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Episode 7 - Sports, Inspiration, and More - Yogi Roth

In episode 7 of Let's Engage, Jake and Brendan engage with Yogi Roth, a Pac-12 Networks college football analyst, Award-Winning Filmmaker, Scholar, New York Times Best-Selling Author, accomplished Coach, Motivational Speaker, Media Personality, Host and World-Traveler.

Listen along with Yogi and for more information or to book him for a speaking engagement or experience, visit his profile on Engage.


Jake Olson: Welcome to another edition of Let's Engage episode seven. I am your host and

Jake Olson alongside with my co-host Brendan Egan. Of course we got our producer and

somewhat of a technician, Daniel Hennes behind me here. We are excited to bring you today, a

friend of mine, I've known him for almost 10 years now, which is kind of weird and to think

about, but he is an awesome, awesome influencer, all around sports, especially in college

football and high school football. Um, you probably recognize his name. Yogi Roth, thank you so

much for being with us today. I just have one question real quick. How many times do people

come up and say like, “hey Boo-Boo”?

Yogi Roth: Well, Jake, first and foremost, congratulations on everything you're doing. It has

been a gift that I’ve been given by meeting your family, your sister, your parents, you, I can

remember the first day you came to campus and calling a guy named Michael Fountain. Well,

I'm not sure if you know, but he was running college game day at the time and I said this, this

kid is amazing. Um, this is a story you should tell and I can remember. And then of course, you

know, you being a part of our program and Pete and everything that's happened since, and I

always tell people when they ask about you, nothing surprises me. I'm not surprised at all by

what you are and what you'd become. And so congrats on all that and you're just getting

warmed up, I think regarding your question, Bro. I got, I've been, that's been said to me so many

times that I actually think I actually think bro that it, uh, it gave me a pseudo edge because even

as a kid it was like hard. It's hard when you have a weird name, ask anybody who has a weird

name because of that. People are like, what's your name? How come you’re not John or Joe or

whatever? And uh, and it always still rubs me a little bit. Like I could feel like, oh, okay, you want

to go one on one or whatever right now. So it's, it's been, it's clearly a part of my journey and

part of my story and I've tried to use it positively.

J: Oh man, that is awesome. Well, I appreciate, I appreciate your, your kind words. Again, this

has been quite a journey. So you're, you're the one to blame for all of the, uh, the College Game

Day, uh, pieces they've done since then.

Y: I don't think I'm, I no, not at all. I won't, I won't take all that type of credit. Because people got

to ask questions and you've got to give them your story and...

J: I'm not giving you credit. I'm blaming you because they won't, they won't freaking quit.

Y: Okay. Yeah. Well then I'll wear that. Right. I’ll take that one.

Brendan Egan: Rough problem to have Jake.

J: I know, right? All right. So Yogi, you, so you start your college career at Pitt, right?

Y: Yes, I did.

J: As a walk on receiver. And you actually earned yourself a scholarship. So tell us about that

and tell us why did the coaches takes a long to realize what kind of talent you were.

Y: Great question. Well to paint a picture for you and everybody listening. I grew up in a tiny

town called Dalton, Pennsylvania with 2,500 people, no stop lights to this day, no stop lights.

And our high school still doesn't have soccer. The only thing that really existed was high school

football. And to get there, you got to take a big plane, a puddle jumper. And it's not necessarily

the, the place anybody's looking forward to getting to. Um, so I sit, I say that, uh, because just,

just the paint a little picture where I came from. You know, for me, my background is one that

my mom was a refugee, my dad's got an eastern philosophy throughout him and I always was

told that at 18 you have to leave the house. And I think I've always been a pseudo dreamer. And

College Football for me became something that I just fell in love with. So much so that I slept

with the football forever. You know, I slept from a, from a young age, um, until through college

and it was just kind of the heartbeat for me and everything that, that, that I tried to stand for went

through the fabric of a football. With that as the backdrop, I just wanted to go to Notre Dame and

Urban Meyer was the receiver coach then and it was me and another receiver up for one

scholarship. A guy named Rodney Rottimer and I went out to South Bend with my dad who

definitely didn't even think I could probably play at Notre Dame, uh, let alone anywhere else

cause it's a small town we came from, you never saw big time competition and I felt that I played

better than that kid and I understand why Notre Dame offered him because he was 6’4” about

230 and here I am maybe 5’11”, 180 and that moment it stuck with me and that that day when I

was told by Bob Davie and Urban Meyer, I wasn't going to get that scholarship. I made it very

clear decision on the drive home to Pennsylvania that I was going to go to whatever school

played Notre Dame the most. As pathetic as that is. And it was Pitt and the receiver coach was

a former walk on JD Brookhart. I felt like I could compete with the players there and the

scholarship guys they signed and when I walked in there it was, it was as back against the walls

you'd get, you know, they put me in a locker 106 which clearly there's no Jersey 106. I was back

in the hood with the rest of the walk ons and my shoulder pads are too big. My cleats were two

sizes larger. I had hip girdle, I'd a girdle pads that were for d-lineman. My face mask was off and

