Friday, March 29, 2013

A Blog for "Old" Football Coaches

      Yesterday morning finished my taxes and sat with my accountant for two hours, but the morning was a success. I do not think my taxes are as difficult, as say, Urban Meyer's, but stressful just the same. What does a "beaten down" old retired teacher/coach do next? Decided no football scouting business for the rest of the day. Of course, head to Ohio State University's Football Clinic.
      On the way I had to stop and visit with my "Camps and Combine Guy,"  Charles Gresham at the D-1 Training Center in Worthington. Discussed the good and bad of our combines this past March. Of course, we began working on next years' combine. Yes, combine.
      At O-State, the first guy I ran into was old friend, Fred Thomas, an assistant coach at Walsh University in Canton. Fred and I first met over twenty some years ago at the MacDonalds on State Route 30, in Wooster. He was coaching at Glen Oak, and I was doing my thing with scouting. Fred has retired from teaching (years ago) and now was just recently retained at Walsh as a defensive assistant. Talked about some of our mutal coaching friends, among others, Coach Tressel. Two amazing things about Fred. One - he might be my age (64) and he still enjoys coaching and working with young people. Two - he told me he reads my blogs (sometimes). That in itself is amazing.
      Also talked with old coaching friend, Tom Santoro from Toledo. Tom coached and taught for many years at Toledo Central Catholic High School and now works on the football support staff. We always spend a few minutes chatting at clinics. Tom is always willing to help me. Two years ago he worked a combine for me in Toledo. Needed some local coaches and he was more than willing. Of course, being around my age, his wisdom is unreal. I have tremendous respect for him.
      On my way out of practice, I ran into another old friend, Val Harris. Val and I first met almost 40 years ago when he was coaching at Parkway High School. Never really coached against each other, but maintained connections over all of those years. Val, is definitely one of the "old guard" guys like me. Still is coaching junior high football at Olentangy. After getting caught up with the latest in coaching, we always talk about the "old days." Now, we are talking the "Woody Days."
      Spoke with Ohio State Director of High School Relations guy, Greg Gillum, for a few minutes.  First met him when he was on Lee Owens staff at Galion High School. Greg worked his way up  the coaching ladder and now works at O-State, both under former Coach Tressel and now under Coach Meyer. For what it means coming from John McCallister, Gillum does very well evaluating talent. Also represents Ohio State University very well. Bad thing about talking with him. He is only 52 years old, and was joking about retirement. I mean - I am 12 years his senior.
      The highlight of the afternoon was running into my very good friend Teddy Ginn. As usual, dressed in his three piece suit, Coach Ginn was all smiles. We have known each other for years. As we often joke - I knew him him when he was an "unknown football coach." Coach has undergoned some major medical problems the last two years, but has won the battles. Although he is ONLY in his fifties, I consider him an "old school" guy. There is no need to "blow-up" my appreciation of him. If you know me, or read my blogs, you understand my admiration for Coach Ted Ginn. I am looking forward to spending time with him on Monday.
      Yes, I did watch some Buckeye practice. Braxton is still Braxton. With five seniors, the OL line should be good. Linebackers are improving. The up-tempo is good. For me, watching the Ohio kids whom I have known for a long time is fun. Acknowledging each other is also fun.
      As I walk around practice, I re-assure myself that over the last 40 years, I have been a member of one the best fraternities out there. Being involved with Ohio high school football coaches - It does not get any better.

No comments: