Coach John Shuman is an icon. In a time of sensationalism and over-hype it’s great to see a man of consistent blue collar toughness receive recognition for providing genuine value to his institution and the student athletes he’s taught and coached.
Coach Shuman started his career at a time when a man stepped up to do his job to the best of his ability, regardless of the difficulty, because that’s what he expected of himself. A product of both Fork Union Military Academy and the Virginia Military Institution, Coach Shuman’s leadership is grounded in the foundational values of military institutions: discipline and toughness.
During my strength and conditioning career at East Carolina University and Virginia Tech, I had the opportunity to work with many former Fork Union football players. Coach Shuman’s former players, nearly to a man, would often tell me how they benefited from his leadership and the Fork Union experience. In some ways the man and the institution are consistent.
Coach Shuman plays a big part in helping athletes transition from high school to adulthood. The young men that receive tough love during their Fork Union experience are rewarded in their next stop in life, whether that includes playing football at the collegiate level or not. His players are better people for the experience, and that becomes evident when compared to many of their peers.
I’m happy that Coach Shuman received this positive recognition. It is unsolicited and well deserved.