Nike Coach of the Year Clinic Publications, dba Telecoach, Inc. – History of Nike COY Publications

 History of the Coach of the Year Publications

In 1961, Duffy Daugherty came to Louisville to meet with one of his young players by the name of Sherman Lewis. Lewis had played football for Louisville Manual High School before he went to Michigan State. The coach at Louisville Manual High School was Tom Harper, who had played football at the University of Kentucky for Paul “Bear” Bryant. After Duffy met with Sherman Lewis he met with Tom and I. He asked Tom if he would be interested in starting a football clinic in Louisville. The Coach of the Year Clinics founded by Duffy Daugherty and Bud Wilkinson had successful clinics in Grand Rapids, Atlanta, Georgia, Dallas, and San Francisco. They had a clinic in Memphis but it did not draw well. Duffy wanted to move the Memphis Clinic to Louisville. Tom agreed to do the clinic and he asked me to assist him with the first Louisville Clinic in February of 1962.

Tom coached at Louisville Manual High School through 1964, before moving to Eastern Kentucky University as an assistant coach in 1965. Later he was an assistant at Oklahoma State, head coach at Wake Forest, assistant coach at Iowa State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Clemson. He died in 1989.

Because Tom was involved in college coaching outside of Louisville, Tom asked Duffy and Bud to have me take over as the Louisville Clinic Director. I had served as Assistant Director, and handled most of the daily operations of the Louisville Clinic since Tom had moved on to college coaching. They agreed and officially, I became the Louisville Clinic Director in the summer of 1974.

In the mid 1960’s Duffy Daugherty would meet with most Clinic Directors during the off-season. In addition, he and Bud Wilkinson attended all of the 12 Coach of the Year Clinics. In the early meeting with Tom Harper and I, Duffy suggested we start taking notes on the Louisville Clinic lectures and sell them to the coaches later.

This idea started at the San Francisco Clinic. The Clinic Notes, as called in the 1960’s, were first done by Dick Vermeil. As the San Francisco Clinic Director Bob Troppmann explained, other coaches would ask some of the speakers for their notes after they finished their lectures, and several of the speakers would tell them to check with Dick Vermeil because he always took the best notes on all speakers. Thus, several of the 12 Clinics did Clinic Notes for their individual clinics. Clinic Notes were done by the Louisville Clinic, by Bob Troppmann of San Francisco, Paul Smarks of the Grand Rapids Clinic, and Dwight Keith of the Atlanta Clinic. Each clinic published their individual Clinic Notes and sold them to their coaches who would sign up for the articles at the clinic site. The first clinic notes were mimeographed notes taken from the individual lectures. Most of the “notes” were simply stapled together and consisted of about 25 pages. They were mailed to the coaches that had paid for them in advance. The cost to the coaches ran from $1.50 to $2.50 at each clinic.

In 1974, I started a company to publish the Clinic Manuals. Telecoach, Inc. was selected as the name of the company and is still involved today in production of the Clinic Manuals. My original plan was to eventually branch out and to get involved with TV and high school football games similar to what Bud Wilkinson had been doing after his coaching career. 

In February of 1975, I was asked by some of the other clinic managers to start combining some of the other clinics notes into the Louisville Clinic Manual. By 1980 most of the other clinics decided it would be a good idea if we combined all of the Clinic Notes into one publication. Louisville, Grand Rapids, St. Louis, Atlanta, San Francisco, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Chicago Clinics were included into one Clinic Manual.

The Clinic Directors communicated to select one of the college coaches that spoke at our clinics — a coach that had a good year and put his picture on the front of the Clinic Manual Clipboard as our


“Coach of the Year.” Later we added Dallas and Minneapolis Clinics to the list. By 1992, we started selecting other clinic lectures from all of the Coach of the Year Clinics.

As other clinics joined the Clinic Manual concept, we had to be very selective in picking the best clinic lectures from all of the clinics. We had as many as 45 lectures in one publication but eventually settled for 36 lectures for each year.

After Duffy Daugherty died the clinics  were run by Francis Daugherty with the assistance of Bill Yeoman, former assistant coach for Duffy and a friend of the family. 1n 1992 the clinics were sold to a group of men headed by John Majors and George Perles. John Majors and the present owners have continued the Clinic Manual set up that we had with Duffy from 1985. Today we have 21 Nike Coach of the Year Clinics.

The Clinic Manual continued to be very popular in the early 1990’s. Nike became the National Sponsor. Today we have access to over 70 Division I Nike Head Coaches. In an effort to include as many Nike Coaches as possible in the Manual, we had to leave out more high school coaches. From 2000 to 2003, I had several high school coaches request more high school coaches to be included in the Clinic Manual. As a result, we decided to include a special publication for the high school coaches from their lectures at the Nike Clinics. In 2004, we published the first Clinic Notes.

We had to distinguish between the college edition of the manual and the high school publication. We call the high school publication Coach of the Year Clinic Notes as originally called when Dick Vermeil was taking notes from the San Francisco Clinic. As a result, we now have the Clinic Manual with College Coaches and Clinic Notes with High School Coaches.

In 2007 I was asked by the owners of the C.O.O.L. Clinic to produce their Clinic lectures. The Coaches Of Offensive Line Clinic (COOL) has been held in Cincinnati for the last 18 years. Jim McNally started the clinic when he was with the Cincinnati Bengals. Most of the speakers are from the NFL and have a wealth of coaching experience. In 2007, the first C.O.O.L. Clinic Coaches Handbook for Offensive Line Coaches was published. It has been very successful with the number sold has doubled in each of the last two years.      

For the Clinic Manual to be as popular for as long as it has been is a tribute to the coaches that have appeared in the publications over the years. They continue to be one of the leading methods of distribution of coaching information today. This would not have been possible without the cooperation of all of the great coaches that have appeared in the publications over the years. I cannot think of any college coaching legend that has not appeared in the Clinic Manual from 1965 to today.

The Clinic Manual has stood the test of time and has survived along with the technical communication tools that have come along in the past several years. When DVD’s came out, some coaches thought that would be the end of printed information in football and other sports. When the internet came along, again, a lot of coaches doubted the survival of publications similar to the Clinic Manual. In most cases, with all of the modern technology developed in the last 25 years has actually been an improvement for the publication of the Clinic Manuals. Today the information we receive from the coaches lectures via video and PowerPoint presentations are more accurate and much easier to produce the final product with a feeling the authors lecture has been reproduced as it was presented to the clinic.

It will be interesting to see where we go from this point on. We promise we will keep our publications on the cutting edge. We are looking at e-books to see if this technique will help lower the cost of mailing the publications, as well as reducing the printing cost. We will continue to publish the Manuals, Notes, COOL Lectures in book form as well.

A special thanks to all of the coaches that have appeared in our publications over the years. In addition, a special thanks to our customers for making the publications the leading football information of its kind on the market today.