Dan Orlvovsky shares appreciation for legendary high school coach in advance of National Coaches Day
Dan Orlovsky shares appreciation for legendary high school coach in advance of National Coaches Day.
By James Thomson, NFP Brands
October 5, 2020
This Tuesday, October 6th is National Coaches Day. It is a day when we all get to share our appreciation for the coaches that have contributed to our lives. This year, The Connecticut High School Coaches Association, in partnership with NFP Sports has launched its Coaches Appreciation Week to celebrate the occasion.
Who better to kick off the week than Connecticut’s own, Dan Orlovsky? Not only is Orlovsky the University of Connecticut’s most notable quarterback in program history, but he also spent 13 seasons in the NFL and is currently a leading football analyst for ESPN with thousands of fans tuning in to listen to his football wisdom each and every week. It all started for Orlovsky at Shelton High School, playing for Hall of Fame High School Coach, Joseph Benanto. He recently shared what Coach Benanto meant to him and how it set him up for the success he has experienced later in life.
“Joe Benanto was such a great coach because he took me, a young kid who had big dreams, where I wanted to go. Coach Benanto was my coach from the age of 13-17, so I knew exactly where I wanted to go, to play college football and beyond, but I had very little idea of how to get there. Coach taught me; he didn't coach me! It was never, "Danny do this because I said so or do this because it will work". There was always a ‘why’ to the ‘what.’ He always gave me "why's" as to the reason we would do things. "Danny do this with your fundamentals because it will help you be in balance more" or "Danny do this with your drop because it will help you get the ball out faster". He was the first coach that really taught me about the mental game of football. The intellect part of football and how preparation off tape could make me a better player and why that was important. I always say there are a ton of good coaches that tell their players "this is the way we do things and our standard or expectation level"-those good coaches just expect all their players to get to that level.
Coach had the same expectation level and standard but realized many of us; myself included, were different and we needed different tools to get to the same spot. I needed a coach who could teach and challenge and push and demand. I needed a coach that was ok trusting his players with ownership of HIS team. Coach didn't have an ego-he wanted me to take ownership of my game and HIS team. He gave me the confidence to do that, the power to do that. He taught me what leadership looked like, on a daily basis-through the good and the bad. The easy and the hard. The wins and the losses.
Simply put Coach Benanto was the first person outside my father who saw me 10-15 years down the road and equipped me with everything I needed to get to that vision. One of the 10 most instrumental and impactful people of my life, and I'm forever thankful and grateful for him!”
For more stories throughout CHSCA Coaches Appreciation Week, powered by NFP Sports, visit: http://www.nfpsportsconnecticut.com/blog. To share your story, go to: https://bit.ly/CelebrateCoach2020