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From Math Major to NFL Assistant Coach

November 13, 2008

Football coach Chris Meidt views the world through a filter colored by mathematics, his friends and family say. Previously head of the football program at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., Meidt is now an assistant coach with the Washington Redskins.  

Meidt "thinks different than I do," Redskins coach Jim Zorn recently told the Washington Post. "His mind kind of works on a grid, very linear, horizontal and vertical lines . . . whereas I sort of have this swirl to the way I work."

Zorn and Meidt, 38, first crossed paths in the mid-1990s, when Zorn coached quarterbacks at the University of Minnesota and Meidt served as offensive coordinator at Bethel University.

When Meidt became the head coach at St. Olaf, he led the team to a 40-20 record over six years. Now he's in the rough-and-tumble, chaotic world of professional football, but many of the same principles apply.

The game is played on a grid, and deploying players is like allocating resources on a spreadsheet. "It all correlates to numbers," Meidt said. "It correlates to time and space and location. That's how I see things . . . . Are people in the right place at the right time?"

The meantime, the Redskins are off to one of their best starts in a decade. Meidt is apparently in the right place in the right time as well.

Source: Washington Post, Nov. 10, 2008.

Start Date: 
Thursday, November 13, 2008