One of the Facebook groups I am a member of recently posed the question:
College campuses have their own police departments, yet football coaches are always surrounded by state troopers even during home games. Why is that?
Now in the throes of the college bowl season, we’ll get plenty of chances to see it.
An ESPN article answered the question this way:
It's a football tradition that, by most estimates, dates back nearly 50 years. And like many football things that sprang from the Deep South, most everyone is convinced it began with Alabama head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, who first got his trooper escort in 1958, Bryant's first year as head coach at Alabama.
So who are the coaches being protected from? Their own players? The other coach they are going to shake hands with? Opposing players? Maybe some overly exuberant fans?
Now it’s become a status thing, as football coaches can usually handle themselves if a situation gets dicey.
So – I offer up this observation:
Great leaders should always try to surround themselves with people better and smarter than they are.
Whether it’s hiring a communications or management team, developing a board of directors or establishing a community presence, having smart people around you who will support, enhance and take ownership in whatever the effort or cause might be is key to a successful endeavor.
Being surrounded by greatness, whether it’s in the form of a state trooper’s uniform on a football field or a business suit in the corporate boardroom, makes its own statement about confidence, professionalism and success.