Back when we first started this blog to share our stories, we wrote an article about Coach Ginn and his complicated relationship with football. We wanted to clear the air about the difference between what we are trying to accomplish and what many people think we are trying to accomplish.
Our founder, Ted Ginn, Sr., has been known for many years for his Glenville High School football team's prowess on the field. Every year, recruiters and fans all over the country speculate on which universities his young men will choose for their college careers. You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone in the high school and college football world that doesn't know Coach Ginn's name and reputation.
So we felt that it was important to explain that, while football gets so many of our boys where they need to go, it's only just one part of the blueprint. Read here for the full original post, but we'll also summarize again for you now.
With a nationally-known program, a record for the most players from one high school playing in the Big 10, regular appearances on ESPN, and, most importantly, a graduation and college placement rate that is unheard of in similar schools, no one can deny that football is an important part of Coach Ginn's blueprint.
He's been part of the Glenville H.S. football team since he played there himself in the early '70s, and has been head coach since 1997. Young men grow up knowing that to play for Glenville's football team is to be part of a legend. They know that they'll have a good shot at getting the education that will put them in a position to be productive, successful men.
"It's just part of the blueprint," Mr. Ginn says. "Football is the vehicle for them to get to where they're going, and education is the gas that makes that vehicle run."
Seven years ago, when The Ginn Academy was founded, Coach Ginn finally had the beginning of what he wanted: to be able to reach even more Cleveland-area kids and have more time with them. Combine the time spent on the football program with the 7-hour days of school for both the players and the many, many students that have never even touched a football, and the blueprint begins to take shape.
Now he has a way to really influence a good number of kids in the community. "I have shown that sports have given kids hope and an opportunity to be productive, so the kids buy into our program because that's what they want," he explains. "The kids know that here, someone's going to love them, care for them, and help them dream to be the best. They will have an opportunity in this world to be somebody. We're just an example of hope to them."
These boys, and the hundreds other just like them, are putting themselves in a position to succeed. But to do this, they have to understand, first and foremost, that they are here to get an education. Football can help them, in a big way, to achieve their dreams, but that's not why they're here.
"If a kid comes in and thinks it's all about football, I tell him 'You've got your lanes crossed up. I'm about saving your life,'" he says. "We've got a movement going on here to educate young men. It's a serious matter; it's nothing to play with."
"You won't find the kind of graduation rate that we've got here in an all-male African American public high school anywhere else. This is the kind of love, passion, and understanding that we need all across the country."
With kindest regards,
The Ginn Academy