Female football coaching student holds her own

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    By Randall Jeppesen

    Going to the first day of classes can be a bit intimidating, especially when you are the only female in a football coaching class.

    Amanda Greathouse, 22, a senior from Lynndyl, studying neuroscience, said she had expected to see more women as she entered PE 144 coaching football for the first time.

    “I walked in and there was all guys, and they were big guys,” Greathouse said.

    She then spotted an empty seat in the back corner and quickly sat there.

    Greathouse”s desire to learn more about football started in the sixth grade when her high school football team made it to the state championship game. She went to the game knowing nothing about football, but had the basics figured out before the final tick of the clock.

    “I have been loving it ever since,” Greathouse said.

    Greathouse”s new past time soon led her to BYU football. She has been attending all of BYU”s home games since she was a junior in high school.

    Greathouse jokingly said the reason she took the coaching class was to intimidate men more than she already did.

    “The real reason is because I was watching the BYU football team and I wondered why the coach was doing certain things,” she said. “I took it so I could understand why coaches do what they do and make the decisions that they make.”

    Mel Olson, former BYU football coach under LaVell Edwards and teacher of the football coaching class, said the course is designed to teach students how to coach high school football. He also said it is becoming more familiar for high schools to have female coaches in all types of sports.

    Olson wasn”t surprised to have Greathouse in the class.

    “It has been pretty standard to have one or two females each semester for whatever reason they decided to take it,” Olson said.

    Daniel McClure, 24, a senior from Firth, Idaho, studying health science, is taking the class to fulfill a minor, and is planning on coaching when he graduates.

    McClure said having a woman in the class was a little surprising, but the men were respectful and didn”t make any negative comments.

    Greathouse said when the class role was passed around for the first time, Olson asked everyone to write down what position they played if they were on the BYU football team.

    “The guy in back of me said I should put down that I was a quarterback,” Greathouse said.

    As far as a football coaching job goes, Greathouse said she doesn”t think she would be hired as a high school coach because of her lack of experience.

    McClure agrees and said he doesn”t expect to see women coaching high school football any time soon.

    While Greathouse doesn”t plan on making coaching her career, Olson said the opportunity is available.

    “If she decided to pursue it and wanted to be a football coach and get a minor in physical education coaching, she wouldn”t be restricted from doing that,” Olson said.

    Greathouse said she has learned a lot from the class, but has also experienced one negative side effect.

    “I decided I don”t care about the technicalities of football,” Greathouse said. “It”s like Mark Twain. He loved the river, but once he worked on the river it wasn”t as beautiful to him anymore. It”s kind of how it is with me and football.”

    Greathouse is excited about the upcoming season. After watching the Blue-White Scrimmage, she said the defense looks good with its coverages and fronts. Her tip to the projected starting quarterback, Brett Engemann, is to get rid of the ball faster.

    “The offensive line does a good job at keeping the defenders away from him, but he still holds on to the ball to long.”

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