047 Inside The Headset - John Shuman - Article

Inside The Headset: John Shuman & Derek Day [PODCAST]

On this week’s episode of Inside the Headset, we speak with Fork Union Military Academy (VA) Head Coach John Shuman and Butler University Linebackers Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Derek Day.

John Shuman’s coaching career began in 1980 as an assistant coach for Fork Union. In 1987 he was named head coach of Fork Union’s postgraduate football team, and he is entering his 31st season leading the program. We discuss the prep school model, how he socializes new players in to his program, and teaching young men to be accountable.


  • [0:40] Start of interview
  • [0:57] Explanation of the prep school model
  • [2:18] Going to a prep school versus a junior college
  • [3:04] Adapting philosophy based on available personnel
  • [5:08] Creating buy-in during fall camp
  • [6:55] Daily routine at Fork Union Military Academy
  • [9:29] How Fork Union has bred success on and off the field
  • [12:10] Recruiting to a military-style academy & holding student-athletes accountable
  • [17:11] Restricting social media use, profanity, and cell phones
  • [20:16] “Body, Mind, and Spirit” motto & addressing poor body language
  • [21:47] Housing young coaches in the barracks with student-athletes
  • [23:54] Advice for high school coaches

You can follow Fork Union’s postgraduate football team on Twitter.

Derek Day’s coaching career began in 2009 as a graduate assistant for Western Kentucky (2009-2011) before becoming a graduate assistant at Iowa State (2012-2014). He eventually joined the staff at the University of Tennessee as an assistant linebackers coach/ defensive quality control. In 2017 Day returned to Butler (his alma mater) as the linebackers coach. We discuss his philosophy for the coaching profession, returning to his alma mater, and advice for coaches.

  • [26:47] Start of interview
  • [27:05] Developing as a coach while working in a support role & philosophy
  • [36:33] Advice for coaches & improving the scout team
  • [43:10] Returning to his alma mater as a coach
  • [47:51] Balancing work and home life as a new father

You can follow Derek Day on Twitter.

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Have any questions, comments, or ideas for the show? Send us an email at podcast@afca.com

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