The “Cradle of Coaches” consisted of some of the best coaches we’ve ever seen. Their dedication to the game and impressive knowledge is and always will be celebrated.
Bob Kurz Newhouse was the Sports Information Director at Miami University, who coined the phrase “Cradle of Coaches” in 1959. Miami University then unofficially was known as the “Cradle of Coaches” until 2012 when it was officially trademarked. The number of college and professional football coaches with roots to Miami University is incredible! Some of these men played football at Miami; some were assistant coaches there; and others were the head coach at Miami and then went on to more prestigious jobs. Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh played at Miami and was recently inducted into the Cradle of Coaches and given a statue in his honor. Paul Brown was one of the greatest football coaches of all-time; not only did he attend Miami University, but he also succeeded Weeb Ewbank at quarterback there. Ewbank led the Baltimore Colts to two NFL titles and was the New York Jets Head Coach when they defeated the Baltimore Colts in the Super Bowl.
Among the “greats” who coached at Miami and then had a great deal of success elsewhere, was Sid Gillman. Gillman popularized the “deep downfield pass”. I well remember that from his days of coaching the San Diego Chargers of the AFL. Woody Hayes, Ara Parseghian and Bo Schembechler are three of the greatest College Football Coaches of all-time. All three were the head coach at Miami before moving on to bigger programs. John Pont coached at Miami and then led Indiana University to its only Rose Bowl appearance (1968). There are others, too. A tip of the cap to not only Miami University but also to the great State of Ohio for its rich football heritage.
The skills and knowledge it takes to be a great mentor or coach are very much the same across all fields, be it a football field or other careers. It takes a lot of dedication to find success in your home life and work. What is the key to finding such success? Jack Klemeyer believes the answer is continuous learning and I couldn’t agree more. There is always room for growth in life, either in your ideals or the way you think about certain topics, even how you handle work issues could probably use some improvement. Just because we do things a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the best way. So what steps can you take to lift yourself up into the category of one of the greats? Jack listed these steps:
- Read about your skill (or your field) for at least one hour a day, every day. Get up earlier than normal if you need to fit in the time to read.
- Take courses on your skill. Attend seminars and workshops. Sit upfront and take notes.
- Purchase educational audio programs on your skill. Listen to them in your car. Did you know that the average driver is in their car 500 to 1,000 hours a year? That’s a lot of time you can put to good use by turning your drive time into learning time.
- Put your skill into practice. The more you use your skill, the better you will become at it.
These greats coaches didn’t become the best overnight. They took the time to learn their craft inside and out. You must be willing to put the time and effort into your work. Not only that, but you must also be passionate about what you’re doing. If you don’t care enough about what you’re doing, why should anyone else?