From the outside, De La Salle High School in Concord, California looks like any other boys high school. But coursing through the halls, theatres and locker rooms there is something very special going on. Something that every other school, business, or community would love to have...and that is one of the strongest team-first cultures that I have ever encountered.
And perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in their varsity football program.
You may have heard of the Spartans. There’s been a number of books, documentaries and even a major movie has been made about them.
And the reason for all of this exposure?
Well for 14 seasons, the De La Salle Spartans Football team was undefeated. Yes, you heard that right, between 1992-2004 the Spartans football program managed to rattle off 151 consecutive victories and proved to themselves, and the world, that team culture trumps personnel every day of the week. I love the Spartan story, not just for the brilliance of the achievement or the skill, commitment and determination that it took from the athletes & coaches involved. I love the Spartan story for the incredible culture that their teams have all accepted, owned, displayed and passed on over the years.
Terry Eidson took over in 1992 as the defensive coordinator of the team and still holds this position to this day, (he is also in charge of special teams). Terry has been an integral piece of the Spartan puzzle for the past 36 years. To put this in context, and I don’t think that Terry would ever talk about it, (it was never mentioned in our conversation), but the Spartan's record since he took over as defensive coordinator in 1992 is a staggering 323wins-16losses-2draws. That’s a winning percentage of 95%!
In this conversation we focus on how a school like De La Salle has managed to build such a formidable culture, one that is loved and pushed by the students, teachers, coaches and parents alike.
Please note that the sound quality can get little rough in places during this conversation and the whole episode was recorded in the coaches lounge at the school. So throughout the course of the conversation, you’ll hear coaches filing in and out of the room and some background conversations going at the same time. We’ve tried to clean that up as best as possible, but there is a little bit more noise than usual. Just picture yourself sitting in the locker room after a practice session and imagine the coaches walking in and out of the room and you should be all good to go.
So without any further delay, it’s my pleasure, privilege and honour to introduce De La Salle Defensive Coordinator and Special Teams Coach, Mr Terry Eidson.
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- What is a Spartan? by Bob Ladoucer — This is the article I refer to at the top of the show.
- Amazon.com: Chasing Perfection: The Principles Behind Winning Football the De La Salle Way eBook: Bob Ladouceur, Neil Hayes: Books
- When The Game Stands Tall - Official Trailer [HD] - YouTube — The movie trailer.
- When the Game Stands Tall on iTunes
- Barnraisers - How to leave a review on iTunes