Chris Creighton gives passionate speech about football to high schoolers

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday February 16, 2017

Photo credit: The Eastern Echo

Eastern Michigan head coach Chris Creighton got fired up speaking to a group of high school players, parents and coaches on Wednesday night.

Multiple college coaches spoke at the Detroit Free Press’ Dream Team banquet on Thursday, honoring the best players in the state. A portion of Creighton’s speech was posted by the Free Press, and he emphasized focused on the teamwork, leadership and camaraderie the sport provides to young players. You can see the video at the bottom.

“This game, it’s so stinking powerful,” Creighton said. “Where else in society — is there another entity in society where white, black, yellow, red, green are going to sit in a huddle or lock arms and grab hands and not think about race, not think about where you’re from, not think about how much money you have, but ‘I need you, and you need me, and I’m depending on you to achieve something that means so much to me’? Where else in society does that happen?

“In that moment, in that huddle — none of us huddle anymore — but when you’re locking arms and you’re about to go on that Friday night under the lights. Who’s on your right, who’s on your left, none of those things matter. Just the fact you’re on the same team and playing together. This game is powerful. I don’t know what you’ve learned, but I would imagine you’ve learned something about leadership, that people write books about, that people talk about all the time. You experienced it.

“You’ve been asked to lead your team. You’ve been asked to lead people that are the most difficult to lead. Not just freshmen or sophomores, you’ve been asked to lead your peers, people in the same class. ‘Come, and let’s go do this,’ and to actually have them follow you. Where else in life have you been put in position to actually lead men? In your place of work, as a husband, as a father, you’re going to draw back on those things you learned.

“How many of you guys have overcome adversity? It might be life, it might be football. We can experience that in other ways in life, I get that. But it’s manufactured in a real way in football. Maybe for the first time, you broke something, or you had a surgery, and it was you. You’d seen it on TV, you’ve seen other people deal with it, but now you’re on the sideline. How are you going to respond to that? You dig down deep and find out who you really are.”

Creighton led EMU to its first bowl game in 29 years this past fall. This will be his fourth season leading the program. Watch the speech below:

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to