One of the truisms of football is that coaching is teaching. John Baxter has always taken that more literally than any of his peers.
The USC associate head coach/special teams coordinator/tight ends coach is the author of new book "I Hate School: How a College Football Coach Has Inspired Students to Value Education and Become Lifelong Learners". Baxter's labor of love began as a graduate assistant at Iowa State when he earned a Master's degree in higher education - an upopular major among prospective coaches.
From there and at subsequent stops at Arizona, Maine, Arizona again, Maryland, Tulane, Fresno State and now USC, Baxter paired his tight ends/special teams brilliance with an academic gameplan he used to improve test scores and life skills for students across all walks of life.
Wherever Baxter went, accolades followed. His teams set GPA and APR records in the classroom, while he took home the FootballScoop 2011 Special Teams Coordinator of the Year honors.
Wherever John has coached, his Academic Gameplan has helped launch hundreds of young football players' successful academic careers," writes USC athletics director Pat Haden in the book's foreword. "I have seen it here at USC. I have seen John's passion firsthand, sometimes attending his Academic Gameplan meetings (which often start at 6:30 a.m.!) at which his students, who happen to be some pretty darn good football players, learn some of life's lessons particularly well. His plan also prepares them for the rigors of a first-rate college education."
To get more information on "I Hate School", please click here.