Foundations of Friendship and Success

It was 40 years ago this week that I reported to my first high school training camp as a freshman entering Toms River North in Ocean County, New Jersey.  I remember how intimidated I was by the varsity players who would go on to win a state championship later that year.  They occupied a large locker room in the field house opposite the small space for the freshman team.  But in that small space friendships were being forged that would last a lifetime.

As coincidence would have it, I’m writing this blog early in the morning of Day 3 of our camp, and just received a text from one of those friends who is also a football coach. 2019-08-15 FrnshpSeveral other of our teammates were included.  It read:  “You guys don’t know how much you inspired, encouraged and motivated me.  I love you and thank you.  40 years…damn.  Mr. Nani looked so big.” Mr. Nani was our coach and the most intimidating looking man in the locker room.  He is now a dear friend as well, and each of us in our own ways has tried to emulate the positive impacts he had on us and so many during his career.

I know the techniques, schemes, and plays I teach to my players today will likely be forgotten over time, but I pray the time spent together now will yield the kind of friendships we enjoy so much later. Friends that I have been blessed with for four decades who were by my side during the most celebrated moments in my life, and more importantly the most difficult times as well.  I love them.  They are my brothers.

Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at and share with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for supporting this blog and joining our conversations, and as always, thanks for your time!

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