Georgia State is doing something great for its state’s high school coaches, and it’s something every college staff in the country can copy. Over a 3-day period in early March, a select few Georgia high school coaches will be invited to take part in an up close and personal professional development boot camp with Panthers head coach Shawn Elliott and the rest of his staff.
“We were interviewing for a couple new assistant coaches and I thought it would just be great, having the type of coaches that we do here in the state of Georgia, to give those guys a chance to get into an interview process, sit in front of a staff, talk with an AD about specific characteristics they may be looking for,” Elliott told FootballScoop. “I just thought it’d be great to bring a little professional development to the high school coaches here in Georgia and get an opportunity to get them in front of us.”
Georgia State’s staff will invite 10 active Georgia high school coaches — over 75 had already applied when Elliott and I talked Monday — to Atlanta to conduct a mock interview with him and his staff, meet with a Georgia State assistant AD, on-campus recruiting coordinator Ginny Thompson and members of the training and strength staffs.
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“We’re hoping they’re going to bring some film, they’re going to have a presentation in order, they’re going to get on the board and we’re going to see the knowledge that they’re going to share with us and then we’re going to have our feedback while they’re presenting as well,” Elliott said.
It’s an idea that will offer long-term benefits for all involved. While many programs invite coaches to watch practice and conduct spring and summer clinics, few turn the spotlight like this. While practices, camps and clinics are great opportunities for high school coaches — “Come and watch how we do this” — rarely are an FBS program’s resources marshaled in a way where they make the high school coach the focus.
But it’s not just an act of pure charity, either. Georgia State’s staff will get a chance to build relationship with the hands that feed them and pick up something that they themselves can benefit from down the road, whether it be a scheme the Georgia high school coaches are running or — who knows? — maybe, down the road, one of the coaches themselves.
“It’s a two-way street,” Elliott said. “They’re going to learn from us and we’re going to learn from them. I think we can both gain valuable information from each other coming off the interview.”