One week ago today Ozaukee head football coach Jim Lippe was sitting in the football offices at Ozaukee High School when one of his assistant coaches came in and gave him some unexpected news.
“Coach Harbaugh is here to see you.”
Former professional football player and collegiate coach Jack Harbaugh, who coached Lippe from 1982-1986 at Western Michigan University, had stopped by unannounced to catch up with his former player and see what the Warriors had been doing during training camp.
“I was like ‘You have to be kidding,'” Lippe said with a chuckle. “It was a great surprise. The first 30 minutes (of practice) I was just talking to Jack, catching up with him.”
Shortly thereafter the Warriors conducted their first intrasquad scrimmage of the season, something Harbaugh was able to observe.
Harbaugh, the father of Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and San Franscisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, lives in Mequon and has been known to stop by Warriors practices and games from time to time as he is signed up for Ozaukee prep football alerts via email.
Harbaugh also spoke to the team for about five minutes and addressed the importance of each player contributing to the cause of the team and having a good attitude when it comes to seizing the opportunities football provides.
“What you’re doing out here tonight, what you’re doing in school and what you do as you grow up, it’s all about attitude — the attitude that you take toward this great opportunity to play the game of football,” Harbaugh said.
A full video of Harbaugh’s speech can be found online at http://tinyurl.com/n2ve5tw.
“Having someone like that come and talk to us meant a lot to me and my teammates. It showed (Harbaugh) cares and our coach cares to have someone of that stature come in and talk to us,” sophomore linebacker/offensive lineman Avery Clark said. “The things he said were really meaningful. He talked about teamwork and hard work and that really hit home for me and my teammates.”
While it has only been a week since Harbaugh’s visit, Lippe said he undoubtedly has noticed a change in the team since the speech.
“I was not expecting him to show up, but he gave a great speech and a great talk to the team,” Lippe said. “It’s just invaluable and unbelievable to have a guy with that much experience come and talk to your program. It’s just spectacular.”