Coach Garrett Osumah

Coach Garrett Osumah

Season(s) Coaching the Divas: 2015-2016
Running Backs Coach – 2015-2016

Other Coaching Experience:
Boston Militia
Boston Seminoles
Boston Ravens

Playing Experience:
Cass Technical HS (MI)
Morehouse College
Boston Ravens

Coach Garrett Osumah Q&A

Why did you decide to get into coaching after your playing career was over?
I grew up in a household of principals and preachers, so I have a strong admiration for teaching. Coaching is my way of being able to give back. If I’m not able to play anymore, I want to be able to help young players get better because I understand the correlation of football to real life. Football teaches you how to get back up after you’ve fallen two or three times, and you can take that into your workplace – how to keep on fighting through after you didn’t get a promotion you were looking for, for example. Being able to show a young man or a young woman the correlation between football and real life, that’s why I coach.

How did you find out about the D.C. Divas and come to coach for us?
I’m considered a traitor around here, because I first started coaching women’s football with one of the Divas’ main rivals, the Boston Militia. I played semi-pro football for the Boston Ravens, and my head coach, Donnie Williams, was an assistant coach for the Militia. He convinced me to come and coach for the Militia as well, and I got hooked on coaching women’s football. [Donnie Williams is now the head coach of the Boston Renegades.]

I retired from coaching women’s football when I moved down here to go to grad school. I went to the Divas-Militia game here in 2014, and I realized that, since I was finishing up grad school, I wanted to get back into coaching again. I knew Rich Daniel and Coach Fischer from my days of coaching with the Militia. I reached out to them, and here I am.

How is coaching women’s football different from coaching men?
The difference is that with men, football is something that’s been instilled in them since Pop Warner football. With women, you’re starting fresh. But the great thing about it is that even though you’re starting fresh, these are grown women. They want to learn, they want to get better, and they already understand the basics because they’re grown adults who have seen football. Now as a coach, I just need to figure out how to help them translate that into actually playing.

The most exciting challenge for me is trying to get the women’s game to be less robotic. The women’s football players I’ve coached are very analytical, so in the beginning, they look at the play and just go where we’ve told them to go. But as a coach, I’m trying to get them to realize that even if a play is designed to be blocked this way, sometimes if a linebacker shifts a different way, you need to adapt and block it differently to make the play work. Getting players to think on the fly is a higher level of football understanding, and it can be tougher because a lot of them are still learning to play. So we start by teaching them the basics, and then we advance to teaching them how and when to adjust.

What is your overall coaching philosophy? How would you like your players to play the game?
I want my players to understand that it’s all about the details. It’s about paying attention to the play, the step count, the snap count. Make sure that you do your job to a tee, and if everybody does that, we won that play. Then we’ve just got to keep on winning plays, one at a time.

I want my players to work on getting better every single play, and that means focusing on the details. We need to make sure that we run through the hole the right way, that we block the way we need to, that we hold our blocks the right way. That’s my number one philosophy: if you pay attention to the details, everything else will follow.