MARCH, 2008
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"Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it." (Proverbs, Chapter 8, Verses 10-11)



american flagFRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2008- "No man can climb beyond the limitations of his character." John Morley

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SANTA CLARITA - Golden Valley HS - 27051 Robert C Lee Parkway
MAY 31




Gazi Warriors*********** Hello Coach,

I present to you the 2007-2008 Turkish University League Champions the “Gazi Warriors” of Gazi University. We’ve finally done it and gone the whole way, beating the Hacettepe University Red Deers – who had been unbeaten for about 70 games dating back a couple of years. The same team that we would keep losing in the semis, finals etc. over the last couple of years. The same team that i would always write to you about with “ ...we got as far as the finals..but..”

We played the final game at our opponents’ field, same site as last year’s final in which we had lost after some controversial calls 15-12 last year. We had some troubles on defense in the first half which kept the game still relatively close at 22-12 at the half. They employed linemen crawling, diving and trying to plug the 8,9 gaps, and even quite a lot of defensive holding, some of which were luckily called.We kept pounding the powers more than we do regularly, and my insistince (a.k.a getting mad at him when he stayed out) on forcing our QB to participate in his block at the powers (we have had trouble with that sometimes, he prefers to think of himself as a regular QB trying to stay out of harms way sometimes...) paid off and we got our 4-5 yards a play and marched downfield consistently. After awhile they started to concentrate and dive blind into the line, and were quick enough to close the gaps. At this point we succeded in running the power with the FB logging the OLB in instead of kicking him out, since he wasnt there for the kick—out but just trying to plug in the power and counter.

We had tremendous gains on the traps, with our FB just tip-toing around the diving linemen on the ground and going for big runs. On one of these plays, a regularly devastating play ended on a very happy outcome, as our FB fumbled the ball way downfield on a tackle by the safety, but wait there’s my lineman recovering his fumble and going in for the touchdown. It was a happy present , lets say, from the FB to our linemen who were ecstatic doing a sumo-dance in the endzone after the touchdown. Just when we were being bogged down at the line, we were successful on a pass to our A-back on 7BrownO for the touchdown. It was called back for holding by the pulling “O” linemen, but it was still enough to keep the defense honest later on. We have used Powers, Superpowers, 6-G, 5-X, 47C (and Lead 47-C), 38-G-O-Reach, Wedge mostly this year, and the more i go over our plays the less i seem to need.

In the second half we were able to keep up with them on defense (which has been tremendously successful this year actually...last game we didnt even let them out of their half of the field the whole second half), and the double wing just kept rolling. Made some small adjustments to our 38-G-O Reach plays when they were too tight to gain some precious yards when needed. The diving, grabbing technique was devastating for them in the end, with 3-4 linemen getting pounded by the wedge and leaving the game.

At the end of the game we came away with a much deserved 36-18 win, and that by beating the only team that has been able to stop us, and practically everyone else, the last few years.

We have the Pro-League coming up soon, in which we will be playing the same squad plus our other graduated and non-university (we even have twho high-school kids on the team) players. It will be a few days of celebration for us, and then we’re back to basics as we go on to play our next opponent in the Pro League (first and last game of the Pro League so far we won against the next toughest rival , a combination of the two very powerful teams from last year, by a close call 16-12...the game in which we kept their team in their end-zone the whole second half...not much defensive holding calls that game, despite even the players admitting they would grab, hold our D-line, since “well how else would we stop you?”) I hope to bring you even better news come June with news of the Pro-League results.

It has been a marvellous 6 years with the Double Wing over here, and we are very grateful to you first and all the other DW coaches out there whom i have never met, but have learned a lot from just reading what they have to say, and what they show on video. Thank you very much for every precious information that you have shared with all your readers over the years.

( last note to this lengthy letter. My players came up to me with some gossip some night before the game. Supposedly there was this coach in the USA who was devastated one year by the Double Wing so he spent the whole next year studying on how to stop it, which he did very successfully that year and the others to follow. Seems he had a tactic...seems it stopped the DW cold...seems it was all over the net..seems our opponent had gotten hold of it...I just told my players that the only team that would be stopping the DW would be our own offense by poor execution – which i do think we have sometimes, for which i would be to blame , but not poor enough for that tactic to work eh?)
Kerem Ates
Head Coach
Gazi Warriors
Ankara, Turkey

*********** I'm going to go out on a limb: the Olympics this summer will take place as scheduled.

Despite the fact that the Chicoms' record of combining environmental destruction on a scale the world has never seen with human rights violations on the order of the Stalin era, the US, the one nation in the world that once had the 'nads to stand up to them is now just another sterile European poofter. Its big businesses gaze longingly at China's billions of people and see opportunities to sell them cigarettes, soft drinks, beer, Big Macs, Air Jordans, and cars. They see viewers for telecasts of football, basketball and baseball, and, in short order, purchasers of officially licensed apparel.

So - The Games Must Go On, even if it means we have to look the other way. Even if it means sacrificing the people of Tibet.

Look - we all know that the US has no business taking part in this glorification of the Chinese Communists. Those people stand for so many things we deplore. And they're casually despoiling the planet to the point where it really doesn't matter what we do to to try to save it.

I love the argument against using a boycott - the Olympics isn't about politics. It's about sports.

Yeah, it's about sports. Always has been. Why, Hitler was all about sport. We all know what a fun-loving guy he was. Who would ever accuse him of putting on the 1936 Berlin Olympics to showcase the wonders of Naziism?
(Looking back - I wonder how many nations would have participated back then if they'd known what Hitler would put the world through, just three years later.)

So here we are, 70 years down the line, willing stooges in China's giving the finger to the world.

Listen carefully. I'm going to let you in one the code - the ones crying loudest about the Olympics being all about "sport" are the ones with the chance to make the most money off them.

*********** The world's tallest man lives in the Ukraine. His name is Leonid Stadnik, and he's eight-feet-five. Actually, in Europe, that would be an astonishing 255 centimeters, but I don't think that has the same impact as eight-feet-five.

Sorry, Bob Huggins. The guy weighs 440 pounds, and suffers from knee pains so bad that he has to use crutches. Now, if you'd just known about him 15 years ago (he's 37 years old). I know he doesn't speak English, but a lot of those American guys you had on your Cincinnati teams struggled with English, too.

The guy's growth spurt started when he was 14 and a botched brain operation resulted in an unintended overproduction of growth hormone.

Since the story broke this past week, parents all over America have been frantically trying to book airline tickets to the Ukraine, hoping the same surgeons are available to operate on their kids.

*********** They may not realize it, but the bane of all teachers and coaches is the old business axiom, "The customer is always right."

That's because if you substitute "parent" for "customer," that old business axiom could have been written by a school administrator.

It's a commonly-held belief, repeated over and over as gospel.

And it's wrong.

So says Alexander Kjerulf, a business consultant, on his Web site, Chief Happiness Officer (

Really successful businesses, he writes, understand that one's own employees are more valuable than complaining customers; and they believe that the best way to ensure good customer service is to foster high morale among employees.

Kjerulf cites a story about legendary Southwest Airlines CEO Herb Kelleher:

A woman who frequently flew on Southwest wrote so many letters of complaint that she became known among airline employees as the “Pen Pal."

She didn’t like the fact that the company didn’t assign seats; she didn’t like the absence of a first-class section; she didn’t like not having a meal in flight; she didn’t like Southwest’s boarding procedure; she didn’t like the flight attendants’ sporty uniforms and the casual atmosphere.

Finally, Southwest’s customer relations people had had it with the woman, and they passed her latest letter on to Herb Kelleher, the CEO, with a note: "This one’s yours."

Within sixty seconds, Kelleher wrote her back and said, "Dear Mrs. Crabapple, We will miss you. Love, Herb."

Bravo, writes Kjerulf, citing five main reasons why a policy of "The customer is always right" - is wrong.

1. It makes employees unhappy.

How often have you been part of a disgruntled faculty that despised its administration and school board because they knew that in any conflict with a parent, the teacher (or coach) could count on getting thrown under the bus?

It wouldn't be that way, argues Kjerulf, if management had its priorities straight.

He cites another airlines executive, Gordon Bethune, whose 1998 book "From Worst to First" told the story of the dramatic turnaround of Continental Airlines.

In it, Bethune made it clear that no "customer is always right” policy existed at Continental.

In conflicts between employees and unruly customers he consistently sided with his people, and he explained why:

When we run into customers that we can’t reel back in, our loyalty is with our employees. They have to put up with this stuff every day. Just because you buy a ticket does not give you the right to abuse our employees . . .

We run more than 3 million people through our books every month. One or two of those people are going to be unreasonable, demanding jerks. When it’s a choice between supporting your employees, who work with you every day and make your product what it is, or some irate jerk who demands a free ticket to Paris because you ran out of peanuts, whose side are you going to be on?

You can’t treat your employees like serfs. You have to value them . . . If they think that you won’t support them when a customer is out of line, even the smallest problem can cause resentment.

In other words, Bethune trusted and valued - and supported - his people over unreasonable customers. The inherent problem with the “always right” rule, said Bethune, is that it totally favors the customer - not a good idea, because it causes resentment among employees.

2. It gives abrasive customers an unfair advantage

Ever heard the expression, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease?" Everybody knows that at a lot of schools these days, one complaining parent is often enough to harass a teacher or bring down a coach. The ordinary, caring, satisfied parents go about their business unaware of the turmoil being caused - until it's too late.

Belief in the slogan “The customer is always right” not only encourages abusive customers to demand more, which makes the employees’ job that much harder, but it also means that abusive people get better treatment than nice people.

3. Some customers are bad for business

Most businesses think “the more customers the better”. But some customers are just plain bad for business.

Kjerulf tells the story of a Danish company that sent one of their service people to a customer's place of business to do a routine job, where he was treated exceptionally rudely.

On his return to his office, he told his management about his experience, and they promptly cancelled the customer’s contract.

It wasn't a matter of a money - not a question of whether the company would make or lose money on that customer in the long run. It was a simple matter of respect and dignity and of treating their employees right.

In schools and on sports teams, some parents should simply be told to take their kids and leave if they don't like it.

4. It results in worse customer service

A disgruntled staff will "work to the rule": it will do what's necessary, and little more.

In his book, "The Customer Comes Second," Hal Rosenbluth, CEO of giant travel agency Rosenbluth International, wrote about having to bring his company back from the near-dead after 9/11.

He said the key was: "Put the Customer Second - Put your people first, and watch 'em kick butt."

He said that when you put the employees first, they will take good care of the customers. If you put employees first, they will be happy at work, and employees who are happy at work will give better customer service.

But when the company and management consistently side with customers instead of with employees, it sends a clear message that employees are not valued, that treating them fairly is not important, that they have no right to respect from customers, that they have to put up with anything from customers.

When this is the prevailing attitude, he wrote, employees stop caring about service, at which point really good service is nearly impossible, and the best that customers can hope for is an artificial good service.

5. Some customers are just plain wrong

There are some people who just can't be pleased. And businesses - and school administrators - have an obligation to shield their employees from these "customers."

In his book, "Nuts!", Southwest CEO Kelleher, when asked whether customers aren't always right, responded:

“No, they are not! And I think that’s one of the biggest betrayals of employees a boss can possibly commit. The customer is sometimes wrong. We don’t carry those sorts of customers. We write to them and say, ‘Fly somebody else. Don’t abuse our people.’”

Now, then - will someone please package this message and start selling it to school districts around the country? (If you've ever heard some of the idiocy they actually pay to hear, you'll agree that they surely can find the money to hear this.)

It's high time they realized that "The Customer is Always Right" is one of the things killing American education by driving out good people and depressing the morale of the ones who remain.

*********** Hugh,

Spot-on with your criticisms. We can't enjoy one game before we get taken to something else, and we never get to see the kids celebrate. I'll add another one - Jim Nantz and his buddy were talking about Kelvin Sampson during IU's game. I guess their tear-jerker was supposed to be Indiana having the courage to take the floor. They said it was "such a tragedy for him and his family."

I thought if anything it was a tragedy in the truest sense of the word - a cataclysmic downfall brought on by intractable personal faults and attempting to cheat fate. Forgive me, but I'm not too sympathetic when someone gets busted at one school, gets a plum job elsewhere, and does it again. Indiana had to know what it was getting into when they hired him, but kudos to them for waving him

As far as the family - yeah, it sucks for them. But his wife had to know that being with a cheater, she'd get cheated at some point too.

Christopher Anderson, Palo Alto, California

ps. My TiVo stopped with one minute left in OT of the Stanford game. Since ESPN, despite having hours upon hours of evening airtime, won't show more than one or two plays of any game, I missed the context of The Shot. Argh!

*********** Coach, just to throw some gasoline on your fire...

I bought Jerry Campbell's videos when I was coaching option.

He has a few on o-line play where he is conducting a clinic with high school kids. In that one, he specifically teaches holding. He also talks about it in his clinic tape. I can't remember if it is the actual o-line clinic or the coaches clinic where he says this: "Do you know when it's holding? When the flag gets thrown. If the ref doesn't throw the flag, then it isn't holding."

Also, on a clinic tape from when Alex Gibbs was in Denver, he says his line holds on every play.

Jody Hagins, Summerville, South Carolina (Sad to think that people like that are looked up to.  So  fair warning, guys  -  it's not a punch in your offensive linemen's balls, either, if the ref doesn't throw the flag. HW)

*********** We actually seemed to get a decent mix of NCAA games, although I must admit, my friend Adam (the WVU fan) and I drove around on Saturday morning looking for an open pub with ESPN and when we finally found it, we got 3 crappy games! I read your site today, Dad, and you were right on about the 3 point shooting. Duke just kept shooting and shooting to no avail. You're also right about the refereeing. I'm sick of seeing guys complain after an obvious call. That big white guy from Georgia made faces and threw his hands up after every call against him (4 were good calls, 1 was a bad call). Of all the games, the one I enjoyed the most was Wazzu just absolutely slicing and dicing Notre Dame. That was a clinic!

Love, Ed Wyatt, Melbourne, Australia

*********** Hello Coach, Interestingly you mention CBS doesn't use split screen for basketball. This past weekend we watched a number of the NCAA wrestling semifinals on ESPN U. They had two semifinal matches going on at the same time using split screen.

A question for you. Our family needs a new video camera. Any recommendations on which technology, brand, etc.? We'll be using it for home video as well as taping my youth football games.

Adam Wesoloski, Pulaski, Wisconsin

Hi Coach-

CBS's official answer to the lack of a split screen is that it's against their "philosophy" to use one - when they show more than one picture, they can't have audio for any.  (And, we're supposed to think that's a bad thing?)

