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contents issue 7 • Fall 2008
Features

4 “I Played”
How america’s favorite sport helps us reach our potential
By Danny Hotochin & Michael Coppinger

8 Commemorative Ball Tour


usa Football tour reaches More than 30 states

10 World’s Best Coming to America


High school-aged national teams spanning four
continents bound for Canton
By Steve Alic

12 America’s Coach: Chuck Kyle


ohio prep Football legend to lead america’s Best in 2009
By Danny Hotochin

28 Setting the Standard


america’s largest youth organizations turn to usa Football
By Michael Coppinger

DepartMents
2 Kickoff with 14 Football’s Mental Weight
scott Hallenbeck room now open

11 Meet a usa Football 15 Football Facts, stats &


Board Member: Figures
Deborah Yow
32 What Football taught Me
13 Meet a usa Football Dr. randy pausch,
staffer: Kiley Bishop Carnegie Mellon university

HealtH & Fitness

22 player Health Food for the Head


By Danny Hotochin

23 What Football Has taught My sons: Mary greisen


CoaCHing by Michael Coppinger

16 What if? 19 Meet a usa Football


By Danny Hotochin league enHanCeMent
Coaching Member:
Charles “Kale” ane
24 a new page for Fundraising playbooks
17 Quick-Hitter grid
By Michael Coppinger
Thoughts from 20 Defensive line stunts
USA Football Members By Tim Polzer
25 usa Football regional Managers
18 the play-action Fake 21 High school Coach
26 priceless protection
aspirations?
By Dave McMahon, Special to USA Football
By Danny Hotochin

oFFiCiating

30 When to Call Holding & When to Hold off


By Tony Michalek
Front Cover
photos by Christina Holmes

01 Contents.indd 1 8/20/08 3:42:48 PM


Kickoff

Dear readers,

like a football sitting atop a tee, the 2008 season is ready to kick off. uSa football shares
your anticipation for another autumn filled with the excitement of america’s favorite sport. usafootball.com
you’ve been busy preparing for the 2008 schedule
since november and so have we. Since January, uSa Chairman
Jack kemp
football has conducted nearly 40 coaching Schools,
more than three dozen State leadership forums, Executive Director
Scott Hallenbeck
facilitated two dozen officiating clinics, and held our
first two player academies to sharpen youngsters’
skills. The time to play is now.
Usa football
in the following pages, see how uSa football
advances a sport that captures our imagination and
editorial staff
develops youngsters into young adults. read how
Managing Editor
to be part of the national “i played” football-story
Steve alic
sharing forum at usafootball.com; get to know chuck
kyle of cleveland St. ignatius High School, the head Contributors:
kiley biSHop,
coach of america’s first Junior national team in micHael coppinger,
football; see what one mother with two boys playing Danny HotocHin, Dave mcmaHon,
professional football says the game has taught her tony micHalek, tim polzer
sons. These are just some of the exciting stories to share with you – the dedicated people who
power this great sport. To contact USA Football:
applications for our $500,000 equipment grant program await you at usafootball.com. (703) 918-0007
based on merit and need, this program strengthened more than 400 high school and youth
football programs in 2007. uSa football’s coaches Handbook and new coaching and skill-
development DvDs are also available on our site. and we proudly offer $500,000 in volunteer
background check subsidies for every youth football league in america in the fight against sexual traction media staff
predators; something that no other sport’s national governing body in the country is doing.
our non-profit office is driven by one mission – to work for you to ensure great football Publisher
ruDy J. klancnik
experiences for everyone connected to the sport. we exist to serve you – the players, parents,
Editorial Director
coaches, league commissioners, game officials, and volunteers who make football our
tim polzer
favorite game.
Designer
you’re a toll-free phone call (1-877-5-football) or a few mouse clicks away from us at william briDgefortH
usafootball.com. also, our six regional managers (pg. 25) are hard at work near you – connect
with them. our job is to serve you. Traction Media
together, we’ll continue to move the chains for the good of the sport and for the good that Editorial Offices
it represents. 7115 Tartan Trl.
Have a tremendous season! Garland, TX 75044
Tractionmedia@aol.com

Sincerely, Editorial Department Phone


(972) 896-8006
Custom Publishing
(972) 898-8585

USA Football Magazine is published by Traction


Media, LLC©. All rights reserved. Traction Media
Scott Hallenbeck does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Publisher
assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited
uSa football executive Director
manuscripts or art. No part of this magazine may
be reprinted or otherwise duplicated without the
written permission of the editor.

2 USA Football Magazine


UAad.indd 7 8/18/08 1:32:33 PM
Dr. Johnny Benjamin

W
hile growing up in Houston, Texas, football started to become
an integral chapter in Johnny Benjamin’s life. Now, the game
has continued to play an important role in Benjamin’s life
– who is now Dr. Johnny Benjamin – as he claims his experience on the
gridiron has helped him perform as an orthopedic surgeon.
“The biggest thing about football, especially being the quarterback
and ultimately becoming an orthopedic surgeon, is that you have to
be confident in your abilities,” said Benjamin, who currently
serves as the Chairman of the Department of Orthopedic
Surgery at Indian River Medical Center and Director
of the Joint Implant Center and the Medical
Specialties Surgery Center in South Florida.
Benjamin advanced in the sport to eventually
become a quarterback at Baylor University.
“When you go on the field or go into the
operating room, you have to feel supremely
confident that you can do what is necessary
and bring your team through.”
Benjamin would later go on to earn
a Bachelor’s degree in Science at Baylor
before acquiring his medical degree at
the University of Texas-Southwestern
Medical School in Dallas. In an effort
to further his career, he completed a
general surgery internship and received
his orthopedic surgery residency at Temple
University Hospital in Philadelphia and attained his
surgical spine fellowship at the Florida Spine Institute in
Clearwater. Even after practicing as a doctor and being
engulfed in the study of medicine for the past several
years, Benjamin, who now lives in Vero Beach, Fla., still
enjoys reminiscing about playing youth football in Houston.
“I played youth football for as long as I can remember,”
Benjamin said. “For me, it was a great opportunity to play
a game I loved, be with my friends, and have a lot of fun. I
really grew up my whole life playing football.”
Aside from how many times his team scored a
touchdown or won a game, the youth football memories
that Benjamin cherishes most are about the lessons he
learned and the friendships he made.
“Those things were everything to me – teamwork and
camaraderie are things that you really can’t explain to
someone who’s never experienced it before,” Benjamin
said. “When you play sports, especially a team sport like
football, and everything’s on the line and you’re in the
trenches together … you just can’t replicate that.”

4 USA Football Magazine


How America’s favorite sport helps us reach our potential
BY DANNY HOTOCHIN & MICHAEL COPPINGER
USA Football’s nationally-televised “I Played” message features six extraordinary people from various walks of life. These are their “I
Played” stories. Share yours at usafootball.com.

GARY LAUTSBAUGH
As an Air Force sergeant and Special Operations member, Gary Lautsbaugh has
served the United States for more than 30 years. A veteran of the Vietnam War, Desert
Shield and Desert Storm, the Harrisburg, Pa.-area native compares the lessons learned
through America’s favorite sport to some
aspects of his military career.
“I’m so proud of my time with Special
Operations because it’s a family, each one took
care of its own – it’s exactly how you feel when
you play football,” said Lautsbaugh. “Everything
was for the unit or the mission, it was an
accomplishment. If you failed, the whole mission
failed. Like in football, if you do something not in
the game plan, it’s going to cost you the game.”
An accomplished high school football
player, Lautsbaugh took part in the Ohio-
Pennsylvania “Big 33” all-star game, was a
Marcos Morales member of the Chambersburg (Pa.) Cardinals
semi-pro team, and played in the Air Force’s
Marcos Morales of Avondale, Ariz., owns intramural football leagues.
a property developmental corporation and a “Football is a great kick-start for life,” he adds, “because it builds character, both
real estate company with offices in three states. mentally and physically, and helps teach you how to become a strong team member.”
A proud father of five and grandfather of four,
Morales points to football principles for his
success.
“Football taught me that if you let your JAY HEDLEY
guard down, there’s always someone who
is willing to take your place. There’s always Jay Hedley of Arlington, Va., having earned his MBA
someone else vying for your job or your from Harvard Business School in 2001, now finds himself
clients. When I was a starter in high school, I as the Senior Manager of Accenture, a Fortune Global 500
constantly had to compete for my position. If company. Accenture provides 94 of the Fortune Global 100
I didn’t show up for practice or if I was late, I companies with management consulting, technology services
might have lost that position. and outsourcing. In his spare time, Hedley flies jets for the
“I had a great coach who has since passed. National Guard. Through all his success, Hedley credits the
I remember him pulling me aside and saying, game of football for paving the way.
‘You’re smaller than most, but you’re not afraid “I started playing football in ninth grade, in the small town of Weston, Conn.,” he said.
to get in there. Just keep that spirit up and “I excelled at the sport in high school and decided to give it a try in college.
you’ll go far.’ I don’t know if he meant far in “My college coach stressed that dealing with adversity on the football field applies to
football or life in general, but he helped me life and how if you’re playing hurt, well, there’s a correlation to that in the real word. When
to focus and understand that as long as I give things aren’t necessarily going your way, do you still get up in the morning and put on your
effort and I’m seriously committed to it, I could suit, which is your ‘uniform’ that day – or whatever it is you do – and get after it? There are
be great in football, my career, and in life.” just so many lessons to be learned on the football field that can’t be taught anywhere else.”

