“Everything you do should have a reason WHY”- Coach Tom Martinez (Tom Brady’s Mentor). There are thousands of people who love this game for different reasons, and my reason “why” is simple. I love the huddle. Ironically, I haven’t been in or called for a huddle for close to seven years now (I’m a former QB and currently an Offensive Coordinator), but bear with me.
My name is Danny Mitchell. I am 30 years old and coach at The Bishop’s School located on the beautiful beaches of La Jolla, California. I have been fortunate to coach at nearly every level of this wonderful game, professionally, internationally, all levels of collegiate competition (Division 1 FBS, FCS, D2, D3, NAIA and JC), and now at the high school ranks. I’ve had multiple chances to be a part of all different types of huddles, and those differences are what makes this game so special to me.
The huddle is made up of people who are different heights, different weights, different skills, different races, different interest, different cultures, different languages, different beliefs, but all focused on the same goals. To me, this is what makes football so unique compared to every other sport. It takes all different types of people to succeed. I think this translates to the profession of coaching as well.
I have been fortunate to experience tangible success at all different levels in this game at a fairly young age. On paper this “success” looks as though it can fulfill a career. I’ve had the opportunity to coach 2 National Champions, 7 Conference Champions at the professional, college, and high school level, 4 undefeated regular seasons, 3 League MVPs, 59 All-Conference/League selections, break 9 offensive records, a San Diego Section CIF Champion, a Southern California Champion, and a State Championship appearance. Early in my career I thought this is what would make me a “great coach”. Thus, the reason I put success in quotes in an earlier sentence. Although these accomplishments where great in themselves, they are not what define me as a coach, or at least how I want to be defined as a coach.
The career wins I’ve experienced on the field are tangible results of the people that have helped mold me as a coach. My development as a coach, like most coaches, started for me as a player. I was fortunate to play at Christian High School, which is a traditionally a great program here in San Diego. Christian is a small private school that competes at a high level of football without the selection of a large student-body. The school only has about 400 students, and the Varsity football team carries anywhere from 20-30 players, but competes against schools with roster sizes of 50-80 players. This is very similar to the school that I currently coach at, The Bishop’s School. With small numbers, players are not only asked to play multiple positions, but are required to compete at a high-level at each of those positions. The only way for that to happen is to have an in-depth understand of the game, and the only way to gain that understand is through great coaching.