Eddie George had no plans to coach football.
The long hours turned off the former Tennessee Titans All-Pro running back. He loved having time to invest in his golf game. He was building his wealth management business and acting in movies, TV and plays, including starring on Broadway as Billy Flynn in “Chicago.”
“Trying to win a HEGOT,” George said. “That’s Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony, but Heisman’s on the front of it.”
The 1995 Heisman Trophy winner at Ohio State laughed after he delivered the line like a pro from his seat in a Halas Hall conference room.
George was taking a quick breather during a hectic three-week stretch with the Chicago Bears in the Bill Walsh diversity coaching fellowship, a program designed to give minority coaches experience at the NFL level. Florida State co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Randy Shannon, the former head coach at Miami, is also on hand at Bears organized team activities.
Nine days into his stint, George had been all over the Bears facility, not just participating in football meetings and practices but consulting with support staff and even picking the brain of Bears President and CEO Kevin Warren. George’s goal is to gather strategies from throughout the organization to bring back to Tennessee State, where he enters his third year as head coach.
“Every day, I try to find one thing, just one thing that I can take home with me, because it’s a lot,” George told the Tribune. “Three weeks is not enough time to really take it all in, so I try to give myself the grace to say, ‘OK, go with the experience and just seek to learn something new every day, and also be a resource for the young men that are here that have questions.’”
When Bears running backs coach David Walker reached out to ask George to apply, noting the Bears specifically were looking to do something for head coaches, George didn’t want to pass up the learning opportunity.
A little more than two years ago, Tennessee State offered George the chance to become its head coach. In the NFL, George rushed for 10,441 yards over nine seasons, started 130 straight games and made four Pro Bowls. But he had no coaching experience.
Being the CEO of a football program intrigued George, and he asked himself if he would regret turning down Tennessee State’s offer. He knew he would. And he believed in the experiences that led him to that point. He knew football from his playing career, leadership from fathering two sons, how to listen from being an actor and how to plan from his business ventures.
“So all of it has prepared me for this moment,” he said.
George’s Tennessee State teams have gone 9-13 over his first two seasons. His third season will begin with a trip to Notre Dame, the first time the Irish will face an HBCU team and a game that reportedly comes with a $1 million payday for Tennessee State.
As George prepares for …read more
Source:: The Denver Post – Sports