As for the camera - I haven't bought one in several years, and I assume the lower-end ones have gotten cheaper.  At the upper end, the Sony and Canon cameras have not come down in price.

I have three cameras that I use, one from each place on the price spectrum, and although my eye can tell the difference in picture quality,  I have to say that the cheapie is serviceable.  And it's a lot easier to carry around.

I still like the Sony brand.  I have had good success with Sony cameras. 

I still prefer tape (Mini-DV of course) as a recording medium. Even after you export the data into your computer you still have the tape backup.  But I confess that I have no experience with cameras recording onto discs or  cards.  I have heard that there can be some issues with capacity (you need 40-50 minutes to do an ordinary HS game) as well as with your ability to erase stuff while you're still recording. (IN other words, you discover that the camera's been recording through the entire halftime, when you thought it was off, and you need to erase all that unwanted video because you need to recording capacity.)

You want a good "steady-shot", which Sony offers.  You want a decent optical zoom, which most cameras have. (Pay no attention to "digital zoom",  which creates a larger picture by "borrowing" pixels, causing a degraded picture.)

 A color viewfinder (the one that you squint into) is highly recommended.  They all have open-out screens now, and a larger one is nice but not totally necessary.  If it's going to be for family use ("Look what I just shot") it is nice to have a decent-sized screen.  One of my cameras, about nine years old,  has a 4-inch screen, which is practically unheard of nowadays.

It's interesting to me that the screens on digital cameras are now larger than the ones on video cameras.

Look for easy-to-use VCR buttons. Smaller cameras tend to miniaturize them so that they are sometimes difficult to use, and even though you should have a remote, there are times when you'll want to use the on-board controls, the ones on the camera.  I have a Sony model with touch-screen controls and it's fine.

Make sure that there is a FireWire input-output connection on the camera. It's what you'll use to transfer video to your computer, and it's the best way to make sure that the video quality you shot is the same video quality you'll get in your computer.  If you use "RCA" connections (the red-yellow-white plugs) you will lose some picture resolution between the camera and the computer.

That's pretty basic.  Hope it helps.

*********** When the NFL annual meeting takes place next week, the owners will vote on a proposal by Kansas City that would prohibit hair that hangs so low it obscures the names on the back of players' jerseys. We can only hope.

*********** Just in case your kids need one more reason to spend their time holed up in their bedrooms in front of a screen...

A new social networking site named, described as something like Facebook for young athletes, is expected to start up in mid-April.

It will cater to youth athletes, parents and coaches. An estimated 52 million children a year participate in organized sports leagues, according to the National Council of Youth Sports. “Two hundred forty million people in America are one degree of separation from youth sports,” said Steve Hansen, the chief executive of WePlay. “Youth sports is held together by e-mails, phone calls and clip boards. We want to change that.”

Young athletes will be able to set up a profile, post pictures, communicate with friends and share videos of games. Parents will be able to get practice schedules, coordinate car pools and find out which equipment to purchase. Coaches will be able to communicate with their players and parents, as well as learn about strategy and other skills.

A number of pro athletes are said to be investors in WePlay, and word is that the site will feature numerous video clips of such athletes as LeBron James and Tony Parker when they were kids.


american flagTUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2008- "A sport is not merely governed but defined by rules to which participants voluntarily submit." Randy Cohen, writer of The Ethicist in the Sunday New York Times

*********** Today's quote comes from Randy Cohen, who writes a weekly column on ethics in the Sunday New York Times magazine. The point of his quote is that rules don't just govern a game - they are the game!

Which is why I will do anything I can to expose cheating in our game. There simply is no one bigger than our game - and that extends from the NFL coach who thinks it's okay to tape another team's practice all the way down to the youth coach who teaches kids to cheat. And, of course, to the coach who teaches those youth coaches that it's okay to cheat.

So it's with a bit of anger and a bit of dismay that I pass along this note from a coach in Pennsylvania who wrote me after returning from a clinic in the Lancaster area...

In the afternoon I went to see Mike -----. The topic was Youth Offensive line play. He was a very interesting speaker, very dynamic, and he had a lot of good drills to use. At the beginning of the session he asked if any coaches teach their lineman to pull. There were about 50 coaches in the room and I was the only one to raise my hand. My only problem with him was when he said that he teaches holding because the ref never calls or sees it, so it gives him an advantage. Then a few minutes later he mentioned that he is in the business of teaching character to young men, I was a little confused and thought about asking him which was true but decided to keep my mouth shut.

Anyone remember the coach in Colorado who a few years back was caught spraying PAM on his kids' jerseys? Ooooooo. Bad. He was widely and publicly branded a cheater. A real cheater.

But was he, really?

Let's bring back Mr. Cohen, the Ethicist. It's his belief that you are not ethically required to stand idle and allow a cheater to take unfair advantage. "In fencing," he says, "you would have to change tactics if a foe swapped his foil for a chain saw."

By that reasoning, the guy in Colorado wasn't a cheater at all - he was a coach who had been trying to play the game straight-up, by the rules, and was prevented from doing so by guys like this Mike ----- who teach holding "because the ref never sees it."

No, two wrongs don't make a right. And yes, the game suffers when two people flout the rules. But Mr. Cohen argues that you are under no obligation to surrender the contest to an opponent who cheats while you do nothing.

Now, maybe I'm reading too much into Mr. Cohen's chain saw analogy, but I swear it sounds as if he's saying that if another coach is teaching his players to hold, it's ethical for me to teach my kids to punch them in the la bonza. Maybe even a little lower. Maybe with brass knuckles, even. Until they give up their ill-gotten advantage. Until they play by the rules.

Because hey - the refs won't call or see what we do, either. (We'll be sure to keep our hands "inside the frame.") And while it won't exactly give us an advantage, it should help to even things up a bit. You okay with that, Coach -----? Or are you the only one who's allowed to break the rules?

(Mike -----'s name furnished on request)

*********** Hello Coach Wyatt:
Thought you may be interested in reading this blog and followup comments in one of the Atlanta papers regarding the recruitment of Terrell Pryor.
 His antics have turned a lot of Western Pa. high school sports fans against him.  In fairness, he is an 18 year old kid who has been showered with media attention since his sophomore year and few young people would have the character to deal with this gracefully, but the fact is that he appears to have "gone Hollywood".  In fact, on the day of his second press conference, he did not even show up in school until 5 minutes before the noon press conference.  Nobody knew where he was!  Then he announces his choice by taking off his windbreaker to reveal an OSU T-shirt, and dons an OSU baseball cap.  Theatrics coming from a guy not even out of High School! I don't wish the kid ill, but I think a lesson in the virtues of humbleness awaits him when he steps onto the field in August.  Apparently this writer agrees with me.
All the best!
Mark Rice, Beaver, Pa (I do not envy Jim Tressel, but then, he made his own bed. Personally, I'd have wished the kid, who sounds a little like East Coast Jimmy Clausen, on Rich Rodriguez. HW)

*********** Coach Wyatt:
I read the 'News' and appreciate your review of NCSA.  (I'm sorry my bribe attempt wasn't as subtle as I intended :-) 
The story that really caught my attention was the review of the toilet situation in China.  I don't know if I ever told you, but my family and I lived for 19 months in Japan.  They have similar plumbing facilities in the less westernized portions of the country.  I heard a funny story about one of the ex-pats who was building a home and ordered a western-style toilet for installation.  There were no instructions in Japanese.  When the happy home owner inspected the finished bathroom, the entire western style toilet was buried into the floor so that the rim was at floor level!

Keith Babb, Chicago   (That's quite believable, because I remember the late 70s, the days of the flood of Vietnamese refugees into America when, not knowing any different, those kids would actually step up onto the toilet, place their feet on both sides of the seat  - and squat. HW)

*********** Below - Coach Len Labonar and some of the kids from Maine East High in Park Ridge, Illinois, who took their first steps as a Double-Wing team at the Chicago clinic



*********** From my friend Ryan Miller, head baseball coach at Portland Christian High come these great kicker training videos ---

*********** Speaking of kickers - anybody catch Beckham on "60 Minutes" Sunday night. Sheesh. What a weinie.

Hard to believe that a country that has venerated Babe Ruth and Pete Rose and Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano and John Unitas and Joe Greene and Michael Jordan might one day put a twerp like that on a pedestal. But then, based on the direction I see our country headed, nothing would surprise me...

*********** Hard to believe that with basketball on one set (CBS only gave us one game, and not always the one we wanted, and never for as long as we wanted to watch it) and the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge on the other, I found myself watching the Jack Russell Terriers and border collies. The basketball was often crude and primitive - either big guys recklessly pounding, or little guys scratching lottery cards out beyond the three-point line. There was little back-and-forth, up-and-down-the-court action. The officials deserve some of the credit for that. Yes, a lot of their calls were touch fouls, but in defense of the refs, most of the fouls were richly deserved, the result of a type of contact that the game's founders could never have envisioned. It was almost as if coaches figured officials wouldn't dare call 'em all. Just wondering - are there leagues that let this sh-- go in the regular season?

All those teams (Duke, Oregon, and many, many more) whose entire offensive strategy seemed to hinge on making three-pointers. (Think of a football team going deep every down.)

Free throw shooting so abysmal it belonged in the NBA. Speaking of which, in the grand tradition of the NBA, it routinely took 10-15 minutes to play out the final 60 seconds.

And, CBS - be sure never, ever to let us watch the post-game celebrations. Always cut to commercial. Immediately.

Commercials? Sure had to make the games a joy to watch with your young children sitting next to you. Promo after sleazy promo for upcoming network shows full of smooth-skinned, well-groomed young urban types with the sex glands (and morals) of goats. Pole dancers. Britney Spears asking if they can have sex first - and then go shopping.

Endless NCAA spots telling us, as we watch teams of semi-pro basketball players who'll never come within five semesters of finishing college (North Carolina is the only one of the four Number One seeds to graduate at least 50 per cent of its players) that most NCAA athletes will "go pro" in something other than sports.

And that stupid Nike SPARQ spot full of loud-mouth braggarts (LaDainian, did you have to do that commercial?) telling us that their better is better than our better.

*********** Thank God for Butler and Davidson, who gave us two great games on Sunday. Not that it helped those of us on the West Coast. Many thanks to clueless CBS, which loves to interrupt games for a word with Bryant Gumbel, and switch us abruptly from a game we've begun to enjoy (Davidson-Georgetown) to the start of a game between a 12 and a 13 (San Diego-Western Kentucky).

Poor CBS. Here it is 2008, and they haven't even heard of a split screen.

But they do have the technology to keep running a DIRECTV crawler across the bottom of our screen.

Come to think of it - are they teasing us, rubbing it in that we can't buy the DIRECTV all-games package, since we're DISH subscribers?

*********** Remember “You’re a soccer fan; you just don’t know it yet?"

That was ESPN's slogan last year, as it attempted to convince Americans to watch soccer. Apparently, despite a full season of MLS excitement on ESPN, you still don't know it yet.

Nice try, ESPN. Last year, ESPN2's 25 MLS telecasts produced a 0.2 rating. To those who don't understand ratings, that's a fly's ass. It's 229,000 households. To put that in perspective, there are more households than that in North Dakota. Or Vermont.

Did I say that MLS stands for "Major League" Soccer? Uh, guys, those are WNBA-type numbers.

And that was just the first year of an eight-year, $64 million commitment ESPN has made to MLS.

ESPN says it plans to "return to basics" (whatever that means) this year. No more “You’re a soccer fan; you just don’t know it yet.” This year, the slogan will be “Football. Futbol. Soccer.”

They rejected my suggestion: "Football is for Americans. Futbol is for Foreigners. Soccer is for people who secretly wish they were foreigners."

*********** Yes, the Washington State Cougars (perhaps you saw a minute or two of their shellacking of Notre Dame - that's all CBS showed us, out in Washington) may look a little scruffy, but there's one point in their favor - they are almost devoid of tats. Shoot, a quick shave and a haircut will take scare of the scruff factor.

*********** The best CBS could give us for a tearjerker over the weekend was a story about a North Carolina kid whose father did some time for narcotics trafficking and now is prevented by the conditions of his parole from leaving the state to watch his son play. All because, we were told, "of something that happened."

Yeah. Mistakes were made. Drugs were dealt.

*********** Before USC played Kansas State, the Trojans' O.J. Mayo and the Wildcats' Michael Beasley were asked who they thought was the top freshman in the country.

Mayo: Me

Beasley: That's not for me to say.

For the record: Beasley outplayed Mayo and K-State beat USC.

*********** Hey- isn't it about time for the World League/NFL Europe/NFL Europa to be getting under way?

*********** How many of you are making several million dollars a year? How many of you have an employer that will give you a year off with pay to go through a divorce?

If you raised your hand to both questions, your name must be Lute Olsen.

Now, I'm just speculating on the divorce being the reason - or even the main reason - that Olsen took this past season off. But I'm free to speculate because Olsen left himself wide open. He's been vague at best, dishonest at worst about the whole deal, first saying back at the start of the season that his health (he is, after all, 71 years old) had nothing to do with it, then saying recently that it was, indeed, a health issue, but now he's ready to return, fit as a fiddle and ready for love.

Yes, that too, because he really was going through a divorce.

So cut the guy a break, you say. Leave his private life out of it.

Be glad to, if he were to go back to being a private figure. But until then, he's a public figure, and so long as he's drawing pay - considerably higher pay, as a matter of fact, than the governor of Arizona - to not coach a state university's team, he owes the public more candor than he's shown so far.

Meantime, the guy to really feel sorry for is Kevin O'Neill, Lute's former assistant who as interim head coach of the Wildcats was paid $725,000 this year.

But now, with Olsen returning, O'Neill will have to go back to being an assistant. At a mere $375,000 per.

Poor guy.

*********** Coach Wyatt,

It has been a long time since I have written. We finished a disappointing 8-4 after starting the season out 6-0, but did end up as the State Runner-Up in the Large School Vocational Super Bowl. Our studs from last year did not have have the season we were expecting, but players we were hoping to just get some playing time ended up being our best players. I had a coach's dream at right guard, a 6'2" 250 pound athlete that we easily could have made a running back. In just his first full season he was our best lineman and leading tackler on defense. A man among boys, he was just unbelievable. Baseball just started and he's throwing in the low to mid 90's.

