Coach Mike Gottfried
Founder Team Focus/Former College Football Game Analyst/Former Head Football Coach
It was the year 2000 when Mike Gottfried and his wife, Mickey, founded Team Focus, a comprehensive mentoring program for fatherless boys and young men. His vision and drive for the program is based on his own life experiences. “Growing up without a father around and knowing what it feels like, I have a desire to provide a place for young men to come and be encouraged, motivated and challenged,” Gottfried said.
The goal of Team Focus is to provide fatherless young men, ages 10 to 18, with leadership skills, guidance, Godly values and a continual relationship with a mentor. Through teamwork with the families, teachers and counselors, Team Focus offers support in a relaxed, cost-free atmosphere. Since the program started 20 years ago, more than 5,000 fatherless young men have been served throughout the US. Some of the functions of Team Focus include individual tutoring and mentoring programs, academic support, scholarship opportunities, summer leadership camps, winter and spring mini-camps, monthly social activities and newsletters.
Gottfried began his coaching career in 1966 as head coach at Roseville (Ohio) High School. His college head coaching experience included stops at Murray State, Cincinnati, Kansas and Pittsburgh. During his four years at Pittsburgh, from 1986 to 1989, Gottfried compiled a record of 26-17-2, including two wins each over Notre Dame, Penn State and West Virginia. His total coaching record as a college head football coach is 77-54-6. More than 35 of his college players were recruited to the NFL.
Prior to founding Team Focus, Gottfried, spent 12 successful seasons as a head college football coach, and was also one of television’s most respected game analysts. In 1990 he launched a career with ESPN, becoming the station’s number one analyst on Thursday and Saturday night primetime telecasts.
A sought after motivational speaker, Gottfried was selected by former First Lady Laura Bush to speak to youth groups in Portland, Nashville and Minneapolis. He continues to travel across the country speaking at colleges, high schools and corporations. In 2000, he helped found the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.
Gottfried earned a bachelor’s degree and later a master’s degree in education from Morehead State University in Kentucky. He has written three books: “Coach’s Challenge,” “Wisdom from Winners” and “Friend of the Court.” He also penned “The Home Team,” a series of booklets. In 1991, Mike co-wrote the offensive playbook for the World Football League’s inaugural season with Hall of Famer Bill Walsh.
In 2010 Mike was named the Mobilian of the Year for his extraordinary, positive impact on the Mobile community. Mike and his wife, Mickey, were the recipients of the 2010 Director’s Community Leadership Award by the FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Mobile Division for their work with Team Focus. He and his wife, Mickey, have two daughters, Mindy and Marcy, and three grandchildren.