Coaching the Single Wing Offense (Second Edition)

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Jim Ahern
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Many advantages exist when running the single wing. Some of them are unfamiliarity, simplicity, adaptability, deception, power, passing, quick kicking, and unusual formations. Following is a summary of these advantages. One of the biggest advantages is unfamiliarity. Opponents most likely won t see the offense more than once a year. Preparing for it and trying to simulate it in practice is very difficult because the offense is so different from what they normally see. A week isn't much time to get ready for it without neglecting other parts of their game. When we went to the single wing in the 1990s, we were one of the few schools that were running an offense from the shotgun. What was considered old-fashioned then has become the norm today. Although this offense isn't as unfamiliar to teams today as it was in the 1990s, it is still unique in many ways.

The ability to be in spread one play and a double tight formation the next, without having to change blocking assignments or backfield action, is a huge advantage. Simplicity is another big advantage of the single wing offense. At any level of football, the team that makes the fewest mistakes is usually the winner. One of the biggest advantages of the single wing offense is that it doesn't ask an average player to do something he can t do. The blocking schemes are very simple, and, for most plays, a double-team at the point of attack is involved. The offense also doesn't put so much pressure on one back to carry the load, as all of the backs are involved in the single wing.

At every level of football, especially the high school or lower levels, the coach should select an offense that is suitable to his current personnel. This adaptability is a major strength of the single wing offense. To make the offense work doesn't require highly skilled players. The line doesn't have to be big and powerful, and the backs don t have to have exceptional speed to make the offense work. Obviously, the better the players the better the offense will work. The single wing offense is also very adaptable and allows the coach to highlight different positions from year to year, depending on personnel, without changing the offense.

The Coaching the Single Wing Offense, by Jim Ahern, is perfect for the coach looking to install, create quick-hitters or prepare their offense.

What's inside:

Chapter 1: Basic Organization
Chapter 2: Line Play
Chapter 3: Backfield Play
Chapter 4: The Spin Series
Chapter 5: The Power Series
Chapter 6: The Motion Series
Chapter 7: The Buck Lateral Series
Chapter 8: Supplemental Plays
Chapter 9: The Passing Game
Chapter 10: The Spread Single Wing
Chapter 11: The Secret Weapon
Chapter 12: Effectively Using the Single Wing in the Modern Era
Chapter 13: Recommended Drills

What coaches are saying:

The University of Michigan has a long history with the single wing offense, going back to the days of Fritz Crisler and Bennie Oosterbaan. I have known and respected Jim Ahern for a long time, and if you have an interest in the single wing, you will want to read this book. I enjoyed it very much.
Lloyd Carr
Former Head Football Coach, University of Michigan

I found Jim Ahern’s book to be very interesting, especially the chapters dealing with the passing attack. Any coach who is interested in learning about the spread passing game will find some valuable information in the chapters dealing with passing from the single wing. Coaching the Single Wing Offense offers some interesting ideas that can be used at all levels of football.
Randy Awrey
Head Football Coach, Perquimans County High School (NC)

This book is a must-read for any coach who wants to install the single wing offense. I used many of the blocking schemes explained in this book to win four state high school championships. This book should be part of every coach’s library.
Mark Bliss
Head Football Coach, Prairie High School (IA)

We have been running the single wing offense for many years in Iowa, with the spin series being our main method of attack. Many of the ideas expressed by Coach Ahern in the chapter dealing with the spin series are the same techniques that we have used to win state championships. This chapter alone makes the book worth reading.
Bob Howard
Head Football Coach, Webster City (IA) High School

We ran the single wing offense for over 30 years at Menominee High School. Even though we competed against larger schools, we found the single wing offense to be a great equalizer. Jim Ahern’s book is a good primer for any coach who wants to run this offense. I especially liked the chapter that deals with the use of formations in running the single wing, as it gave us a few new wrinkles to throw at our opponents.
Ken Hofer
Former Head Football Coach, Menominee (MI) High School

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  • 4
    Great resource

    Posted by matthew on Nov 8th 2023

    My team in Germany needes to revamp our offense after a series of running backs left the program. I love how detailed the book is. My only critique is the blocking rules are in a table but no picture is included. So you have to flip back and fourth to the appropriate chapter to get the picture. Once I put a few plays in our database, it was easy to understand