Coaches Take Lessons From Iraq Troops

Mideast trip inspires grid bosses from Notre Dame, Auburn, Miami
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2008 5:38 PM CDT
Georgia coach Mark Richt, right, was struck by the courage and teamwork exhibited by US troops he met while touring the Middle East.   (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
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(Newser) – Five big-name college football coaches toured the Middle East for five days, but it was they who came away star-struck by the troops—particularly the teamwork they witnessed among kids the same age as their own players. "We put signs up saying, 'Leave your egos at the door,'" Charlie Weis told ESPN. "If you get your team to live that creed the way these soldiers do, you'll be OK."

Military training builds a stronger team, but that's not all, according to Yale's Jack Siedlecki: "The maturity level is different. Some of them are 19, 20, 21. You don't see that in college kids. ... I see a maturity and a loss of innocence."