God works in mysterious ways.
A few weeks ago Ed Johansen, our regional coordinator in the Nebraska-Iowa-Missouri area, decided to come and observe one of our team camps. It was with the Beechwood High School football team from Northern KY. As Ed was waiting for his plane he noticed that Tom Osborne sat down a few feet in front of him.
Tom Osborne was the Head football coach at the University of Nebraska for 25 years, 1973-1997, compiling a record of 255-49-3 winning 3 National Championships in the process in 1994, 1995 and 1997. After coaching, Osborne was elected to Congress in 2000 and served six years in the United States House of Representatives from Nebraska's 3rd congressional district.
Osborne was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999, and in 2000, he received the Jim Thorpe Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1999, ESPN honored Osborne as the coach of the decade for the 1990s. This honor is even more impressive considering the fact that he did not coach for 20% of the decade. In a 2007 online ESPN poll, Osborne was voted the "greatest college football coach of all time". Osborne was chosen as the 2008 recipient of the American Football Coaches Association's (AFCA) highest honor, the Tuss McLaughry Award for the highest distinction in service to others.
He is currently the athletic director of the University of Nebraska.
Ed approached Coach Osborne, told him about SportsLeader, his work and that he was going to be spending the next few days with a high school football team. He asked coach if he would like to send the team a message or some words of encouragement. Ed said that Coach paused for a bit and then said, "Tell them that there is no secret sauce to forming a great team, no magic wand. It is all about sacrifice. Every player has to sacrifice something: for some it will be alcohol, for others it will be pleasures, for others time ... Everyone must sacrifice something. That is the key to building great teams."
Ed shared that experience with all of us around the campfire that night. Later during the camp we decided to have all the players write down what they were going to personally sacrifice for their team this season. We gave each player an index card and they wrote them addressed to Coach Osborne. Ed sent them all to Coach along with a team photo ...
It must have made an impression on Coach Osborne. Here below is a letter addressed to the Beechwood Team. He also invited Ed to set up a meeting with him to discuss SportsLeader ... This is a good thing!
God bless, Lou