Many of you know that Sean Payton, was the head coach of the New Orleans Saints. But what many of you don’t know is Sean Payton coached youth football in 2012 after having to sit out the 2012 NFL season due to the bounty scandal. Payton has had an amazing coaching career that included taking over a 3-13 Saint team in 2005, taking them to the playoffs in 2006 and winning the Super Bowl in 2010. Payton was named the AP NFL Coach of the Year.
In 2012 during his one year coaching hiatus, he coached his son’s 6th grade team in Arglye, Texas, the Liberty Christian Warriors. Arglye is in the Fort Worth area, an area that is crazy about football from the youth level all the way to their beloved Cowboys. Liberty Christian plays in the very competitive North Central Texas Pee Wee Football League. Interestingly enough, his team lost their championship game to a Single Wing team coached by Rob Adams, Rob was named the Winning Youth Football Western Region, “Coach of the Year” in 2012. Rob coached the Springtown Orange 6th grade team. http://winningyouthfootball.com/youthfootballcoachingtips.php
This week Rob was gracious enough to share some of his interactions with Sean Payton and his team. Rob is an excellent and very committed coach who played for TCU in college. Like many of us former players, Rob struggled some early on before he figured the “youth equation” out. He is an avid user of the Winning Youth Football system and has attended a number of our clinics. Like most youth coaches Rob got into coaching to coach his own boys, now he coaches what he calls his extended family “all his boys.”
Rob’s team played Sean Payton’s team just after the midpoint of the season and Rob’s team won 38-6. After that game Rob noticed Coach Payton was at 2 of his games scouting his team. Coach Payton also got film from another game Rob’s team had played earlier in the season. So when the week leading up to the League Championship game was approaching, Rob knew he would have his hands full as coach Payton had 2 game films and had watched his team play additional times. In Rob’s mind Coach Payton might have overlooked his team a bit the first time and may not have been prepared. Coach Payton’s team had won most of their games in blowout fashion and entered the Super Bowl with an 8-1 recored. Rob was to say the least a bit intimidated going up against an NFL, coach who has well prepared and motivated.
While Rob had a few tricks up his sleeve and had his adjustments well practiced, he just kept pressing what had gotten his team their 9-0 record. He repped his base Single Wing Offense, Wide Tackle Six Defense and made sure the kids were staying fundamentally sound. The end result of Rob’s hard work and sleepless nights, a 58-18 win for his boys in the League Championship game. Rob said that the Liberty Christian team played hard to the end and were great sports as were the Liberty coaching staff.
What was really impressive was how open and gracious Coach Payton was after the game. He came over to the Springtown Orange’s team and coaching staff with big smiles and let them know what a great job they had done. Then he addressed the entire group to tell them as you can see in this clip that: “This week I talked to Jon Gruden and Bill Parcels to figure out how to stop your Single Wing offense, and you guys still put 58 points on us.”
Coach Payton then made himself available to visit with the parents, players and coaches and a good number of the boys got pictures taken with him as well as autographs.
In this day and age, it is heartwarming to see such a humble man. Here an NFL Super Bowl champion coach, loses to a team coached by someone that had never coached beyond youth football. He didn’t storm off or slide out the back exit, he humbly put himself out there as his son’s coach and ambassador for the game. I for one have become a Sean Payton fan after hearing how he handled this situation, and wish there were more like him. And for Coach Payton, no shame in losing a game to a team coached by Rob Adams. He is an outstanding coach who recognized long ago, that youth football was a bit of a different animal than what he played in High School and College. He obviously has adapted and overcome. Hats off to both guys for coaching, playing and promoting the game the way it should be. This was just one of those times where both guys coaching youth football just did it right.
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