The event which runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday is the largest of it's kind in the country and a great place for college coaches to give back and build for the future.
With over 700 football playing high schools in Ohio the association has built a great network and connection with colleges across the country. On Friday Brian Kelly spent the morning talking with over 2,000 high school coaches and his assistant coaches used the entire day catching up with coaches they've known or have started to know since taking over the UC program.
Starting Thursday afternoon and ending on Saturday afternoon coaches from across the country are selected to speak on any subject they find desirable. Head Coaches taking part in the event this year include the following.
Brian Kelly - Cincinnati
Jim Tressel – Ohio State
Brady Hoke – Ball State
Jon Heacock – Youngstown State
Friday BCI spent the day and observed several members of Coach Kelly's staff as they built relationships with as many high school coaches as they could. The morning started off with Brigadier General Matthew L. Kambic of the Ohio Army National Guard talking about Ethics, Integrity and Sportsmanship.
The General was followed by Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel as he talked about the Buckeyes offense. During his talk he pointed out Brian Kelly and talked highly of the new Cincinnati head coach as they'd worked together in a past Hula Bowl when Tressel was the head coach and Kelly his offensive coordinator.
Coach Kelly followed Coach Tressel and used his fifty minutes not talking about X's and O's, but on "Player Development in a Championship Program" to a very eager crowd. While Coach Tressel stood behind the podium for his time, Brian Kelly showed his speaking skills and moved across the stage during his presentation. The results were very positive as the over 2,000 high school coaches learned the values Kelly and his staff uses on a daily basis to build a successful program. While Coach Tressel's speech saw most coaches with a half-page of notes, Coach Kelly's saw coaches asking for copies of his power point and up to two pages of notes before he finished.
After he'd finished Coach Kelly found many of the high school coaches take the time to introduce themselves. The end results of his day will be one of long lasting as many coaches who've never seen or heard much about the new UC coach saw someone they could send their kids to play for in the future.
But Brian Kelly wasn't the only one giving back to the high school coaches as both UC coordinators held clinics. Jeff Quinn spoke to a full house on the basic principals he uses to grade his offensive linemen and several drills used to work on zone blocking schemes within the spread offense. Quinn spoke to a standing room crowd and saw line coaches from across the state take many notes and make their way up to him for more conversation after the clinic. All of the coaches received invitations to visit for more in-depth talk on the UC campus.
For Joe Tresey the excitement was the same as a full house of coaches came to learn the system the Bearcats will use this fall. Teaching the skills of combining man and zone coverage was the main point Coach Tresey tried to get across. Coaches from across the state were seen taking many notes and just as Quinn had seen many questions with hundreds of invites to coaches for visits to the UC campus.
After each session coaches had a chance to gather around the many coaches visiting. Bearcats quarterback coach Greg Forest saw many faces he knew and also got the chance to connect with many new ones he'll need to know while covering his Ohio recruiting area. But two of the more popular Bearcat coaches know all too well what the OHFCA is all about.
Tim Hinton is well known in the high school coaches' circles as he came from the Ohio high school ranks to Cincinnati just a few years ago. Hinton also has a brother that is a very successful high school coach and the chance to see some old friends was enjoyable.
But no-one saw more hand shakes then the newest Bearcats coach Kerry Coombs. Coach Coombs just a year ago was one of these coaches as the leader of Colerain High School. Now he's left the high school ranks and headed off to college and saw many old friends have the first chance to congratulate him on his new job.
The day was a total success as the new Bearcats coaching staff saw hundreds of high school coaches from the main state they recruit learn more about them as coaches and people during the day. Each coach made it a point to invite everyone they spoke with to visit the UC campus and many of the high school coaches looked eager to do so.
I would like to thank the great coaches of the state of Ohio and the OHFCA for allowing me the chance to take in the day and cover their great event.