Holzman Center of Applied Ethics

Former NFL coach discusses ethical leadership

Former National Football League coach Marc Trestman offered Ransom Everglades students advice on ethical leadership during an April 26 visit that was part of the school’s Holzman Center of Applied Ethics Distinguished Speaker Series. The longtime coach who now teaches about leadership at the University of Miami School of Law urged students to focus on process rather than outcomes, and people’s needs rather than their adulation.
“When people have success and haven’t done it the right way, it’s a guarantee that it won’t be fulfilling,” he said. “You have to have a set of core values that, regardless of the people that come into your life, you’re not going to sway from that.”
Trestman was introduced by Associate Head of School John A. King Jr., the director of the Holzman Center, and he took the stage at the Lewis Family Auditorium with Roger Caron, a history teacher and football coach at Ransom Everglades who also serves as Dean of the Senior Class and College Counseling Coordinator of Athletic Recruitment.
The theme Trestman hit hardest was leadership in terms of service. He described himself as a “hugger” who would let his players know he cared about them. “Transactional coaching is ‘I do it for me,’” he said. “I do it for the scoreboard. I do it for peer-group adulation. Transformational coaching is when I do it for you … Transformational coaching is servant-oriented. It’s selfless. It’s more about ‘them’ than it is about you.”
Trestman served as a quarterbacks coach or offensive coordinator for a number of NFL teams, and spent two years as head coach of the Chicago Bears. He earned coach-of-the-year honors and a trio of league titles in the Canadian Football League with the Montreal Alouettes and Toronto Argonauts. He earned his JD at the University of Miami School of Law, and spent one season with Miami Dolphins. All told, he coached for four decades.
The veteran coach fielded several questions from students; he was asked his views on the new National Collegiate Athletic Association policy that allows college athletes to monetize their names, images, and likeness (NIL). “There's plenty of money to go around ... universities have stolen money from players forever,” he said, noting that he had previously advocated for the paying of college football players by putting $100,000 in trust for each year they competed for a major program.
He said he still believes in uniform payments for all contributing players with additional compensation to those whose name, image or likeness are marketed by a university.
In attendance at the event, the fourth in the distinguished speaker series, were Steve Holzman, the former RE parent whose seed donation launched the Holzman Center of Applied Ethics last fall, and attorney John O'Sullivan, a supporter of the center. At the conclusion of the session, Trestman met with a number of Ransom Everglades coaches and Director of Athletics and Physical Education Corey Goff.
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.