I’m a proud Illinois State Alum and have worked in the Illinois State Athletic Communications department as an Media Relations Intern in 2013. I quickly realized that the Illinois State Football program was something special and on the rise. I felt this way specifically, because of the efforts of Coach Brock Spack and his talented staff.
I remember having conversations with my boss, Mike Williams, and him humbly noting that the ISU football program has the opportunity to be sneaky good. Loaded with FBS transfers, local Illinois talent and out of state talent, that following 2014 football season was historic for the Redbirds. The team was co-Missouri Valley Conference champions, made an appearance in the national championship and finished up with a 13-2 campaign.
I find a lot of good in following Coach Spack. His demeanor, confidence and professionalism are the attributes of a focused and determined leader building a foundation. A program that used to be happy with a .500 season, has now set the standard of winning conference championships.
I relate Coach Spack’s journey thus far, to building a successful foundation for a business. Working on building core values, a team-oriented approach and holding myself to a higher standard everyday, to become better are direct parallels to building a program and a business.
Spack’s most recent impressive feat came as the underdogs from the Missouri Valley toped local Big 10 opponent, Northwestern, 9-7 on a field goal, as time expired.
Don’t think for a second that Spack and ISU’s 2010 appearance at Northwestern didn’t cross his mind. The Redbirds got manhandled and lost 37-3. Fast-forward to 2016 and Spack’s most notable win on September 10th, against the Wildcats can be attributed to the foundation he has built with program.
Spack runs his program on a great foundation, which is key for any startup or business to last. This new Redbird football program is here to stay, thanks to Coach Spack. There are numerous parallels you can make between building a football program and building a business.