I first discovered Adam Gase when I was researching football coaches without playing experience. As a female aspiring coach, it’s difficult to find inspirational figures I can relate to, but Gase is as close as it gets for me. Adam Gase was a mediocre high school football player who loved the statistics and technical numbers of the game. He fervently studied all aspects of football and broke down his opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. Gase’s coach Rich Hulkow took notice of his football knowledge and recommended his hiring to the then-head coach at Michigan State, Nick Saban. Saban hired Gase to work for him throughout his undergraduate career and was so impressed that Gase was the only assistant he brought with him to LSU. After his stint as a grad assistant, Gase moved back to Michigan where he vied for the Detroit Lions’ offensive quality control position. He then worked his way up as an offensive assistant and eventually became the quarterbacks coach for four years. In 2008, Gase moved to San Francisco and became an offensive assistant for the 49ers. He spent the majority of his coaching career with the Denver Broncos as he worked a majority of the offensive roles including wide receivers coach and quarterbacks coach before developing into the offensive coordinator. In 2015, Gase became the offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears and was named the head coach for the Miami Dolphins in 2016- the youngest head coach in the NFL.
Gase’s unique journey toward becoming a young and successful NFL coach has inspired me not to give up on my dreams. Even though it will be more difficult for a woman without playing experience to find a spot in CFB or the NFL, I know it’s not impossible with hard work and determination.