John Baxter is the Special Teams Coach at the University of Southern California. "It is a blessing to coach football." For Baxter, however, it is not all about x's and o's, but instead - the A's and B's. In 1989, he created the Academic Gameplan, which is a program designed to teach students how to be better students.
Former NFL placekicker, Clint Stitser, who was born and raised in Reno, says it works.
Before USC, Baxter coached at Fresno State and recruited the McQueen High School standout. Under Baxter's leadership, Stitser learned tools and techniques to compete - not just on the gridiron, but also in the classroom, "Everything from classroom positioning to how to build a relationship with a teacher…down to organization and strategic planning."
Coach Baxter's nearly 25-year-old program has proven success. During his tenure at Fresno State, the football program went from having a bottom academic ranking to one of the highest in the nation. At USC, "We've had more 3.0's than we've had in 14 semesters or seven years," reported Baxter at a coaching staff meeting.
The life skills Baxter teaches do not only apply to student athletes. They are applicable for all students – especially kids between 12 and 20 years old. He has compiled his list of tools, techniques and strategies and put them all in a book called, I Hate School. Stitser co-wrote the book and added his own thoughts about the "Baxterisms" included – written from a student-athlete's perspective. The goal is to offer students simple ways to improve their competitive edge in the classroom, like sitting in the front row. "If you sit in the back or middle of class and you sit next to someone you know, you're setting the stage for distraction and not paying attention." Stitser, who graduated top of his class, went on to say, a teacher will likely give you extra credit or spend more time with you during office hours if he/she feels like you were an active, engaged participant in class, as opposed to someone who did not pay adequate attention." This is just one of many examples of ways to maximize your education experience. "Ever since I was a freshman in college and I saw what it did for me and my teammates, I've been passionate about it and after I retired from the NFL, I had the opportunity to join that mission."
Through I Hate School – the book - Stitser hopes to help even more students get off on the right foot to reach their academic goals and a lifetime of success.
Stitser is offering all our Channel 2 viewers a free gift - a report that highlights the seven most common mistakes students make and tools to help them excel. Click on the following link to learn more: http://ihateschoolthebook.com/ktvn-viewers/
You can also learn more about or buy the book called, I Hate School, by clicking on this link: www.Ihateschoolthebook.com
Written by Kristen Remington