Mike Gottfried is an ESPN college football analyst for Saturday Primetime. Gottfried began his sports career as a high school football coach in his early twenties, then eventually moved to the college level where he served as head coach for twelve seasons with Murray State, Cincinnati, Kansas, and Pittsburgh. In 1990, Gottfried left the sidelines with a winning record to take up his new career with ESPN.
But Gottfried's story is not only about football -- it's also about filling the "father gap" for fatherless boys. When he and his two brothers lost their father in 1957, Gottfried longed for someone to fi ll a father's role. The men in his life who consistently stepped up to the plate to take an interest in him were coaches. As his own dreams of coaching became reality, he decided to reach out to other young men who were missing fathers.
In 2000, Gottfried founded the Team Focus program for boys age nine to seventeen whose fathers had died, left home, or were in prison. Today, nearly five hundred boys participate in Team Focus, which provides fatherless boys with leadership skills and guidance, through summer camp programs, ongoing relationships with mentors, and guidance counselors who help keep track of their grades.
Gottfried and his family live in Mobile, Alabama.
Join our mailing list!
Get our latest staff recommendations, award news and digital catalog links right to your inbox.