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Coaches and Generals

Listen To The Podcast!     Coach L. Albaugh      DBLITY

All men who feel any power of joy in battle know what it is like when the wolf rises in the heart. So runs one of the most memorable sentences in Theodore Roosevelt’s The Rough Riders, which I just finished readingHoly cow, is that a line or what? Or how about this one on recruiting men for the Rough Rider regiment.  We drew recruits from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton…and among the men who belonged neither to club nor college , but in whose veins the blood stirred with the same impulse which once sent Vikings oversea. Man, Mr. President, YOU COULD WRITE! Those are just some of the sentences that Thedore Roosevelt wrote in his book. I had known the Colonel, or the President, whichever you prefer, had written books but I had no idea he was so good. I wish I could write only half as well. It was a short book, only about 100 pages. I recommend it. In fact, I think reading about great leaders from the past is a must for all coaches. We can learn valuable lessons.

Here’s a lesson from T.R.s The Rough Riders as he described one of his fellow officers, Starts like this…They were a splendid set of men, these Southwesterners – tall and sinewy, with resolute, weather beaten faces, and eyes that looked a man straight in the face without flinching. Finally there was Allyn Capron, who was, on the whole, the best soldier in the regiment…a 1st class rider and shot with yellow hair and piercing blue eyes, he looked what he was, the archetype of the fighting man. He had under him two companies from the Indian Territory and he so impressed himself upon the wild spirit of his followers, that he got them ahead in discipline faster than any other troop in the regiment. His ceaseless effort was to train them, care for them, and inspire them as to bring their fighting efficiency to the highest possible pitch. Man, isn’t that what we as coaches try to do? Train, care for, and inspire? And notice TR said that Capron impressed himself upon the wild spirit of his followers. That tells me the men respected him, loved him. So yeah, you can learn lessons on how to lead your athletes under your care and you can learn how to lead your staff that serves under you. In my readings, for example, I’ve found that Robert E. Lee was a master at handling the Generals that served under his leadership. So, I recommend reading about famous Generals like George Washington, George Patton, U.S. Grant, and even Alexander The Great. Find out why HIS men loved him so much.  General Stonewall Jacksons favorite play in football? It would’ve been bucksweep. Find out why. I’ve read 2 books on T.R. and I HAVE learned that he was the ultimate macho man. A little on the crazy side actually, like some of us coaches. Even to the point he really loved war. In fact, many of us men are at least fascinated with war. But war’s cruel and dangerous. Sports can be a substitute. You get the thrill of battle so to speak, without the horribleness of real war. T.R. would’ve made a heckuva coach, and probably a great football coach. Years ago I read that Woody Hayes, the old Ohio State head football coach, was an avid reader of military history and great generals. Since that time I have heard of more coaches who are big fans of this genre. I have always thought that every athletic coach, and in particular, every football coach should read military history books. Not so much to learn warfare tactics, though you do, but how to lead men. In and out of battle, great lessons….AND…THAT’S MY TAKE!

So Rob Gronkowski has come out of retirement to join…Tom Brady, of course. I’m optimistic for the Buccaneers but not going crazy. Yeah, it’s Tom Brady, but he’s 42. Not 22, not 32, but 42! I’m in a wait and see mode on that. Now about Gronk…best TE i ever saw and I’ve seen ’em all since 1958. Even though he’s only 30, he was beat up when he retired. Has he healed? We’ll find out but I think the Bucs made a good move in getting him. He’s gonna be a heckuva weapon for Brady. Oh yeah, the guy can block too. I’d say play him about 1/2 time during the regular season then whatever it takes – if the Bucs make the playoffs.

Chiefpigskin has 2 new presentations on the Online Clinic. The 1st features Matt Lasker, coach of the San Ramon Valley Thunderbirds in CA. His presentation is titled Middle School Air Raid: Turning the Tide. OK, I’m a traditional run the football guy and I love it, but Coach Lasker makes a compelling case for spread and air raid football. He’s got middle school kids throwin and catchin the football with deadly results. I’ll be honest, I used to think that finding a QB for this type of offense would be too difficult. Not enough kids can do it to invest in this offense. But, I see programs do it every year. And these are middle school kids. Lasker keeps things simple and does a great job of breaking this offense down and explains clearly why he likes it. You guys that like throwin it around – this is for you. The 2nd video, one of our old classics, is by Bryan Stortz, then head coach at Lake Zurich HS in Lake Zurich, IL. He covers their Offensive Skills Stations. Nice video with drills that can benefit any program.

Do you believe it? The NFL draft is finally here! After scores of analysts, mock drafts, discussions, we finally get something other than reruns. I HAVE watched a little bit of Peyton’s Places with Peyton Manning. Manning is funny – he has a dead pan sense of humor that makes me chuckle every couple of minutes. He’s had some cool stuff on his show.

One more thing…I’ve heard a few A.D.s, coaches, and players say that to bring sports back with no fans in the beginning is not worth doing it. I side with Ryan Day, Ohio St. football coach who said, “Some sports is better than NO sports.” Also, if they have to cut the college football schedule back and just play conference games, I’m all for it. Whatever it takes!

Wanna make a comment on anything I’ve discussed? Drop me a line at Wanna take a look at the transcript of this podcast? Go to the website at and click under “more” then click on blog. There are more fun things to look at and read.

Hey, join us next week for another CP coaches podcast and we’ll see you then!

Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.  Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair.    Nelson Mandela

Sweet 16 Countdown: 51. Alaska -9.2   50. Vermont -1.7   49. North Dakota 3.3   48. Wyoming 5.2  47. Rhode Island 8.4   46. District of Columbia 8.4   45. Delaware 14.7   44. South Dakota 15.3   43. New Hampshire 16.7   42. Montana 19.2  41. Maine 19.5   40. New Mexico 20.5  39. Oregon 24.2  38. West Virginia 26.3  37. Nevada 31.2  36. Idaho 32.2  35. Nebraska 32.6  34. New York 33.0  33. Iowa 34.4  32. Minnesota 35.9   31. Kentucky 36.3   30. Hawaii 36.5  29. Connecticut 37.3  28. Massachusetts 38.3 27. Wisconsin 39.9  26. Virginia 40.8  25. Oklahoma 41.5  24. Michigan 41.53 23. Kansas 41.8 22. Tennessee 41.9  21. Washington 42.6 20. Indiana 43.9 19. Colorado 44.4  18. South Carolina 44.61  17. New Jersey 44.63  16. Arkansa 45.0 15. Arizona 45.2 14. Mississippi 45.6 13. Alabama 45.8  12. Utah 46.0  11. North Carolina 46.7  10. Missouri 49.0  9. Pennsylvania 49.9  8. Illinois 50.3  7. Louisiana 51.9  6. Maryland 52.8  5. Georgia 57.2  4. Texas 60.8 3. Ohio 61.0  2. Florida 62.5  1. California 69.4

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Coach Albaugh coached high school football in Illinois for 28 years. During that time he coached at every level and on both sides of the ball. He was the offensive and defensive line coach for four undefeated teams and was a defensive coordinator in his last 11 years, twice reaching the semi finals of the Illinois state playoffs.