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  • Video: SI goes behind the scenes of a storied high school rivalry in Pennsylvania

    Ford City and Kittanning are two Pennsylvania high schools, located just 4 miles each other, that have been playing football for about 100 years.

    Heading into the final match up ever between the two schools, the overall record sat at an incredibly even 37-36-1, with Ford City holding the advantage.

    The 2014 match up marked the very last time that the two hated rivalries would ever face off against each other. Because of their close proximity to each other, the decision was made to combine the two schools due to budgetary restrictions, effectively ending the rivalry and forcing the two programs to combine to field a team next season.

    Sports Illustrated provided a great look behind the scenes of both programs before their last tilt, with coaches, players, and community members sharing story after story about what makes the rivalry so great and heated and how the community is coping with monumental change.

    This is a high quality story and job from the folks at Sports Illustrated. You’ll want to make time for the whole 13 minutes.

  • Coaches: What books would you recommend for other coaches this offseason?


    Update >> About 30 coaches have now weighed in with their recommended reads.

    With the regular season done for nearly everyone (except the FBS), college coaches are hitting the road to recruit, while high school coaches are enjoying a brief breather before getting back in the weight room.

    While it’s far from an offseason of any kind, this time of year does leave coaches with some “down time” on their hands, even if that includes sleeping in hotels far away from family, or long nights on the open road.

    That may help to explain why, over the last few days, we’ve fielded a number of emails, calls, and texts from coaches looking for some recommended reading material before next season creeps up. Plus, clinic season, when coaches are at their thirstiest for knowledge, is approaching quick.

    Instead of responding to every coach personally with my own personal take on great reads, I thought I would instead provide my personal top three, and then open things up by taking recommendations from the coaching community to further help our colleagues in this great profession.

    Leave your top 3-5 picks in the comments below, or shoot it to me @CoachSamz on Twitter, or at, and I will update the article throughout the day. All genres are wide open, if you think it can somehow help a coach out there, send it over.

    My list is as follows:


    The Winners Manual - Jim Tressel

    When it comes to creating a culture of winning and a championship mindset, coach Tres did it better than anyone in my opinion, and he lays it all out in The Winners Manual, especially the intangibles of a great program. In my first year of coaching I heard the quote “They don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care” from coach Tressel, and I knew I had to read the book


    Wins, Losses, and Lessons – Lou Holtz

    Holtz shares his wealth of experience in this one, as well another book of his Winning Everyday. and has a ton of great advice. Reading either one of them means you won’t ever have to pay to hear him speak, because he covers everything in this book.


    Win Forever – Pete Carroll

    To be honest, I bought this book about a year ago, and had been chipping away at it up until recently taking a renewed interest in it. My advice for this one is to pick out a coach (who has a book out) who your coaching style most resembles and you’re bound to pick up a few good things from it. Pete Carroll is that guy for me.

    Now time for your recommendations.



    1: Earn the right to win – Tom Coughlin: Much like Coach Carrol’s book, he talks about building a program, the stress it takes on a family, and the mistakes he made.
    2. The Education of a Coach by Book by David Halberstam is a great read and very well written.  Coach Belichick’s meticulous attention to detail is impressive.
    – via email from Hans Straub

    1. The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn 2. Good to Great by Jim Collins 3. Built to Last by Jim Collins
    – via email from Jason Aubry



    Swing Your Sword by Mike Leach
    Life is Yours to Win by Augie Garrido
    The Life and Legend of Chris Kyle by Michael J. Mooney
    Inside Out Coaching by Joe Erhmann
    It’s the Will, Not the Skill by Herm Edwards
    -Email submission from Gil Speer of the Indiana Football Coaches Association

    Season of life by Jeffery Marx
    – Email submission from John Morrison, HC at Francis Parker HS (CA)

    “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lenciconi is a must read, especially for coaches taking over a program.”
    – Email submission from Tom Walsh

  • Ohio State’s hype video for Michigan reminds everyone that “Legends Live Forever”


    Over the entire landscape of college football, very few rivalries have as much hate between them as Ohio State and Michigan.

    As 21-year old college student from West Michigan, I remember going to grab some brews for the big game at a local gas station near where I went to college (in Ohio), only to be told that they weren’t going to allow me to spend my money there because my drivers license says that I’m a resident of the state of Michigan.

    Earlier this week down in Columbus, Michigan week means the letter “M” is banned from just about everything, including social media.

    That’s just a brief glimpse at how serious the hate is between Ohio and “That Team Up North”.

    Ohio State’s hype video for The Game should paint an even clearer picture.

    “If you grew up a Buckeye, or if you grew up in the great state of Ohio…or if you are a Buckeye now, this is the real one.”

    “This is the greatest rivalry in all of sports – not just college football – all of sport.” Urban tells his players at the beginning of the clip.

  • Ed Orgeron is ready


    Ed Orgeron hasn’t officially recruited a player in nearly a year; but oh boy he hasn’t lost it.

    Tuesday morning, Coach O spent some time talking with two of the best radio guys in the land in Jordy Culotta & Derek Ponamsky out of the powerhouse 104.5 ESPN in Baton Rouge, LA. Jump to the 1:00 mark of the interview below and have a listen to O respond to Culotta’s question about how do you handle the Thanksgiving holiday and this time of year with recruits. O puts on a 5 minute clinic in how to recruit!

    O hasn’t lost a step. He’s hungry and he’ll be coaching again soon…and we’re all better for that.

    As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for updates on Coach O’s future and every coaching job in America.

  • Watch Jon Gruden coach up a high school team in a GoPro

    The profession’s most infamous out of work coach, Jon Gruden, is doing his part to try and save youth football by helping out at high school programs across the country prior to the start of this season.

    “We’re really struggling at the grassroots level, and I wanted to offer my assistance…because I think we have a problem.” Gruden notes in the first clip.

    The main motivation behind Gruden’s interest in getting back to the high school level is to help programs find cost-effective ways to improve their practices. Gruden teamed up with the people at GoPro to develop a series of techniques that coaches can use on a limited budget.

    “Every year the budgets get smaller. They don’t have enough footballs, they don’t have enough pads, they don’t have enough helmets, and the coaches don’t get paid anything. Some teams are even abandoning football altogether, and the game is in real trouble.”

    “I just wanted to be as informative as possible, and stay relentless…the Gruden way.”

    The episode below details how Gruden, and the high school he gave a hand to, used GoPro’s to gain a competitive edge.

    After watching him work time after time, it’s hard to believe that the last time Gruden was roaming the sidelines with a team was 2008. Just crazy.

    (H/T Bleacher Report)