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Sunday night class builds leaders at Scecina

Junior Jack Wright (front left) with some of his Crusaders football teammates who will be senior leaders in the fall, including fellow co-captain Collin Connor (back right). Not pictured: co-captain Drew Lowery.

By Beth Murphy, Director of Marketing Communications 

Junior Jack Wright wants to be a leader. So he’s studying the topic. For two years in a row, Jack has taken a leadership class taught by Crusader football coach Ott Hurrle and defensive coordinator Brad Purcell, who also are teachers. The past two winters, Jack has returned to Scecina on six Sunday evenings to absorb the coaches’ lessons on leadership. 

“I knew it was the opportunity to get to be a captain (of the football team) and to help me become a better leader,” said Jack, who attends Holy Spirit Catholic Church and         went to school at Holy Spirit. “We’re learning from a lot of different perspectives because both Coach Hurrle and Purcell lead, and this year they brought in coaches (Tony) Schmoll and (Marvin) Greathouse.” 

Jack’s also learned that leadership comes with its challenges along with its rewards: “You’re held to a higher standards when it comes to helping people or taking responsibility,” said Jack, who also is a member of National Honor Society and this year went out for golf for the first time. 

As a football coach for over 40 years -- 25 as Crusaders head coach -- Hurrle has been teaching leadership to players and students a long time. About five years ago, he formalized his lessons by creating the leadership class for players. Last year he and Purcell opened up the class to any sophomore or junior at Scecina. Crusaders track athletes Jacqueline Kennedy and Andrew Clegg were among last year’s class of 15 students. 

“I tell them, there are thousands of books written about leadership, so it must be important,” said Hurrle. Purcell enjoys working with Hurrle on the classes because “it’s something I’m passionate about, our youth, and I get to sit in and listen to one of the best (Hurrle).” 

Hurrle has based the leadership curriculum on the work of Jeff Janssen, who wrote “The Team Captain’s Leadership Manual: The Complete Guide to Developing Team Leaders Whom Coaches Respect and Teammates Trust.” He also operates Janssen Sport Leadership Center. He heard the head football coach for Navy speak about leadership, so he’s used his presentation in the class. 

Purcell said he’s read leadership lessons from Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, which he has incorporated into his Scecina sessions. Meyer wrote “Above the Line: Lessons in Leadership and Life from a Championship Season.” Schmoll based his lesson on the U.S. Marines leadership tactics. Coach Greathouse has used a video based on the movie “Space Jam” and how Michael Jordan used leadership skills to motivate his team. 

Wright says these lessons are ones he can use throughout his life. And he reached his goal. He recently was re-elected co-captain of the 2017-18 Crusaders football team, and will serve with Drew Lowery and Collin Connor, who also took the leadership class for two years. 

2 comments (Add your own)

1. Connie Lovell Heneghan'62 wrote:
Go Jack!

Thu, April 6, 2017 @ 2:35 PM

2. Dan hagan wrote:
Leadership; 10% of the people make things happen, 40 % watch and 50 % simply don't know. Jack your one of the 10%. Ten-percenters operate to a different drummer. Most of all they have a "curiosity" and are always asking questions. There curiosity is never full there is always room for more.

Thu, April 6, 2017 @ 7:53 PM

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