Photos by Christina holmes 5


PEGGY EVANS
Peggy Evans of Glen Mills, Pa., near
Philadelphia, has had great success in the business
world running her own realty business.
After years of playing in “pick-up” football
games as a youngster, Evans went on to excel
in athletics as a student at Juniata College in
Huntingdon, Pa. A decorated athlete, she ascended
to become the 1985 NCAA Division III National
Triple Jump Champion. Also part of the college’s
basketball and volleyball programs, she is quick
to point out that football was – and still is – her
sporting passion.
A mother of two children, Evans eventually
became a starting receiver for the Women’s
Independent League’s Philadelphia Liberty Belles
in their inaugural season and scored the team’s
first touchdown.
“I grew up in Pittsburgh and you have to love
football growing up there,” she said. “As a business
owner, you always need to lead people and
motivate them to do what their job entails, and
by playing football, you learn that. Football is all
about heart and passion and competitiveness and
having fun.”

TOM KANE
Serving the Philadelphia Fire Department since 2003,
Tom Kane embodies the passion and characteristics fostered
by football. He continues to play today as a member of the
Philadelphia Blue Flames, a football team comprised of
Philadelphia firefighters and police personnel that plays
against those from other cities.
“Firefighters depend on each other in dangerous
situations to save people’s property and often, their lives,”
said Kane. “Football is a mere game, yes, but it teaches the
fundamental qualities like teamwork and sacrifice that are
directly tied to my vocation. It’s important for people to share
what the game taught them.
“Making a last-minute decision, a last-second decision,
being able to take direction and go with it … scenarios
like these along with the aspect of teamwork, are some
prominent similarities between playing football and being
a fireman.
“In so many ways, football is the greatest game on earth.”

6 USA Football Magazine


USA Football’s “I Played” television message first aired nationally on August 3 during
NBC’s telecast of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game between the Indianapolis Colts and Washington
Redskins. Since the minutes following that 30-second message, hundreds of people have shared “I
Played” football stories at usafootball.com. Below are excerpts of some of those submissions:

Walt Justice
Professor of Health and
Exercise Science,
San Diego, Calif.
My most compelling story about
football begins with my son, Dylan.
During my tenure as a coach, Dylan
really never was excited about football.
The same year I stopped coaching college
football was the year he says to me, ‘Dad,
William Smith Chris Pulley I want to play Pop Warner football.’ I
Pilot, Northridge, Calif. Recreational Specialist/ volunteered to head coach his team.
From those lessons, I was fortunate Athletics, Woodbridge, Va. To me, this was the ultimate coaching
to go to the Air Force Academy Football meant many things to experience. To be with my son and
and be a military pilot and leader, me as a kid growing up in Northern watch him grow and teach everyone
culminating my career on active Virginia. The smell of freshly cut about the fundamentals of football.
duty flying with some of the best test grass and field chalk during the dog We went 27-10 in three years and the
pilots in the world at Edwards Air days of August. The glisten of the greatest compliment I ever got as a coach
Force Base. I’m currently a Lieutenant morning dew as the sun gently kissed occurred over and over. ‘Coach you love
Colonel in the Air Force Reserves and the field on a chilly Saturday morning those boys and this game.’ Yes, I do!
am an international pilot for FedEx. in September. The aroma of chimney
Life comes at you every day, but smoke soaked in the crisp autumn air Jack Plunkett
whatever the challenges, I can handle in October and November. I loved all Teacher/Coach,
any of them because of those lessons these things about football. Jenkintown, Pa.
that sports and especially football My professional career has been as
taught me – always play to the whistle a teacher and football coach, as I have
and play your heart out until the clock coached at Chestnut Hill Academy in
reads zero – that’s what life is all about! Philadelphia for the past 34 years and
have been an assistant and head coach
during that time. Coaching football is
the best job in the world. Players can
Dr. Mark A. Colicchio learn so much from the effort that they
Veterinarian, put into the game. They learn technique
Spanish Fort, Ala. and strategy of positions, teamwork
Without a doubt my head coach Marty and respect for teammates, opponents
Apostolico was an immense influence on my life. His credibility and faith won my and officials. They also get to challenge
respect as a player. He was a true role model. Football teaches us life-lessons in a themselves and see what they are made
microcosm, working together for one goal. Giving whatever it takes to help the team. of. These skills can help them compete
on the field, in the classroom and in
life. There is no greater way for a young
Gregory Echt Physician, Dallas, Texas person to invest their time than to play
Playing high school football was as much fun as about anything I have done. We worked the game of football.
hard, learned about discipline and teamwork and overcoming adversity. The accomplishments
of those days are still important to me. And the lessons I learned helped me in my career path
to becoming a doctor. 7
Commemorative
H Ball Tour H
Touches Down! USA Football Tour Reaches More Than 30 States

F
rom April through August, USA Football’s Commemorative Ball Tour traveled across America, reaching
football destinations and enthusiasts in more than 30 states. The Commemorative Ball is a symbol of the
sport’s integral values of teamwork, responsibility and leadership and personifies how the game and country
are melded together with its stars-and-stripes on leather. The ball’s national tour made stops at several of USA
Football’s 40 coaching schools and officiating schools, player academies, high school all-star
games, NFL training camps, the NFL Draft, college campuses, Pro Football Hall of Fame
Weekend, ArenaBowl XXII and dozens of grassroots football events. Pictured here are
some of the stops featured on USA Football’s Commemorative Ball Tour. For more
Commemorative Ball Tour photos, visit usafootball.com/comm_ball_tour.

Former Green Bay Packers linebacker Brian Noble,


now co-owner of the af2 Green Bay Blizzard, takes a
timeout with the ball in Boise, Idaho.

USA Football & the


National Recreation and
Park Association team to
strengthen the game for
youngsters like these in
the shadow of University
The St. Louis Komen Race for the Cure
of Phoenix Stadium in
is among the country’s largest and
Glendale, Ariz.
most successful events conducted to
fight breast cancer.

8 USA Football Magazine

08 Ball Tour.indd 8 8/22/08 5:16:16 PM


The 2008 Indiana North High School All-Star Team,
prior to Indiana’s North-South All-Star Game.
The top six selections in the 2008 NFL Draft (left
USA Football Central Regional Manager
to right): Glenn Dorsey, Chris Long, Jake Long, Matt
Scott LeVeque and Minnesota Vikings
Ryan, Darren McFadden, and Vernon Gholston.
Linebacker Chad Greenway at USA
Football’s Minnesota Coaching School,
presented by the Vikings.

Silver Star and Purple Heart Recipient


Sgt. Tommie Rieman and Pro Football
Hall of Fame offensive guard Joe
DeLamielleure in Canton, Ohio.

NFL Commissioner and USA


Football Board Member Roger
Goodell with USA Football
Executive Director Scott
Hallenbeck at the NFL Draft.

Chicago Bears rookies (back row) help


run the Bears’ summer football camp.

ESPN’s “Pardon The Interruption” hosts


Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon.

Army soldiers from Fort Bragg, N.C. visit


USA Football Event Organizer Carolina Panthers training camp.
in New Orleans Leroy Hollins
and Les Miles, head coach of
the 2007 National Champion
LSU Tigers.

9
World’s Best coming
to AmericA
High school-aged national teams spanning four continents bound for Canton
By Steve Alic

AmericA.
The word is oxygen for people the world
Wiking. “It is known throughout the
world that Canton, Ohio, is the crib of the
game. It is most fitting that football’s first
world’s best competition will be an
incredible experience.”
Through cooperation with the
over who seek undeniable rights. This is international competition of high school- National Federation of State High
how we got here; calling one of 50 states aged players will be held in Fawcett Stadium School Associations (NFHS), all 50 state
our home. And people continue to come, next summer.” high school athletic associations and
pursuing dreams through hard work. As the sport’s national governing body the District of Columbia are invited to
Dreams will bring the world’s best on youth and amateur levels, USA Football nominate at least 10 players for Team
teenage football players to Canton, Ohio, will assemble Team USA – America’s first USA’s roster. This will serve as a primary
next summer. High school-aged national national team in the sport composed of talent pool from which Coach Kyle and his
football teams from eight staff will select America’s roster
countries spanning four next spring.
continents will compete in the The U.S. earns an automatic
2009 International Federation of bid as the tournament’s host
American Football (IFAF) Junior and will be seeded No. 2.
World Championship. Canada earns the No. 1
Fifty-two countries have had seed due to the long-time
national federations dedicated strength of its junior national
solely to football for as many team program and its recent
as 70 years. As these national dominance in international
federations grew, IFAF, the exhibitions.
sport’s international federation, National football teams from
was created in 1998 near Paris, Germany, Sweden and France,
France, to organize and further The 2009 IFAF Junior World Championship’s logo is composed of respectively, recently earned
develop the game globally. primary colors blue, red and yellow. The entire spectrum can be made the opportunity to compete
All Junior World from these three colors, representing the multi-national composition of in Canton next summer. The
Championship games will be next summer’s tournament field of eight countries. three nations earned respective
played in Canton’s historic first-, second- and third-place
Fawcett Stadium, home of the NFL’s annual teenagers. All Team USA players will be finishes in the eight-nation European
Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, adjacent to members of the country’s 2009 high school Junior Championship held in Sevilla, Spain,
the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Between June graduating class. Chuck Kyle, the legendary this past July. The European Federation of
27 and July 5, 2009, each team will play three Cleveland St. Ignatius head football coach, American Football (EFAF) is to confirm
games in the city where the NFL was born will lead America’s team (see page 12). which teams will represent the continent in
in 1920. “USA Football shares in the excitement Canton by September 15.
“On behalf of IFAF and the more than and great anticipation for this historic The tournament’s remaining open seats
50 countries on five continents that love world championship played in the shadow will be claimed by February 2009 in the
and play organized football, we are ecstatic of the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” said Americas, Asia and Oceania.
to have the world’s best compete in the USA Football Executive Director Scott Stay tuned to usafootball.com for
world’s greatest football setting,” said Hallenbeck. “For every Team USA member, upcoming details about Team USA and the
IFAF President and Sweden native Tommy playing in this atmosphere against the 2009 IFAF Junior World Championship.

