Fenley on the field with Western Guilford football coach Chris Causey

Special to Greensborosports.com from Bryan Fenley, Department of Communications at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and WXII NBC Weekend Sports Producer……

Spotlight on Western Guilford Coach Chris Causey

You’ve probably heard the comparison before. A football team is like a family. But how often do you hear that comparison turned around? Say, one’s actual family is a football team. For Western Guilford Head Football Coach Chris Causey it’s true.

Countless numbers of Causey’s family have played or coached football. Chris himself played football at Carolina. His brother also played football for the Tarheels. The brothers’ father coached down at Southeast Guilford. At least four of Causey’s cousins played division one football: one at Wake Forest, Citadel, App State and N-C State.

“Our family has a lot of football players—we’re sort of an athletic family,” Causey says.

No kidding.

Besides his family, Causey huddles around coaches outside his kin for inspiration. The Western Guilford coach says he’ll never forget his college coach at Chapel Hill, Mack Brown.

“I played for Mack Brown,” Causey says. “When I think of him, I am reminded of how much personal attention he gave each of his players. He made each of us feel so important. He treated us with dignity and respect. His positive nature rubbed off on me.”

Causey says Brown made his players feel like no matter who they were on the team, whether they were the first string quarterback or the third string long snapper, Brown made every one of them feel important.

It’s a practice Causey follows and believes in.

One of the many coaches he looks to for playbook advice is Duke’s former Head Coach Steve Spurrier. Causey takes inspiration from the passing attack that Spurrier put into place down in Durham.

“On offense, I’ve always liked to be one that throws the football. I watched a lot of film of Coach Spurrier when he was at Duke.”

On top of coaching football, Causey teaches high school history. He says there are many comparisons you can draw between coaching on the field and teaching in the classroom.

“I’m a teacher then a coach. Football is a great teacher because there are things you experience on a football field in a two hour window that might take 40 years for somebody to experience all the ups and downs.”

Non-football players struggle to understand what players go through on the field. It’s an experience that breeds blood, sweat and tears in such a short period of time. With a teaching background, Causey instructs his players on how to respond to adversity on the field; the hope then is for players to develop skills to respond to adversity off the field as well.

“Football is a great teacher,” he adds. “There are things you experience in a two-hour window on a football field that might take someone else a lifetime to learn and understand.”

“Sometimes at halftime you have to challenge players and tell them they’re better than how they are playing. That guy across from you is getting the best of you and you have to respond. It’s a good life lesson, competition is everywhere in life—whether you’re applying for a job or starting your own business.”

“For most of our kids it’s the last time they’re going to play so they need to learn those lessons in life that football teaches. I tell the kids that I want you to be great human beings, great students then great football players in that order.”

Causey has been selected to help coach in the High School Football 2012 East-West All-Star game coming up next July 18th at Jamieson Stadium in Greensboro. He couldn’t be more pleased.

“It’s going to be an honor for Western Guilford.”

In fact, Western Guilford is one of the host sites for team practices for the game.