This issue of the Exchange features Greg Colby, Head Coach of Millersville’s Football Team.
Q: How long have you been with Millersville University?
A: I’ve just finished my second year.
Q: Why did you choose to coach at Millersville?
A: I saw it as a great opportunity to be a head coach at the college level at an institution that was very strong academically, as well as having the potential to be highly successful on the athletic field.
Q: How long have you been coaching football? How many different school teams have you coached?
A: I am starting my 38th year in coaching, having been at nine different schools (two schools two different times)
Q: What is the most important thing you have learned while coaching?
A: First, coaching is teaching. Each student-athlete is unique and has his own way of learning. It is the coach’s biggest challenge to discover this for each of his players and adjust his coaching/teaching style to maximize these different learning needs.
Q: Have you ever coached a sport besides football?
A: As a high school coach, I also coached baseball.
Q: Do you have a favorite sport besides football that you like to watch/play?
A: By far, my favorite sport outside of football is golf. During the summer I’ll play as much as I possibly can, and will watch the Golf Channel whenever I can get the clicker!
Q: You have two children, both boys, correct? Have you taught them to play football? Do they have any influence on your coaching style?
A: Actually, neither one played football (other than short careers at the pee-wee level). My older son wanted to play, but his high school did not offer football. My younger son was more into drama and music.
When I’m working with our players, I try to look at things from their perspective to try to understand where they may be mentally. This was something that I also tried to do with my sons – although they may say I didn’t always do that.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being at Millersville?
A: My favorite thing is probably the way everyone seems to work together and get along. It’s a comfortable place to work, with great people.
Q: What college/university did you attend? What did you study there?
A: I attended the University of Illinois where I majored in physical education with minors in psychology and driver education. I also did master’s work in exercise physiology at Illinois and education administration at Michigan State University.
Q: Did you have a favorite job before coming to Millersville?
A: It’s hard to pick any one. They’ve all had a lot of high points for me. If I had to pick one favorite – it would probably be my three years at Schlarman High School. It was a small private school, where we were fortunate to win two straight state football championships. It’s where I “got the bug” to continue coaching football the rest of my career.
Q: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A: I’m not sure I had a specific occupation in mind. I was busy playing whatever sport was in season. When I first went to college, I did plan on majoring in computer science/electrical engineering. I still like working with computers, but am glad I made the switch to teaching/coaching.
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I grew up in Danville, Ill. It’s located in East Central Illinois, in an area much like Lancaster/Millersville. It is a combination urban/rural area, with very similar weather. We even had an Amish population nearby. It was different in that it is flat as a pancake – rather than hilly, like here.
Q: Did you have a role model as a child?
A: I really looked up to Arnold Palmer for some reason. I did not play golf when I was young, but I remember trying to watch him whenever he was on TV, and wanting to be like him.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A: I try to spend time with my wife Janet. We both like to go out and explore the Eastern Pa. area (kind of like tourists). When I’m not doing that – I try to play golf whenever I can.
Q: If you could live anywhere besides Pennsylvania, where would it be?
A: Somewhere near (but not too near!) our two sons and eight grandchildren.
Q: What is your greatest accomplishment?
A: Raising two great sons. During the process, Janet and I wondered if we were doing it right – but both have turned out to be great individuals and better parents.
Q: If you could have dinner with any famous person, living or dead, who would it be?
A: I’d have to say Vince Lombardi. I grew up watching him coaching the Green Bay Packers. Much of my philosophy (and most other coaches of that era) was greatly influenced by him.