10 USA Football Magazine


Meet a USA Football board Member

Deborah A. Yow
University of Maryland

H
elping steer USA Football in its role as the sport’s national governing body on
grassroots and amateur levels is an 18-member Board of Directors spanning all
levels of football. This issue of USA Football Magazine features Deborah Yow,
director of athletics at the University of Maryland.
Among the most decorated professionals in her field, Dr. Yow was recently named president
of the Division I-A Athletic Directors’ Association. In this position, she serves as the voice
of Division I-A athletic directors across the country, working closely with the NCAA on
topics of mutual interest. Dr. Yow is the first woman to serve in this leadership role.

How did you gain a love for football?


I gained a love for football through my father primarily and attended my first college
game at age six. My brother signed a scholarship with Clemson in the late ’60s after an both alums and the general public. That
outstanding high school career in North Carolina. I have been around the game my makes the reputations of our football
entire life and appreciate its complexities. student athletes even more important, as
What do you enjoy most about being a USA Football Board Member? junior high school and high school players
I appreciate the emphasis by the entire board on the character-building aspects of the are watching everything our players do.
game, especially at the grassroots level. From my experience, our board is 100 percent You are a former basketball coach.
committed to protecting the game’s integrity at all levels. How has your coaching experience
In your tenure as a board member, where have you seen USA Football make its greatest helped you in your work as a high-profile
advancements? athletic director?
We cannot over-emphasize the need for and value of training coaches for our youth There is no replacement for having
programs. Other important initiatives include safety and background checks for coaches coached at the collegiate level. I’ve been
(Editor’s Note: read more about USA Football’s background check subsidy program on in the trenches, so I know first-hand the
pages 26). heartache of an upset loss, the exhilaration
What does football mean to the University of Maryland? of an overtime win, the patience required to
Football, along with men’s basketball, is the face of Maryland athletics. We have 27 effectively recruit and then, teach, college-
varsity teams and 700 student athletes, yet the best known are in our two revenue sports aged student athletes.
(although women’s basketball is growing by leaps and bounds). The joy of our fans after a My initial leadership and organizational
hard-fought victory is a reminder of the power of sports to draw people to the campus — skills were learned as a coach.

USA FootbAll’S boArD oF DirectorS


Ray Anderson Tom Cove Scott Hallenbeck Frank Sanchez
Exec. V.P., Football Operations President & CEO Executive Director Vice President
National Football League SGMA International USA Football Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Jason Belser Carl Francis Jack Kemp Grant Teaff
Senior Regional Director Director of Communications Chairman, USA Football Executive Director
NFL Players Association NFL Players Association Former U.S. Congressman American Football
Joe Browne Alexia Gallagher Mark Meana Coaches Association
Exec. V.P., Communications Director, NFL Youth Football Dept. Chairman Deborah Yow
& Public Affairs National Football League Fairfax County (Va.) Athletic Director
National Football League Bob Gardner Youth Football League University of Maryland

Jon Butler Chief Operating Officer Art Monk


Executive Director National Federation of State Pro Football Hall of Fame Wide Receiver
Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. High School Associations President, Alliant Merchant Services
Roger Goodell Keith Rucker
Commissioner Head Football Coach
National Football League Cincinnati Mt. Healthy H.S.

11

11 Board.indd 11 8/22/08 5:05:37 PM


America’s Coach:
Chuck Kyle
Ohio Prep Football Legend to Lead America’s Best in 2009
By Danny HotocHin

U
ntil June, Cleveland USA Football Executive Director
St. Ignatius High Scott Hallenbeck. “Beyond his
School head coach remarkable record and litany of
Chuck Kyle’s primary source of accolades, he is a teacher in the
concern was Ohio’s finest prep classroom and on the field. For 25
programs. Now, after being years and running, his program
chosen by USA Football to be melds class with excellence.
the head coach of America’s Speaking as a football fan, it will
first junior national team for the be exciting to watch Coach and
2009 International Federation of his staff lead our country’s top
American Football (IFAF) Junior high school-aged players against

Shawn wood/Studio 7
World Championship, Kyle has top teams from four continents.”
to prepare for “This is USA Football Executive
the world’s best an historic, Director Scott Hallenbeck
national teams. “He’s an excellent pioneering with Team USA Coach
Announced teacher. He’s a team, and I Chuck Kyle.
as Team USA’s great motivator am excited to
head coach
of men – a be a part of it,” and coached by Kyle at the all- nation’s most accomplished high
in mid July, said Kyle who boys Cleveland high school. school football coaches.
Kyle, 57, is
builder of men.” has guided “The first thing that comes “Chuck Kyle is one of the
no stranger – Lou Holtz his Wildcats to my mind when I think about finest coaches at any level in our
to success, College Football Hall of Fame Coach to several Coach Kyle is just how passionate country,” said Ohio State head
owning a “National he is and how much he cared for all coach Jim Tressel. “The players’
career record of 248-56-1 (.816) Championship” honors (USA his players,” Gonzalez said. “He is experience with Coach Kyle will
and an Ohio state playoff mark Today 1989, ’93; National Prep the same way as a man as he is as a be very rewarding, and he will be
of 49-11 (.817). Coinciding with Poll 1993, ’95). “I’m proud to coach – and that’s a great one.” a great ambassador in connecting
those victories, he has led the St. represent the United States and After the news of Kyle’s with coaches and players from
Ignatius Wildcats to nine Division I’ve quickly learned how strong hiring broke out, some other nations.”
I state titles, the most of any Ohio football is beyond our borders. of the game’s top “He’s an excellent teacher.
school since the employment of “We have a challenge ahead representatives He’s a great motivator of men – a
the state’s playoff format in 1972. of us, and I look forward to couldn’t help but to builder of men,” said College
Under the direction of Kyle – who getting our team ready to play endorse one of the Football Hall of Fame Coach and
also teaches English and a senior in Canton next summer.” ESPN College
elective course on the literary Indianapolis Colts Football Studio
works of Chaucer and Shakespeare wide receiver Anthony Analyst Lou
– the Wildcats have advanced to Gonzalez, who starred Holtz. “USA
Ohio’s state playoffs in each of the at Ohio State in Football could not
past 20 seasons, the state’s longest college, is among have made a better
active postseason streak. the approximately selection than Coach Kyle. There
“Chuck Kyle personifies one dozen current are so many great high school
everything we were looking for or former NFL coaches, but he certainly is in a
in Team USA’s head coach,” said players taught photo: al FuchS class by himself.”

12 USA Football Magazine

12 USA Coach.indd 12 8/20/08 10:24:01 AM


Meet a USA Football staffer

Kiley Bishop Coordinator, member serviCes

What interested you in joining USA to help enhance the players’, coaches’ and What is the most rewarding part of
Football’s staff? officials’ experiences within grassroots the job?
The opportunity to help serve young football. It’s also exciting to build on the When I am just about to get off the
athletes. I have played, coached and trust that our members have in us – that’s a phone with someone and they whole-
administrated within youth athletics tremendous feeling. heartedly say “thank you” for taking the
for years. I majored in Sport time to explain something to them.
Management in college and I have a
great passion for athletics in general. What are your goals for the next
12 months?
What are your duties as a USA To spread USA Football’s
Football Member Services mission of further strengthening
Coordinator? the sport, especially as it
I administer to our members pertains to coaching education.
and the thousands of football Great coaches mean great
coaches, game officials and experiences for the kids and it’s
administrators who sign up for our job to make sure that a coach
USA Football events, such as has what he or she needs in order
coaching or officiating schools to perform at his or her best.
– this involves phone calls and Also, to create a smaller margin
emailing. I really enjoy the one-on-one What is your favorite sport besides between privileged and disadvantaged
service. It’s rewarding to help someone football? leagues. To accomplish these two
solve an issue. I also work with the “help Golf! I played for four years at James goals would be great.
desk” and handle other customer-related Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.) When you email or call USA Football
responsibilitites. and was the Colonial Athletic Association for help to navigate your usafootball.com
individual champion in 2005. resources, your question will be fielded
What is your favorite aspect of the job? by Kiley Bishop or one of her colleagues
Knowing that I am making a difference What does football mean to you? in USA Football’s member services
for football’s betterment. Also, knowing Family, tradition, tailgating and the department. Join the USA Football family
that people appreciate what USA Football world’s best Sunday afternoon activity at usafootball.com/register and put our
and the member services department does (when it’s too cold to play golf). staff to work for you and your team.

“Officially” speaking, these guys are good


Although it’s only September, USA LeMonnier’s second AFL championship examples of penalties and techniques
Football’s Officiating Director Tony Michalek assignment in six years. narrated by Michalek or LeMonnier
and Officiating Consultant Bill LeMonnier Since 2006, Michalek and LeMonnier through another special member feature
have already had a full year of big- have made more than 70 at usafootball.com called “Expert
game assignments. USA Football officiating Analysis” to further develop their
Michalek, an NFL umpire presentations to reach officiating career path.
since 2002, was selected to work 8,000 of the country’s “This is an exceptional and
Super Bowl XLII in February while 55,000 youth, high exciting year for our officiating
LeMonnier was tabbed by college school and college department’s leadership,” said USA
football supervisors to referee the football officials, serving Football Executive Director Scott
74th Orange Bowl in January. approximately 4.5 million Hallenbeck. “The high-profile games
LeMonnier, who has served as Tony Michalek players. The tandem has Bill LeMonnier that Tony and Bill are assigned
a Big Ten referee for 15 years and also written and produced underscores how officiating members
has called Arena Football League games usafootball.com officiating courses which receive guidance from the best in the field.
since 2000, worked ArenaBowl XXII on are open to the non-profit’s officiating We’re proud of them and we’re glad that
July 27 in New Orleans. The game marked members. Members can also view video they’re part of our team.”

