The Importance Of Talent: How Tim Tebow And Cam Newton Changed The Lives Of 4 Head Coaches

Have you ever thought how one talented individual could change the fortunes of your staff or organization?  The solution to any problem you have is a person.  Five years ago, Alabama head coach Mike Shula had a huge problem that he knew could be answered by high school phenom Tim Tebow.  Let’s recount the timeline of Tebow and the domino effect his presence had on a number of schools and individuals.

  1. In 2006, Urban Meyer and the Florida Gators beat Mike Shula and the Alabama Crimson Tide for the services of Nease High School and Parade National HS Player of the Year QB Tim Tebow.
  2. Florida wins two national championships in in Tebow’s four years.
  3. Mike Shula was fired on November 26th, 2006 from his coaching position during Tebow’s first year at Florida.  Shula now coaches quarterbacks for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
  4. Meyer’s success in utilizing the multi-dimensional Tebow convinced College Park (Ga) QB Cam Newton to sign with Florida in 2007.
  5. Gene Chizik is hired on December 13, 2008 to coach the Auburn Tigers.  He is met at an airport in Opelika, AL to a chorus of very passionate booing fans.
  6. After redshirting his sophomore year, Newton decides to transfer to Blinn Junior College in Texas in 2009 when Tebow elects to return for his senior season.
  7. Newton leads Blinn to the 2009 JC Championship.
  8. Newton later signs with Auburn and subsequently along with the now uber-popular Chizik leads them to a perfect season and chance to win the national championship.
  9. Urban Meyer retires for a second time.

Let’s imagine for a moment what would happen if Tim Tebow had signed with Alabama instead of Florida:

  1. Mike Shula is still the Alabama head coach and considered a coaching genuis.  
  2. Alabama still wins at least one national championship with LB Brandon Spikes (he made his decision based upon where Tebow attended) anchoring the defense. 
  3. Cam Newton still chooses Florida because of their offense and becomes one of the greats in college football. 
  4. Gene Chizik is dismissed after a 2nd consecutive average season at Auburn. 
  5. Urban Meyer despite incredible success stll has health issues and retires mutliple times.
  6. Nick Saban coaches the Dolphins one more year and then takes the head coaching position for the Michigan Wolverines.
  7. Michigan becomes a perennial Top 10 power.

By the way, could you imagine a 2009 SEC Championship with Florida led by Cam Newton against Alabama led by Tim Tebow?  I bet Mike Shula dreams of that every night.  That’s the power of a single decision about where a talented individual chooses to practice his/her craft.

Leaders, whatever field you are in, there are Tim Tebows that are available.  Are you prepared to do whatever it takes to secure that talent?  The ability to secure talent will determine if you are a Gene Chizik-organization or a Mike Shula-one.

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About Brian Dodd on Leadership

I am a church stewardship and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. This blog combines my personal passions of church, sports, pop culture and family into a single leadership resource. I trust your time on this site will create conversations and add value to your life.

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