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From BFS to Bowling Green
This Falcon’s “no excuse” approach to life has enabled him to fulfill his dreams
By Kim Goss
Published: Winter 2003

Every high school football player dreams of playing at a Division I college, but there are only 119 of these colleges but over 17,000 high schools that have football teams. So the odds of playing at a Division I college, much less making the team, are quite low. One athlete whose talent, hard work and positive attitude enabled him to beat those odds is Mitch Hewitt.
A senior at Bowling Green State University majored in education, Hewitt is a starting linebacker on a winning program that last year finished 9-3 overall and 6-2 in the MAC. Last year Hewitt was credited with 84 tackles (37 of them solo), recovered three fumbles and returned one for a touchdown, and made one interception that he returned 27 yards for a touchdown. The culmination of Hewitt’s standout season as a junior came when Hewitt was named MAC Defensive Player of the Week after making 12 tackles against Ball State University.
Prior to 2001 Bowling Green suffered through six straight losing seasons, then Urban Meyer took over as head coach and got the program back on track an 8-3 record that included wins over teams from Big 12, Big East and Big 10. Hewitt recalls that last year after the team got off to an 8-0 start they got caught up in the media hype, and such distractions contributed to their losing three of their next four games. He says this year his team, now coached by Gregg Brandon, will not make the same mistake and has adopted the motto “Actions speak louder than words.” And judging by their current success, Bowling Green is sending a message that can be heard loud and clear.
In 2003 Bowling Green is off to a 7-1 start, having handed then-undefeated MAC rival Northern Illinois its sole defeat on October 25. The Falcon’s only setback so far has been a 24-17 loss against still undefeated 2002 National Champion Ohio State. At this pace, the Falcons appear destined to win their first league title and make their first Bowl appearance since 1992.

BFS Beginnings

“Mitch was a very goal-oriented kid in high school,” says Hewitt’s high school football coach, Bob Doyle, who coaches at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio. “I always talked to my players about setting goals and putting them where they could see them. Mitch carried his goals in his wallet and looked at them every day. I have his goals laminated and show them at all my clinics.”
While at Chardon, Hewitt played both linebacker and fullback in his senior season, scoring 140 tackles (22 for a loss) and rushing for 1,994 yards and 38 touchdowns. His outstanding record that season earned him the runner-up spot for Mr. Football in the state and recognition as the Co-Defensive Player of the Year. That year his team, the Hilltoppers, finished with a 13-1 record. When Hewitt accepted his scholarship to Bowling Green, he decided to concentrate on defense, as he felt that linebacker was a more natural position for him.
Coach Doyle, who is also a BFS clinician, helped Hewitt prepare for college football by encouraging strict adherence to the BFS program. “Coach Doyle is definitely one of the leaders of BFS,” says Hewitt of Doyle’s commitment to building Hewitt a strong physical foundation. Although he now follows a program specifically designed linebackers by Falcon Head Strength Coach Aaron Hillmann, Hewitt continues to remember his roots. “I appreciate what BFS has done for me – it has helped put me where I am today,” says Hewitt.
Hewitt’s achievements are all the more impressive when you consider his success has come after overcoming considerable hardship. In 2001 he tore an ACL, which cut his season short, and he overcame several injuries in high school. “We have always been big believers in NO excuses, and Mitch exemplified that throughout his career,” says Doyle. “As a sophomore he broke his foot during his start, but never complained and made many key tackles during the game. As a junior he played with a broken hand, and as a senior he played the championship game with a separated shoulder.”
Chardon lost that championship game in the last 46 seconds, and during a post-game interview a reporter asked Hewitt about his Chardon teammate’s fumble on the opposing team’s 1-yard line. Before the reporter could finish, Hewitt interjected, “We don’t make excuses at Chardon. I don’t want to hear about a teammate’s fumble—we played our hearts out and came up one play short!” By refusing to make any excuses for their loss, Hewitt showed class and character on behalf of his team.
At 6’1” and 215 pounds, and with a 400-pound bench press to his credit, Hewitt is certain to attract the attention of pro scouts. He says that if the opportunity to play in the NFL comes he’ll take it, but he also feels confident from having his college education to rely on. As for his role models, Hewitt gives credit to Jesus and to his mother, a single parent, for raising him well. What the future holds for this no-excuses linebacker from Bowling Green, no one can say for sure. But odds are, Mitch Hewitt will continue to come out a winner.

While at Chardon, Hewitt played both LB and FB in his senior season, scoring 140 tackles (22 for a loss) and rushing for 1,994 yards and 38 touchdowns.
When Hewitt (right tackler) accepted his scholarship to Bowling Green, he decided to concentrate on defense, as he felt that linebacker was a more natural position for him. Last year Hewitt was credited with 84 tackles (37 of them solo), recovered three fumbles and returned one for a touchdown, and made one interception that he returned 27 yards for a touchdown.


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