I heard Rutgers head football coach Greg Schiano speak at a coaches conference in Cherry Hill, NJ back around 2003 or so. He told a story about coaching at Penn State. The year he was there Penn State had a really large number of #1 draft picks go to the NFL, yet Penn State didn't win like they thought they should. They had a really average season for having so many great players. Coach Schiano's talk centered around how Joe Paterno interviewed everyone in the Penn State program after that disappointing season: players, coaches, secretaries, trainers, everyone. What Paterno came up with was that there was little trust in the program. No one trusted the next guy. No one trusted anyone. Schiano went on for 40 minutes about how important it is to establish trust with a team.
I spent the next 7 football seasons with "trust" in the back of my mind and in the front of my coaching plan.
Fast forward to last night. It is a few hours after our 45-14 win over Millersville University and I'm having a beer with a former player from that 7-5 Penn State team. I tell him all about the Schiano talk and what Paterno learned.
The former player says, "Hm. Joe just literally beat the *** out of us that next year. He pummeled us. Funny, I didn't hear him mention 'trust' once."