13

13 Staffer.indd 13 8/20/08 11:28:47 AM


Football’s Mental pen
n ow o
Weight Room
A
ll-time great running backs Jim Brown and Emmitt Smith
had world-class linemen like Gene Hickerson and Erik
Williams to help them stomp through opposing defenses.
USA Football’s non-profit staff may not pancake nosetackles
for you, but we will help you excel as a coach, official, league
administrator and player. And we’ve found another way to do just that.
USA Football’s webstore is a new wrinkle to the re-vamped
usafootball.com; consider it an equipment shed for your brain.
USA Football’s Coaches Handbook, with more than 1,000 copies sold since
late June, is available at usafootball.com along with 11 new and exclusive USA
Football DVDs, produced in partnership with American Football Monthly. USA Football’s DVD library covers the following topics:
The Coaches Handbook ($19.99) spans 11 chapters of full-color • Coaching Football A to Z
diagrams and screen shots covering practice organization, team • Practice Planning
warm-up, • Offensive Football: A Great Way to Start
position drills, • Spread Option: Passing and Screen Game
group drills, • 4-4 Defense
tackling drills • 5-3 Defense
and Responsible • Fundamentals and Drills
Coaching • Officiating Training
principles. Get the most out of USA Football at usafootball.com.

14 Web Store.indd 14 8/20/08 10:24:48 AM


Football facts,
stats & figures 4,000,000

3,000,000
USA Football and independent research firm The Bonham Group recently spoke with youth league administrators, coaches, game
officials, and parents to learn how America’s favorite sport can be even better. This page also includes information from a recent National
2,000,000
Alliance for Youth Sports study. Every issue of USA Football Magazine shares “Facts, Stats & Figures” on the game’s grassroots landscape.
1,000,000

0
Participation
American youngsters aged 6-14 who play Youth Tackle Football Coaches Youth Tackle Football Teams
organized youth tackle football:
s19% s13%
150,000
s6% 4,000,000
4,000,000 500,000
500,000
400,000
400,000
3,000,000
3,000,000 100,000
300,000
300,000
3.0 3.2 2,000,000 380,700 453,100 122,600 138,600
2,000,000
Million Million 200,000
200,000 50,000
1,000,000
1,000,000 100,000
100,000
0 0 0 0 0

2006 2007 2006 2007 2006 2007


5% 4% 16%
16%
11%
America’s typical youth
3
150,000
football team in 2007 was 23
150,000

composed of the following: players 20% coaches


100,000 20%
100,000
Source: USA Football 2007 Research
24% 56%
64%
64%
50,000
50,000

Parents 0 0

“Does your child’s league provide training “What’s the main reason you want your “At what age should playing time be
programs for coaches?” child to playPlay a sport they like
sports?” No Yes, it’s voluntary
given based Yes, it’s mandatory
on skill level?”
To get exercise
Make friends
So they can play in high school
Earn a college scholarship

16% 5% 4% 16%
11%
16%
11%
13% 31%

20%
22% 20%

24% 56% 15%


62% 64%
64%

30%

Yes, it’s mandatory Play a sport they like No Yes,Age 14 and above Yes, it’s mandatory
it’s voluntary
Yes, on a voluntary basis To get exercise Age 11 and above
No Make friends At every age
So they can play in high school Age 8 and above
Source: 2007 NAYS Survey Earn a college scholarship Never

11%
15
13% 31%
Coaching center

What If?
USA Football Coaching Members share in-game decision-making
By Danny HotocHin

If that doesn’t work, then I’d run to the


CoaChing

Name: John hower left side on the next play.


City, State: Omaha, Neb. Narramore: Fake Toss Left, Boot Right
Youth League: Millard Athletic Association Pass – I used this play last year against a pee-
Coaching Experience: 10 years wee team from Fallbrook, Calif. On this play,
Base Offense: Double Wing (variation of Wing-T) I had them fake the pitch to the right with
Base Defense: 5-3 my quarterback going to the left once he
Type of USA Football membership: Coach, Administrator faked it. This misdirection definitely threw
Length of USA Football membership: 1 year the defense off-balance in this situation
health & fitness

– the tight end was wide open in the end


Name: Frank Jerasa zone and caught the pass as time expired.
City, State: Perkasie, Pa.
Youth League: Pop Warner Bucks-Mont Youth “What If” … there’s 2:05 left in the game
Coaching Experience: 20 years and you’re down by a touchdown with three
Base Offense: Wing-T timeouts on your own 20-yard line – how
Base Defense: 5-3 would you initiate the two-minute drill?
Type of USA Football membership: Coach Hower: I would run what I call a
Length of USA Football membership: New member “Super Power,” which is kind of like a
sweep, to my right side. With this play,
league

Name: Ben narramore I’ve got a double-team with my wing and


City, State: San Diego, Calif. my end as the opposite guard and tackle
Youth League: Palomar Pop Warner Conf./Ramona Pop Warner pulling while the quarterback pitches it to
Coaching Experience: 9 years the wingback in motion. This happened to
Base Offense: Wing-T us two years ago and we scored and won –
Base Defense: 5-2 it took us seven plays to go 80 yards.
Type of USA Football membership: Coach, Administrator Jerasa: With my two-minute drill with
Length of USA Football membership: 2 years my age group, there are multiple plays in
offiCiating

I
the huddle. It depends on my quarterback,
n youth football, coaches encounter Hower: I’m going to run it. With the but I’ll run a short pass and go underneath
multiple situations that call for serious Double Wing, my offense is designed the coverage and I’m going to have my
contemplation. Whether you’re a primarily for the run. With 30 seconds receivers run ‘out’ patterns. Because I run
coach directing the West Coast offense left, I would probably not run the wedge, a Wing-T, the defense will crowd the line
or the intricacies of the I-Formation, one which is my bread and butter, but I would so I’m not going to have the ability to run
of the beauties of football is that there’s probably run a small trap to the gap the draw or a dive, so I’d like to get to the
more than one way to win a game. Three between the guard and the defensive tackle corners with misdirection plays.
youth coaches who are also USA Football or the nose guard gap. If that doesn’t work, Narramore: I run a variation of the
members recently shared their ideas we’re probably going to come right back Wing-T offense, so in this situation I would
on how they’d attack various in-game and run the same play. choose a fullback dive. This play uses the
scenarios. Jerasa: It depends how the game is sweep and misdirection to spread the
run, but I’ll put the play in the hands of my defense where the quarterback turns to his
“What If” … you’re trailing by a playmaker, so I’ll run the power play or a left, does a reverse pivot, and hands the ball
touchdown and you have possession and Bucksweep. If they bring nine guys into off to the fullback. The worst-case scenario
three timeouts. You’re on your opponents’ the box, then I’ll have them switch to a pop is you’re going to get two yards and the clock
two-yard line and it’s third and goal with 30 pass, giving the quarterback the option to will stop. The best-case scenario is your
seconds left in the game – what do you call? run or throw a short pass to the tight end. fullback will break loose down the field.

16 USA Football Magazine

16 COACHING.indd 16 8/20/08 3:46:00 PM


quick-hitter grid
Four USA Football administrator members – spanning New York to Vancouver – recently shared their
straight-ahead thoughts about America’s favorite sport.

Administrator: JOhN CiNgAri TerrY hYde TOdd JAkOPOViC STePhON MAThiS


Organization: Parkville Youth Org. Clark County Youth League eVW Football League Observatory hill Youth Assoc.
Location: Brooklyn, N.Y. Vancouver, Wash. elkhorn, Neb. Pittsburgh, Pa.

What makes Action all the time it’s the most Seeing kids having fun it builds character and
football great? comprehensive while developing their confidence
team sport football skills

What’s the Seeing the Watching kids Watching my kids Seeing the
most rewarding enjoyment the succeed gain memorable kids learn, excel
aspect of being kids get out of experiences in high school
a youth football playing the game and continue their
administrator? education

Your favorite Super Bowl XLii


ii The day i got to see Watching my Pee-Wee every year – seeing
football moment (giants 17, my son play his first team drive 80 yards the kids progress as
Patriots 14) football game with no timeouts and they come through our
scoring the winning Td league
to win the conference
championship

Your greatest running an excellent Building a youth helping our league Being selected as the Western
accomplishment as instructional program football program that grow from 40 teams Pa. representative for the
an administrator where all the kids feeds the county’s 18 to 90 teams NFL Youth Football
have fun high schools Summit in Canton

Your favorite all- Joe Willie Terry Bradshaw kenny Stabler Walter Payton
time football player Namath

Your favorite New York giants Seattle Seahawks Oakland raiders Pittsburgh Steelers
football team

Favorite football John Madden Al Michaels John Madden John Madden


media member

17

16 COACHING.indd 17 8/20/08 8:02:42 AM


Coaching center

The Play-Action is Fake,


But the Yards are Real
By Danny HotocHin
CoaChing

I
n a sport where inches can determine see everybody do that. Then, there is what thud between the helmets and shoulder
a game’s outcome, the play-action pass I like to refer to as the run-action pass, pads. When you run the football and
is an effective means of deception. where it looks and sounds like a run is actually hand it off to the running back –
As the result of faking a handoff to developing.” with the exception of a draw play – there’s
a would-be ball carrier, defenses react “We basically have three different play- an initial thud where the offensive linemen
to a phantom running play while the action passes in our offense: the flood, the and the tight ends come off the line of
quarterback hits a boot and the tight end pop scrimmage and collide into the defensive
health & fitness

sparsely-covered pass,” said USA Football players that are standing in front of them.
target. coaching member Rod “That creates a sound and that sound is a
“There’s Dollar, who has coached tip to the defensive players. It’s not something
definitely an art to youth football for 16 years they are going to talk about, but it’s something
the play-action pass, in Atlanta, Ga. “From the that they instinctively going to react to.”
but the science of it start, we’re really going Devotees and aficionados of the play-action
is the determination to sell it with the handoff pass agree that instilling the technicalities
of how the defense and we’re going to set up of performing the art (or science) of the
reacts to it and how and throw the ball quickly popular procedure in quarterbacks should
you’d put somebody – those are the things we be done as early as possible.
league

