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Horatio Williams Foundation hosts 3rd annual MSU football coaches clinic in downtown Detroit

By: Tom Markowski, April 1, 2015, 7:23 pm

Detroit – The Horatio Williams Foundation, in cooperation with the Detroit Public School League and its director of athletics Alvin Ward, presented the third annual Michigan State football clinic on Wednesday at the Horatio Williams Foundation headquarters in downtown Detroit.

MSU coach Mark Dantonio and his staff held a one-day clinic with coaches from Detroit and surrounding areas. A large percentage of the coaches were from DPS and EAA schools but coaches from schools like Dearborn Fordson, River Rouge, Southfield and Warren De La Salle were also in attendance.

Ward introduced Dantonio and both gave brief comments before the program started. Dantonio explained why he and his staff took the time to come Detroit and what their program, briefly, is about.

“It starts with people,” he said. “The first thing you do is to have a commitment. I can’t agree more with Alvin. Pay attention to detail.”

After recruiting coordinator Curtis Blackwell spoke about new NCAA rules and regulations, the other position coaches broke into groups to instruct specifically about their expertise.

Coach Jimmy Hill at Detroit Collegiate Prep at Northwestern said attending any clinic is about obtaining knowledge. Hill is entering his fourth season as head coach at Collegiate Prep. He’s also the offensive coordinator so his main objective was to take away a tidbit or two to use within his offense.

“I do take Xs and Os away,” Hill said. “I’m an offensive guy. (MSU) runs a power run game. We run a power run game. I want to look at ways defenses have changed.

“But like Curtis said. It’s about building relationships. That’s why we’re here, too.”

Dantonio and his staff donated their time and energy to make the clinic, free of charge, to nearly 100 coaches that attended. The clinic was held after school hours to make it more accessible.

A number of coaches were taking videos of the different instructional sessions to keep in their video library for later use.

Detroit De Porres graduate and River Rouge coach Corey Parker said he never misses an opportunity to improve upon his abilities as a coach, specifically on the defensive side.

“It’s always about professional development,” Parker said. “Every day I want to get better. For me it’s about the defensive backs. That’s my area.”