Carolina football announced the launch of a new program that focuses on the personal and professional growth of UNC football players called the Bill Koman Game Plan for Success, or Blueprint 919. The program focuses on developing attributes that benefit players both on the football field, and in an academic or professional setting.
The Game Plan stresses the importance of individual accountability and excellence as a launch point towards group leadership and positive influence. Reading over the elements of the Game Plan, it’s easy to see how each step, taught sequentially to mimic the stages of a football game, can be applied to all facets of life. It makes no difference between the Tar Heel football team, a group project for class, or a team presentation for a Fortune 500 company.
All of this training dovetails nicely into Mack Brown’s mantra to recruits, “Coming to Carolina is a 40-year decision, not a four-year decision.” While we’d love to see all of Carolina’s players go undefeated every year, win national championships, then get drafted all in the first round, it’s simply not possible. Knowing that you’re prepared for a successful life after football the moment you graduate is something that should resonate with young recruits. See Mack’s full quote in the tweet below:
Here are @CoachMackBrown’s thoughts on these new initiatives. pic.twitter.com/ujIRv895gA— Carolina Football (@TarHeelFootball) September 2, 2020
The Bill Koman Game Plan includes a program to help incoming freshmen adapt to the rigors of college academics and athletic life. It has guest speakers, both from Tar Heel alumnus and from professionals outside of football, to discuss how a Carolina education presents opportunities after graduation. There’s training on sexual assault prevention, financial literacy, setting career goals, networking, and even table etiquette for fancy business dinners!
This program was made possible by a $15 million donation from Jim and Jennifer Koman in honor of Jim’s late father, former Tar Heel (class of 1956) and NFL player Bill Koman. That was the largest single donation in the history of Rams Club and UNC athletics. The Carolina football practice facility, which has had a significant facelift since Mack Brown returned to Chapel Hill, bares the name Bill Koman Practice Complex.
There’s so much to look forward to right now as a UNC football player. Mack has the team pointed in the right direction, there’s NFL-quality talent on both sides of the ball, the facilities have been upgraded, and now the players will have the in-house training to succeed in life after football. If the players grab this opportunity with both hands, no matter what happens NFL Draft-wise, they’ll be able to live like this:
August 16, 2020