into a vacant spot,” really work hard on in our “Whether or not the kids at the youth
said USA Football’s John Mackovic play-actions. level can grasp all of the nuances of it, I’m
2007 Senior “There are some things not sure. But, if they could, it could be
National Team Coach John Mackovic, that make play-action passes more difficult used at the lowest level,” Mackovic said.
who also served as the head coach of in youth football and that’s the defensive “When you get to high school, the players
the Kansas City Chiefs (1983-1986) and end coming up field, which is something ought to be introduced to how and why
several top major college programs. you don’t see in high you use the play-action
“I would say it’s an art from the player’s school that much. So, pass.”
offiCiating

perspective,” said USA Football contributor we have to account for “It should be taught
and spokesman Boomer Esiason, who that in how we set up immediately at the
developed into one of the game’s most and throw the ball. But, youth level and it goes
proficient play-action passers during his it also works to our with teaching kids how
14-year NFL all-star career. “You’ve got to advantage on the boot to grip the football,
be able to extrapolate all of the great things because [the defensive how to take the snap
that come from running the football and end] will be out of from underneath the
try to build a passing offense off of that, so position to make a play center, footwork, proper
that would be the science. It all goes back most of the time.” fundamentals and
to the quarterback to sell it, so the coach Esiason, the NFL’s techniques of throwing
would be the scientist and the quarterback Most Valuable Player Rod Dollar the football,” Esiason
would be the artist. in 1988, says audio said. “Fundamentals
“There are two types of play-action deception is just as important as the of play-action passing and getting rid of
passes: there is the everyday mundane visual fake. the football are all a part of playing the
play-action pass where you might just fake “When an offense in the NFL goes back position.”
to the running back, as all you’re trying to to complete a pass, 99 percent of the time For more Xs & Os, check out USA
do is put a little doubt in the minds of the the offensive linemen are retreating,” he Football’s Coaching Guide – click the blue
defense – that’s the token fake, and you said. “When they retreat, there’s no initial “Coaches” tab at usafootball.com.

18 USA Football Magazine

16 COACHING.indd 18 8/20/08 3:46:23 PM


Meet a USA Football Member
Charles “Kale” Ane BY DANNY HOTOCHIN

B
eing part of the USA Football family further unites all of How has your playing days and having a father with NFL
us who are connected to America’s favorite sport. USA experience impacted you?
Football coaching member Charles “Kale” Ane is the Well, I played with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay
head coach at Punahou (Hawaii) High School and also serves Packers for seven years from 1975-81. Bart Starr, who’s in the Hall of
as the school’s associate athletic director. Born in Los Angeles, Fame as a player, was my head coach with the Packers, so I’ve run into
Ane played football for Michigan State and enjoyed a seven-year a lot of great people along the way. My dad went to USC and played
NFL career as a center for the Kansas City Chiefs (1975-80) and seven years of professional football with the Detroit Lions and it was
Green Bay Packers (1981). something that I always wanted to be involved in and it worked out.
His father, Charlie Ane, He played with Frank Gifford and Jon Arnett at USC and with several
also played in the NFL Hall of Famers
for seven seasons – all CHArLeS ANe with the Lions,
with the Detroit Lions resides: Honolulu, Hawaii they were world
(1953-59) as an offensive USA Football Membership: Coach champions
tackle. Position: Varsity Head Coach, Punahou H.S. (1953, ’57).
Ane recently spoke Meeting all of
Coach Since: 1983
with USA Football them and just
USA Football Member Since: March 2008
Magazine to share his being around
coaching passion and people that
the value of being a USA were very successful in the sport you wanted to play helps you see what
Football member. they were doing and what it takes. We all talk to our fathers, whether
they’re professional athletes or not, but to have someone accomplish
What sparked your desire to become a football coach? what you want to do really gives you the belief structure that, ‘Hey, I
I played from fourth grade until I was 30. I was truly can do that, too,’ even though he was much better than I was.
affected by great individuals – teammates, coaches,
administrators, teachers – and I felt this was one way that I How did you learn about USA Football?
could give back and help. I feel like I’m a good role model in I was asked to be part of a coaching school by USA Football
that I want to do it the right way – we want to be positive and Northwest Regional Manager Bassel Faltas and I helped out and
respectful to the kids. This is an avenue to teach them the got to learn more about the structure and the messages that they’re
right values and that’s why I coach. trying to get out to kids across the country. I think USA Football is
a great program for kids, and it doesn’t just teach football, which I
Why do you enjoy being a high school football coach? think they do a great job with, but they teach values that I think are
I enjoy working with the kids and watching them grow and important and that’s why I like to be involved.
go through the process of discovering themselves. I enjoy the
challenge of getting better and teaching them to work as a team, What inspired you to join USA Football?
develop team chemistry and getting them to be more independent I liked how Bassel and some of the other coaches take time to
as leaders by anticipating each others’ needs. travel around the country and work with youth coaches who have
a tremendous impact on their kids. I get kids who’ve been coached
Is football operated or perceived differently in Hawaii than on the and taught by these young coaches and it’s nice to be able to share
U.S. mainland? some things with them that I learned from coaching for 25 years
That’s something we always ask ourselves. When I was and I think that I can share some things that will be helpful and
growing up, there were a few kids from Hawaii that went to make them understand some of the bigger questions.
the mainland to play and were successful. My father was one
of them, and I was very lucky because I had a good role model What have you learned from USA Football?
and someone who had been successful and he told me what it I’ve really learned a lot. It reinforces a lot of the reasons why people
took. I think everybody here questions if we measure up [to play and coach and helps you reflect on the bigger issues that are always
the mainland] in terms of competition. The thing is we tell there, but not always on the forefront. The job is always a pressure-
everyone, regardless of what sport, is that they’re representing packed environment in that you’re always evaluated on wins and losses,
everybody here. so it gives you an opportunity to put things in better perspective.

19

16 COACHING.indd 19 8/20/08 8:03:25 AM


Coaching center

Defensive Line Stunts


The inside slant on putting pressure on the quarterback
By Tim Polzer

D
CoaChing

efensive line stunts stunts that coordinate multiple properly assess an offense’s tendencies and
can be an effective linemen and even linebackers. blocking schemes.
tool for coaches One of the most popular two- “A stunt is most effective when it’s used
seeking to exert more man stunts calls for a defensive for a purpose,” he says. “A coach doesn’t
pressure on opposing passers. lineman to loop behind a know the proper stunt to run until gaining
A stunt, as the name teammate, creating coverage a good read on what the offense and
implies, is a variation or indecision in the offensive line. offensive line is trying to do. Chart a couple
change in a defense’s basic of series and see what they are doing.
health & fitness

alignment and coverage, When to Use Stunts “If you stunt just to stunt, you will leave
Tom Bass
designed to penetrate the line Stunts can lose their your defensive line vulnerable to running
of scrimmage. The key to a stunt’s success effectiveness if called every play. Different lanes and big plays.”
is creating blocking assignment indecision game situations can call for different
in the minds of offensive linemen. defensive line stunts. How to Teach Stunts
The loop technique is most effective The introduction of stunts to your
Types of Stunts against an offensive line that uses defense should first focus on techniques
Tom Bass, a former NFL and college combination or zone blocking schemes like footwork. This may be best
coach with nearly 30 years of experience, is that allow a defensive lineman to split the accomplished by having your defensive
also a member of USA Football’s technical block and drive into the backfield. linemen practice their footwork without
league

committee. Bass has developed, coached The slant technique works well against a blocker in front of them. Once your
and lectured on defensive stunts at every offensive lines using reach or zone blocking linemen feel comfortable stepping to the
level of play. He suggests initially teaching schemes. These offenses tend to tip off the left or right, have them fire out against
youth defensive linemen an offensive lineman and
simple stunts such as the employ their stunt footwork.
single loop stunt technique Working on penetration and
or the slant technique. DL DL footwork at half speed may
“In the loop technique, produce quicker results.
offiCiating

the defensive lineman Bass recommends


uses a lateral step into the initially limiting a youth
gap to his left or right at team’s stunts package to
the snap of the ball. In OL OL simple loops and slants.
the slant technique, the “I hesitate to attempt
defensive lineman uses to teach complex stunt
a crossover step to move The Slant The Loop packages to kids,” Bass said.
into an assigned gap to his “There’s too much timing
right or left,” Bass said. involved. One- or two-step
“These basic individual techniques can be effective
stunts allow your linemen and get the penetration
to react and read the play you’re looking for.”
as it develops.” direction of their plays in their formation. For more on coaching Xs and Os, go to
Theses stunts can be called for one The slant technique can allow a defensive usafootball.com and click “Coaching Guide”
defensive lineman, one side of your line, or lineman to read the offense and instantly under the “Coaches” tab. USA Football
the entire line. penetrate through the proper gap. members can click the “Ask the Expert”
Accomplished defensive lines can Bass cautions defensive coaches to save icon on usafootball.com’s homepage to ask
graduate to full-line stunts or two-man their stunts until they have had time to Coach Bass a question directly.

