and you thought a coach’s job was thankless before? read this


1 Response to “and you thought a coach’s job was thankless before? read this”

  1. August 23, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    Copyright 2011 Detroit Free Press
    All Rights Reserved
    Detroit Free Press (Michigan)

    August 22, 2011 Monday


    HEADLINE: Don’t blame a good coach

    Over the 14 seasons Thomas Wilcher has been head football coach, I have attended several Detroit Cass Tech practices, and you never will believe what I have witnessed:

    Wilcher actually was coaching his players. He was teaching them. And he was teaching them football technique.

    But former Cass Tech all-stater Will Campbell, a junior defensive tackle at Michigan, claims he never learned the proper technique, which is why he is on the verge of being labeled a stiff despite being a five-star recruit.

    Let me get this straight. Campbell, who enrolled at U-M in January of his senior year, went through two years of spring ball and two regular seasons at Michigan and now is trying to blame his high school coach for not teaching him technique?

    What about the U-M coaches who had this kid for the past two years? They didn’t teach him anything, either?

    But the blame lies with Wilcher?

    One thing needs to be made clear: Wilcher’s job is to be a school teacher at Cass Tech from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. In his spare time, he is a football coach who makes less than $3,000 for coaching.

    He is being paid to coach a high school team, not make a college coach’s job easier.

    You would have thought the coaches whose only job is to coach football and who make more than 100 times what Wilcher makes for coaching would have taught Campbell something in two years.

    Like in every league, there are some knuckleheads coaching in the Public School League.

    But coaching in the PSL isn’t easy. Trying to get quality assistants to show up every day and coach is an arduous task. And speaking of fundamentals, many kids who begin by playing PAL football in Detroit are miles behind kids who play in youth leagues in the suburbs.

    But Wilcher is a good coach, as are other guys in the PSL, and he is devoted to the kids he coaches — and yes, he does coach them.

    And the notion that there could be more interest in promoting a player to recruiting analysts, making sure he gets enough stars next to his name that it doesn’t matter about making him a technique-savvy player, is asinine.

    Players often earn their “stars” in the off-season when they attend combines and college camps. Wilcher does an excellent job getting his players to the combines and camps, but it isn’t like they are skipping practice to attend the functions.

    Campbell was large in high school. He was 6-feet-5, weighed more than 300 pounds and often didn’t need to be technically sound to dominate the poor guy across from him.

    But I can guarantee you that Campbell was indeed taught the proper technique when he was at Cass Tech. If he didn’t learn it, that’s his fault.

    Contact Mick McCabe: 313-223-4744 or mmccabe@freepress.com .

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