In the third of this series of The Managers, Peter Bowes travels to the Ravens’ impressive country club style training centre just outside Baltimore, to meet John Harbaugh. He speaks to John about his upbringing, his brother and his parents and how he became a coach, working through the system as a specialist position coach and then ultimately with the Ravens who took a chance on him as their head coach in 2008.
John tells Peter about his philosophy of coaching, how they were shaped by his father and the legendary University of Michigan coach Bo Schembechler, whose book on coaching Harbaugh handed out on his first day with the Ravens to all his staff.
Schembechler’s message was that there was nothing so important as the ‘team’ and that’s something you see as you walk around the Ravens training camp where the word is prominent in the players' area on the wall.
Harbaugh explains how such a huge coaching structure works in the game, and what he feels the role of the Head Coach is, and finally he remembers the day in February 2013 that he took on, and beat his own brother in the Super Bowl in New Orleans.
John Harbaugh is a coach shaped by his formative years immersed in the game, but he has proved himself to be an innovator looking to redefine the role of the Coach in modern day Football where tablet computers and biometric tests becoming the norm.
The Managers on BBC World Service
You can listen to The Managers on BBC World Service on Saturday 24th May 2014 at 18:06 GMT, and on Sunday 25th May 2014 at 11:06 GMT. For further details of broadcasts of this programme on BBC World Service, please visit bbc.co.uk.