The future looks bright. An undermanned JV squad finished 7-2 and a very talented Freshmen squad finished 8-2. In four seasons of running the Double Wing the team has won two Super Bowls and finished as Runner-Up in the Vocational Super Bowl. Not too shabby. Around the state, two Double Wing teams brought home Super Bowl Championships as well. Nationally ranked Everett took home the D1 title and Brighton won the D4 title (with probably a 15 or so man roster). Two other titles were won by Wing-T teams. The other three champs I didn't pay much attention too.

Well, that's the word from Southeastern. I look forward to seeing you this May in Providence.

Talk to you soon,
Jeff Cziska
Southeastern Regional
South Easton, MA (FYI- For those outside Massachusetts, a "Super Bowl" - wonder how the NFL allows that - is the Bay State's equivalent of a state championship. HW)

american flagFRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2008- "The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge." Daniel J. Boorstin

The photo below is nearing 50 years of age. Pictured with their trainer are three Army All-Americans, all now members of the College Football Hall of Fame. On the far left is Army All-America halfback Bob Anderson; next is All-American and Heisman Trophy winner Pete Dawkins; Army trainer Ed Pillings; All-America end Bill Carpenter, famed as the "Lonely End." It was taken at some point in fall of 1958, Coach Earl Blaik's last season, when Army finished unbeaten and ranked third in the country.

army 58


*********** Wish all those people dealing with a certain current political controversy would look in the f--king dictionary. The word is "divisive" is NOT "di-VISS-ive." It is "di-VICE-ive."

*********** Asking our parents to refrain from using racially derogatory terms.

Bill Mignault*********** On the left, I'm pictured with Bill Mignault, who's been a regular at my Providence clinics. Bill is the winingest coach in Connecticut high school football history. He's been the head coach at Ledyard High School, the only coach the school has ever had.

Although Bill is not a Double-Winger, our philosophies are similar. He'll openly admit that he's taken a few things from our clinics, and I've certainly seen some things in Bill's Wing-T - and his approach to coaching - that have helped me.

I have a world of respect for Bill, and it was not without some sadness that I read the following news release....

Bill Mignault, the most successful high school football coach in Connecticut history, has decided the time is right to turn over the head coaching responsibilities of the Ledyard High School football team to another qualified coach. He officially announced his retirement today after a legendary 42 year career as Ledyard’s only head football coach.

“This is a very difficult decision, stated Mignault, but it would be difficult to experience a more exciting season than 2007 when our team won the ECC Championship and State Title. When this team of young men was in eighth grade, I told them they were my “special group” that would take Ledyard High School Football to number one again. They certainly exceeded all of my expectations!”

Mignault began his head coaching career at Waterford High School in 1958 and established the football program at Ledyard High School where he has coached since 1966. Mignault has earned 321 wins, including 10 ECC football championships and four state championships in 1986, 1991, 1993 and 2007. Mignault set the state record for coaching victories on October 20, 2001 and is just two wins away from being the most successful coach in all of New England. Mignault has been awarded many honors including being selected to the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1991 and the prestigious Gold Key Award from the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance in 2004-2005. In 2005, he was selected as the State & Region One Football Coach of the Year. And on Tuesday evening, April 22, the UCONN Club will present Mignault with the prestigious Red O’Neill Award.

Mignault was born in Killingly, CT and played football for Killingly High School and UCONN. His first coaching position was in the United States Air Force where he fielded his first football team on the base in Germany with fellow lieutenant Don Klosterman (who went on to become the General Manager of the Baltimore Colts and Los Angeles Rams). He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Patricia, for 55 years, and he has two sons, one daughter and five grandchildren. He has also had the honor of coaching his two sons and three grandsons through the Ledyard High School Football program. All three grandsons, BK, Patrick and Marc, were part of Mignault’s history-making seasons.

“I am going to miss coaching the players and working with the staff and administration. I have great admiration and respect for all of the players, coaches, parents, and friends that have supported Ledyard Football and the Colonels over the years. I am proud to be a Ledyard Colonel, and I am especially proud of the players and coaches that have competed and will continue to play on Bill Mignault Football Field” he continued.

“Coaching Ledyard Football has been very rewarding. We have had many exciting, challenging and winning seasons. I have had hard-working players and loyal assistant coaches, including my sons Billy and Brian, with the ability to play and coach football with mental hardness, intensity, and a complete team attitude. I believe that our program has been successful because of our “one heartbeat” philosophy both on and off the field.

“I consider all Ledyard Football Players and coaches as family. Once a Ledyard Colonel, always a Ledyard Colonel! I wish the best of luck to future Ledyard Football Teams. I know they will continue to play hard, intense Ledyard Football and make our school and community proud!”

1986 – 1991 – 1993 – 2007

1971 – 1972 – 1979 – 1984 – 1986 – 1990 – 1992 – 1993 – 2003 – 2007

Bill Mignault's Ledyard Record: 303 wins, 115 losses, 2 ties
Bill Mignault's Overall Record: 321 wins, 130 losses, 5 ties

APRIL 26 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SANTA CLARITA - Golden Valley HS - 27051 Robert C Lee Parkway

*********** It took him a little longer than everybody else, but highly-rated QB Terrelle Pryor finally chose his college. Sounding like Lou Holtz ("University of the Naval Academy"), he announced he'd be attending "University of Ohio State."

Well, if not necessarily "attending," in the sense that a student attends, at least playing football there.

Give him a little time on campus, though (that's the place with all that grass and all those trees and all those people walking around carrying books, Terrelle) and one day he'll be saying "THE University of Ohio State" on those Monday Night Football intros.

He said Oregon was too far away, Penn State too rural. While he said he did like Michigan and Rich Rodriguez (said he felt real bad about having to break the news to "Coach Rod," a man who knows a thing or two about giving people bad news), he said he felt that he had a better shot at making it to the NFL by going to Ohio State.

Why sure - everyone knows about all the great NFL QBs the Buckeyes have been turning out lately.

Too bad for him that he didn't pay a visit to Oregon, as he once said he would. He never got to see Nike's plans for their Air Terrelle line.

*********** Our little dog is quite ill and unwilling to eat anything, so she was prescribed an appetite stimulant.

The label said: May cause drowsiness. Alcohol may intensify this effect. Use care when operating a car or dangerous machinery.

Shoot - her feet can't even touch the pedals.

*********** Can't blame Barry Bonds for beginning to think that maybe he's being locked out by Major League Baseball teams.

But he shouldn't feel too bad - he does have a future in PR if he wants it.

The Lake Elsinore Storm, a Class-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, announced that it had offered Bonds "a cushy Media Relations position (with slight pay cut from $19.3 million), full use of baseball facilities and of course expanded cubicle space with barcalounger and plasma TV."

"We just think the way he has handled the media with such grace over the years that he would be a perfect fit in our media relations department," said Storm general manager Chris Jones.

Actually, considering what a pr--k he's been to the news media throughout his career, I fully expect to see him wind up as a network TV analyst.

*********** Coach Wyatt, If you could suggest just one great football book to read, what would it be? I’m about half way through my Bob Knight book and soon will be looking for my next book to read.

Best - "When Pride Still Mattered," by David Maraniss. It's THE biography of Vince Lombardi.  David is a thorough researcher (he even spent a winter in Green Bay while working on the book) but he is also a great writer.

Next best, but old and out-of-print - "You Have to Pay the Price," by Earl Blaik and Tim Cohane.  It's still available in book stores and probably public libraries.

A more recent good one is "The Education of a Coach," by David Halberstam - it's about Bill Belichick. Like him or not, this book offers a good look into what makes him what he is.

As you may have noticed, I favor biographies.  (Although with all I have on my list, I don't read anything "written" by athletes or by current coaches.)

At the present time I am reading Dan Rooney's memoirs (he's the president of the Steelers).  It's excellent, too.

*********** A middle school kid in Florida told his teacher that he had to go. She apparently told him either to hold it or go in his lunch box. Given the choice, the kid peed in his lunch box. (Lucky he was a boy.)

First year teacher. Short on experience. Short on common sense.

But wait - let's give her the benfit of the doubt. It's quite possible that, out of concern over the possibility of an abduction or because of a history of drug deals in the bathroom, teachers had been told not to let kids out of their rooms during class periods.

That being the case, the school might prevent a recurrence of the lunch box arrangement by posting reminders in all the halls - REMEMBER TO GO BEFORE CLASS!

Whereupon kids would begin coming late to class, with a ready-made excuse.

*********** A professor from the University of Kansas was asked to explain the almost incredible exhibitionism among American college girls (especially on spring break). When his questioner offered up the theory that it results from low self-esteem, boy, did he go off.

It's not low self-esteem, he said. Oh, no. It's hyperinflated self-esteem. High self-esteem. We all need to have the capacity to feel shame, he said, but those young women have no sense of shame. The way you learn it is by being chastised by your parents, but these kids were all raised by parents who wanted to be their kids' friends.
*********** Last Friday, while in Chicago, I spent much of the day with old friend Keith Babb, who is now chief national scout for an organization called the National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA).

My opinion of such organizations has been low, to put it mildly. Slightly above bloodsuckers. They charge anxious parents large sums of money for simply doing what parents, kids, or the kids' coaches could do - essentially, mailing out videos to colleges. In some cases, too, they are being paid on both ends of the deal - by the colleges as well as by the parents.

So I wouldn't have taken the time if it hadn't been for Keith, whom I first got to know some ten years ago when he was coaching youngsters (and running my offense) in Deerfield, Illinois. (Two of his players were Michael Jordan's sons.) Over the years, I got to know Keith quite well. He attended my clinics and he visited us when he was in Portland getting his older son settled in college. And a few years ago, we spent a weekend with him and his wife at West Point, where by coincidence my wife and I were attending an Army football game, while the Babbs were accompanying their daughter, Melissa, on an informal recruiting visit.

I know and respect Keith, and so I accepted his invitation to see the NCSA operation. I figured that if Keith had enough faith in NCSA to cast his lot with them, it had to be on the up-and-up.

What an eye-opening experience it was. The NCSA's downtown Chicago offices are full of enthusiastic, energetic young people. I'd say their average age is between 25 and 30. They obviously love their work and believe in what they're doing.

What they're doing is working young athletes and their parents through the steps from initial exploration of NCSA's services, to helping find the right college for them, to remaining available for counseling all the way until they're out of college eligibility.

Not that the NCSA people like to turn down business, but in order to assure a good working relationship with their clients, they do put a lot of effort into pre- screening people right up front. They're careful to let prospective clients know that it's not a simple matter of handing over their responsibility to NCSA - in fact, one of the most important services NCSA performs may be stressing to kids that they must take responsibility for their own careers by maintaining contact with colleges.

An interesting insight to me was that, realizing how so many parents come in thinking their kids are D-I athletes (without any real basis for thinking that), NCSA does a good job of realistically assessing an athlete's ability and potential, then working to find the best match for him (or her - they work with athletes in several sports, male and female).

Rather than looking for the best deal, NCSA is looking for the best fit. As proof of the success of this approach, Keith pointed to follow-up interviews in which more than 90 per cent of the athletes they place report that they are happy and satisfied with their choice of college.

Full disclosure: Despite what you might think up to this point, I am not receiving a nickel for writing this. (Although Keith did attempt to bribe me by buying me lunch at Uncle Julio's.) If I didn't think that people could benefit from knowing about this organization, I wouldn't expend the effort.

What it comes down to is this: If you as a parent think that you can do for your children what this organization can, and save the money - you can't. If you as a coach think that you can do for your players what NCSA can do - forget it. You don't have the time or the resources. They are way out ahead of the rest of us.

As just one example, when they post a video of an athlete on a web page, their software enables them to determine who (what college coaches) view it.

There are several good videos on their Web site dealing with recruiting ---

To acquaint parents with NCSA, the organization dispatches a team of speakers. One of those speakers, Bob Chmiel, is a former Notre Dame and Michigan assistant, and he does a great job of telling people some of the things NOT to include in a highlights video: (If you can't tell by his accent, Bob is a Chicago native.)

*********** More than 20 colleges seem to think that they can stir interest in their spring games by participating in something called Gridiron Bash.

Billed as a "fanfest," it sounds like a bunch of pre-game concerts, most of them on April 18. Based on the Gridiron Bash Web site, it looks like a great opportunity for a lot of young guys to get crazy drunk. So it might succeed.

I'm just wondering how the US Military Academy got involved.

*********** We all know that the air in Beijing is so bad you can slice it and eat it. And we also know that unrest in Tibet is causing some nations to look askance at the way China is trying to put it down.

But there's another, even greater concern that's surfacing. A potential deal-breaker.

Haw, haw. World-class athletes are just now discovering that competing in the Beijing Olympics is going to mean, uh defecating in a hole in the floor. I could have told them this a long time ago. For a generous fee, of course.

You say primitive, and I say primitive, but remember - all cultures are equal (that's what they teach kids in public schools) and we mustn't be judgemental.

(Meantime, I keep picturing workers in a toilet factory in China, shipping all these crazy-shaped "Made in China" white porcelain things to the USA, and wondering what we do with them.)

american flagTUESDAY, MARCH 18, 2008- "The Internet is like one of those garbage dumps outside of Bombay. There are people, most unfortunately, crawling all over it, and maybe they find a bit of aluminum, or something they can sell. But mainly, it's garbage." MIT professor and computer pioneer Joseph Werizenbaum, who died last week but did live long enough to see MySpace and Facebook and porn sites galore


*********** Bob Novogratz, former Army All American who serves on the Board of Advisors of the Black Lion Award, is one of 75 players on this year's College Football Hall of Fame ballot.

Bob NovogratzBob , a 1959 West Point graduate and member of the Army's 1958 undefeated team, was a two-time football letterwinner and earned All-America honors from the Associated Press in 1958 when Army went 8-0-1 and captured the Lambert Trophy in Earl “Red” Blaik’s final season as head coach. He was was named “Outstanding Lineman in the Nation” by the Los Angeles Times, and received the Knute Rockne Award as the Nation's Outstanding Lineman.

Bob entered his senior season as the lone returning starter on an offensive line that paved the way for teammate Pete Dawkins' winning the Heisman Trophy. Army finished the season ranked third nationally by both the AP and UPI, and Bob was chosen to play in the East-West Shrine Game after helping Army to a 15-2-1 record in his two seasons as a letterwinner.

Coach Blaik, himself a 1964 inductee of the College Football Hall of Fame, called Bob “one of the greatest linemen in Army history,” and once said, “If there is a better lineman in the United States than Novogratz, I would like to see him.”

Bob was named by Notre Dame, Navy and Pittsburgh to their all-opponents’ teams. A two-way player who also starred at linebacker, as a junior he was credited with 48 total tackles against Penn State and Notre Dame.

