Howard University hosted it’s first football coaches clinic, on April 12. The event was headlined by Howard alum Pep Hamilton, who is working as the offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts.
Colts’ safeties coach Roy Anderson, Howard head coach Gary Harrell, and former Minnesota Vikings’ tight end coach Jimmie Johnson along with a host of others joined Hamilton during the panel discussions.
The turnout was great and the morning was well spent giving pointers to local youth and High School football coaches about a variety of issues that were deeper than just football affecting the community. Gary Harrell told the coaches that his point of emphasis was making sure his team kept a family atmosphere. He makes it an effort to know his entire roster, from starters to walk-on players, which in turn gives him the ability to engage his entire team and at the same time make sure he reaches each of his players individually.
Pep Hamilton told the youth coaches to make sure they kept everything into perspective. At the youth level, football is deeper than simply wins and losses. He went on to talk about coaches having to adjust and adapt to the times, as the current kids today are not like they were back when he was growing up.
However, the day would not be complete without getting into some legitimate instructions on the intricacies of being a coach in the National Football League. The former grad stole the show as he went through his day by day schedules as a coach. The more he spoke, the more one could see how much passion and love he has for the game.
He talked about having an air mattress under his desk because he worked so late at times there was no point in going home. Also, while having a very detailed and delicate offense, the Howard grad put things into perspective by saying “Yes, there are over 300 plays in my playbook and that is a lot, but it really only comes down to 5-7 concepts of plays and then finding around 300 different ways to run them.”
The coaches clinic wrapped up with the Bison football team taking the field for a scrimmage.
Former Howard star and current San Francisco 49ers Safety Antoine Bethea gave the media his thoughts on giving back to the community and the struggle of making it from a small HBCU program to the big stage that is the NFL.
All in all, the day was a major success and coach Gary Harrell hopes to see many more like it in the coming years