Paris High Coach Hohenberger is Building Relationships that will Last Beyond Football
Before I could even sit down for my weekly interview with Paris High head coach Steven Hohenberger, he was asking me a question. He opened a book on his desk and right before reading a passage out of it, he said, “Let me ask you a question. Is it better to think positive or to stop thinking negatively?”
For the next 20 minutes we spoke about a wide variety of topics including football, building relationships and identity. If you speak to the coach for any length of time, more than likely he will mention one of these three topics pretty regularly.
He may carry the title head football coach and athletic director, but Hohenberger will be the first to tell you he views himself as an instructor.
“It’s no different than a classroom teacher,” he said. “We set our goals, our objectives. We have activities that line up with those goals and objectives. Then the test is Friday…..one of the things we talk about as a coaching staff. We come in every day and talk about, ‘Did [our team] have honor today? Did they give effort? Did they do things exactly right?’ If they didn’t, how are we teaching that?”
Hohenberger doesn’t just stop there, either. The athletic director makes it a point to try and visit each campus in the school district at least once within a two week time period, making a point to visit with students. It’s all part of his philosophy about building a relationship with the students. He knows the trust and respect will come if he first builds a relationship with the student.
“I told the JV kids today, ‘I coach you for who you’re going to be and not who you are today….I see you walking across the stage as an 18-year old walking across the stage with your chin up and your chest out, proud of what you’ve accomplished. More importantly what you’re about to accomplish.'”
Even as his coaching staff game plans against Melissa this Friday night for homecoming, he is focusing on teaching and building the right relationships. He understand if he takes care of that part of the process, the other stuff will fall into place. So far, his philosophy is working.