20 USA Football Magazine

16 COACHING.indd 20 8/20/08 3:46:45 PM


High School Coach Aspirations?
Smarts and a flexible work schedule needed for prep football
By Danny HotocHin

P
ossessing marketable characteristics that would warrant For most coaches, particularly at the youth
a promotion in Corporate America are often welcomed level, having alternate affiliations or vocations
by coaches who are looking to fill staff positions. This is can hinder chances for advancement.
important to remember for the youth coach “There’s a time commitment – high
who wants to move into high school ball. schools begin practice at 2:30 p.m. or 3:00
“High school coaches look for guys who p.m. and youth practices begin at 5:00
understand and can teach the fundamentals p.m. or 5:30 p.m. In August, high schools
of the game,” said youth football coach practice two-a-days and hold meetings and
Larry Canard, who spent four of his 22 years it’s difficult for someone that has a full-time
as a coach with Yorktown High School in Larry Canard job to make that commitment,” said Canard,
Arlington, Va. “In terms of strategy and who has spent the last 18 years coaching youngsters in Vienna, Va.
scheme, the head coach already has his “There’s a real time-management issue they deal with.”
philosophy intact and knows the offense Mike Kirschner With coaches swapping responsibilities and positions on a
and defense that he’s going to run. The key for that coach is finding frequent basis, it’s tricky for them to discern what they prefer to do,
assistants to teach the fundamentals on how to run his system.” whether it’s taking a chance on a new opportunity or continuing to
Because hard work and determination often evolve into victory, teach on a familiar level.
coaches crave players who own a blue-collar football passion. “A young college coach will usually want to move up pretty
“For me, a lot of people will tell you it’s my work ethic that got me to quickly – they’re usually pretty aggressive with [pursuing high
where I am – I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but I literally try to school coaching jobs] by attacking it,” said Kirschner, who
outwork people,” said Mike Kirschner, who was promoted to head coach coached six years at the youth level for Warren Township Youth in
at Indiana football powerhouse Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis Indianapolis before venturing into the high school ranks. “I think
just before last season after serving seven years as an assistant. “When I there are a lot of guys my age that are happy with what they’re doing.
first started coaching at the high school level, I knew I needed to learn I think there’s that percentage of people that want to move up and
the game from every position, so I’d literally work eight or nine football get on that fast track but I think the majority of them are content
camps every summer so that I could learn more football because the with coaching at the level they’re at, whether it’d be youth, middle
more knowledge you have the more power you have.” school or high school – they look forward to each season.”

USA Football mourns co-founder Gene Upshaw


USA Football and the entire sport lost one its most significant Raiders (1967-81) and a member of the NFL’s 75th Anniversary
leaders on Aug. 21 when Gene Upshaw passed Team, was a USA Football Board Member since the
away at age 63. organization’s first day of existence. He led his
In 2002, Gene Upshaw and Paul Tagliabue, in teammates, constituents and friends of football
their respective roles of NFL Players Association throughout his career as a player and administrator.
executive director and NFL commissioner, provided “All who played the game know of Gene Upshaw’s
a $5 million endowment to start USA Football. great contributions in directing the players union,
Their vision for what USA Football would become but also his passion for the game and for the future
as an independent non-profit is now tangible of youth football,” said USA Football Chairman Jack
in more than 100 annual football development Kemp. “He recognized football’s unique ability to
events, state-of-the-art football resources and teach our youngsters values like teamwork and putting
education, and unparalleled programs awarding equipment grants aside differences for the good of a team. That’s what football
and youth league volunteer background check subsidies. instilled in Gene Upshaw and that’s precisely how he lived. We
Upshaw, a Pro Football Hall of Fame guard for the Oakland will miss him immensely.”

getty images

21

16 COACHING.indd 21 8/22/08 4:28:10 PM


Health & fitness

Player Health Food


for the Head
Sports medicine expert Ron Courson offers injury
CoaChing

prevention tips By Danny HotocHin

R
on Courson, who currently serves as the director of sports fit properly. In youth
medicine at the University of Georgia, has been treating and high school, many
athletes for the past 25 years as an athletic trainer. After programs don’t have
acquiring a degree in physical therapy at the Medicine College of equipment managers
Georgia, Courson worked as an athletic trainer at the University and you want to make
health & fitness

of Alabama, Samford University, the Healthsouth Sports Medicine sure the helmets are
and Rehabilitation Center and for the 1988 U.S. Olympic team. fitted properly. A
With a career that has spanned three decades, Courson has lot of the time people will drain the air out of the helmet to add
trained athletes from various sports, including football. Courson comfort, but then they lose their protection. The most frequent
shared his knowledge with USA Football Magazine on various things that happen are muscular skeletal injuries, which range
topics including injury prevention, heat illness and hydration. from strains to sprains. The biggest prevention there is to have an
appropriate flexibility and strength and conditioning program,
What tips would you give to a football coach, administrator, player or proper equipment and try to identify any kind of sprain or strain
trainer in regards to reducing the risk of injury? through a physical.
Courson: Have an annual pre-participation physical exam to
league

be conducted by a physician. The more information you have about Are there any myths in regards to training for football that you’d
someone, the more equipped you are to reduce an injury. When we like to debunk?
do our physicals at Georgia, we have a list of follow-ups and we try Courson: I think one of the myths with gaining weight in
to identify things before anything happens. Next, have a strength football is consuming a lot of protein – you want to have a balanced
and conditioning program to help prepare them physically – get diet. You want to make sure you have your carbohydrates, wheats,
them out into the heat of summer on a progressive basis to help grains, fresh vegetables and fruits. Your white meat is going to be
them climatize (get acclimated to the climate) and get ready for the leaner than your red meat – red meat has more fatty content, so you
heat. Also, emphasize proper technique, safety and practice. want to eat that in moderation. The other thing is over-training,
offiCiating

particularly from a weightlifting standpoint. Alternate your muscle


What are some of the most frequent injuries or hazards you run groups and don’t train the same body part multiple days in a row
into as an athletic trainer of a football program and how would you because it won’t have a chance to recover.
treat them?
Courson: Heat illness is the most frequent, particularly How important is hydration in football and what types of liquids are
in August. It can range from cramps, which are minor, to an the best to consume?
emergency like a heat stroke. The biggest thing from a prevention Courson: Hydration is imperative when you’re exercising,
standpoint is to climatize – it takes physiologically seven to 10 especially in the heat. The other thing is that players are wearing
days to climatize so they’ve got to be out there in the weather. heavy, protective equipment. Hydrate before, during and after
Have unlimited hydration during activities, practice. Fill up the tank before you go out there – we really
allow them to respirate and monitor recommend unlimited hydration where they can drink at
their environment – have a globo- anytime. In regards to the types of fluid you
thermometer around or check the should consume, you want to drink
weather service and base your water or an electrolyte drink. I’m
practicing schedules and breaks not trying to advertise Gatorade
around that. Another one I would or Powerade, but they’re better
say are concussions. To prevent fluid-replacement drinks when
them, make sure that their helmets exercising out in the heat.

22 USA Football Magazine

22 HEALTHSAFETY.indd 22 8/20/08 3:45:23 PM


What Football Has Taught
My Sons: Mary Greisen
by Michael coppinger

Mary Greisen is the proud mother of Nick A person can have all the talent in the world, but
and Chris Greisen, both of whom have grown to if they’re not willing to work hard, someone else
become professional football players. is always there to take their place. Chris and Nick
Nick, a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, is both knew that there were others out there that were
entering his seventh NFL season after graduating more talented than they were. They realized that if
from the University of Wisconsin. He has also played they were going to succeed they would have to work
for the Jacksonville Jaguars and N.Y. Giants after that much harder, take nothing for granted, and play
being drafted in the fifth round of the 2002 NFL smarter – both on and off the field.
Draft. His brother, Chris, is currently the quarterback
of the Georgia Force of the Arena Football League. Were you always a football fan?
Chris, who graduated from Northwest Missouri State Yes, I was the little girl that grew up with a
University, also played for the Arizona Cardinals for football, rather than dolls, due to my dad’s love of the
three seasons after being a seventh-round selection by game. Football’s always been a part of my life.
the Cardinals in the 1999 NFL Draft.
Football teaches those who play the game many An artist’s rendition of Nick and Your father played in the NFL. Did that impact your
lessons reflecting the importance of teamwork, Chris Greisen, progressing in sons in some way?
dedication, and responsibility. USA Football football from their backyard to Oh, yes. My parents moved to Sturgeon Bay, Wis.,
Magazine recently spoke with Mrs. Greisen to learn the pros, as their grandfather (where we lived) when the boys were in middle school.
what football has taught her sons. and former NFL player, Stan My dad had recently retired; he realized that the boys
Kramer, watches on with pride. were very talented athletically, and he wanted to be
What did playing football teach your sons? around to help them and see them play. Not only was
Football has taught my sons many life skills, such as discipline he at all their games, but attended their practices as well. After practice
and perseverance. It has taught them that life isn’t always fair and he would take them aside and tell them what they needed to work on.
how to handle disappointment. They’ve also made life-long friends He was a great mentor and role model for both the boys.
while learning the importance of working as a team.
What was it like seeing your boys selected in the NFL Draft?
When did Nick and Chris start playing football? Were they on the same teams? It was just such a wonderful experience. We didn’t know if the boys
Despite their eagerness, they didn’t have the opportunity to would be drafted in a late round or become a free agent, so the fact that
start playing organized football until the seventh grade. Since both of them were drafted was a very exciting time for my husband and
there are four years between them, they were never on the same me. Both of the boys were on the phone with an NFL team when their
team. However, we could tell from a very early age that they were names went across the TV screen. The screaming that ensued from
athletically gifted. They were very competitive and always had to surrounding friends and family drowned out their phone calls from their
win, whether it was during recess time in elementary school or new coaches; they had to move to a different room to hear their coaches’
playing football, basketball or baseball in high school. ‘Welcome to the team.’ My husband and I are so grateful for what football
has given our sons, but we are even more proud of their faith in God and
As a mother, were you ever concerned about having your boys play football? the loving, caring men they have become. They’re both very special men.
No, I wasn’t. I grew up in a football family. Football has always
been part of my life. What advice or insight would you like to share with new “Football Moms?”
Football is a wonderful sport that teaches life-long lessons, humility,
Did football help them excel in the classroom? camaraderie and how to handle disappointment. As much success as my
Yes, it did. Football has taught them discipline, how to set sons have had, both of them have also experienced disappointing times.
goals and other life-long lessons. It has also helped them develop a I think it really shows what kind of a man you are in how you handle
wonderful work ethic, which certainly helped them in the classroom. those times in comparison with the successful times.

Artist: Arvid Anderson 23

22 HEALTHSAFETY.indd 23 8/20/08 10:26:37 AM


LEAgue Center

A New Page for


Fundraising Playbooks
BRAX Spirit Cups Bring Success Stories
CoaChing

By Michael coppinger

each reaches the mapped-out goal.


