NASHVILLE – Titans coach Mike Vrabel is the son of two educators, his father a high school basketball coach.
So when Josh Corey, Football Outreach Coordinator for the Titans, approached him about the High School Coaching Clinic when Vrabel took over last year, the head coach was all in.
On Tuesday at Saint Thomas Sports Park, the organization opened its doors for the 2019 Tennessee Titans High School Coaches Clinic. Over 220 coaches from across the state showed up for the clinic, representing schools across the state of Tennessee and into Kentucky.
“It starts with the commitment from your general manager and your head coach, and this is something they feel very strongly about,” Corey said. “They certainly want to give the coaches in our state the opportunity to come in and see an OTA practice and learn from our position coaches and learn from our scouts. It all starts with them and they have been extremely supportive since we started doing this.”
Head coaches and assistant coaches watched the team’s OTA practice while also spending time at the facility with coaches, including Vrabel and general manager Jon Robinson.
Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason and Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt spoke during the session.
“I think that if they can take away something that can help their players, if they can help their players develop and help a kid maybe go from third team to seeing some reps, or going from second team and realizing that they can be better,” Vrabel said. “It’s really just trying to develop the players. It’s easy to coach good players, it’s real easy. It’s hard to coach the ones that maybe aren’t quite as good.”
The clinic started with an introduction and talk by Robinson, followed by a talk from Vrabel. The team had a series of breakout sessions with position coaches, including a strength and conditioning period with Frank Piraino.
Mason and Pruitt took different approaches during their sessions.
“You know if you get Jeremy Pruitt he is going to come in and he is going to talk ball,” Corey said. “He told the coaches 'I could sit up here all day and talk football.' And coach Mason provided some good stuff on how to develop your staff and some really good professional development things, some of the administrative things that you might not hear as much about, and kind of grooming some of these young coaches into taking on bigger leadership roles. It was worthwhile to have those guys here and it was great to have them in the building.”
Corey, formerly a high school coach at Fletcher High (Fla.), attended a coaching clinic the Jacksonville Jaguars held years ago. Corey taught and coached at Fletcher from 1997-2014 after a playing career at the University of Florida.
Roughly 52 high schools were represented from across the state, from Memphis to Knoxville and beyond. Coaches from Louisville, Ky., also attended the clinic.
“It was a good day. We got a lot of compliments, and got a lot of things done,” Corey said. “As a high school coach, when you come to one of these, you try to find one thing, whether it’s a drill or a concept or a scheme or just a way of communicating with your players.
“Derek Mason talked a lot about analyzing your own staff to try and make your staff the most productive it can be. If you can come to these clinics and find one thing you can take back to your program that’s a successful day and time well spent.”
The Titans hosted high school coaches from across the state on Tuesday for the 2019 Tennessee Titans High School Coaches Clinic. (Photos: Donald Page)