In the fall of 2017, Oxford High School Head Football Coach, Chris Cutcliffe, & University of Mississippi Professor, Dr. Hunter Taylor, began meeting weekly to collaborate on ways to make Cutcliffe's football program better. Using improvement science methods, they developed plans that sought to better foster a family culture, develop future leaders, and maximize the program's on-field potential.
After two years of working together, the 2019 football team captured the 6A state championship and was named the #1 team in the state by Max Preps.
This leadership book is a reflection on their work of redesigning the Oxford football program, and the title comes from the duo's headlining TED talk that was given in the spring of 2021 at the University of Mississippi's Ford Center.
About the Author
Dr. Hunter A. Taylor is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Education and an Affiliated Faculty Member in the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi (UM). He is also the Inaugural Scholar-in-Residence for the Oxford School District. In these roles, he teaches and advises administrators, teachers, coaches, and policymakers from across the state. Before joining the UM faculty, he spent 10 years as a men's basketball coach and two years as a U.S. Senate staffer. Taylor resides in Oxford, MS, with his wife, Brittany, and their three sons—Yates, Simms, & Knox.Coach Chris Cutcliffe is currently the head football coach at Oxford High School (OHS) in Oxford, MS. In his five years as the program's leader, his teams accumulated a total record of 51-14, highlighted by the 2019 6A State Championship—the first in school history—where Chris was also named Mississippi's Coach of the Year. In addition to coaching, he serves the district as a Math and Personal Leadership teacher. Chris and his wife, Molly, were both raised in Oxford and met at Oxford High. The couple now has five sons—Shivers, Bennett, Oliver, Theodore, and Louis.