Varsity Blues: Analyzing the Coaching Styles of Winters and Kilmer

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In the program, coach Winters does not fully take control of Lattimer's case of taking steroids. Coach Winters loses his presence as a coach and father figure to most of the players including Lattimer who has clearly strayed. Despite the sensitive and life-threatening nature of Lattimer's case coach Winters handles the issue reluctantly and it jeopardizes Lattimer's fate at the end. Unlike in coach Winter's strategy, I would be more involved and responsible for Lattimer's case. Other than just suspending Lattimer I would strive to rehabilitate and even change his perception about sports and drugs. In addition, I would ensure that I put in place a follow-up activity even when Lattimer temporarily quit using steroids so as to ensure that he does not relapse (Bender 2014). Coach Winter's strategy is unrealistic and ineffective due to the complex nature of the team's issues. The movie ends with Lattimer weeping upon realizing that he won't be able to play in the NFL without drugs, a clear indication of failure on the side of coach Winters.

Additionally, coach Winters is not patient with most of his players as evidenced by Kane's case. Coach Winters realizes that Kane is undergoing a lot of psychological and physiological presser from both within and the expectations that the team has on him. As Kane's coach, I would be there and stand by him to offer him fatherly advice since it was the ingredient that lacked most in his life. Unlike coach Winters strategy which is unrealistic when dealing with Kane, I would tackle Kane's case directly as opposed to pinning him down for mistakes that he committed under pressure. Coach Winters gets disoriented as a Coach and it becomes evident that he is overwhelmed and defeated by Kane's case. The coach father decided to evade the issue and address other side issues like starting Collins as the quarterback despite Kane's return. Ebert (1993) states that, however, upon realizing the impending danger and mistake, coach Winters quickly substitutes Collins for Kane who with the combination of Lattimer win the tightly contested match.

Varsity Blues

In Varsity Blues, coach Kilmer is depicted as an iron-fisted no-nonsense coach who had no respect for anyone but was instead feared. Under coach Kilmer's leadership success was mandatory irrespective of the circumstances as he told his players that he had won 22 district championships and 2 state titles. However, Kilmer's zeal and emotions took the best of him as evidenced by the case of Lance whose career ended as a part of Kilmer's fault (Baker & Lliff 1999). If I would be coach in Kilmer's shoe, I would know when to push hard and when to stop. It is essential to earning the respect and trust of people as opposed to success and constant fear. Coach Kilmer won any district titles and a few state championships but failed to live to the expectations of the people and the players and hence ended up thrashing his entire life's achievements when he left eventually.

Coach Bud Kilmer's style of leadership was tyrannical as he stood by the principles of team play, hard work, discipline, and dedication. Given the opportunity of coach Kilmer, I would replace the "robotic" static values with more flexible values so as to equip the players with life skills as opposed to game-winning strategies. Mox is on the verge of a breakdown and hence his career and life are jeopardized because of coach Kilmer's insensitive behavior and tendencies (Baker & Lliff 1999). I would, therefore, dedicate more time to deal with the interpersonal struggles of the team members as opposed to treating them like mere pawns and tools which were part of a means to an end as in the case of coach Kilmer.


Baker, J., & Iliff, W. P. (1999). Varsity blues. New York: Pocket.

Bender Bill. (2014). The program still imitates college football 21 years later. Sporting news. Retrieved from

Ebert Roger. (1993). The program.

September 25, 2023



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