Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Head Coach: Active or Passive?

Posted by admin August - 24 - 2018 - Friday

I have talked to several HS coaches this summer who’ve told me that they have adopted the “college model” for their staffs. They have hired an OC and a DC to run their respective sides of the ball and… call the plays on game night. In most instances, I think this is a mistake.

On most HS staffs, the HC is the most experienced and the most knowledgeable coach on the staff. Yet, he is turning over the responsibility of running his team to a less-experienced/less-knowledgeable coach. The most fun I had as a coach was 1- preparing my team for the game (developing that game plan) and then 2- going head to head with that DC on the other side of the field! I loved the competition; I loved the chess match that unfolded during a game.

I was always my own OC… for 30 seasons. There were times that I took a more active interest in our defense— even a couple of times that I had to step in and call the defense. But, hiring a qualified DC was always my first order of business. I wanted a coach whom I could count on to handle the defense for me. Honestly, I would’ve been bored if I’d have just stood around on Friday nights with nothing to do. The same went for practice.

One season, I tried not coaching a position. I would wander around the practice field observing, correcting and exhorting players and coaches while they worked and I watched. Can you spell BORING with me! I got into coaching because I like to coach!!! There are few things more gratifying than showing a player how to do something correctly and then he goes out the next play and does exactly what you showed him to do! I made changes at mid-season.

I have advised coaches even into the regular season to makes changes in their staff’s responsibilities if things weren’t going well. If you as a HC are dissatisfied with the job that a Coordinator is doing, call him in and have a 1 on 1 conference. Tell him a) what he’s doing wrong and b) what he needs to do to rectify the situation. If things still don’t change, perhaps it’s time to make a move. It might mean that YOU, as HC, take on a greater role but… that’s why you make the big money!!!

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