Friday, May 10, 2013

Bill McCartney: Great Coach, Great Man

I was thrilled this week to learn that former Colorado football coach Bill McCartney has been election to the College Football Honor of Fame

Coach Mac and I have been long time friends.

McCartney has the most wins of any coach in Colorado football history. He led the Buffaloes to the 1990 National Championship.

He created excitement in the old Big 8 Conference. Nebraska was the kingpin in those days and McCartney’s teams often rose above the kingpin.

Two things described McCartney the coach: recruiting and motivation. He consistently recruited black athletes to come to the Boulder school and it resulted in a pile of victories. He was a master motivator. The guy could get players to buy into the team concept. And he preached accountability.

Coach Mac left the sidelines 20 years ago. Like most successful coaches, he developed a head coaching tree. LSU’s Les Miles is the most noticeable of that group.

But McCartney was more than a successful coach. He helped found the Christian men’s movement Promise Keepers. If you ever heard the guy speak at an event, McCartney reminded one of a fiery preacher who had a real message.

Coach Mac was and is a man of conviction. And a man of God. Those two attributes are rare these days.