Following his graduation from West Point, Bob went on to serve 30 years in the military before retiring as a Colonel. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam and was awarded the Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters. He also received the Vietnamese Honor Medal from the Minister of Economy in Vietnam for his service.

Since 2003, Bob Novogratz has been a member of the Board of Advisors of the Black Lion Award.

APRIL 26 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SANTA CLARITA - Golden Valley HS - 27051 Robert C Lee Parkway

*********** Last weekend's Chicago Clinic was held in the gym/auditorium of The Southpark Church, in suburban Park Ridge, Illinois. I jokingly told the guys there that I thought about putting the unique location to good use and passing a collection plate around at some point, but I did tell them in all seriousness that I'd do my best to refrain from even mild swearing. As a sign of my good intentions, I put out a stack of one-dollar bills and pledged to donate a dollar to the church every time I let something slip. By the time I was done, the church had earned ten dollars to be given in Sunday's offering. One of the dollars, it should be pointed out, was kicked in by a coach who said the "S" word. Soccer.

*********** Check out this Web site that belongs to Dutch department store named HEMA.

Wait a few seconds for it to load, then sit back and watch.

(Also - check out the Dutch word for boom box.)

*********** From my friend and former head coach Tracy Jackson in Hood River, Oregon, comes news that there is another Double Winger in the college head coaching ranks...

Roger VanDeZande began his duties this week as the new head football coach at Blackburn College. No stranger to NCAA Division III football in Illinois, VanDeZande is a former assistant head coach, defensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator, and men's strength coach at North Central College in Naperville.

VanDeZande was for four years the defensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator, strength coach, and fitness center director at Southern Oregon University. The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) named him the 2001 NAIA Assistant Coach of the Year. He was a finalist for the award in 2000.
One of VanDeZandeís biggest contributions to his college or university programs has been in the field of strength and conditioning, where he has coached over 50 All Americans in six sports.

Originally from Bend, Oregon, VanDeZande is a 1982 graduate of Oregon State University where he earned a degree in Psychology with a minor in Religious Studies. He is member of the AFCA and the National Football Foundation.

Coach VanDeZande's last head coaching job before Blackburn was at Portland's Lewis and Clark College in 2004 when the school suddenly decided to discontinue football.

*********** So Heather Mills has made off with 40-some million dollars of Paul McCartney's richly-earned money, but her reputation is mud. What she needs to do is come to the United States and get a "job" as a high-priced whore, and - bam - like that, she'll be treated like a goddess.

*********** Coach Pat Cox of Tolland, Connecticut won a state championship last year, andd now he writes to tell me that he's just been named AD at Tolland. Not only will be able to remain as head football coach, but the really big news is that, since he'd actually been teaching at another school and coaching at Tolland, he'll be able to be with his players all day. As well as he's done as a teacher in another district, imagine how much more effective he'll be when he's at the school full-time.

He notes that he's not only excited about the new job, but also "about spending nearly 3 hours less per week in my car commuting to and from work."

*********** Read this e-mail carefully. It's from Coach Chris Davis, who's been running the Double Wing in Slayton, Minnesota for some ten years now, and he was at this past weekend's Chicago clinic, as you can see. But he's got one of the best lines I've ever heard for teaching a Double Team, and I want to make sure everybody knows whose line it was.

Coach, Thanks for the great clinic.  I really enjoyed seeing everyone and being able to re-charge for the coming year.  Learned alot, and I will definitely will use the football idea to teach the ice-pick technique.  So simple, wish I had thought about it.   Just watched your fine line DVD again and we have been using the saying, "I want to see four cheeks and three cracks" with any double-team.  The kids picked up on that.  Great to see you again and the best to you and yours.
PS  Still don't like driving in a city, most vehicles I saw coming home after Rochester, MN was 5 in my sight line.

*********** Paul Brown was one of the greatest football coaches of all time - maybe the very best.
But a touchy-feely human being he was not. Let's put it this way: he wouldn't make it through a whole session on the importance of building high self esteem. He'd get up and walk out after five minutes or so.

This comes across quite clearly in a book called "Brown's Town," a collection of reminiscences of former Cleveland Browns (you did know that the Browns were named for Paul Brown, didn't you?).

As an example, there was Paul Wiggin, who would go on to play 146 straight games at defensive end, who would become a two-time all-pro selection and team captain, and would be named the Browns' outstanding player in 1966 and Cleveland's outstanding pro athlete in 1967.

But in 1958, his rookie year, he screwed up royally in a big game.

The unbeaten Browns, playing the Giants in a key game near the end of the season, held a ten-point lead. Stopped near midfield, the Giants were forced to punt, but Wiggin was called for roughing the kicker.
Their drive once again alive, the Giants went on to score - and score again - and win the game.

Wiggin remembered it as "one of the most devastating things that happened to me in athletics."

What was worse, they didn't practice again until the following Wednesday.

"That was horrible," Wiggin said, "because we didn't have money to do anything, so I had two days to relive that play. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't do anything. The guilt and letting the team down were the hardest things I probably ever went through in my life."

At the film session on Wednesday, Brown came into the room, fixed poor Paul Wiggin with what the Browns' players all knew as "The Look," and said to the team, "Gentlemen, if we are not in the championship game on the twenty-eighth of December, we'll know who to thank."

*********** I saw the headline in the paper and just one word jumped out at me - FUKUDOME.

Whoa, I thought, pronouncing the name in my head. What a concept. A little bit of hell right here on earth, for the large and ever-growing number of a**holes wse have to deal with in our everyday lives.

The ones who tailgate, and the ones who cut across three lanes of traffic because they've been so engrossed in their phone conversations that they almost missed their exit. The bicyclists who take up an entire lane while going 15 miles an hour then blow right through the red light while you sit there. The NFL players who insist on celebrating even the most trivial of accomplishments, and the coaches who teach their kids to cheat. Not to mention gutless school administrators who'd just as soon not even have a football program, but since they're required to have one, do everything in their power to make sure it's mediocre. And, of course, all those parents who sit in the stands and loudly criticize their kids' coaches.

Welcome to the FUKUDOME, folks! Sure hope there's room for all of you.

And then, to my consternation, I found out my dream of a FUKUDOME was a Japanese baseball player named Kosuke Fukodome.

*********** Coach Wyatt,
My head coach at Oxford has asked me to help produce this year’s Offensive play book. (We’re running the Midline Option this year.)  He knows that I enjoy doing that kind of work and has seen some of my playbooks that I have produced on my own. I’m pretty good with the computer applications that I have on my home computer. But I’m wondering if there is some “Playbook Software” out there that might help me to do things even better in terms of producing a playbook. Would you happen to know of any good programs out there?
FYI- I picked up a book this weekend about Bob Knight. I’ve always been kind of fascinated about the guy and wanted to learn more about him so I purchased his book entitled “Knight: My Story”. Anyway, one of his chapters is entitled “The Army Way”, which he goes on to tell about what took place during his time at West Point. In that chapter he had a lot of good things to say about the Army football program. After I finished the chapter thought to myself, Wow! In a relatively short period of time Army produced some great coaches. Take for example Earl “Red” Blaik, Vince Lombardi, Bob Knight, Bill Parcells and Mike K. (Coach at Duke whose name I can’t spell correctly.) Pretty impressive! West Point must have been one really neat place to be during those times.
See you in Fort Washington!
Mike Lane, Avon Grove, Pennsylvania

Hi Mike-

I use my own stuff (Appleworks) which works only with Mac, but I've heard that Playmaker is pretty good.

I think you could do a decent job with PowerPoint.  I find it works well when I want to project a play, and for my purposes that's how I'd teach my kids anyhow. ( I don't produce a playbook for kids.)

Hope that helps.

Hugh Wyatt

PS- Coach Blaik's record in producing head coaches is incomparable.

From my biography of Coach Blaik: ----

20 of his assistants went on to become head coaches themselves...
Paul Amen... George Blackburn... Chief Boston... Eddie Crowder... Paul Dietzel... Bobby Dobbs... Sid Gillman... Jack Green... Andy Gustafson... Dale Hall... Tom Harp... Herman Hickman... Stu Holcombe... Frank Lauterbur... Vince Lombardi... Johnny Sauer... Dick Voris... Murray Warmath... Bob Woodruff... Bill Yeoman

Two former assistants, Dietzel (at LSU) and Warmath (at Minnesota), went on to win National Titles as head coaches. Two others, Gillman (Chargers, AFL) and Lombardi (Packers, NFL), would win professional championships. Lombardi would win two Super Bowls.

I suppose West Point can take some credit for Bill Parcells, because he did spend three years as an assistant there (his younger brother played at West Point), but to be honest, there wasn't a lot on his college coaching resume (including one unsuccessful year as head coach at Air Force) to indicate that he would one day be a top NFL coach, and he didn't get his first NFL job until nine years after leaving West Point.

*********** I'm not sure who said it, but someone at my clinic Saturday said, "People have always loved their kids. But people nowadays are in love with their kids."

*********** Hi Coach;
I hope all is well with you and your family. The last time I mentioned to you I was offered the head freshmen football coaching position at a local high school in my area. Of course I was very excited and felt good they offered me the position…that was in January. Perhaps I am just not in tune with what happens at the high school ranks so perhaps you could shed some light on the subject given your track record at the high school level and the past experiences you have had. I have always been a very structured, systematic, kind of person albeit coaching, business or my personnel life. That is one of the big reasons I chose the Double Wing at the youth level because of the system you had created and the success it has had. The issue I am now facing is one in which the head varsity coach has an offense he runs at the Varsity level, the Wing-T, one that I would be expected to run and one I should run given he is the varsity coach and it is his system. I have no issue with that, in fact, I was looking forward to learning a new system. However, it seems he has no real interest in the freshman team. I have asked for meetings to discuss his system, the plays within the system, the blocking schemes, etc….I have asked how he installs the system to a new team given the fact this is a freshman team and many of the new players have never played the game and those that have probably not the Wing-T. I guess what I was looking for is what you have done to the double wing. Now, I am no dummy when it comes to the game and I guess I could figure this out and maybe this is the expectation at the high school level however, in my mind my thought process was more along the lines of o.k…. we have a new head coach, let's sit down review the offense, the system, how we install the system and plays, perhaps some film review, what initial plays to install, line calls, blocking schemes, etc…however, we are now in mid-March and no such meetings have taken place even after repeated attempts to ask for the assistance. It’s the same thing on the defensive side of the ball.

It seems the head varsity coach wants his JV coach to spearhead the whole thing, as well as once the season begins, having the freshman team and JV team work/practice together. The JV coach seems like a nice guy, has been there 3 years, however, he is very busy and once again the time issue becomes a hurdle. It seems thus far, that at the high school level what a team does is coveted, and that there is a fear that everyone is out to steal what they are doing.

It seems they want to wait until summer practices start before I really get a feel for what they are doing and how they do it… I understand the varsity coach has his team to get ready; however, is this how it is at the high school level? It seems to me thus far all they want is a figure head-head coach.. Am I asking too much at this point and should I be just going along with the flow? What has your experiences been like at the High School level?

I do not want to give up on a great opportunity however, I do not want to be placed into a position that is a lose-lose. Thoughts?


First of all, you are NOT wrong in your thinking about the way things SHOULD be.

Secondly, the situation you describe is unfortunately all too common.  There are some stupid, lazy high school head coaches out there who can't seem to understand what any farmer knows - that if you are going to be successful, you have to look ahead. You have to till the soil and plant and fertilize and weed and protect your crops from predators.  The harvest only comes after you've taken care of all those things, but there are guys who think that they can just wake up in the fall and harvest the crop without doing anything first.  They think they can  concentrate on the varsity and ignore the freshmen.

GOOD high school coaches understand the importance of having good coaches in charge of their freshman programs.   Those guys can determine whether you will have a solid program, year-in-and-year-out, or whether you will simply depend on the occasional flood of talent. In fact, I spent last weekend in Chicago, and a friend who knows the Chicago Catholic League told me about a coach named Jack Quinn who has been the freshman coach at St. Rita's, a major Catholic League power, for over 40 years!  Imagine what an asset that guy is to the head coach! Imagine what he does  to introduce the kids to the school and to the football program, and imagine the information he can provide the varsity staff about the kids and their strengths and weaknesses.

I have to admit that I am surprised and disappointed that your head coach hasn't made every effort to bring you on board and get you up to speed in his system.  

I'm also surprised that he hasn't provided you with a list of his expectations for you - the points on which he'll evaluate you. He should have gone over that with you before hiring you.

I guess about the only way for you to look at this is that you will be left alone to run "your" program. From your standpoint, that's not all that bad, because you could probably go ahead and run the wishbone if you wanted, and the head coach wouldn't even know about it until well into the season (if then).

But the reality is that everyone wants to feel that he's making a contribution to the overall program, and it's hard to feel useful when it appears that you're being asked to be a glorified babysitter.

Suggestion - confront the head coach. Tell him that you want to help him by helping to develop kids into varsity players and you'd like to be thought of as a member of the staff. If he gives you the brushoff, either quit, or say nothing and go do your own thing.  You could probably even run the Double Wing and accomplish everything the head coach expects of you.  (Just be careful not to do too well or he might accuse you of trying to show him up.)

Best of luck.   Hope that helps.  To say the least, I'm disappointed in your head coach.

*********** Hope you've had a chance to see the new series "Ax Men," on the History Channel.

It's all about the most dangerous occupation in America - logging - and it's filmed on site, in the forested Coast Range of northwest Oregon.

My observation since I've lived in the Northwest is that loggers, taken as a group, are about the toughest human beings in America.

*********** So UConn has caught hell for arranging for a female basketball recruit to tour the ESPN studios in Bristol, Connecticut. Wish I knew who the sports writer was who wondered if the young lady was aware of the odds that she'd be groped before she got out of the building.

*********** What do you do when you can't make a living running track because you've failed a drug test? Why, you turn to football, of course. The Sport of the Second Chance. They'll take anybody.

Sprinter Justin Gatlin tested dirty, and for that he was outlawed from world track for eight years. (It's since been reduced to four.)

But there he was last week in Knoxville, showing off his speed for NFL scouts.

*********** Hi Coach, We did have a safe trip back and yes, it (the clinic) was definitely beneficial to us.  I took pages and pages of notes throughout the morning session again.  I've also noticed, and appreciated your comments, on the DW "experts" that are out there on the internet.  I visit those websites nearly every day of the work week, but I always head back to you and your site when I need materials and advice.  Most of the other sites are either youth oriented and/or are run by people that don't even run the DW at the HS level.  