• Remind parents that 80 percent of sales
usually come through their relationships
with friends, co-workers and family
members. Work environments are the
health & fitness

perfect place to bring a sign up brochure.


Encourage those who buy to tell a friend.
• Limit the length of the fundraising
effort to three weeks or less. This allows
your efforts to be focused and maintain
enthusiasm.
A four-pack of Spirit Cups sell for $12
with $4 from each sale going straight to
the organization.
“We really liked the simplicity of the
league

delivery and distribution of the orders,”


said Bruce Hancock of the South Caroline
Mustangs, who play on the Eastern Shore
of Maryland. “Unlike food product
fundraisers, we didn’t have to refrigerate
As the official fundraising partner of USA Football, BRAX Spirit Cups’ mission is to “make the product or deliver the day we received
a difference one team at a time.” them. We had a small group and set a goal

Y
of 10 sets per participant. We realized
offiCiating

outh football leagues kick-off every autumn with youngsters competing in America’s about $2,000 in profits.”
favorite game. These programs are made possible by dedicated parents and BRAX Spirit Cups’ proven fundraising
volunteers, giving of themselves and their time to ensure great football experiences. program and products have helped
Like most things in life, money is needed to run a successful youth football program. That’s youth football programs raise thousands
where fundraising comes in. And innovative fundraising helps tackle the bottom line. of dollars to help offset the costs of
As the official fundraising partner of USA Football, BRAX Spirit Cups’ mission is to “make a everything from uniforms to equipment.
difference one team at a time.” They recognize their programs must be simple to implement and “We are using money from the cup
deliver great results. They have a strong history that demonstrates using the power of the NFL in fundraiser to purchase new equipment
their program gets which potential consumers excited and helps the cups sell themselves. to outfit our new tiny mite team that
The 18-ounce BRAX Spirit Cups feature 3-D graphics and come in packs of four. we are soon to start,” said Janie Black
BRAX offers a large team-identified selection, including all 32 NFL teams and more than of Newport (R.I.) Pop Warner. “Brax
50 collegiate athletic programs. has been a wonderful company to work
Coupled with these proven techniques, fundraising is easier than ever. with and very well organized. Our
• Select a fundraising coordinator to “captain” the campaign to keep all records and organization is looking forward to
meetings on schedule. repeating this fundraiser again at the
• Hold a meeting with all parents who are participating in the fundraiser and clearly beginning of our football season.”
explain your fundraising goals and expectations of each participant. To learn more about the Brax Spirit Cups
• Set a team goal and emphasize to the parents the amount of money you will raise if fundraising program, visit spiritcups.com.

24 USA Football Magazine Photo courtesy of LesLie oLander of hernando youth footbaLL

24 LEAGUE.indd 24 8/20/08 3:47:55 PM


USA Football Regional Managers
A merica’s favorite sport is powered by you – dedicated youth league commissioners, coaches, game
officials and volunteers. For each of you, there is a face and name to place in your football Rolodex:
your USA Football Regional Manager.
USA Football Regional Managers are current and former coaches, players and administrators working for you. Each has the experience
needed to help you make your league or team even stronger with USA Football’s resources.
Contact your USA Football Regional Manager to learn how you can kickoff your free administrator membership or to ask about coaching
certification, the nearest USA Football Coaching School, Player Academy or Officiating School. Stay in touch with your regional manager,
whether it’s to share news about your league or team or to ask about member resources.
In addition, you may always contact our office, based outside of Washington, D.C., through usafootball.com or by phone at
1-877-5-FOOTBALL. Let us know how we can serve you better.
Together we’ll ensure that teamwork and leadership continue to serve as the laces binding our favorite game.

Northwest Region Northeast Region


Central Region
Bassel Faltas eD passino
(831) 600-7848
scott leVeque (703) 992-8246
(317) 663-4294
bfaltas@usafootball.com epassino@usafootball.com
sleveque@usafootball.com

West Region
Bucky Brooks
(818) 921-7616
bbrooks@usafootball.com South Region
Southeast Region
Deno campBell rick peacock
(703) 992-8653
(703) 992-8107
dcampbell@usafootball.com
rpeacock@usafootball.com

25

24 LEAGUE.indd 25 8/20/08 8:06:43 AM


LEAgue Center

Priceless Protection
$15 two-season background check serves youth football, adds value
By Dave McMahon, Special to USa FootBall

T
CoaChing

he benefits of being a member of USA Football bombard Robert Doyle from all From the outset, Doyle found the NCSI
angles. Doyle, vice president of the Del Campo Jr. Cougars in the Sacramento program welcoming to him and his league.
suburb of Carmichael, Calif., attends USA Football Coaching Clinics as a way to “What I like first and foremost is that
stay on top of the game. NCSI does most of the legwork for you.
When he decided that the 200-player Jr. Cougars were in need of a more extensive They manage the data entry with a quick
background check for the league’s coaches, administrators and volunteers, he began to online survey,” he said. “And with our
talk to other coaches at the clinics about the services they use. program being small, confidentiality is
“I heard some great reviews very important. NCSI allows you to amend
health & fitness

from other coaches about the parts of what they offer. For instance, I’m
NCSI (National Center for Safety “The funding and efforts of the only one who gets the results, and
Initiatives) program. We also USA Football demonstrate their then I take those results to the board. That
wanted a group that had a national eliminates the entire board getting all of
affiliation, like NCSI has with USA strong commitment to safety. the information. I provide feedback to
Football. They’re also endorsed Football administrators who the board based on what I receive, and it
by the U.S. Olympic Committee,” allows the board to make decisions without
Doyle said. “We wanted to build our
respond to this offering are knowing everything about everybody.”
credibility and keep it affordable. taking a great step to better Like Doyle, Scott Hayes was referred
With the $15 fee per check covering protect their young players and to NCSI by another member of USA
league

two seasons that the USA Football Football. Hayes, vice president of Fullerton
grant gives to teams, it was a no- also their own organization.” (Calif.) Pop Warner, was unhappy with his
brainer to go with NCSI. A lot of – Trish McGonnell, President of NCSI previous background check provider.
people shop price. You get what you “NCSI provides a comprehensive
pay for in that regard.” background check, and I like the ability to
The early results from NCSI are check the status online,” Hayes said. “It’s
reassuring, and at the same time very easy to use. The setup process was
point out that not everyone has a straightforward and simple, unlike some
offiCiating

background that would warrant interaction with children. Of the nearly 7,000 background of the other programs I looked into.”
checks that NCSI has performed for USA Football members, nearly 91 percent were given The approachable ways of NCSI
a “green light.” There were 206 checks that came with a “red light,” thereby effectively personnel also made life easy for Hayes.
eliminating those individuals from the youth football coaching pool. “I was impressed with their process
The “red light” designation is determined by: any felony – 50 percent of the 206 red lights; of dealing with any exceptions that may
any lesser crime involving force or threat of force against a person – 26 percent; any lesser come back on individuals by interviewing
crime in which sexual relations is an element, including “victimless” crimes of a sexual them to find out more about what caused
nature (including pornography) – 4 percent; any lesser crime involving controlled substances the exception to determine if they will give
(not paraphernalia or alcohol) – them the green light or not,” Hayes added.
Did you Know? 20 percent. Hayes is yet another administrator
Approximately 50% of sexual abuse cases involving The $15 two-season gold- who looked at the value of the NCSI
children under the age of 18 occur outside the home. standard background check background check program.
by NCSI is open to every “We discovered that you get what you
youth football league across pay for with a $5 background check and
the country. Just register for a free USA Football Administrator membership to receive the that was unacceptable to us,” he said.
subsidy. Because USA Football has dedicated $500,000 to the program, the cost is reduced Employ USA Football’s background
from the regular price of $25. USA Football is the only youth sports organization providing check program at usafootball.com/register/
a discounted program like this in the fight against sexual predators. benefits/admin today.

26 USA Football Magazine

24 LEAGUE.indd 26 8/20/08 3:48:11 PM


It’s First and Grant,
You Have the Ball
L
ast fall five football organizations received a $2,500 Liberty Mutual
Responsible Sports™ Community Grant. It’s a Team Effort
For the Peninsula Youth Football Association You can help your local youth football program
of Gig Harbor, WA, operating expenses became a little compete for a Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports
less expensive. As a recipient of a $2,500 Liberty Mutual Community Grant.
Responsible Sports Community Grant, the group found Visit ResponsibleSports.com to see if your
itself with the needed funds to upgrade equipment, pay organization is registered. Then encourage
for field rental, and reduce or provide parents, fans, coaches and community members
Liberty Mutual Responsible free registration for qualifying families. who support and enjoy football in your hometown
Sports Community Grants give In O’Fallon, Mo., more good news. to visit ResponsibleSports.com and complete the
youth sports organizations the Thanks to a $2,500 Liberty Mutual online certification program. The more people who
opportunity to earn $2,500 to Responsible Sports Community Grant, credit their certification to your organization, the
improve the lives of youth athletes the O’Fallon Junior Renegades Youth greater your chances are of earning a grant!
and families. To date, Liberty Football Organization upgraded Your local football association can join
Mutual has awarded $100,000 shoulder pads and helmets to help the ranks of recipients. All you have to do is
in grants that have helped with protect players as they grow and learn register and get supporters to participate in
everything from equipment the fundamentals of football together. the Responsible Sports online program. The fall
upgrades and facility repairs to To learn more about how your season’s grant period runs from September 2nd
scholarship programs for families organization can register for a through November 30th. Get in the game!
in need of assistance. Responsible Sports Community Grant, © 2008 Liberty Mutual. All Rights Reserved.
log on to ResponsibleSports.com.

