Over the course of a coaching career that is now in its fourth decade, Kyle has won more than 300 games and guided the Wildcats to 11 state championships. He has sent countless players to college, all while refusing college offers of his own and instead choosing to remain a high school English teacher.
One of his most interesting contributions to the sport came to light on Friday. Kyle was honored at the Ohio State Football Clinic, and part of his speech included the story of how he served as one of Urban Meyer’s references when he applied for the head coaching job at Bowling Green.
“Nine of out 10 times, nobody ever calls you about that or gets a hold of you,” Kyle said. “Well, this time they did. I get this phone call, and it’s the athletic director at Bowling Green.”
Kyle spoke about two of questions he received, the first wondering if Meyer was a good recruiter.
“I said very good,” Kyle said. “And how did I know that? Back then we had DVDs. I said, ‘I guarantee you he’s a very good recruiter because when he calls me back, I know he watched that DVD.’ He could tell me what the kid did right and what the kid needed to work on, and so on.”
He was then asked about Meyer’s coaching ability, and he sold the Falcons brass on Meyer’s ability to revive an anemic offense.
“I said to the AD, ‘Look, I know him as an offensive coach. He’s got a great offensive mind and he’s very impressive.’” Kyle said. “The guy turned to me and said this – and this is the truth – ‘Coach, we’re going to hire him as the head coach at Bowling Green.’
“And here’s the story: the previous coach, great guy, was a defensive guy. They told me, ‘Coach, we win games 7-3, 10-7. That’s nice, but you know what? Crowds don’t come to see 10-3. They want excitement in the stadium.’ I said, ‘If you don’t take him as a head coach, somebody’s going to do it… he’s a head coach.”
Kyle used the story to tell the hundreds of coaches gathered at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center to never turn down one of the countless opportunities they’ll receive to serve as a reference for a fellow coach. As Kyle noted, you never know what might happen for a young coach who asks for your recommendation.