Thanks, and look forward to speaking with you in the future,
 Nick Crawford
Head Varsity Football Coach
Rio, Wisconsin



american flagFRIDAY, MARCH 14, 2008- "If I never went through the hard times, I would not be able to appreciate the good times." Ashley Alexandra Dupre, whore. A $4,000 whore, but a whore nonetheless

APRIL 26 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SANTA CLARITA - Golden Valley HS - 27051 Robert C Lee Parkway


*********** Great newsletter

i played with a kid named Hyder in junior college and he said his dad was a big time coach. Wonder if theyre related.

Pete Porcelli, Lansingburgh, New York.

Pete adds...

As a die hard double wing guy i just wanted to post some of our weight room numbers. We made it to the nys finals this past season and lose 17 starters, so we have been banging away in the weight room and here are some of our guys numbers:

junior o tackle Mike Caro, 5-11 265, squatted 405 for 7 and bench pressed 315 for 5

Junior B back Marcus Hepp 5-6 180 squatted 405 for 10 deep!!

sophomore tailback Tyrone Nichols squatted 405 for 5

junior wing back Shane Wynn 5-6 155 squatted 405

junior d lineman 6-3 330lb Daquan Davis never lifted before and is now squatting 315 for 5

sophomore quarterback TJ McLaughlin benched 235 and squatted 350 ( i like my QB;s tough and strong. Gee, i wonder why??)

sophomore off tackle - first year player - 6-8, 325 deadlifted 405(never lifted before)

sophomore tailback Lamar Lashley squatted 315 for 5 and he weighs 160

junior tailback Kyle Murray 5-8 155 deadlifted 435 and benched 275

junior fullback Santell Mauzon 6-1 210 deadlifted 475

We have a lifitng competition this weekend and once this is over we start speed training.

Just wanted to keep everyone aware that you can be good on paper all you want but if you want to win in the fall youd better be training!

*********** A little bragging... A note from Australia's National Basketball League to my son and his radio partner...

Dear Steve and Ed,

I am pleased to inform you both that SEN’s ‘Born in the USA’ program has taken out an NBL Media Award for season 2007/08. You have won the Best Radio News Package, so congratulations on your terrific efforts this year and thanks for your support of the NBL.

*********** Coach Wyatt-

I thought you might enjoy reading this link. Coach Staker is one of the good guys in the world of coaching. I know he used your system when he was at Fredericksburg HS and I thought you would enjoy seeing his continued success.

Bill Heubner
Head Football Coach
Independence High School, Independence, Iowa

(In short, the link is to a news release announcing that Steve Staker has been named head coach at Coe College, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Steve Staker is a great coach and a wonderful man and I couldn't be happier. He is smart enough to run an offense that will best enable his players to be successful. Whatever that may be, I'm betting that at some point, some opponent will see a Double-Wing play. HW)


*********** Gene McIntyre, Army's Associate Athletic Direcctor for Recruiting and Admissions Support, sent a link to all West Point coaches, along with the note, "This paper may be a little long but I thought it to be an inspirational speech and potentially useful when explaining why USMA emphasizes  moral-ethical development. Save it and read when you have some time.  I bet you'll save it and use parts of it when you talk to your teams about leadership."

The link is to a speech on leadership given by West Point Political Science Professor Don Snider,

*********** Dear Coach Wyatt,
How are you doing? What a wonderful Old School newsletter. I still have a photo copy I made out of the old Coach of the Year clinic manual I got during my first year as football coach back in 1997 of words by Coach Hyder.
I wanted to let you know to sign me up for the April 12, 2008 Clinic in Charlotte. I'll be there, looking forward to it. Give my best to Miss Connie, your boy Ed. Oh I'll have to show you the photos I have of the Rugby League match I went to in Jacksonville FL, Russell Crowe's team South Syndey of the NRL against Leeds of the English Super League. It was a blast, 12,000 folks in January Rain at the University of North Florida. It was my graduation present I gave to my younger brother, who was captain of Towson U. Rugby.
Keep up the great work.
John Grimsley
Youngsville North Carolina

*********** I suppose that in the long run, it's a good thing for me that the sexual revolution came along after my teenage years were behind me.

Sexual liberation was supposed to be such a good thing for women, too, doing away with that evil double standard and freeing them from the constraints of marriage and all that.

Now, though, comes some news that where our young women are concerned, it hasn't necessarily been all for the good.

A national study of four common sexually transmitted diseases among girls and young women (ages 14-19) has found that 25 per cent - one in four - are infected with at least one of them, federal health officials reported Tuesday.

With young black girls, it is close to 50 per cent.

You want to say that the problem is a lack of fathers in the home, telling their daughters to keep their knees together, and telling the young dudes to keep their filthy hands off their daughters.

But w ouldn't you know? The president of Planned Parenthood said the findings “emphasize the need for real comprehensive sex education.” She's blaming it all on abstinence education.

I'll bet the schools are doing a great job of teaching abstinence. Yeah, right. (Wink-wink, nudge-nudge).

Just like they're doing a great job of teaching English. Amd math. And history. (History? What's that?)

On the other hand, when it's a subject they really believe in, such as radical environmentalism, or tolerance of "alternative lifestyles," American schools are World Class.

*********** Coach Wyatt, after reading all the comments from coaches and educators about sympathizing with Officer Murphy, the old Kipling poem "Tommy" flashed into my head.  Ingratitude to those doing their duty (except when everything falls into the pot) is, sadly, nothing new.

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o'beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:

O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's ``Thank you, Mister Atkins,'' when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's ``Thank you, Mr. Atkins,'' when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.

Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy how's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;

While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

-Rudyard Kipling

Chad Beermann, Elgin, Iowa
(I love Kipling. He is no longer politically correct because so much of his poetry is associated with the heyday of "Rule Britannia," when the sun never set on the British Empire.

He is also out of fashion in a day when "poets" are too f--king lazy to use rhyme or meter. Thomas Grey took nine years to complete "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard." The dreck that people call poetry nowadays is the literary equivalent of finger painting. HW)

Coach Beermann added, "the sad thing is, you can learn pretty much everything you need to learn to be a man from Kipling's writings.  Especially important to remember, "The female of the species is more deadly than the male."  At their graduations, I always provide my players with a copy of "If"."

*********** Got to like the commercial for some brand of air filter where the older fella, I believe his last name is Justice, tells us in a great Cajun accent how good the product is, and then, lest we might think he was an actor, adds, "Ah'm not no professional. Ah'm a truck drivah!"

*********** I just wanted to let you know that I have stumbled across your article on Charlie Conerly, and it is the greatest article I have read in years. I never new the connection Charlie had with all three Manning QBs. More importantly, I feel that Charlie has been forgotten about when it comes to talking about the all-time greats. How is he not in the Pro-Football Hall of Fame??? In your article, it was saying because so many of his teammates were, but they put so many of the 60s Packers and 70s Steelers in the Hall of Fame, so I don't buy that. I feel that there is an anti-Giants bias there, and thats why it took so long for Harry Carson to get in, and why Phil Simms still hasn't gotten in. I have brought this up on sports talk radio in New York, but with little success. There has to be something done, this guy played over 50 years ago and still hasn't gotten in. It is rediculous, he gets no respect, so many Giants fans don't even know who he is. I don't know how many more qualifications then 14 years, 1 out of 3 championships, multiple pro bowls, rookie of the year and an MVP award don't get you in. Something has to be done, but I am glad someone else is trying to bring it to everyones attention and now is the best time. Once again, great article!!! Michael Gordon

Dear Michael, Thanks for writing.  I feel as if I have gotten to know Charlie Conerly  fairly well after researching for the article, and I think one of the problems is that he was a very quiet guy on a team full of stars. Not that the other guys were self-promoters, but he was ultra-modest. He was content to do his job. As it turned out, he did it very well.

I have also  gotten to know his wife, a lovely woman and a real Giants fan to this day, and I would love for her to see Charlie Conerly installed in the Hall of Fame.

Keep pressing.  Maybe the Mannings, as an Ole Miss family,  could be enlisted to help.

*********** For those who contend that a football playoff will determine a "True National Champion"... In the Mountain West women's basketball tournament, Colorado State (0-16) beat Utah (16-0). After Utah went through the regular season and beat everybody twice, is there any way you can tell me that the eventual touornament winner will be the "True Mountain West Champion."

*********** Joe Paterno has 372 career wins, one behind Bobby Bowden. Except for one thing. One very important thing. ALL of Coach Paterno's wins were at Penn State. 31 of Coach Bowden's 373 wins were at a place called Howard College, now known as Samford University. Gimme a break.

*********** Those of you who receive my newsletter know by now about Coach Nick Hyder. In going back through my hand-written notes, the ones I actually wrote down at the clinic before I got home and retyped them (a study trick I learned as an undergraduate but, alas, never applied until years later in graduate school) I came across these additional gems from Coach Hyder:

I don't believe in a star system... I don't believe in building stars... Football is a team game... You can't win with selfish people

The most valuable player is the guy who performs the act at the time it has to be done.

Our offensive linemen are held in high esteem: on Thursdays, the backs shine the linemen's shoes and get them clean shoestrings... offensive linemen get on the bus first, offensive linemen get equipment first. ("We had an election to decide who was most important. The vote was 7-4.")

Be happy where you are... The job you have may be the best job you'll ever have... If you're looking, you aren't giving your kids the best you've got.

On Mental Toughness... When the whip hits a thoroughbred, he runs... when the whip hits a mule, he sulks... A mule has never won the Kentucky Derby

On excuses for being late: Our principal has a list - missed bus, flat tire, train at the crossing - and he says, "Take a Number."

All our coaching is on the field

On complaining about officiating: There's a lot of balls that should have been strikes, a lot of strikes that should have been balls... We're better coaches than complainers... What's more important that the next play?

We make our practice situation as game-like as we can

(When we scrimmage) There is a pair of eyes on every player on the field

Coach with the rules... Anytime a player breaks a rule, penalize him

(If you don't get my newsletter, you're missing out on a lot of good stuff like this)

american flagTUESDAY, MARCH 11, 2008- "The liar's punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else." George Bernard Shaw


*********** Hello Coach Wyatt,
Just wanted to say thanks for sending the Old School Newsletters...always enjoy them.  Reading the other day the inquiry about "double wing successes" to inform the naysayers or skeptics, so i have attached a list that I created a year or so ago for the same purpose.  Feel free to do with it as you will.
Also, the passage from Bill Murphy (former Chicago police officer) seems to be similar to how one might describe classroom teachers in today's public schools.....a kind of "battle fatigue" aftter fighting the same old fights, and the ever increasing expectations from administrators, politicians and parents....more accountability paperwork, more documentation, one more assessment test of some sort, more excuses why kids can't be disciplined....etc.   Thank goodness we still have football!
Have a good weekend Coach. 
Don Davis
Head Football Coach
Martin High School
Laredo, Texas

*********** Hugh:
Great News Letter! I look forward not only to reading your newsletters, but the “News you can Use” on the web every week. I love the consistent message of demanding excellence from your players in all aspects of their lives. That is something that we address at the beginning of each season. One of the first things we tell our players is that they MUST get their homework done BEFORE they show up for practice. And, if they miss a practice for any reason, they miss the first quarter of that weekend’s game. It doesn’t matter if they are the stud player or not, they’ll sit. It only takes that one individual to test it and not start to show everyone we’re serious. It’s amazing how the kids step up and accept that rule. Time and time again, I have heard parents tell me how much better their kids do in school and at home during the football season. It’s funny, but not unexpected that everyone really misses it when the season is over. It’s great when I heard at the start of the upcoming baseball season; the boys talking about how much longer it will be until football starts. They crave the discipline and comradery of the “TEAM”.
I also like the focus on the "TEAM". We really stress "The strength of the individual is the group". People have asked what the secret is to the success of our teams, and I tell them all the same thing. The secret is the team. You can’t be successful in football without that commitment from your players. One of my favorite Vince Lombardi quotes is "Teamwork is what the Green Bay Packers were all about. They didn't do it for individual glory. They did it because they loved one another…”. We tell the players to play for the guy next to them. Give them the effort you expect from them. And after the drill or after the play or after the game, be able to look them in the eye and know that you gave them everything you had.
Coach, Thanks for everything you do, and just keep doing it! It’s killing me, but I have to miss your clinic here in Chicago this month. I figured it was going to be during the summer and I already planned a spring vacation during that week. I just might have to fly Denver in May! I have your information posted on our website, and am trying to get some coaches out there for you.
Bruce Fisher
Glen Ellyn Golden Eagles, Glen Ellyn, Illinois

*********** Coach,
Thanks for taking the time to put this together and sending it out.  I really enjoy your thoughts and writing style.
Take care,
Jerry Lovell
Head Football Coach
Bellevue East HS, Bellevue, Nebraska

*********** Good Morning Hugh,

We are approaching nearly 100 inches of snow for the season. That is a lot
of snow even for us and I will be glad to see some spring weather.

For some reason reason the mass mailing of your coaches letter does not
reach me -- probably a glitch in my system. If you could send it to me in
separate mailing I would appreciate it. I have been saving them for future

A nice reply to the coach who sent in the clip on how to stop the DW. I
have found a two things that will stop our offense: Poor coaching by not
paying attention to detail and superior personal. All things being equal
and in somecases even when a team has better personel then ours the DW is
an efficient winning offense. I have 15 years of winning will varying
degrees of talent to prove the point.

Thanks for ahead of time for sending the newsletter and I am looking
forward to seeing you and Connie in May.

Jack Tourtillotte, Boothbay Harbor, Maine (Jack- you nailed the things that stop us!

Damn shame Al Gore can't take a look around Maine. He and his quasi-religious cult now realize that people ain't buying  "Global Warming" so they're changing the label to read "Global Climate Change." HW)

*********** Coach Wyatt:
Your newsletter this month is a great tribute to Coach Hyder.  Although I didn't play for Coach Hyder at Valdosta, I did play in the 1983 Ga High School All Star game and Coach Hyder was the head coach.  Even though I only experienced him for a week, I know I would have enjoyed coming up through his program.  
He was a great role model, teacher and a great person.
Trey Gainous, Madison, Alabama

*********** I just returned from the Chicago Glazier Clinic and as always came away with some excellent nuggets.
DelVaughn Alexander WR coach for Wisconsin
“I have one of the most difficult jobs on our staff. All of my kids are just “Horney for the ball” and are not always willing to do what it takes to win in the Big 10.”
Peter McCarty D Line coach at Western Michigan
“I’ve coached all over this country for 30+ years and I feel that most people are wrong when they say, ‘kids have changed’. Kids haven’t changed. They still want to get better and still want to win. It’s the parents that have changed, they’re f—k’n a------les now and you HS coaches have to deal with them 10x more than we do”!   
Hope to see you in Chicago
Coach Kaz (Mark Kaczmarek, Davenport, Iowa)

Rodgers*********** So Brett Favre will be succeeded by Aaron Rodgers.

