Coach's Corner Sam Knopik 7/3

Sam Knopik

By Sam Knopik Pembroke Hill Head Coach
Posted: July 3, 2011 - 11:33 PM

Long gone are the days where high profile coaches would write solid, sound football coaching books. With multimillion dollar contracts those guys don't need to write. Now the closest thing we can find from a “big-timer” is a treatise on leadership principles.


Seasoned coaches will know the truth that rarely, if ever, is there a new concept introduced to football that hasn't been seen before. Out of print coaching books help remind us of this as well as share timeless insights that somehow have been lost on our contemporary play-by-play and color commentators. Younger coaches should take a look at any out-of-print titles and simply read the introduction and concluding chapters. In these brief pages you will find a goldmine of philosophy and football wisdom that no on-line, podcasted, Mega-Clinic can provide.


What follows are some of my favorites, not a top ten list or a ranking that would be too hard as there are too many good ones. Not all of these are football coaching books but they are all football related. Some you may be able to find at the bookstore while others you may need to hit eBay or the library.


No. 2 Homer Rice On Triple Option Football by Homer Rice © 1973 Parker Publishing Company


Coach Rice is as well known for his career as the Athletic Director at Georgia Tech as his football coaching days. However, it should be noted that he earned a coaching record of 101-9-7 with a 50 game winning streak and seven undefeated seasons


Rice served as a head high school coach in Tennessee and Kentucky, the head coach at University of Cincinnati and the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma and Kentucky. He has written a recent book, Leadership Fitness, which details establishing disciplined habits that lead to lifelong goals.


His book regarding the triple option is not the only book on the split back veer however, it may be the most useful. Lou Holtz's The Grass is Always Greener is a notable book on the subject but lacks the hands on application that Rice's book gives the coach.


For example, when this triple option newbie struggled to find the right coaching points for my kids, Coach Rice helped. “The faking action is not really a ride and I do not believe a ride should be taught. The fake to the back lined up behind the strong guard is different from that to the fullback behind the center. In the latter, it is necessary for the quarterback to step back and pick up the fullback with the ball as he does in the inside belly for better timing and execution. However, when the quarterback is moving down the line, a ride would destroy the concentration necessary for pointing the ball towards the read.”


In addition, his numbering and pass protection schemes are very useful and innovative. The diagrams in this book are some of the better ones produced in coaching manuscripts modern or otherwise.


Sam Knopik is the head coach at Pembroke Hill High School.