chapter  7
30 Pages

School Organization

Harrison High is a school of about 1,200 students in Farmington Hills, Michigan, just outside of Detroit. When I last worked there in 1982, the football coach, John Herrington, had once again amazed everyone by putting together a great football team that went on to win the Class A state championship. How did he do it? The school was relatively small, just barely achieving Class A status, and the community, primarily upper middle class, was not thought of as a football hotbed. Coach Herrington had a strategy: Virtually every male student in the school, no matter how unlikely, was perceived as potential material for the football team. Honor roll scholars were recruited as avidly as the burnouts hanging in the parking lot. Herrington did not see stereotypes, he saw possibilities. The gawky, slight ninth grader who never had touched a football or played sports was viewed in the light of the strong running back he could become 2 or 3 years hence. Attendance at try-outs was huge. Everyone wanted to play for Coach Herrington, and as a result, his pool of potential football players numbered about 600-nearly every boy in the school.