Culture is a word that gets thrown around a lot in coaching circles, and it's a word that encompasses so much, and is so important when looking at the long term success of a program.
John Curtis Christian HS (LA) is one of the best football programs in the entire country, and that's largely because of the culture that has been instilled there by head coach J.T. Curtis and his staff. JC Christian was founded in 1962 by John T. Curtis Sr. In 1969, his son, J.T., took the reigns of the program and went 0-10 while scoring just two touchdowns the entire season. The following year, he led the team to an 8-2 finish, and that's when the dominance began. J.T. Curtis he hasn't had a losing season as the program's head coach since.
Curtis has led the program for just short of five decades (2016 marked his 48th leading the program) and he has collected an unheard of 26 state championships while alos accumulating over 540 wins. To put that in perspective, Don Shula retired with 347 wins,, Joe Paterno had 409, and when Curtis hit the 500 win mark in 2011, only one other coach in the history of football had eclipsed the 500-win mark. Much of his staff is made up of his family, including his sons, son-in-laws, and former players who understand the John Curtis way better than anyone.
Here, in an All Access Replay, a local station dives into the Curtis family, and the John Curtis Christian way of doing things that has led to so much success over the years.
In short, it's a great look at the culture of one of the most successful, and dominant high school football programs in the country, led by one of the most successful coaches that the game has ever seen. There's plenty for all of us to learn in here.
To close the episode, J.T. Curtis offers the following perspective: "Anytime that you win, people have opinions and conceptions of what they think, and they really don't know. They really don't know the inside, they don't know the work and the dedication and the effort and time that is put in."
"We feel like we give our very best to our players, and we expect them to learn, and to learn how to give their best, and that's not a natural process. If the only thing that's of value at the end of the day is a score, then it's not worth it - it's not worth the money, it's not worth the time away from family, it's not worth all the energy that they put in -but those intrinsic values that we can gain from athletics and from football and from other sports, I think of the value that will make our community, and our country on the right road to being great, and I think that's what I want people to know."
"That's what we're here for. We're here to develop young people so that they can be great leaders in our community in the future."