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Tuberville speaks to high school coaches

By Staff
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
HUNTSVILLE – Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville spoke to a group of over 100 Alabama high school coaches at the annual convention of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association (AHSADCA) on July 14 at the North Hall of the Von Braun Center in Huntsville.
Among those in attendance at the talk were Hartselle coach Bob Godsey, Sparkman coach Roger Haynes and Decatur coach Jere Adcock. Tuberville's speech lasted about an hour and he touched on several subjects of importance to his audience.
The SEC coach explained that the best way to win football games is to get to know the players on your team, especially at the high school level.
"Offense and defense aren't going to win for you," Tuberville said. "Training yourself and learning how to deal with young men is the most important skill you can have."
He spoke of how high school coaches have to be a jack-of-all-trades, doing everything from driving the team bus to cooking the pre-game meal to painting the football fields. He added that a football coach can be the biggest influence in the life of an adolescent boy and it is important to keep the needs of teenagers in perspective.
Tuberville also spoke a little about his life story, including his days at the University of Miami (Fla.) under both Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson.
"I never saw Jimmy (Johnson) watch a minute of tape," Tuberville said. "He knew people and knew how to motivate people. Dennis Erickson was different – he was more of an X's and O's type coach.
"They were both great coaches, they just had very different styles."
Tuberville lauded conventions like the one in Huntsville because of how they allow coaches to meet together and share ideas about coaching.
"These types of conventions are the things that make our profession stronger," Tuberville said. "If it wasn't for college coaching associations, we wouldn't have spring practice or the number of scholarships we do now.
"You should try to grow as a football coach, and not just be a 'fly on the wall' and think that you can do it all on your own."
Several members of Tuberville's Auburn staff were also in attendance at the event, giving the Auburn coach a chance to talk about the importance of a good coaching staff.
"If you're going to be successful you have to have a staff that works well together," he said. "I think that's what makes coaching so special – the camaraderie that you can build on a good staff."
At the end of his talk, Tuberville discussed a little of his own personal coaching philosophy – a philosophy that helped Auburn to an undefeated season and BCS Bowl victory in the 2004-05 season.
"You win football games by running the ball offensively," said Tuberville, who saw both of his team's senior running backs drafted in the NFL top five this season. "It also makes your team tougher.
"The stats aren't worth it if it's not helping your team. Defensively we're going to try to get as much speed on the field."
Tuberville also stressed the importance of the offseason in keeping a team conditioned and in shape for the rigors of the long regular season.
"Offseason is what makes yourself a good team," he said.
"You can go out there on Friday and try to outcoach someone but if you don't have good offseason it's going to catch up with you.
"Football is a mentally-tough game. You have to prepare your team before they even put their pads on."
Tuberville finished his speech by introducing Chette Williams, the Tigers' team chaplain.
Williams spoke for a short time about the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the importance of having a full-time "spiritual coordinator" for Auburn in 2004-05. Tuberville said that Williams' contributions were "the biggest reason that we went 13-0 last year."