Legendary football coaches Tom Osborne, Bobby Bowden and Grant Teaff spent an hour at Lincoln North Star High School last week talking about the role that coaches play in the lives of their athletes. The roundtable was featured at the Nebraska Coaches Association with FCA co-hosting the luncheon that was attended by more than 2,000 coaches. The discussion was guided by Teaff’s new book, “A Coach’s Influence: Beyond the Game.” Speaking of influence, Osborne said, “It’s important to realize, more than ever, that kids are looking for role models.”
Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, surveyed 12,000 AFCA coaches regarding the “negative social issues” that they see. That survey became the foundation for his new book. Teaff, who coached at Baylor said he heard from coaches “exasperated” by what they were facing daily and feeling unprepared to deal with it. He hopes his book will provide encouragement and practical advice for coaches who are frustrated by these social problems.
Bobby Bowden said much of his respect for Osborne came from how he conducted his program with a positive influence that came from his faith in Christ. All three former coaches were known as much for their faith as winning football games. They have also been popular FCA speakers throughout the country. Bowden closed by looking at the crowd and said to follow the example set by NU athletics. “Y’all just keep it up,” he said.
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