Spotlight On: St. Xavier Bombers
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Group: Ohio Division I
By Andre Coles
Saint Xavier Athletic Director John Sullivan believes that Bombers Football is more than just accolades and achievements.
“At St. Xavier, we believe the goal of games is to win, while the goal of athletics is to grow," says Sullivan.
Clearly, Sullivan understands the true meaning of athletics for the young adults at St. Xavier.
“Our program’s mission is very simple: Strive for the magis (for the greater glory of God) in everything we do,” Sullivan said. “Our goal is to produce championship caliber young men that understand that winning is more than who scored the most points at the end of the 4th quarter. Ultimately, we want our young men to be better people when they leave the St. Xavier football program than when they arrived.”
With those ideals in place, the Bombers football program, headed by a superior head coach in Steve Specht, has undoubtedly produced productive members of society, and at the same time, top-notch athletes who have risen to the elite ranks in sports.
Currently there are 38 former Bombers on college football rosters with 14 of those individuals being from Specht's undefeated state championship squad of 2007.
Meanwhile, Rocky Boiman and Lamar Marshall also represent the Bombers in the National Football League.
And with a coaching staff that believes in the school mission and preaches it every day, it’s no wonder that the Bombers have been at the top of an elite list in Ohio football.
The program also has a very capable leader in Specht. The former Bomber is in his 14th season with the team and his 5th as the head coach.
In an interview with Danny Hotochin of USAFootball.com, Specht outlined his passion for coaching and the mentors who helped teach him valuable lessons along the way. That passion merged with the positive influences in his life, and the mantra of the athletics department, has a direct effect on the program today.
“I know I wanted to coach when I was in high school,” Specht said. “I had the good fortune of playing under some great coaches. My coaches had a direct impact on my passion for the game.”
Among those coaches is current Florida head coach Urban Meyer, who was once Specht’s secondary coach.
All the while, Specht is quick to point out that perhaps his biggest influence came from former Bomber head Steve Rasso, who is a current member of the Ohio High School Football Hall of Fame.
Says Specht, “I learned an awful lot from him about football and an awful lot about life. When I talk about my football philosophy as far as teaching, these kids about football and life -- that’s what Rasso did for me.”
Specht appears to have taken what he has learned and kept the tradition of Bombers football in full stride. Overall, Specht owns a 43-5 overall record and boasts two undefeated state championship teams and back-to-back appearances in the highly competitive Ohio vs. USA Challenge.
Meanwhile, this year’s squad is off to a tough start in comparison to seasons past. The ‘08 Bombers are currently 3-3 with losses to three of the toughest teams in the country: Colerain (OH), Trinity (KY) and Elder (OH).
It should be noted that the Bombers play one of the nation’s toughest schedules, with opponents spanning across five states and wins already against three very difficult opponents in Prattville (AL), Indianapolis Cathedral (IN) and Don Bosco Prep (NJ).
Indeed, St. Xavier is still among the Greater Catholic League's elite. There is no doubt that Specht and the Bombers – with four games left in the regular season to earn a playoff berth – will seek to do their best, all while striving for magis along the way.
Next up: October 3, 2008 at La Salle (State PR: 50.92, Rank: 70).