When I first met Brian White, he was the defensive coordinator for coach Bob Jacoby at DeSales. Watching him on the sideline, I admired his passion and it was enjoyable for me to follow his career as he moved on to be the head football coach at Dublin Scioto, then Groveport and now Hilliard Davidson.

When I first met Brian White, he was the defensive coordinator for coach Bob Jacoby at DeSales. Watching him on the sideline, I admired his passion and it was enjoyable for me to follow his career as he moved on to be the head football coach at Dublin Scioto, then Groveport and now Hilliard Davidson.

At Davidson, he's achieved a multitude of plaudits after his team won two Division I state titles, one in 2006 and one a year ago. My colleague at WTVN, former Ohio State head coach Earle Bruce, says of Brian White: "He is an outstanding coach who knows how to teach toughness and that is what puts him at a high level among his peers."

This week, Hilliard Davidson ends another outstanding regular season and prepares to defend its Division I state title.

"For me personally, a state championship seemed pretty far fetched," White said. "I thought those titles were set aside for teams like Cleveland St. Ignatius, Cincinnati St. Xavier or Elder or Moeller. This wasn't something schools like Hilliard Davidson were supposed to do, so I will always be thrilled and ecstatic about what we have accomplished and we all will be forever proud.

"I always tell our players that winning a league championship is the goal that they should strive for because it lasts forever, but with what has happened in the past few years, the dreams of the students and the community have gone up and that makes our task a little bit tougher.

"As coaches, we have tried to downplay last year's accomplishment as much as we can. We have emphasized to them that they are writing their legacy and they are going to remember their senior year forever, so they should always try to make it memorable. These seniors were part of something great a year ago, but this is their team and they don't need to ride on the coattails of last year's Wildcat team. Each team can achieve new heights and last year we didn't win the league title, so there is plenty to achieve for this squad."

So how much of this year's success can be attributed to last season?

"More than the five extra weeks of practice that a run to the state championship game allows, I think the important thing is gaining the experience of playing in a big-game atmosphere," White said. "We have played Dublin Coffman and Cincinnati Elder and Cleveland Glenville at Fawcett Stadium and that does wonders for your players' confidence. I don't think our kids are intimidated at all by any crowd or, for that matter, any team."

White said this year's defense is getting better every week.

"Last year our front seven on defense was special and we lost six of those seven players," White said. "But our new players have found their niche and on both sides of the ball, they have grown to understand that Hilliard Davidson football is known for great defense and a boring offense.

"My offensive philosophy, which pretty much doesn't use the pass, is meant to shorten the game and keep the opponent's offense off the field. To operate this offense the way we want, we tell our players that our goal on each play is not to score a touchdown, but to get first downs and get 3 1/2 yards a play and even though we run almost every play, I think our offense is diversified because the run opens up the chance to hit a home run ball on a pass. It helps greatly that we have had success with this philosophy and that makes our players believe in the philosophy we have developed."

As another season winds down, White said the experience of coaching football has had an enormous impact on his life.

"I have learned to appreciate all the sacrifices that kids make to be part of a team," he said. "The players are special people. With all the concerns there are in society today, it is a thrill to see how hard our kids work and how committed they are to our sport. You appreciate how willing they are to take what we give them and try to use it to the best of their abilities. As a parent, my wife Jill and I see what and who these players are and would like our kids to be just like them."

Hilliard Davidson's journey to defend its Division I title in the playoffs starts in a week. You know that journey is in the hands of a gifted leader and his dedicated staff.

I'll see you at a game.

Larry Larson is a former athletics director at Grandview High School. He can be heard as "Mr. High School Sports" on WTVN 610 AM.