More from The Q&A: Bill Young
Bill Young had spent nearly three decades coaching football when he finally got a shot at the big time.
The man recently hired as Oklahoma State’s new defensive coordinator joined the Detroit Lions in 2001. He had just completed stints at Ohio State, Oklahoma and Southern Cal, so a jump to the NFL seemed a likely next step. But Young stayed just one season in Detroit.
Young and I talked about that Friday afternoon after I initially asked him about his early experiences in high school coaching. His first paying job was at Carl Albert, his second at Putnam West, not far from his alma mater, U.S. Grant.
Jenni Carlson: Did you ever want to go back and coach at your alma mater, at Grant?
Bill Young: You know, I think that was an ambition of mine, especially when I was an assistant in high school. Then, once I got into college, I really got into that and figured that was the direction I wanted to go.
JC: Having said that, you spent just one season in the NFL. Was the pro game not your cup of tea?
BY: I had a two-year contract, and they were nice enough to let me out of the second year. The whole reason was I just enjoyed the college players much better. You’re talking to a young guy and coaching him up, and you tell him something, and it may be the first or second time he’s heard it. In the National Football League, they’ve heard it a thousand times. The eagerness, they’re like sponges, college players are. You just feel like you’re more involved.
JC: Did you know pretty quickly the NFL wasn’t for you?
BY: Not really. It took a little while. I enjoyed it. I could do that, too.
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