Have you seen Aaron Rodgers? He's the guy pictured on the left.

I can't tell whether he's the meth tweaker who's been stealing the aluminum bleacher seats from our high school stadiums, or whether he belongs in a robe, standing up in front of the multitudes, arms outstretched, saying, "Verily I say unto you... blessed are they who catch my passes and beg for more... for they shall be known as the wide receivers..."


*********** Dave Potter, a youth coach in Durham, North Carolina for whom I have a great deal of respect, sent me a link to a YouTube video of a youth tackling "drill" that is positively sickening.  People who "teach" tackling this way would probably enjoy watching dogs fight.

*********** Hugh,

Thinking back to Charlie Conerly as the Marlboro Man - I thought to myself, perhaps the only modern player who could pull it off (although surely not a smoker) would have to be Brett Favre. Just an observation from a guy who likes "old school" football and those who honor it with the way they act on and off the field.

John Dowd

(The guy didn't have a posse and he didn't hang out in strip clubs. He didn't quite leave on top - who besides Jim Brown ever did that? - but he didn't wait around until he was shot. Favre is about as close as any current-day player came to being like the old-timers - the Laynes, the Conerlys, the Unitases.  He really seems like a real person, and not something manufactured and groomed by a PR firm.   Of course, nowadays, that could mean that some PR firm has created Favre's aw shucks, country-boy  image.  But I doubt it. HW)

*********** Hugh,

I just read Officer Murphy's comments about being a police officer. I am finding that being an assistant principal is similar. People only tend to call me when they are mad or have a problem ... but I have gotten some positive feedback. I have also had a couple of situations in which the police were needed - the last year has been wild with several bomb threats and a couple of other situations that have been hairy, especially for a little town in the midwest - and I have nothing but respect and admiration for the jobs our officers do for us!

Keep coaching!

Kyle I. Jones
Assistant Principal
Mt. Vernon Junior High School
Mt. Vernon, Indiana

*********** Wow. Lovers of liberty had to be displeased by the California court ruling last week that unless parents are certified teachers, they can't home-school their kids.

In short - your kids belong to The State.

One more right taken away from the law-abiding among us by the same courts that constantly invent new rights for criminals and beggars.

I'm betting that a state that doesn't have the backbone to refuse services to people who don't even belong in this country will nevertheless find the backbone - and the resources - to go after people whose only crime is wanting something better for their kids than the academic mediocrity and socialist indoctrination that so many of today's public schools provide.

*********** It's okay to burn our flag, they like to tell us, because it's "free speech." And besides, it's just a symbol.

Last week, some nut flew a Nazi flag over one of Portland's busiest bridges. People were rightfully offended.

And every so often, we read of people being understandably offended by the Conferedate battle flag (the so-called "Rebel Flag").

Funny, isn't it, how people can be so aroused by something that's "just a symbol?"

*********** Coach,

Really enjoyed your newsletter about Nick Hyder and the Valdosta program.

I think it was either Jan or Feb of 95 or 96 when he was at the Nebraska Coaching Clinic in Lincoln. A couple of us were setting at a table eating lunch and he asked if could join us and we really enjoyed the time we had with him. He was very approachable and if we had not heard him speak earlier in the clinic we always felt we would never had known how successful he had been. He made a very favorable impression on me and I was very sorry when I later saw he had died of a heart attack.

Also as you know, since your have met Coach Darlington, we have that connection with Valdosta's program. Coach Darlington lives in Umatilla even though he coaches at Apopka High School on the East side of Orlando. We have talked a lot with him about his time at Valdosta and what a pressure cooker that job is there.

Your newsletter brought back pleasant memories and I really enjoyed the chance I had to meet Coach Hyder.

Keep Coaching,

Ron Timson, Umatilla, Fl

*********** Coach - Regarding your comment on "I'm not sure what this means, but Portland has announced that in order to compete with other West Coast cities, it will begin offering a signing bonus to attract new police officers."
I will tell you exactly why.  California law enforcement officers enjoy a "90 at 50" retirement system.  The best in the nation.  In essence they earn 3% for every year of service and can retire as early as 50 if they want to and can get 90% of their pay.  Truly the Mother Lode if all retirements.   John Torres, Santa Clarita, California

*********** The German word for it is schadenfreude - enjoying someone else's misery.

Count me happy to see New York Governor Elliott Spitzer get nailed for consorting with high-priced hookers.

The man is a total pr--k, who built his career using the power of his office to destroy the careers of people whom he didn't like, and then there he was Monday, his wife beside him (for some unknown reason), apologizing for getting caught.

Years ago, Vince Lombardi fined one of his players (might have been Max McGee) for breaking curfew, and told him something like, "Next time you're tempted to break curfew, give me a call, because if she's worth the fine, I want to see what she looks like."

Similarly, having read that His Honor spent some four thousand dollars for a couple of hours with some tart, I have GOT to find out what she looks like.

To think - if he'd just had one of his interns crawl under his desk, his party (he's a Democrat) would be rallying behind him.

american flagFRIDAY, MARCH 7, 2008- "If you win, you're an old pro. If you lose, you're an old man." Charlie Conerly, longtime Giants' quarterback

*********** MY LATEST OLD SCHOOL FOOTBALL NEWSLETTER IS OUT FEATURES THE COACHING WISDOM OF THE GREAT NICK HYDER, LONG-TIME COACH AT VALDOSTA, GEORGIA - to get on the mailing list, e-mail ---- you can send me $150 if you wish, but if you choose not to, that's okay - it's free

Comments: Hugh, Your clinic notes/memories are a treasure in themselves. Thank you so much for sharing this. I absolutely love the "Make 5, Lose 5" scrimmage idea. Greg Koenig, Beloit, Kansas

Hugh, I remember that clinic. I had driven up from Gold Beach. That is where I first met Don McCarty. I think when I moved to Illinois I threw out my clinic notes but I remember writing almost exactly the same notes that you shared in your newsletter. Looking forward to seeing you next weekend. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance while you are here. Eric Bernstein, Braidwood, Illinois

Coach, The best one yet. Keep 'em coming and keep coaching. Patrick Cox, Tolland HS, Tolland, Connecticut

NOTE: Newsletters sent to the following people have been returned as undeliverable. (Perhaps your address has changed. In many cases, though, it's because your organization's server intercepts mail with attachments.)

Bill Callison... Emory Latta... Jan Kilbourne... John Carvassi... Brad Cooley... Brad Knight... Doug Bilodeau... David Guida... Larry Hanson... Joe Ferris... Doug Darst... Guy Hathorn...

Before we delete any names from the list, please contact us at

APRIL 26 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SANTA CLARITA - Golden Valley HS - 27051 Robert C Lee Parkway

*********** Coach Wyatt, Hello, hope all is well in the Great NW.

Global Warming update, we may crack 20 degrees today, but the wind chill is still around zero. Hopefully no SOB E.L.F. terrorists will burn anyone's house down today. 

Our family is heading to Atlanta on the 17th, to visit my Sister, her kids, I have a new niece haven't seen yet. We will be there for 3 days. Have only been to Atlanta 1 time and it was just the airport in transit to Savannah/Hilton Head. 

I know you have been going to Atlanta for clinics for years, and have traveled much more than I have. Like you, I am a social studies teacher, enjoy all things historical. 

Would you have any recommendations of things to see in the Atlanta area or vicinity?

Thank you,

Mick Yanke
Cokato, Minnesota

Hi Coach-

Atlanta people might want to chime in but I'll do my best...

I would be sure to visit Dr. King's grave, which is part of a National monument that also encompasses Ebenezer Baptist Church, where his father was the pastor, and a civil rights museum.  You could easily spend a morning there.   That would be tops on my list.

Morehouse College, Dr. King's college, is a historically-black, male-only college.

To the east of Atlanta  is Stone Mountain, a sort of Mount Rushmore of the Confederacy with the sculptures of southern generals carved into it.

The Cyclorama and Civil War Museum are highly-recommended.

In terms of sports history, I would be sure to walk around the campus at Georgia Tech and try to get into Grant Field.  The lobby of the athletic offices is really well done -  a treasury of Georgia Tech football history.

Right near the Tech campus is the Varsity Drive In. It is a sight to see.  At one time I believe it was the single largest Coca-Cola account in the world.

Speaking of Coca-Cola, the World of Coke deals with the history of Coca-Cola.  It's worth a visit.

If you're staying near the airport, in nearby College Park, just off Virginia Avenue, is Woodward Academy, a beautiful private day school that at one time was Georgia Military Academy and has quite a bit of history attached to it.

Not so much historical, but...

The Georgia Dome and Turner Stadium are worth seeing.

I haven't seen the new Georgia Aquarium but everybody says it is really great.

Have a great trip.  Atlanta is a nice city with lots to see and do.  And lots of friendly people and good food.

Near the airport, we like to eat at Malone's on Virginia Avenue.  Pecan-crusted grouper is a killer dish, but nothing on the menu is bad and the prices are reasonable. Ask for Tony and tell him Coach Wyatt told you to.

Hope that helps. 

*********** Some time ago, I received this e-mail....

My name is ---- -----  and I live in ------- , CA. I  have been wanting to get into football coaching at some level, probably youth. I am quite knowledgeable about the game and tend to "study" a lot of different things about hte game. The one disadvantage I have is that I have never actually played the game (I didn't grow up in the US and only came here when I was 17)! Do you have any suggestions as to how I might start preparing myself for getting into coaching, even at the youth level?
Thank you
(Name Withheld)

This was my response

Dear ------- ,

The advice I always give people in a position such as yours is to get out and meet as many coaches as you can - PERSONALLY, FACE-TO-FACE - and ask them if there would be a way for you to work with them as a volunteer in return for the opportunity to learn from them.  I would start out with high school coaches, and also be sure to ask them if they might know of any middle school or youth coaches that you could talk to.

If you land a position, do anything and everything that you're asked to do, and more.  And do it right away and do it better than anyone would have expected you to do it.  Look for things to do.  And keep your eyes and ears open and -  IMPORTANT- keep your mouth shut.  You are a trainee, and you are going to learn by listening, not talking. Besides, they are not interested in tapping your brain. 

This is called paying your dues. There's no other way.And  once you have had a couple of years' experience, it really won't matter how much playing experience you've had.

I should tell you that most guys in your spot won't do this.  They think that something should be handed to them.

Best of luck.  Let me know how you do.

Hugh Wyatt

A few days ago, I heard back. (I was shocked.)

Coach Wyatt,
Sorry for the later reply but I finally started things going on my coaching career. Following your advice I spoke to a high school head coach in my area and he was glad to have me on. I started today with observing the varsity team going through agility drills and the WRs practicing some route running techniques. I am pretty excited and the Head Coach has been more than willing to help me learn as much as I can. He has even offered for me to join his staff on some coaching clinics they will be attending in the near future. I am very excited for this opportunity and thanks to you for your good advice.
----- -------, ---------, CA

Wow! Over the past 11 years I have been asked roughly the same question by dozens of guys just like him. I have always taken the time to respond, and my advice has been the same. In all that time, though, he is the FIRST ONE to take the time to get back to me and let me know how things have gone. On that basis alone, I predict that he will make a good coach. (I'm assuming that all the other guys are still sitting by their phones waiting for Tom Coughlin to call them and offer them a coordinator's position.)

*********** Coach Wyatt,
I know you're busy this time of year with the clinics, etc. I also know you probably receive a million of these emails a week. However this guy is so sure and cocky of himself hes posted several films on youtube of his defense blowing up the double wing( if you wanna call it that) Kinda looked like it was blocked incorrectly to me in the films but here's his synopsis on the defense. My question to you is: How would You go after this defense?
Thank you so much!
Tony Douglas, Kenova, West Virginia

Coach, This thing has been on the Internet for several years and has been great source of laughs at my clinics for quite some time, because my guys know what a crock it is.

First of all, to the best of my knowledge, this guy, a pretty good coach, has never faced one of my teams. What he says about the Double Wing doesn't even mention the Wedge, which is a staple against any odd-front defense.

I caution people not to listen to anyone who brags about his defense's success against "the double wing" because there's a lot of bad double wing teams out there. The mere fact that someone tries to run the double wing is no guarantee that he runs it well.   As a result of our success there has grown up quite a number of guys peddling their versions of a double wing, and quite a number of people now depending on them for all their information - which these guys are unable to provide. It is all I can do to help the guys I deal with, so I take no responsibility for them. No more than a reputable dog breeder does for the discount puppies turned out by puppy mills.

As for this defense, all you have to do is read this ---

"The NG plays head up on the Center and slants to the play side A gap. We determine play side by motion, best back, or tendencies. The NG can see the quick motion by the wing back with his perennial vision."

Excuse me - "perennial" vision?  Wouldn't you think somebody would have told the guy by now it's "peripheral" vision?

Anyhow, I defy anybody to get into a nose guard stance and try to detect motion, with or without "perennial vision". Against my system, a nose guard who tried to do that is in trouble. First of all, we seldom use motion when running Super Power, so what's to detect? Secondly, unlike other double wings (yes, there are differences), I have emphasized since Day One that in my system the Wedge is a signature play and you'd better be ready for it. It sounds as if this guy's nose guard hasn't seen many wedges, because any odd-front defense whose nose guard is not totally dedicated to stopping the wedge is in trouble.  While he's squatting there looking for motion, or preparing to slant, he is going to be planted flat on his ass by a wedge. And another wedge. And another wedge. And - what the hell - maybe another. Why not?

*********** In an article about Brett Favre's retirement, someone noted that his likely successor would be Aaron Rodgers.

The writer noted that Rodgers is one of a number of very good college quarterbacks developed by Cal's current head coach Jeff Tedford, during stops at Cal, Fresno State and Oregon - Akili Smith, Joey Harrington, David Carr.

But the writer went on to point out that as good as they were in college, none of them has accomplished much in the NFL. As if that was somehow Tedford's fault.

It seems to me that it's a great compliment to Jeff Tedford's coaching that he could develop those guys to the point where they were very good college quarterbacks - so good that the NFL scouts, the guys who are paid to know, believed they'd make it big in the pros.

