Sean Buckley, a 2004 alumnus of Perrysburg who currently serves as the offensive quality control coach at Ohio State, speaks to players on Tuesday who will compete in Friday’s Northwest Ohio regional all-star football game at Perrysburg High School. THE B
As an assistant coach with the Ohio State football program, Perrysburg native Sean Buckley knows he is a fortunate man.
Buckley, 31, is in his second season as the quality control coach for the Buckeyes’ offense. The 2004 Perrysburg graduate has worked his way up the ladder and is in his fifth season with one of the top college football programs in the country.
“Honestly, I got lucky,” Buckley said. “But I got lucky for a reason. I did the right things and I’ve tried to help people along the way.”
Buckley served as a guest speaker Tuesday as part of the annual Northwest Ohio regional all-star football game that will be played in Perrysburg on Friday. Buckley addressed a group of about 100 recent graduates from 43 different schools that have been selected to play in the event at Steinecker Stadium.
Buckley encouraged the players to follow a formula developed by Ohio State coach Urban Meyer: “E + R = O.” He said everyone faces various events every day, and it is the response that will determine the outcome.
“It’s a very simple formula, and it makes a lot of sense. Every day you face a ton of events … it’s how you respond, whether it is positive or negative. That is going to equal your outcome,” he said.
The University of Toledo graduate said sound decision making in his own life led to the position he now holds.
“If you want to do positive things in your life, you have to have positive reactions to the things you face,” the former Perrysburg quarterback said. “The cumulative effect of what you do on a daily basis is the most powerful thing. You have to do the right things.”
Ray Pohlman, one of the organizers of the event, introduced Buckley as “a man who has the grit and passion to get things done.”
“He has a love and a great mind for the game,” Pohlman said. “It’s a very intense job … he helps that program run.”
Buckley was an unpaid, volunteer assistant for three seasons at Ohio State before earning a spot as a quality control coach. Among his duties is organizing the weekly game plan.
“I help out with analytical things. I research tendencies,” Buckley said. “I’m a self-scout. I do playbook stuff. It’s very meticulous. At the end of the day, our head coach is an offensive guy and everything goes in his hands. So you have to make sure everything is in order.”
During his first three seasons, Buckley signaled in plays during games from the sideline.
“At times, I signaled in plays and other times, I was the decoy,” he said.
Buckley said the environment surrounding Big Ten football games at the Horseshoe and on the road is intense.
“The atmosphere is ridiculous. It’s amazing, especially night games,” he said. “The game against [Michigan] last year sticks out, obviously. It was incredible.”
Buckley opened his speech by asking the players how many were Michigan fans. About 25 raised their hands.
“Let’s clear the air here,” Buckley said. “J.T. got the first down.”
The quip — regarding Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett’s disputed pick up of a first down in double overtime that eventually led to the game-winning TD against the Wolverines — generated a big laugh.
Buckley said the expectations are through the roof for the Buckeyes this season.
“They should be. We’re Ohio State. We were in the final four last year, and we have a lot of guys back,” he said. “Our defense is unbelievably talented. We have young guys on offense that can make plays.”
Buckley said he is particularly lucky to have worked with former running back Ezekiel Elliot, who now plays for the Dallas Cowboys.
“I’m spoiled. I think Ezekiel Elliott is the best running back in the game today,” he said.
Buckley, a criminal justice major at UT, had no intention of going into coaching. But he ended up becoming an assistant at Genoa High School under Mike Vicars, who turned the Comets into a dominant program.
“It just kind of stuck from there,” he said.
As a senior quarterback for the Yellow Jackets in 2003, Buckley completed 79 of 173 passes for 889 yards and four touchdowns. The highlight of his season was a stunning 17-8 upset of rival Maumee. Buckley completed 10 of 19 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns in that game.
“I beat the team from across the river, and they were ranked pretty high,” he said. “To do it at their place was really awesome.”
Buckley said he has enjoyed watching the Perrysburg program rise to prominence as a state power under coach Matt Kregel.
“They are a team that’s good year in and year out,” he said.
He told the players it is important to make sure they give back to their communities.
“This is where I’m from. I’m extremely proud of being from Perrysburg,” he said.
Buckley said his next goal is to be a position coach in college.
“I found my passion and what I want to do. I want to do bigger things. But I’m on my way,” he said.