WE ARE FAMILY! Coach Ernie McCook, Head Football Coach - Shepard Univ.


Some coaches build football teams while others build football families. Coach Ernie McCook, the Head Football Coach at Shepard University in West Virginia, is winning and doing it the right way. He has found peace in his life, built a football family and in the process turned the D-II program into a national football powerhouse along the way.

In this weeks interview Coach McCook and I sit down and talk coaching, life, leadership and the secrets to success both on and off the filed. We discuss his early childhood influences and the men and women that helped him establish his approach and philosophies as a coach and a man. We discuss how Coach McCook found peace in his life and how he feels finding his place in the world has been the true blessing in his life. A self described "player coach" learn how Coach McCook goes about the process of family building in his program, the importance to building good character and how he went about build an organizational culture that is hard to beat. We'll discuss Coach McCook’s philosophies on discipline, mentoring and how you recruit in today’s hyper-competitive environment. This is a powerful talk about for every coach and business leader about finding success in both your career and in your life.

LEADERS: 1) Build a family 2) Find the your place in the world.

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  • Head football coach (Shepherd’s University)

  • 2 X D-II NCAA Football National Playoff Appearances

  • Assistant coach for 18 years

  • Countless standouts players and coaches at Shepherd


  • [4:35] – Ernie McCook’s background story

  • [20:38] – The 3 types of coaching (Romantic, Fanatical, Utility)

  • [23:06] – What it’s like to be mentored by his high school coach

  • [25:00] – The moment he realizes he was meant to be a coach

  • [31:10] – His overall process in coaching his athletes

  • [38:00] – The story about his high school coach and mentor

  • [41:47] - The kind of coach he is

  • [47:16] – Do you have any regrets to the athletes you let go

  • [50:28] – How do you deal with your staffs that are not meeting your expectations

  • [1:01:55] - What’s in for the upcoming season


  • [9:38] – “don’t take one for granted, appreciate the opportunities to work, work hard and enjoy the success, enjoy the process.”

  • [16:52] – “I’m not finish learning, I try to be better each day”

  • [29:55] – “appreciate the process”

  • [30:00] – “it’s the relationship and fellowship that we have that makes the football special.”

  • [31:50] - “Do the best you can to make the job done”

  • [40:49] - “we want to build the foundation with social and academic success”

  • [41:30] – “the more love appears in the program the better the program, the better the athletes, the better the experience you are building”

  • [42:45] - “we work today to be better tomorrow, and tomorrow to be better the next day”

  • [43:41] – “principles are never old school”

  • [45:15] – “I want people to be part of the football program to feel being here than not being here”

  • [45:31] – “I want to have players and coaches to be a part of this program that are proud to be at Shepherd’s University and to coach and play in this football program, I also want them to develop and have success where this program and University is proud of them”

  • [51:42] – “it’s better to be clear with your communication than to avoid it.”

  • [1:03:04] – “the teams that has the most discipline, are the ones that gonna have success”



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