*********** Just days before Shepherd University's football team was to begin using the school's new, $900,000+ field turf surface for spring practice, vandals made off with a 4 x 8 foot section of the turf.

Can't say that the university officials haven't come up with a meaningful reward---

For information leading to an arrest: Free parking access to the reserved faculty/staff

For information leading to a conviction in the case: free parking "for life"

Anybody who's spent any time on a college campus will understand that this is a better motivator than free beer for life.

*********** I'm not sure what this means, but Portland has announced that in order to compete with other West Coast cities, it will begin offering a signing bonus to attract new police officers.

It sounds kinda scary to me, to think that in an age in which we hear that good jobs are scarce, they have to lure people with cash bonuses to take jobs that offer excellent starting salaries, excellent benefits and good retirements. And a satisfying career.

Uh-oh. Could that last one be the sticking point? Could it be that we've hogtied our police officers to the point that no amount of pay and benefits can offset the frustration of risking their lives to lock up bad guys only to see them out on the streets again a few hours later?

I asked my friend Bill Murphy, a veteran Chicago cop, what he thought...

You hit the nail on the head with that!!
Frustration is a HUGE thing to deal with. I really do not think that  people  truly understand this.
For the most part, every cop starts out the job looking to help people, not one group over another, but ALL people. Then things start to get to you and the stress and frustration builds. It is no surprise to hear somebody who retired two or three years ago is now dead. The job takes a toll on you.All you see is the worst in people and human nature, and nobody ever calls you because they want to see you. It does not matter if you are big city or small town, nobody ever calls the police for something good.
When you start seeing that the people that are your "own side"; the States Attorney's, your Sergeants, the Lieutenants, the Captains, and them Commanders, all of them, when they make decisions based on "political influence" over basically what is right or wrong, well then things get even more frustrating.  You start to really develop that "Us" against "Them" mentality, and that can be dangerous. If you do not high morales and values, or something other then "the job", IMO, this is when you start seeing rogue cops and scandals. In their mind "they" think they are doing the right thing because they have been shit on so many times but the politicians and sell outs who kiss the political machines ass.
No bonus would make me ever do this again, and I love my job; but i will kill any of my three kids if they even think about doing this. If your kid wants a civil service job, be a Fireman...people love them.
That is why coaching football is so important to me - it gives me a reality check and it actually lets me do what I wanted to do when I joined the CPD 12 years ago. I get to help people each day I coach, and to try to let them learn something from me too. As an added bonus, at the end of the day the kids I coached all wave to me with all of their fingers, not just the one finger wave that I get in the ghetto everyday. Sometimes the simple things mean so much... = )
Bill Murphy, Chicago
*********** Assuming he stays retired, the last ball ever thrown by Brett Favre belongs to former Army football player LTC Greg Gadson, who was severely wounded in Iraq and has since become known for his courageous recovery and his inspirational talks to the New York Giants. Favre's last pass wound up being intercepted by Giants' corner Corey Webster, who presented the ball to Gadson.

"That Saturday practice before the Super Bowl, I told Corey he could have the ball back," Gadson remembered.

"I said, 'Just let me know and you can have it back,' but he told me that he wanted me to keep it, and that really symbolized to me what this Giants team was about," Gadson said. "That was such an unselfish act."

At West Point, Gadson was a teammate of Giants' receivers coach Mile Sullivan. After the Giants lost their first two games of the season, Giants' coach Tom Coughlin asked Gadson to address the team in Washington before their game with the Redskins. The gist of Gadson's message was: concentrate on the mission, never give up and believe in each other.

The Giants won that game, and the win turned their season around. Gadson was on the Giants' sidelines for most of the playoffs and the night before the Super Bowl he addressed the team again, speaking on the themes of "pride, poise, team and belief in each other."

*********** Coach Wyatt:
I read Coach Muckian's comments and definitely agree with the picture his numbers presents.  The precise numbers are there are 800 college football programs.  The breakdown is D1A - 119, D1 AA - 116, D2 - 156, D3 - 235, NAIA - 91, Juco - 68, NCCAA (small Christian colleges) - 15.  Each roster size can range from 40 to 110, but the average roster size is 85.   There are approximately 68,000 college football players, so, with attrition, about 18,000 out of the roughly 250,000 senior football players will have the opportunity to go to the next level.  If you're one of those who is fortunate enough to be recognized as one of the top 1000 football players in your recruiting class, then a college coach will probably find you.  Otherwise, you may have to do something to make sure college coaches DO find you.
Coach Frank Lenti is a legend in our neck of the woods.  He's been coaching at Mt. Carmel HS on the south side of Chicago for 26 years.  In the 24 years he's been head coach, his teams have played in 13 state championship games and they've won 10 of them.  On average, his program has produced 17 college football players per year, including big names such as Donavan McNabb and Simeon Rice.  Anyway, he offers some great advice to parents.  First, if they think their kid is a D1A player, they should probably lower their expectations down 2-3 levels unless a D1A coach specifically tells them that their kid is D1A.  The biggest reason that a kid gets disappointed in the recruiting process (and, by extension, parents), is because they have unrealistic expectations.  And when kids and parents shoot for the top, they don't consider some terrific D2 or D3 opportunities that can be a terrific playing experience and get some or all of their education paid for.  And some of those D3 schools offer the best education in America.  Schools such as MIT, U. or Chicago (home of the most Nobel Prize winners of any University), Williams, Amherst, Wesleyan, etc. all play at the D3 level.  But, of course, an athlete needs some good grades to get into those schools.  But they don't need as high of grades and test scores as the kids entering through the academic door.  If the coach wants you, it's a great way to get in.  
Keith Babb
Senior National Scout / Team Lead

National Collegiate Scouting Association

*********** Coach - 

Do you have a suggestion about video editing equipment? Also i'll see you at the April clinic, to keep my double wing brain up to date. Hope all is well! Talk to you soon! 

Mike Wilson, Cape May, New Jersey

There are several ways to go.  For example, I have seen the Landro Play Analyzer and it is pretty slick.
In my opinion the simplest way to go without a large outlay is to invest in a Mac. It will come with iMovie already installed.  Another $40 or so will get you a program called Quick Time Pro.

This is how I do it and maybe it's because I've grown so  comfortable with it, but it's suitable for all my needs.

I shoot the games on MiniDV tape, then load the game into my computer by means of a FireWire connector, and after I've done so, I use iMovie to make clips or otherwise edit the raw game footage.

Then, I  "export" the edited material to another tape, to DVD, or to QuickTime movies, which are clips that I use either  to view right on my computer's screen, or to project onto a larger screen. (Or post on the Internet or mail to people.)

I store all my video clips as Quick Time files.

*********** Hugh, Could you see someone running the Double wing full time at the Div. 3 college level? I am assuming a double wing like what you or I run from multiple formations (spread, lee, roy etc.) and with the addition of a small 3 step and/or 5 step package.   I feel like it would work fine - the Wing-T did and still does (I know Carnegie Mellon runs it still and has great success).  I also traded films with the guys at Olivet in Michigan and the full house T (along with right/left and spread formations) that they ran was very effective.   The only thing people have said to me that could be problematic is that it is legal for them to cut your lead blockers in the hole etc.   However, it seems to me that people do that anyways and it never gets called.  The difference would be that now we too could cut with our FB and G's on sweeps etc.  (I wonder how the HS teams in MA and TX deal with the NCAA rules for cutting?)   Just wanted to see your thoughts - I know you believe it would work on the G-line in pro, but wanted to see your thoughts about the smaller college level.  I even think in Div -1 it could work, but you'd have a tough time recruiting because of all the "bashing" the other guys would do when you weren't around.   

It could be done, but...

It certainly couldn't be done openly, referred to as the Double Wing.  It has become a stigma. Too many people know it by now, and to too many people the name "Double Wing" means one formation and a half-dozen plays.

We need to realize that for the most part, the Double-Wing is successful in public high schools, where kids have no option of going elsewhere if they don't like the offense.

Yes, a good Double-Wing coach could probably win with it at the D-III level, but without major alterations he would have a constant battle for recruits, and a constant battle with the alumni and, consequently, with your administration.  And for that reason, a modern-day college administration would probably never even hire a coach who identified himself as a "Double Wing coach."

Yes, people want to win, but they all have their ideas - mostly from the NFL or Madden - about what "football" is supposed to look like nowadays, and we're crazy if we think we can eventually interest them in something that they just don't like.

I think that we could run the offense in secret would have to be like a stock car - looking like everything else on the road but with something special under the hood.  And that something special would be the play of our line. We could do a wide variety of things with formations and motion and take advantage of gifted receivers, without losing the uniqueness of our blocking.

This, of course, is where we have the advantage over most of the other so-called Double-Wing experts, because we have had considerable experience doing just that.

I continue to struggle with a name that identifies us and sets us apart.

As for the cutting - we would have to do a better job of mixing it up against DE's, and we would have to use more "G" blocking on our off-tackle plays. (The use of the  "G" scheme, which has always been a big part of my offense, is one of the major things that immediately identifies someone who has gotten his Double-Wing from me and not Don Markham.) 

And as you point out, we also can cut anywhere, which gives us a huge advantage on sweeps.

*********** Read the article first...

Hi Coach. Hope all is well. This Python was let go in the Everglades by my friend Luis down in Miami. It made national news.Stupid guy did not know any better. This was a mean ass snake. He got scared after he had a child. Did not want to kill it so he thought heck Everglades is close to their own habitat. Not only the child thing but this is no lie the flipping snake killed and then regurgitated the neighbors cat. We knew it was his because this snake only had one eye. He is not alone, as the reports said. Well, to other important things are you guys wetting your beds up in the state of Washington ever since Hugo Chavez might declare war on us? Don't you guys worry Hugo has to come thru the South first. Hello to all from The Castros'.Blessings,Armando Castro, Roanoke, Virginia (Amazing story. Glad I live where it's cold.

I am not afraid of Hugo. There are so many people in Portland and Seattle who will want to sit down and talk with him and tell him how bad America is that he will grant us generous surrender terms and let us continue living life - as a Venezuelan state. Better Red than Dead.

I do not, however, like his chances as well in the South and in the Heartland, where people haven't yet been sufficiently indoctrinated by their public schools to realize what a horrible country this is, and so, being the patriotic fools they are, they will probably resist.

On the West Coast, we will take up collections in our elementary schools to send food packages to the Chavez forces. HW)

*********** Coach Wyatt,

Let me brag a little bit about the double wing.

You can let Coach Melton know that the double wing has been key in developing the Elmwood/Brimfield Trojans football program.

Prior to 2000 the program had 11 winning seasons in 52 years. And 12 zero-win seasons and 10 one-win seasons. Our 52 year winning percentage was somewhere around 26%.

Since we started running the double wing in 2000, we have experienced success never imagined for this program. From 2000 to 2007, we have had 6 winning seasons, the last five occurring consecutively. We have made the playoffs five years in a row, advancing to the quarterfinals in 2004. During that time we have a record of 48-25, with a winning percentage of 66%, which compares quite favorably to the program's previous 26%. Additionally, we have seen the program grow from 27 kids (frosh-senior) to 68 this past year. The double wing and the double wing mentality (you must have both) have been very good to us.

Good luck,
Todd Hollis
Head Football Coach
Elmwood-Brimfield Coop
Elmwood, Illinois

***********A newly-appointed offensive coordinator wrote... Hugh, hit my first dilemma here at -----, I had some kids in with me and we talked and I showed them what I was going to do, they really seem to like it, but today I had some running back kids come to me and say the wide receivers were wondering if we were just going to run the ball, I told them that in this offense it is ball control, and we pass when we want, not when we have too. They proceeded to tell me that some of the kids were thinking of transfering to another school because we weren't going to throw very much. I just laughed and said they are selfish and that is why you guys did poorly last year. Hugh, how would you answer that. Geez, just 4 days on the job!!!

I would meet with all the kids and explain that while it is a run-first offense, the amount that you throw will depend on the ability of the passers and the ends and backs.  I would tell them that I'm not crazy - if I see a guy who is good enough to be a playmaker, I will find ways to get him the ball. Otherwise, I would ask them why I should throw the ball to people who can't catch if I can count on five yards every time I run the ball.

I would ask them why, since they haven't been winning,  I should stick with the same thing they've been doing.

And I would be frank with them and tell them that if they care more about style than results, if they care more about catching the ball than winning,  then they are going be a problem in any offense, because  If you were throwing the ball they would be bitching because it wasn't being thrown to them.  

Now, if your offensive linemen are thinking of transferring, you've got a problem.  Otherwise...  wide receivers are a dime a dozen, and on top of that they're  the biggest pains in the ass in the entire world of sport. Let 'em transfer.   Then they'll be somebody else's problem.  Look at who the biggest a**holes in the NFL are. 
































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































american flagTUESDAY, MARCH 4, 2008- "Never suppose that in any possible situation or under any circumstances that it is best for you to do a dishonorable thing however slightly so it may appear to you." Thomas Jefferson

*********** The Arena Football League is going to be experimenting with a special helmet containing a light that will turn red in the event its wearer suffers a concussion.

It gives new meaning to the term "Light 'em up," and considering how many young male fans are already used to watching the mountains on the Coors labels turn blue, I can envision promotions based on the number of red lights the home team can turn on.

*********** If ever there were an incongruous matchup of city and sport, it has to be the decision of Major League Soccer (otherwise known as the Oxymoron League) to locate a franchise in Chester, Pennsylvania. Chester, Pennsylvania, for God's sake! Ever been there? Rough town, to say the least. Rough as they come.

Once the home of major industries long since shuttered, Chester was a hardscrabble town even when I was in high school. And it has gone downhill since.

Now they plan to spend government funds (aka taxpayers' money) to build a soccer stadium there. On the Chester waterfront, no less. I laugh to think of all the effete suburbanites in their Priuses and Volvos driving past all the run-down projects and boarded-up buildings on their way to watch a game of futbol.

*********** Joe Daniels, wrote from Sacramento... ah yes the A-11, from Piedmont HS, in Oakland . lets just say these guys couldn't compete any other way HAHAHAHA...sad part is there are a couple of school in our area thinking about going to it..

My answer to the abomination-11 would be to assign my very best athlete to the QB, and have everyone else tackle an opponent at the line.  (Except the center, who gets protection.)

It really goes against everything I believe in to advocate deliberate violations, but if they are going to make a travesty of the game, they don't give a guy much choice.

