football?

Creating a Balanced Life In a High Pressure World.

In 2003, I took over the reigns of the football program at Southwest Texas State University and what happened in that year changed the course of my coaching career. In that one year, a balance was non-existent as I was obsessed with turning around the fortunes of this I-AA program in San Marcos, Texas. I used an approach that we had implemented at Texas Tech, and I had learned from my mentor Bill Snyder at Kansas State. I hired an excellent coaching staff (Below clockwise: Myself, Frank Hernandez – WR’s, Ron Roberts – DC, D.J. Eliot – LB’s, Chris Stacey – FBO, Louie Matsakis – STC, Darrin Hicks – RB’s, Clancy Barone – OL/OC, Not in Picture: E.K. Franks – DL)   and we embarked on a 5-year plan which I had documented in a 240-page manual. I was sure that this method would put us at the top of the Southland Conference. That year was a blur.

Balance, A Failed Attempt …

This master plan was very aggressive in part because I believed that the University was considering a move up to the I-A level. The underlying drive of the scheme was laid out in the concept of “Fill the Stadium,” and everything we did was aligned with the mission to fill our stadium.

We felt that to accomplish this we would work internally and externally to fulfill our mission.

Inside the program, our staff created an approach to improve our players with peak performance mental state training. We also hired a top strength coach Nick Kyros (Nick had worked at Alabama in Track & Field and Football for the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant) to develop our player’s physical bodies and athleticism on the field. Then our entire coaching and support staff was trained in the Egoscue Method, which is a physical therapy designed to align player’s bodies for the rigors of football.

We made progress as our team gained confidence, ran faster and became better football players. The Egoscue Method reduced our injury rate with a proactive approach to the game.

Externally, we started with a re-branding of the football program. I was enlisted to help in changing the name of the University to Texas State University, and this before the season. We also aided in the creation the new Bobcat logo with a Texas State student, which is still used today.

Our public relations strategy involved promoting the program statewide and in our community. Our coaches would regularly go out on campus and support the vision of Texas State Football. Student participation was paramount, so we created a unique weekly television show that was a football version of the Tonight Show.

This was fun, but it was also labor intensive for our coaching staff.

Season Tickets were vital to filling the stadium, and I created a marketing group of 100 students that would help to promote the upcoming season. Together, we had put together a strategy to put fans in the stadium as we went into that summer.

We placed an assistant athletic director in charge of following through with that plan. I regret that to this day…

A month into the summer, I met with the assistant athletic director to check on the progress of the season ticket program. Much to my surprise, I realized that there had been no progress toward season tickets, and we were approaching the season. What I did next, I am not proud of …. (more…)

The Grind of Coaching Football

Dealing with the Demands of the Profession.

Everybody talks about “the grind” like it’s some sort of good thing. But, it’s not… It’s exhausting. And there are better ways to coach football than subjugating yourself to “the grind”.

The Grind

Picture this…
You have two professional lumberjacks both chopping down trees.

The first is drenched in sweat. He’s exhausted and tired beyond imagination…
He started before the sun rose and worked past sunset to hit his quota for the day.

“What a hard worker,” you say.

But…
The other lumberjack is sitting on a bench… sipping lemonade and sharpening his axe. The first lumberjack is using a dull axe, chopping faster and harder and longer…

But the second, his axe is razor sharp. He gets the same cutting power with one swing that the other gets from 3 swings…
At the end of the day, the second lumberjack (the one who seemingly worked less but smarter) wins… every single time.

Who would you rather be?

I spent the initial part of my career embracing this grind with a workaholic mentality believing it would serve me and the program. I can remember what triggered it all. In 1989, I was in a staff meeting at Kansas State and our head coach made this statement… (more…)