We had an opportunity to get a quick interview with Coach Rowdy Harper and CoachBrady Walz from the "Run The Power" podcast and website. We get a chance to see how they began their coaching career, who their mentors are, and they share lessons learned. Check it out!
Name, current coaching position, & years coaching?
Rowdy Harper, Co-Offensive Coordinator/Run Game & O-Line, 6 [years]
Brady Walz, Wide Receivers at Ankeny HS in Ankeny, IA, 17 [years]
Do you believe Oklahoma has a Sasquatch presence?
Rowdy Harper -. We have had a few players that made me ponder this Question! Lol
Brady Walz - Yes, and we hope all of our linemen look like him.
What inspired you to get into coaching?
Rowdy Harper - My dad is a HS football coach, and has been ever since I was born. I remember going up to early morning workouts with him. I would get to play football, lift weights and then go sleep on the coaches couch when I was tired. I got to be on the field with my dad for football games and he would let me draw up plays in the playbook him and my mom got me, and he promised he was using my plays in the game. When dad wasn’t home, my mom and I would watch and talk football at the house. We were a football family.
Brady Walz - My dad was also a coach, so my brother and I were always around it. His coaching buddies, his players...I guess it just became part of who I wanted to be because it was so fun. When I started trying out different career paths and educational avenues, I kept coming back to coaching. I won’t ever leave it.
Who were your mentors?
Rowdy Harper - My dad, David Alexander & Brady Walz.
Brady Walz - My dad, Ryan Mullaney, Dub Maddox, Allan Trimble, and David Alexander
We would love to hear the genesis and original conversation that started of “Run The Power.”
-What was your mission?
Rowdy Harper - We basically wanted to find a way to not be bored all off season. We started writing articles and I found out I wasn't a fan of writing. My aunt said you should just start a podcast. My thought was, it’s not just that easy to start a podcast, and turns out it is that easy! We found a way to talk and learn football 4 hours a week in the offseason and it doesn’t cost us any money!
Brady Walz - Rowdy talked me into it. LOL. I echo his statement...we get bored easily, and we go insane without football. We have traveled to several clinics over the years, but that gets expensive so we did the next best thing: bring the clinic to us. And now we can help educate another generation of coaches by letting other coaches tell their stories.
Has that mission evolved since you began?
Rowdy Harper - We have gone into making videos and finding creative ways to set ourselves apart and find better ways for us to learn ball, but the overall mission is the same. How do we get to talk and learn ball the most effective and cheapest way in the offseason. The only addition really now is how do we also help other coaches with that.
Brady Walz - I think you always evolve and adapt, but our mission remains the same: talk ball, learn ball, and serve others/pay it forward.
Were you nervous at first, asking all these coaches to start talking ball? Did you meet a lot of resistance?
Rowdy Harper - I was extremely nervous. Not to ask the coaches, because I know coaches love talking ball, but I was nervous about the blowback I might receive from other coaches. There is a good sized population that enjoys talking negatively about coaches that talk about themselves and didn’t know if I was prepared to be “that guy”. I’m sure we had plenty of people making fun of us behind our backs, but I didn’t meet any resistance to my face.
Brady Walz - We didn’t get much resistance at all from coaches wanting to talk. As Rowdy said, you are always a little nervous when you take a risk and try something new, but that also brings a level of competitive excitement, too. The way I saw it was a no lose situation: we talk ball and we learn more to become better coaches, plus we get to share these conversations with the world.
Your podcast has reached & influenced so many coaches, is that weird?
Rowdy Harper - I don’t know that it’s weird but it’s definitely strange, maybe that's the same thing idk. I will get calls all the time from college coaching friends of mine that say they were in a HS in pick a state and the coaches in the office love the podcast or were listening to it when they came in. I never expected that and to me it doesn’t feel like we have that kind of reach. So it is always a little exciting when you hear things like that or you get stopped for the podcast out of the blue.
Brady Walz - It is always exciting to hear from coaches how a podcast or message from one of the interviews helped them in some small way, especially those young coaches just getting into the profession. It just proves that if you do things the right way and serve others great things generally come your way in your own life.
