The ProcessPublished 10:29pm Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Dean teaching players life lessons en route to title
Mike Dean makes no bones about it, he wants to win football games.
But en route to this wins, and a possible state title, Dean installed a system for Charles Henderson football that he calls “The Process.”
The Process is not a football thing, Dean says, but “more of a way you want to live your life.”
The Trojans are poised to achieve something that hasn’t been done at Charles Henderson High School in over 30 years, but Dean tells his players each day that the journey isn’t over when football season comes to a close.
“Yes, we want to win football games, everyone does,” Dean said. “But we are also wanting to make these guys in to great, valuable members of the community. There are decades of life after football for these kids, and it is our job to make sure we teach them things that can’t be learned in the classroom.”
Dean does not allow his players to become complacent or lazy. He keeps the players wanting more by never allowing them to get satisfied.
“We love these kids, and we believe in them,” Dean said. “We are hard on them, because we know they are a special group of young men. Sometimes it may look like we are too hard on them, but we know they can handle it, and they know we care about them.”
From Dean’s first day on the job last year to now, he has treated the football program at Charles Henderson like a business, much like Nick Saban has at the University of Alabama.
Dean, a graduate of Auburn University and defensive disciple of Wayne Hall and Bill Oliver, nods in agreement when asked about Saban’s influence. He says there are quite a few similarities between himself and the leader of Bama Nation.
“I am an Auburn guy, but you have sit back and look at what he has been able to do,” Dean said with a sly grin. “We have about the same temperament, and we both expect our kids to give 100 percent in everything we do. He is a great football coach, and we have a lot in common, but I was doing my thing long before he came around these parts.”
Dean in his office most days by 6:30 p.m., and doesn’t get home until long after the sun sets in the evening. He has done it for years, and most likely will for years to come.
He pores over film and playbooks for hours on end all in order to gain an advantage over his opponent. He says it’s just the way he was taught.
“My dad was a football coach, so this is what I know,” Dean says. “These kids give us 100 percent everyday, so it is up to me and the rest of the coaches to give it back to them. God gives us another 24 hours every morning, but it is up to us to make those 24 hours meaningful. We honor him everyday by learning from mistakes and growing as football players, coaches, sons, brothers and fathers.”
Dean’s players agree.
“We all know he will have us in the right spot every time,” defensive back Tedairon Myhand said earlier in the season. “He gives us everything he has, and we give it back to him. We are all in this together. We have unfinished business, and want to get the job done.”
The Process didn’t start at Charles Henderson; it has been a staple of Dean’s coaching style for years.
Cory Wiggins played for Dean at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile and said the coach hasn’t changed.
“He is great defensive coach,” Wiggins said. “But he is a greater person. He want you to be the best you can be, whether that is on the football field on Friday or in life for years to come. Every player says it about their coach, but he truly does care and love every player he has.”
Dean knows that many of his players will not play a down of football following their senior year of high school, but he still instills things in them as he did with former players that advanced all the way to the NFL.
“Less than one perfect of high school football players play college, and lest than one percent of college player make it to the pros,” Dean said. “We have to give these kids things they can use outside of the football field. If one of these kids is the first of their family to go to college, it doesn’t change just their life. It can affect dozens of people from now on. These guys only have a handful of games left, but they have years of being good men. That is what we want to do..make good men.”
Charles Henderson travels to Lineville this Friday to play Central-Clay County in the quarterfinals of the Alabama High School Atheltic Assocaiotn playoffs
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.