24 LEAGUE.indd 27 8/20/08 8:07:09 AM


setting the
standard America’s largest youth football organizations turn to USA Football
By Michael coppinger

M
aking America’s and we can help the leagues kick
favorite sport even off with this new training program
stronger, USA Football’s that’s readily available and so
coaching schools and usafootball. reasonably priced.”
com’s Certified Coaching USA Football’s C.C.E.P. course
Education Program (C.C.E.P.) at usafootball.com, featuring
have been mandated or strongly 3-D animation, audio and 11
endorsed by four of the country’s challenging quizzes, is $9.99 per
largest and well-established youth coach. “USA Football did a lot of
football organizations. research and they present it in an
The Amateur Athletic Union easy format,” Marshall said.
(A.A.U.), the Boys & Girls Clubs Forty USA Football Coaching
of America, the Police Athletic Schools, designed exclusively for
League (P.A.L.), and Pop Warner youth coaches were conducted in
Sam Albert, head varsity football coach at
Little Scholars all have endorsed more than 30 states this year at
Highlands High School near Pittsburgh,
USA Football’s coaching education teaches tackling fundamentals at the USA high schools, college campuses and
resources in the past nine months. Football Pittsburgh Coaching School, NFL team training facilities.
Pop Warner mandated all of presented by the Steelers. The sold-out “The best way to shape America’s
school was conducted in May at the
its head coaches, numbering well Steelers’ practice facility.
favorite sport at the youth level is
into the thousands across 43 states, to provide coaches with resources
to either attend a USA Football to become quality instructors and
Coaching School or complete the mentors and we’re doing that in an
C.C.E.P. course at usafootball.com in exciting way – the response we’re
order to work the sidelines in 2008. seeing from national organizations as
In addition, some of the country’s well as independents serves as proof,”
most successful independent leagues said USA Football Executive Director
have mandated completion of USA Scott Hallenbeck. “With the help of
Football’s C.C.E.P. course or participation in that their head coach has gone through a many football contributors – our clinicians,
one of its 40 coaching schools. Boise (Idaho) gold-standard coaching program designed by event organizers, regional managers, and
Noon Optimist Youth Football, Fairfax (Va.) USA Football,” said Pop Warner Executive support staff – we are establishing consistent
County Youth Football, and Oceanside (N.Y.) Director Jon Butler. “USA Football’s and high standards in teaching this great game
Stallions Youth Football are included among Coaching Schools are a valuable tool for Pop to its youngest players. It’s an exciting time to
this rapidly-growing group. Warner and our coaches who are responsible join USA Football.”
Together, members of the youth football for instructing our more than 400,000
family representing more than 8,000 coaches participants and ensuring they receive a To learn more about USA Football’s
and 400,000 youngsters have rallied around positive youth football experience.” online coaching curriculum and state-
USA Football and its coaching curriculum. A.A.U. Director of Volunteer Services Pam of-the-art coaching resources, visit
“Every parent whose child plays in a Pop Marshall said, “It’s a terrific help for us because usafootball.com/register/benefits/coaching.
Warner league has peace of mind knowing we have a lot of new programs that are starting

28 USA Football Magazine Photo by: Danielle huDak

28 Standard.indd 28 8/20/08 8:07:29 AM


BraxAd.indd 7 8/15/08 2:45:30 PM
Officiating

When to Call Holding &


When to Hold Off
By Tony Michalek

E
CoaChing

ven though we’ve all heard coaches and fans say that decide it’s a hold and throw the f lag, be able to place the foul
holding could be called on every play, there’s very little – if into one of the following categories: takedown, tackle, hook
any – truth to that statement. and restrict, jersey stretch and twist and turn. If you can’t put
Holding is extremely tough to judge because it is called in it into one of those five holding categories, then it probably
accordance to the degree it happens and the kind of affect it has on wasn’t a foul.
the play. Because of its subjective nature, so many questions cloud When you’re officiating line play with your head on a swivel,
this rule – even the way you would call a hold changes from one look for the blocker whose feet are beat, as we have a saying that
competition level to another. goes, “When their feet are beat, they’re going to cheat.” Offensive
health & fitness

Those enthusiastic about the game, whether you’re a player, linemen with slow feet are the ones to focus on.
coach, official or fan, always wonder
what constitutes as holding in
lower-level games and why the same
stipulations may or may not result
as a holding penalty in high school,
college or the NFL. They also
wonder what would happen if we
called holding on every play until
the players quit holding.
league

Well, the truth is players


wouldn’t be able to play, the coaches
wouldn’t be able to coach and the
fans would quit watching, leaving
behind a mess that would hardly
resemble anything close to a
football game.
When discerning if a player
offiCiating

is holding, I use the following


philosophies: call any major
takedown that would embarrass
you or your crew if it weren’t called
USA Football Officiating Director Tony Michalek embarks on his seventh season as an NFL
and even if it is not a takedown, call
umpire in 2008.
holding at the point of attack.
When it comes to making a decision on whether or not I Remember to look for one of the five categories when observing
should call a hold, I ask myself these questions: sluggish-footed blockers, especially takedowns and tackles from
Did the blocker gain an unfair advantage from the hold? behind.
Did the defender have his jersey stretched or have to reach for Lastly, don’t neglect the quick feet of a skilled offensive lineman
the ball carrier with one arm? by not allowing yourself to see the entire block. If you don’t see the
Was the disengagement between the holder and the person whole block, keep your flag in your pocket.
who was being held legal? Tony Michalek is USA Football’s director of officiating and
Was he taken in a direction by the hold to an undesired has worked as an NFL umpire since 2002. Among the best at his
location? craft, Michalek was a member of the Super Bowl XLII officiating
Did the defender give up on his pursuit by having a step taken crew. USA Football officiating members gain an edge and learn
away from him as the result of a hold? from the best. Join Michalek and USA Football’s officiating
All of these factors can help you make your decision. If you family today at usafootball.com.

30 USA Football Magazine Photo courtesy of MiaMi DolPhins

30 OFFICIATING.indd 30 8/20/08 3:48:47 PM


SchuttAd.indd 7 8/15/08 2:48:00 PM
What Football Taught Me
Dr. Randy Pausch, Carnegie Mellon University
As Told To MichAel coppinger

I
When researching interview options
t’s hard to say where my where people learned how
for this page in late June, USA Football was
love of football comes to behave on the field. These
touched by the story and boyish enthusiasm
from. It seems such a lessons resonate with me to
for football of Dr. Randy Pausch (pronounced
“powsh”), a leading expert in Computer part of me, as if it’s almost this day.
Science and Human Computer Interaction at an innate quality. It’s a team Football has inspired me so
Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa. sport in the truest sense. much, both as a youngster and
We were grateful for Dr. Pausch’s time Much more than most sports, even today. I’ll never forget
to conduct this interview via email as well football requires discipline the afternoon when I had the
as sharing personal photos to accompany at so many levels to be opportunity to play around
his story. His passion for football and his successful. with the Pittsburgh Steelers
beloved Pittsburgh Steelers was palpable. I think it’s very hard to last October. I did not make
Diagnosed as terminally ill with
be fluid in things like sports it to the National Football
pancreatic cancer last August, he was
or musical instruments Dr. Randy Pausch League, but I probably got
told he had six months to live. On Sept.
18, 2007, Dr. Pausch delivered a lecture at
if you don’t start them
pretty young. I never played
1960-2008 more from that dream and not
accomplishing it than I got
Carnegie Mellon titled, “Really Achieving
Your Childhood Dreams,” which spoke to basketball as a kid, and even after 10 years as an from any of the ones that I did accomplish.
the importance of child-like wonder and adult, I’m never quite sure where I should be on Also stuck in my mind is one youth season
has been viewed by more than six million the court. In football, my body seems to know in particular, where our team lost every game.
people. This led to his best-selling book, where to go on the field effortlessly. We had so many kids quit that at our last game,
“The Last Lecture,” encouraging readers I grew up in Howard County, Md., between we only had 11 players, just enough to field a
to live life to the fullest. His remarkably Baltimore and Washington. The HCYP team. We lost that game, 6-0, and I was the one
upbeat demeanor in the face of impending (Howard County Youth Program) was the who missed the tackle that allowed them to
death drew global attention. venue for all us little league players. I played in score the winning touchdown.
Earlier this year, Time Magazine
weight-controlled leagues from the age of 9 to Individual sports can teach a lot, but many
named Dr. Pausch one of its “World’s
16. At one point or another, I believe I played things can only be taught in team sports. And
Top-100 Most Influential People” and ABC
every position on a physically-
World News Tonight placed him on its
the field. After Jim Graham demanding sport
“Persons of the Year” list. When the Steelers
learned that Dr. Pausch had dreamed of I developed my like football
playing in the NFL, they invited him to skills, I settled has another
participate in a practice last fall. into playing great dimension
Giving USA Football no indication linebacker on to it. I think
of how ill he must have been, we were defense and football requires
saddened and stunned to learn of his playing running a stronger
death on July 25. He was 47. back or wide personal
This likely was Dr. Pausch’s final Randy Pausch
receiver on discipline due to
interview.
offense. the nature of the
An award-winning teacher and
I had the sport.
researcher, he brilliantly engineered projects
for Adobe, Google, Electronic Arts and Walt privilege of Coach
Disney Imagineering. He had achieved learning the game of football – and life – from Graham would tell us that there’s no substitute
many of his childhood dreams and during Coach Jim Graham. Coach would say things for hard work and pure grit. The same holds
the final year of his life, he addressed large like, ‘The offense should be able to tell the true in life. Both take teamwork, stamina and
audiences and inspired them to do the same. defense where they’re running the ball and still dedication. I would have to say that I owe a
Survived by his wife and three children aged make a yard.’ He was huge on discipline; our huge part of whatever success I’ve had to Coach
two through six, the following is what football teams were always ferocious, but rarely were Graham and my other coaches. They prepared
taught a man who taught so much to so many. penalized. Coach Graham instilled a culture me for life.

32 USA Football Magazine

32 What Football Taught.indd 32 8/20/08 8:08:29 AM


NFLRushAd.indd 7 8/11/08 3:26:19 PM
Cv4Ad.indd 7 8/19/08 11:49:54 AM