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Former Highlands coach Homer Rice has passed away


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Rice won back-to-back state championships with the Bluebirds in 1960 and 1961. Following his time in Fort Thomas, he coached at the collegiate level, assisting at UK and Oklahoma, before head coaching stints at Cincinnati and Rice. He also spent two seasons as head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. 

As an administrator, Rice served as director of athletics at North Carolina, Rice, and Georgia Tech. His time at GT spanned the better part of two decades and birthed the Total Person Program.

Taken from the GT Athletics website:

'It is the mission of Georgia Tech Athletics to educate and empower student-athletes to be champions life, through leadership development, professional development, personal growth & wellness, and community outreach. Dr. Homer Rice, former Georgia Tech Athletics Director, originally conceived the Total Person concept on his belief that excellence results from a balanced life that encompasses academic excellence, athletic achievement, and personal well-being. Georgia Tech was the originator of what is now adopted as the NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills program due to the existence of the Total Person concept.'

His long, innovative, and productive life ended yesterday, aged 97.

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Photo cred to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

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Not quite the response coach Yeagle got. Sure it's a long time ago and few are still around to talk about Homer Rice. But nothing?! I mean he is kind of noted for helping develop the triple-option veer offense, pretty innovative for its time, huh Wing-Ters. 

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Some may not be aware, Homer was also an author. His books on leadership are a must read. His life was centered around discipline, faith and leadership. A truly fine man.

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On 6/12/2024 at 12:56 AM, Crazy Legs said:

Not quite the response coach Yeagle got. Sure it's a long time ago and few are still around to talk about Homer Rice. But nothing?! I mean he is kind of noted for helping develop the triple-option veer offense, pretty innovative for its time, huh Wing-Ters. 

I don’t know why people associate the option with the wing-t. It’s not a main part or even run by most wing-t teams. 
 

With that Homer Rice did some extremely innovative things. The development of the split back veer out of 3 wide set. It created some real issues for defenses. Many of the underpinning parts of the offense are very applicable in today’s game. 
 

He also created with swing back offense while Owen Hauck (sp) coached with him. Really intriguing set. 
 

He has also been credited with the highlands youth program and the module that was extremely successful. 

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55 minutes ago, barrel said:

I don’t know why people associate the option with the wing-t. It’s not a main part or even run by most wing-t teams. 
 

With that Homer Rice did some extremely innovative things. The development of the split back veer out of 3 wide set. It created some real issues for defenses. Many of the underpinning parts of the offense are very applicable in today’s game. 
 

He also created with swing back offense while Owen Hauck (sp) coached with him. Really intriguing set. 
 

He has also been credited with the highlands youth program and the module that was extremely successful. 

You say: I don’t know why people associate the option with the wing-t. It’s not a main part or even run by most wing-t teams:

I say: That was a nod to the Wing-T folks writing on another thread. It wasn't meant to associate the option with the Wing-T. I think you over thought that while making a small dig. 

Otherwise, good info. Thanks.

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It wasn’t meant as a dig at all. It just comes up a lot on here that wing-t means option for some reason. Sorry if it came off that way because that wasn’t the intent at all. 
 

Rice’s passing game was more complicated than the Houston veer or the wishbone guys. He realized that by going 3 wide and running split back veer the defense had to declare their hand more. The defense had to account for 3 gaps and 3 possible ball carriers. The offense was negating one defender by reading them. 
 

I you load up (and even up) to stop the option then you have a passing game with 7 man protection. If you play off then they are going to run it. 
 

The offense was just difficult due to getting good at the triple and good enough in the passing game. 

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Coach Rice was one of the finest men I have ever known.  Everything about him was a class above.  I remember walking into a PE class as a freshman and as would be the gym was chaos with everyone running around and goofing off; when Coach Rice walked through the door all conversation stopped and we all lined up on the end line of the basketball court and listened.  I was not an athlete by any means; just a normal student trying to get through classes.  Years later when Coach Rice had just started with the Bengals he was in my row at a Highlands football game; as I started to shuffle past him he stood up and addressed me by name asking how I was and how my family was doing.  He was phenomenal in caring for his students and not just the athletes.  He helped in my learning how to take responsibility for my actions and to seek to take the higher road.  RIP Coach.

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