Former North Callaway varsity football coach and current Athletic Director Michael Emmons started a local coaching tradition that spawned the Thunderbird's Kevin O'Neal and Missouri Military Academy head coach Mitchell Jenkins.
Now O'Neal is trying to live up to that standard and by his side are four assistant coaches we intend on profiling in the weeks to come, the first of which will be Ross Rosenbaum.
NORTH CALLAWAY, CHAPTER 1: Ross Rosenbaum
The way current Thunderbird's varsity assistant football coach Ross Rosenbaum gained his gridiron knowledge was by playing. That meant taking the field every weekend during football season from the time he has six until he graduated from high school.
"Prior to North Callaway I had youth football coaching experience. I got into coaching because I'm passionate about athletics, and personally have benefited from participating in athletics," said Rosenbaum. "I believe the personal traits student athletes can develop from being a part of a sport are a great tool to developing into a successful person after high school."
One part of coaching at North Callaway that's different than what some other athletic programs might believe is that Emmons has designated his school as one that employs positive coaching techniques. Because Rosenbaum feels the same, this allows him to be his true self with the athletes instead of trying to follow a less-enjoyable approach that would probably reap fewer results given the surrounding situation.
"I would describe my coaching style as enthusiastic, passionate, and honest. In order to get the most out of an individual or a team you have to be willing to be honest with them about strengths, and weaknesses," Rosenbaum said. "From there you can teach kids how to establish a plan or set a goal on improving on their skills. I believe being enthusiastic and passionate everyday is important to keep kids invested and motivated in the goal we are trying to reach."
Now entering his fourth year woking for O'Neal, Rosenbaum's title with the North Callaway varsity football program is defensive coordinator. During the day he's also a Special Education teacher at Auxvasse Elementary School.
"Kids should compete in athletics because everyday will present them with a challenge and opportunity," said Rosenbaum. "Not just opportunities that come with having success in sports, but the everyday challenges of athletics provide kids opportunities to make decisions on how they can better themselves mentally and physically. By going through this process, kids will be able to relate it to life after high school whether in the work force, or college."
Rosenbaum's other role within the Thunderbird's athletic program is as head varsity wrestling coach. That might be understating this accomplishment, though, mostly because the school didn't even have wrestling until Rosenbaum helped found the program over three years ago.
"I'm still influenced everyday by my experiences from sports. Through sports I learned how to set goals, developed a strong work ethic, and I learned how to deal with both success and failure," Rosenbaum said. "From athletics I developed many long lasting relationships with teammates and coaches. I was presented with many different opportunities to compete on the next level, and further my education."