via press release:
“Without a doubt…I’m forever grateful to him.” – Three-Time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady on University of Michigan’s Greg Harden
WE COULDN’T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT GREG HARDEN, SAY
TOM BRADY AND DESMOND HOWARD – ON THE NEXT EDITION OF
“60 MINUTES SPORTS” ON SHOWTIME®
Meet an Unsung Coach Who has Been Building Better Athletes at University of Michigan
for 28 Years Through Their Hearts and Minds
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PREMIERES WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5 AT 9:00 PM, ET/PT
The University of Michigan’s sports department has a secret weapon. Greg Harden has been quietly developing the hearts and minds of players at the university as a counselor for nearly three decades. By building better people, Harden made better athletes, helping to mold its Division 1 program into one of the most successful in America. Just ask three-time Super Bowl Champion quarterback Tom Brady or Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard, some of the famous alums who say Harden made a crucial difference in their careers. Correspondent James Brown profiles Harden for the next edition of 60 MINUTES SPORTS premiering Wednesday, March 5 at 9:00 PM, ET/PT only on SHOWTIME.
Brady came to Harden as a frustrated junior backup quarterback who knew he needed something extra to become the starter. Brady says Harden kicked him into a higher gear mentally. “Your whole life, people have always told you how great you are as an athlete…he’s probably the first person in your life that says, ‘Well, you don’t deserve to really be on the field.’” Brady says, in fact, he wasn’t the best athlete around, but there was something else Harden made him tap into.
“I found I could get the edge from my competitiveness and through my drive and work ethic, and those were some of the things Greg really said. ‘This is what your strengths are. Let them be your strengths,’” Brady says Harden told him. “Without a doubt… I’m forever grateful to him,” the superstar says.
Says Harden, “[Brady] still can’t run… but you can’t catch him,” he says laughing. “It doesn’t matter. What matters is his heart and his mind. You can’t measure that boy’s heart… his mind.”
Howard says he owes his famous trophy to Harden. “If Greg Harden is not at the University of Michigan in the late ’80s, I don’t win the Heisman,” says the former All-Pro wide receiver and Super Bowl XXXI MVP. He was thinking of leaving Michigan but Harden, he says, straightened him out.
Harden told the young player he was dreaming. “I had to get him to stop fantasizing about being a star and to turn into a student involved in athletics who would allow himself to be coachable.”
Harden could give advice not just because he had a degree in social work and had been a drug and alcohol counselor, but because he had been in their shoes. He was recruited out of high school to Michigan as a track star with a chip on his shoulder. “The coaches weren’t too happy with me,” he tells Brown. “I was that guy who didn’t have a clue who thought he knew everything.” He dropped out to support his pregnant girlfriend and drifted for a few years before turning his life around by returning to Michigan to get his degree. He lived and learned the lessons he has been imparting to athletes all these years. “I’ll tell them that if you want to be the best, you’ve got to decide with or without [sports] …your life is going to be amazing. Then, all of a sudden, your sport falls into a context.”