Special to The Flash
STEPHENVILLE – Michael Ghobrial is back in Stephenville after sharpening his coaching skills over the summer at the highest levels of competition in the world – the National Football League.
Ghobrial, who is in his second season with Tarleton as the defensive line coach and special teams coordinator, earned a position with the Detroit Lions as a part of the NFL’s Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship and traveled to Michigan to take part in the Lion’s Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and mandatory minicamp.
“The Bill Walsh Fellowship is an opportunity to allow young minority coaches the opportunity to observe, participate, gain experience, and ultimately gain an opportunity to one day coach in the National Football League,” said Ghobrial. “This is something that started in 1987 and I considered it because I’ve always had aspirations of coaching in the NFL. I knew that if I were given the opportunity, it would get me one step closer toward reaching that goal.”
Ghobrial received the news of his opportunity in May after a phone call from Assistant Head Coach Ron Prince and quickly departed for OTAs in Allen Park, Michigan. There he began working with the linebackers and special teams’ units.
“There are so many rules for NFL players about practice times and team activities, so the entire day is dedicated to maximizing your time and being as prepared as possible to make the most of your time spent with the players and helping them grow.
“I’ve always been a football junkie,” he continued. “So, when I got there, I didn’t want to waste a second of the experience. I was there early in the morning and late at night trying to take advantage of the opportunity for myself and for my players. They had me making video cuts, various studies and they also allowed me the opportunity to interact with and coach the players. The defensive coordinator (Teryl Austin) and linebackers coach (Bill Sheridan) really allowed me to be a part of the organization and I’m forever grateful for that.
“I’m also incredibly thankful to (head coach) Jim Caldwell, Coach Prince and the entire Detroit Lions organization for the opportunity because I’ve been able to really grow and become a better coach for my players,” he added. “I’m also thankful to (Tarleton Head Coach) Todd Whitten for allowing me to take part in this fellowship and continue my professional development.”
Ghobrial is set to begin his second year with the Texans after coaching a pair of all-conference defensive linemen in his debut season last year – Chase Varnado and EJ Speed. Prior to coming to Tarleton, Ghobrial coached at Colorado Mesa (NCAA DII), Syracuse, and his alma mater, UCLA.
“There are three reasons why I coach,” said Ghobrial. “First, I believe that coaching is synonymous with teaching and being a teacher of the game has taught me so much. The second reason is skill development. The ability to help my players with the tools to win athletically is an awesome process to be a part of. Lastly, the dynamic process to motivate, given the various backgrounds of my players, challenges me to always look for ways to push them to be the best they can be. This fellowship went a long way in allowing me to continue my personal and professional development.”
Tarleton football is set to open the season Saturday, September 2 in Cleveland, Mississippi at 2 p.m. against Delta State.