GAME NIGHT: Osage's McCauley finds calling in developing young leaders
In the past two years, not much has changed for Osage assistant Colton McCauley.
Each morning he wakes up ready to coach or teach and it is exactly how he prefers it with the routine never becoming mundane because he enjoys what he does each day.
“I’m a ‘take-it-as-I-go’ type person. Once I go to sleep, the previous day is over, but I just enjoy doing this,” McCauley said of the opportunity to help young people grow and develop. “I think everything we do is for success so I don’t mind doing the same thing every day or having the same work load or flow.
“Any type of growth, when you see kids succeed it is really rewarding.”
Now in his third season with the Indians, the approach and dedication to that mission of growth and development is one of the things he has enjoyed the most in his time with the program.
“I just like how we are focused more on the character traits of kids instead of the wins and losses. Obviously, we’d love to win 10 or 11 games every year, but it is more about developing character and quality young men for our society,” McCauley noted. “That is what we are here for and I think that is one of my callings, I just really appreciate that about Osage. We really seem to care about the kids and it shows on everything we do, whether it is in the classroom or on the field.
“Everything they bring to the table, it is something they can use in life and I like how we really focus on that. It makes it a lot easier when we are all on the same page.”
Originally from Oklahoma, McCauley had the privilege of playing Division I football. He was set to play at Tulsa but after his brother had some hip surgeries and landed at Southeast Missouri State, he followed him to Cape Girardeau. It was a path that led McCauley to his future wife and after a brief two-year stint coaching and teaching back in Oklahoma, he returned to Missouri to do so at Holden just southeast of Kansas City. It was not long before a position came open at School of the Osage.
“We came here because my wife grew up here,” the coach recalled. “She had family that had a Lake house here and this is an area she always wanted to come to so when a position came open we just kind of jumped on it and everything fell into place.”
McCauley coaches the offensive line for the Indians and after playing at some of the highest levels of college football, he picked up a few things along the way current players would be wise to pay attention to. One of the most important things he learned was attention to detail.
“Whether it is footwork or hand placement, everything we did in college- I mean everything had its own place and we had to do it,” he noted. “Whether it was watching minutes of film to hours of film, everything we did it was all just a little thing for the bigger picture. It is crazy how you do all these little things throughout the week for eight hours out of the day and it all goes into 60 minutes on one day of the week to play one football game.”
Another thing he picked up was accountability and it is something he seeks to instill in the kids he works with each day. He is glad any time he sees a player take on that initiative.
“You can definitely tell the kids that have been here are starting to become more accountable and you see growth,” McCauley pointed out. “To see the development of these kids turning into young men, it is really nice because they start to respond the way you’d like them to respond which is very respectful, truthful and responsible so they are just making better decisions as they get older and that is what we look for.”
And all these things he looks for on the football field, McCauley is just as adamant about in the classroom. For McCauley, the coaching is just a bonus and when COVID-19 hit in the spring and sent students home, he was thrilled to see struggling students find success by the end of the semester.
“That is rewarding because that is some way they could find growth and development. They could succeed and it was in their own way and their own time,” he pointed out.
For now, the coach will continue that same rewarding routine and continue to enjoy living in the present where he has found a home at Osage for himself and his family.
“I don’t really think about the long run, I’m just focused on the now. I kind of tell kids all the time- focus on what you can control and you cannot control the future,” he stated. “So, I just try to hammer out the present and do the best we can right now. I don’t know where we are going to be in 10 years, I don’t know where we are going to be in two years, but I know we are in a pretty good spot right now in terms of what we are looking for in growth and development. Hopefully, we can keep bridging on that.”
Editor’s Note: This is part two in a four-part series highlighting assistant football coaches around the Lake area and the work they do behind the scenes. Originally intended for the “Game Night” football tab, which was temporarily suspended this year due to COVID-19, we are presenting this feature series now that has become a “Game Night” tradition.