Have you had any strange interactions with other coaches because of the podcast?
Rowdy Harper - I have not.
Brady Walz - When I wear an RTP hat or shirt, it is always funny when another coach recognizes the show and says “RTP” or “Run The Power, man”.
Has the information you talk about and receive from all the coaches you interview helped you in your personal coaching career? How so?
Rowdy Harper - It helps me tremendously. Again, that was the entire point of starting it. I have learned a ton, some obviously about schematics but a lot about program building and how things are set up. Better ways to run strength and conditioning and better ways other coaches help their kids succeed and build relationships.
Brady Walz - 100% improved my own coaching career and craft. I have books of notes and white boards full of ideas that sprout from the conversations we get to have with some of the brightest coaching minds in the world. So much of that has been applied into my daily life and career.
What's the contanstat characteristic, idea, or drill you see that is the most constant and effective for every coach?
Rowdy Harper - Loving football and loving working with young men. I find that the guys that just absolutely love football, the guys that can’t get enough of it, are normally really good coaches. On the other side, the guys that just love working with young men, they want to help kids become the best person and player they can possibly be are really good coaches. I think the guys that are great coaches hold both of those characteristics.
Brady Walz -. Credibility. Coaches who love their job, serve others, and develop kids into successful athletes and people will have the most success themselves. If you do not love your job, if you are selfish, and you can’t help others succeed, you will not be seen as a very credible leader for very long. If a coach is seen as credible, he/she will win. If a coach loses credibility & respect, it is very difficult to get that back.
There is a new age kind of coach coming up with all the technology and social media. You act as a bridge for the transition. What are some incredible new things you see on the horizon for coaches or football in general?
Rowdy Harper - I think the biggest thing is the ability for coaches at all levels to be able to use technology. When I was in college, 90% of the coaches I was around didn’t know how to even turn on their computer without a GA. A few years ago we went to K-State to visit, and the OC was turning on the projector logging into their film database showing us where clips and playlists were. I think they are still probably the exception, but I think very soon it will be the norm for all coaches at all levels to be able to comfortably use the new technologies.
Brady Walz - Embrace change. It is going to happen, so you better get comfortable with it, and you better get comfortable at learning new things. I think data and next-gen stats will be the next “norm”...get comfortable being able to digest units of speed, power, acceleration so you can maximize player performance and development.
What’s next for RTP?
Rowdy Harper - We want to continue what we are doing, continue learning football, continue helping other football coaches, and continue to look outside the box to find ways to do that. We now on top of the podcast have a subscription website with new videos monthly, we are doing consulting for teams across the country, we are helping HS’s in states that have Spring seasons, we have virtually clinics and slowly but surely we are putting together a book filled with everything we have learned from the first 3 years of the Podcast.
Any advice for coaches who are trying to make a name for themselves?
Rowdy Harper - Something my mom always told me when I was growing up was don’t get caught up in believing you aren’t playing because of “politics”. The coaches want to win, if you are one of the best 11, you will be out on the field. This has carried over with me to life and coaching football. Be the best football coach in the country. Be great at coaching football, and at building young men, and people will notice that and want to have you around their program. Maybe not every program, but you won’t have to look long for an opportunity.
Brady Walz - Ultimately, if you want to be noticed, you have to produce results. In our profession, that equals wins. So much goes into winning, but you have to control what you can control: your position group should be the best it can be. Your side of the ball or special teams unit should be the best it can be if you coordinate. In order to do that, you better have the best players possible. Attract great athletes to your group. Then maximize their ability and performance. When athletes get better, perform at high levels, and win, they usually have great things to say about you as a coach. In my mind, that is the best endorsement any coach can get: players love him/her, players improve under his/her guidance, and players succeed (win, graduate, go to college, get jobs, get married, etc.).
Anything else you would like to add?
Rowdy Harper - Thank you guys, these were great questions and I had a blast answering them!!
Brady Walz - Appreciate the opportunity to reflect and share some of the things we have been able to gather over our coaching experiences. Thank you guys for what you do to help our coaching community!
Follow them @RunThePower on twitter
Also at runthepower.com