At the very least, I will make them play tackle football. After a week of practicing against that stuff, I doubt that a defense is going to be ready for real football.


*********** Coach Wyatt, I went to News You Can Use today (Friday 2/29/08) to be vain and see my mom & dad’s greatest creation, me.  (smile)  In all seriousness, I wanted to thank you and Kevin for the Atlanta Clinic.  I kicked myself because I didn’t think to bring MY video camera to the afternoon session but I took lots of notes so I have new wrinkles to explore with the knowledge of new plays that I walked away from the clinic with.  But I will love to put my order in first for the DVD version of the plays.
Kevin has a very athletic team and being that I work with the QBs I couldn’t help but to admire the silky smooth composure that his starter has.  I watched his mechanics and was thoroughly impressed.  The kid has been taught well.
As I scrolled down and read “NEWS” I couldn’t help but read the insert from yet another coach asking you “HOW TO STOP THE DOUBLE WING”.  I think that you are getting softer as you age gracefully, that or in this election year you are being politically correct because I remember you frying coaches previously that dared ask you that asinine question.  (smile)
I do have one clear cut answer to the fools that ask me (us) what defense gives us the most trouble or what info can I (we) give them to stop us.  I ask them have they ever heard of the STUD 11 defense.  They usually reply “stud 11, I never heard of it.  Who runs it and how can I get info on it?  Do you know about it?”  To which I reply sure I know about it, because it will take eleven studs at every defensive position to stop the Double Wing!  I have yet to face the STUD 11.  (smile)
What stops most DWers is lack of execution, poor play calling, lack of defensive recognition, tinkering, lack of attention to detail, piss poor coaching, personnel in the wrong position(s) and I could go on but one that I will end on is lack of faith in the abilities of our players.  These are the things that stop the Double Wing and not one Cure All Double Wing Stopping Defensive. 
Respectfully & Keep Coaching,
Brian Mackell
Archbishop Curley & AAYFA, Baltimore, Maryland
*********** For a great article about Greg Gadson, former Army football captain whose bravery in battle and courage in dealing with his combat injuries was an inspiration to the Giants in their Super Bowl run (they awarded him a Super Bowl ring)---

*********** Back in 2006, Andy Smith, Director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, conducted a poll for the Boston Globe, asking people who'd moved from Massachusetts to New Hampshire within the last year why they'd done so. Reason Number One: cost of living. Reason Number Two: lower taxes. Reason Number Three: Too many liberals in Massachusetts.

*********** Hugh: I just read your latest column(good color pictures) and something struck me about how we worked at Delaware in the fall of 1953 as a freshman team to prepare the varsity for their opening game against Glenn Killinger's West Chester team which had beaten Delaware in 1952 primarily by putting defensive lineman on the inside shoulder of the Delaware offensive guards and at the snap of the ball literally dived and pinched in between the guards and the center, sometimes turning sideways to penetrate. If those defensive lineman were quick and made a powerful thrust they could penetrate enough to screw up the pulling game. I was one of the guys who successfully could beat the center's check block on some occasions. It drove those varsity guys(guards and center) crazy and it really screwed up the offense until we did it so much that they tightened up and became quicker and more aggressive in their blocking.Mike Lude was behind this, and he drove myself and several other quick defensive linemen to give the varsity offensive linemen a lot of trouble. They hated us. That year we beat West Chester 45 to 7 (or something like that.) That type of defense against a DW team that isn't ready for those type tactics can be beaten.You probably already know about these tactics but we practiced it so much before that West Chester game that those varsity linemen were really ready to defeat the pinch and penetrate defense.  Black Lions.  Jim Shelton, Englewood, Florida (Jim- General James - Shelton, USA retired - and Honorary Colonel of the Black Lions, was a two-way guard at Delaware under legendary coach Dave Nelson and legendary line coach Mike Lude. HW)

*********** Coach - That was a fascinating  breakdown, by Mr. Babb, but when he states  1.1 Million kids play in High School, is that Just  Kids in there Senior season or kids in all 4 classes Fr,SO,JR,SR  ?
 Coach - one thing that has always cracked me up,  and I have I heard this for years, in almost every community and every type of community, is something along these lines  -  " Johnny Jones the Head Coach of  XYZ  High School that my  son played for didn't help my Kid  ( or didn't do Enough ) get in to College and play ball ( or Not play )  " but there main beef is  that the coach didn't do enough to  help there  Kid
   A )  Isn't that what the Guidance Councilors  get paid for ?  &  B )  If you're Kids is a Good enough athlete and student  the correct college  be it D1 D1-AA, D II or DIII will find the kid ? for athletics, academics or both ?
 Coach do you remember  Sports Illustrated  did a breakdown similar to Mr. Babb, Like 10-15 years ago, it was an estimated breakdown  I thought it went something like this, 300,000  Sr.  boys dress up for the Fall to play High School Football,  only 30,000 will move on to play college Football at all levels - D1-A,D1-AA, D II, D III, NAIA, JUCO,   3000 will play at the 1- A level,   300 will get drafted by the NFL,  90 will make  an NFL roster  and  play  at least  1 year in the  NFL,  30 will play at least   3 years ,   10 will play  5 years or more  ?  My numbers could be way off but it was a fascinating  breakdown by S.I.  that I thought every parent  with kids in High School Football should see it, with the basic message  You're kid will only come down this road once playing High School Football  ENJOY the experience  , IF you're Kid is one of the fortunate  30,000 to play at the next level  Enjoy that , but don't get caught up in it ,  I Think that SI article should be posted by every High School Football program in America  to give the parents a dose of reality  -  see ya Friday Coach  -  John  Muckian   Lynn, Massachusetts

That's 1 million kids is all kids in all grades.  So in any one year there are some 200,000 coming out (allowing for some dropouts along the way).

If there are 30,000 playing college football, that means that some 7,500 openings will be created by graduation and dropping out.

You are so right - parents put too much responsibility on the coach.  But by the same token, I see all sorts of garbage about this coach or that one "sending" players to major colleges, or "sending" them to the pros, as if the coach did it, when you and I know good and well that God and good fortune (and far too often, good recruiting) sent those kids to those high school coaches in the first place, and that's the primary reason they're at a major college or in the pros.

As for guidance counselors... they should be doing what you suggest, but in most high schools they're  tied up with making sure that the ever-growing number of  knuckleheads get the credits they need to graduate (so that the school doesn't get a failing grade from the Feds).

I sure wish that we weren't so hung up on the Big Time.  I realize that it is impossible for any kid to resist the lure of  today's big NFL money, but going back to a different time, when I was in college, I believe that football-wise I would have gotten more out of playing in a good D-III program than I did from the Big-Time Ivy program that I chose.  

And for those who dispute the "Big Time" label, and don't realize how much the power structure of the game has changed since I was in school,  I offer this:

In 1957, my freshman year, the Yale Bowl seated 71,000. Only seven other colleges had larger stadiums. (Those of such odern-day giants Alabama, Florida, Penn State and Tennessee were smaller.) That year, Yale averaged 217,000 in six games. That's an average of more than 36,000 a game.

That was more than the average attendance at such modern-day giants as (get ready for this)

Washington (35,000), Tennessee (34,000), Auburn (34,000), Texas A & M (33,000), Florida (32,000), Nebraska (31,000), Penn State (28,000), Kentucky (28,000), Georgia (25,000), South Carolina (21,600), Clemson (19,000)

Here's some good ones for you --- Florida State, which wasn't all that many years removed from being a women's school, (16,000); BYU, still a small church school somewhere out West (9,000); Virginia Tech, at that time an aggie school hidden away in the mountains of Appalachia (9,000)

And - get this -  Holy Cross (16,000) outdrew BC (14,000)

How things have changed!!!!

*********** Speaking of the Ivy League...

Coach Wyatt....Just fyi. I am a big Ivy League FB fan and thought you might enjoy this. Hope all is well and I look forward to seeing you in RI. For what it's worth Brian Dennehy lives about a 1/4 mile from me in Woodstock CT. Interestingly enough there are several "celebs" that live here and in neighboring Pomfret CT. One of the two nicest towns in New England in my opininon.

Take care, Scott Wendel

The following notice is from the National Football Foundation...

Former Ivy League Standouts Featured in New Documentary

For Love & Honor Productions has completed the documentary, "Eight: Ivy League Football and America," an original feature-length documentary film (TRT 96 minutes). A world premiere, hosted by the Ivy Football Association, will be held on Thursday, Apr. 24, 2008, at the Yale Club in New York City.

"Eight," which tells the history of Ivy League football from its earliest days to the present, is narrated by two- time Tony Award-winning actor Brian Dennehy (Columbia '60). It also features interviews with Academy Award-winning actor Tommy Lee Jones (Harvard '69), College Football Hall of Fame coach from Penn State Joe Paterno (Brown '50), ESPN anchor Chris Berman (Brown '77), General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt (Dartmouth '78), former Secretary of State George Shultz (Princeton '42), College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Chuck Bednarik (Penn '49), four-time Pro Bowl running back Calvin Hill (Yale '69), Chicago Bears' star Dan Jiggetts (Harvard '76), College Football Hall of Famer and Heisman Trophy winner Dick Kazmaier (Princeton '52), College Football Hall of Famer Ed Marinaro (Cornell '72), Intuit chair and NFF Board member Bill Campbell (Columbia

*********** I have to say that I am glad to have you helping me out.  Coaching is a funny thing - we learn it in so many places.   There is a University or College where you can sign up for double wing 101 or west coast passing game 101 etc.  And it can be difficult at times to find a mentor - as it is unlike many other professions.  I have tried to find crumbs of knowledge, philosophy etc. here and there.  It is funny how you take this from one guy and that from another, how you can work with a guy who you don't agree with on philosophy, but you learn x's and o's from him, and then how you can go work for a guy who you don't agree with x's and o's but you like his philosophy etc.  It is a great service that you offer those who are willing to buy in, because we get the whole deal, philosophy and x's and o's.  Maybe you should get some accreditation (spelling?)  For Wyatt University of Football Coaching (ha ha).  I'd like to think Im finishing up my Masters Degree with you and getting ready to begin my PHD in the double wing and coaching young men, but just when it seems to think you've got the answers - there is much more to learn.  John Dowd, Oakfield-Alabama, New York

Interesting that you mention it, because the idea of a "Wyatt University" (I would certainly use a less self-promoting name) is something that has occured to me many times, simply because (1) so many guys have no place to turn to for help, and (2) although there are ways such as ASEP to give guys certification in the "human relations" aspects of coaching, there is no way of certifying that a guy might know what to coach or how to teach it.

In any case, I would say that you have earned your Master's in the Double Wing and are on your way to earning your doctorate.

*********** Gabe McCown, an Oklahoman whom I've grown to know through coaching, knows of my beer business background, and was kind enough to send me a bottle of something called Choc Beer.

The name comes from its having been brewed in what is now Krebs, Oklahoma, in the "Choctaw Nation" of Indian territory, since the early days of the 20th century. It was the product of an Italian immigrant named Pete Prichard, who first came to Oklahoma to work in the coal mines, but after being injured on the job, turned to making and selling beer ("home brew," to be truthful), and eventually opening a restaurant called Pete's Place.

As the story goes, Pete continued selling his beer even after Prohibition (perhaps the news hadn't yet reached Krebs, Oklahoma), until 1932 when - according to the label on the bottle - "Pete was arrested for the illegal brew and had to spend a little time in a federal jail at Muskogee."

Afterward, when the rest of the country repealed Prohibition but Oklahoma chose to remain dry, Pete continued to produce his beer anyhow. Eventually, this got him in trouble again, but fortunately for beer drinkers, things are more up to date in Oklahoma these days, and now, under the supervision of Pete's son, Bill, Pete's Place is as popular as ever, and the beer is back in production.

My son's birthday was yesterday and he happens to be visiting us here in the states, so we decided to start the celebration off by popping open the Choc Beer.  Great stuff!

*********** From the Internet...

The Ant & the Grasshopper - 2008

OLD VERSION (Aesop's Fable): The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays
the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so ?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, 'It's Not Easy Being Green.'

Nancy Pelosi & John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

The EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

Hillary Clinton gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges appointed by Bill Clinton.

The ant loses the case.

The story ends with the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is living in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he hasn't maintained it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident. The house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

*********** Uh-oh. One of the things that really suck about growing old is that the deaths of players you remember from your boyhood, and even some contemporaries, begin to happen with increasing frequency...

Former stars Buddy Dial of Rice and Jerry Groom of Notre Dame died on February 29.

Buddy Dial was born in Ponca City, Oklahoma, and went to Magnolia (Texas) High School. From 1956-he was an All-America and All-Southwest Conference end at Rice, leading coach Jess Neely's Owls to the 1957 SWC title and an appearance in the Cotton Bowl, and being named to the bowl's all-star team. In 1958, he was named team co-captain and MVP. In the NFL, he was twice selected to play in the Pro Bowl.

Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Jerry Groom was a standout football and baseball player at Dowling High School. At Notre Dame he was a three-year starter at center and linebacker for Frank Leahy from 1948-50. He led the Irish to a national title in 1949 and was named team captain en route to becoming aconsensus All-American in 1950. Mr. Groom was named to the Pro Bowl in 1954 while playing for the Chicago Cardinals.

*********** NFL Players' Association executive director Gene Upshaw has been criticized in some quarters as being "cozy with management," and he is under attack by old-timers as being stingy with financial support for them, but it would be hard for any current player to build much of a case against him.

Since 2006, the percentage of league revenue paid to NFL players has jumped from 54 percent to 59 percent.

That's higher than for any other sport. Baseball's percentage now varies between 51 and 55 per cent; NBA players are guaranteed 57 per cent of league revenue, and NHL players 55.6 per cent.

*********** Hey coach, hope all is well with you. I have a question for you when and if you have time. Is there any place you can go to get a history of Double wing success as far as high school play off appearances, scoring and yardage records etc. I would love to have something printable I can just hand to the constant parade of idiots and naysayers I have to talk to about the offense. We went to the Junior division championship last year with a team that has never had any success until we switched to the double wing and came within a whisker of winning it. You would think that would shut some of these people up but it does not seem to help. You are something of a historian , help us out coach ! I bet theres a bunch of guys like me that would love an updated hand out with some info like that ! Thanks, Kirk Melton , Burlington Tigers, Burlington, Washington

Coach, Take a look here...

This page is dated, but it will show you that FIVE YEARS AGO my system was kicking butt and it hasn't let up since. If people are not yet aware of that fact, I'd have to say that it's more a reflection on them than on the Double Wing!

Hugh Wyatt