I decided that I was going to be in a relentless pursuit of a competitive edge and went with

knowledge and got lucky and played in my second game as a freshman and kind of the rest was

history in terms of getting a scholarship. But I've always felt this and I tell anybody who's walked

on that it's much more difficult and I think much more satisfying to earn a scholarship in college,

than be offered one in high school and you've seen that. You've been around that firsthand of

guys that are highly regarded, that don't have the heart that you have and uh, and it doesn't

work. And I think that's really what life's about. Leaning into what you, what you love.

J: Absolutely. Uh, that, that's really, really cool. I can definitely get on the wagon with you of

hating Notre Dame. That's an easy one. Um, so then you go to, you, you from college and you

come, you come to SC. So again, probably sticking with your, your model there of playing,

playing Notre Dame. Um, so you come to SC and you’re quarterbacks coach under Carroll, a

Quarterback Assistant, and you're, you're kind of in the glory days with the best program in the


Y: Yeah, it was awesome, man. You know, I got to come out during spring break. I would visit, I

would leave Pittsburgh and come to LA. And Pete's son, who, you know, Brennan his oldest

son, was a young coach at the time and I'd never been to California. Jake, I remember calling

my mom when I was in Manhattan beach for the first time and I was like, why didn't we grew up

here? And she never been west of you know, Ohio. So she didn't know either she was coming

from Israel and Germany and she had no idea. Uh, but I fell in love and my goal was get to

California, it wasn't even about what, it was just get to the beach. And I got close with Brennan.

He was a former walk-on at Pitt. He took me under his wing when I was there. And then when

he kicked out to So Cal, I followed and, and when I would come off for summer camps, I got to

meet Pete, Mark Jackson, people you know really well. Sark, Lane, Kenny Norton, you know,

Rocky Seto, the staff now that's who's who, you know, in college or the NFL that, that's what

Pete built. And I just got to hang with them and I played noon hoops with them. And Pete and I

would talk life and I was 19 and he and I went out to dinner with his family and we sat next to

each other and talked for three hours about competing in life. And what I think we both

recognize then was that our, our spirits were aligned. And I, and I think that we're kindred spirits

in a bunch of ways, but specifically athletically of backs against the wall, compete our tails off,

you know, being in that pursuit of a competitive edge. Prove ourselves right, not worry about

proving other people wrong. And it started and then they'd beat Oklahoma. And at 55 to 13 or

19 and he called me two days later at midnight and he, and just like you would imagine him, like

he's called you, “Hey, what's happening? What are you doing?” And I pop up in my bed in

Pittsburgh, like, Pete Carroll is calling to me. He was like, “When are you coming out here?” And

I was like, “uh, for what?” And he's like, “let's just, I don't know, figure it out.” And I was like, “all

right, but I don't want to coach, but can I go to Grad school” and I'll do anything because I saw

that coaching life of my coaches in college. And he goes, “sure, let's figure it out. Call me

tomorrow and we'll talk about it.” So we talked about it. I moved out to LA, I started in recruiting

in two weeks in and we sat down over his old, you remember that ratty orange couch?

J: Oh yeah.

Y: And uh, we had a Burrito, classic Pete style and he goes, what do you think about coaching?

And I through it, and I just tried to create value and slept in the office for two years. Just kept

climbing. I ended up doing four years on his staff. And you know, I recognize what you

recognize about SC was, it was a special place. And I recognize what you recognized about

Pete was that he's, I still think he's not a great coach. He's a thought leader. I mean, he's one of

the greatest minds, I think in our, in this century and this generation now about a lot of things

outside of just defensive football. And, uh, and we became buddies, you know, we really, we

really were able to connect and, uh, I fell in love with, with the community, Southern California,

obviously the institution and, and everything that it stood for.

J: Well, you talked about having that kind of kindred spirit with, with Coach Carroll. And I know

that, uh, you guys created Win Forever together and you know, a lot of people ask me in my

interviews today of kind of what was, was a, a, you know, a motivator when I was going blind

and in my childhood. And I point to that, that kind of mentality that you and Coach Carroll

developed together in that, you know, when, Win Forever and always competing. You know,

even when I was going blind of living a life without sight of, you know, not giving up on my

dreams and continuing to compete in that, that, that left a lasting, you know, message in my

mind and my heart that I still have today. So I appreciate you guys kind of putting your minds

together, but just talk a little about, about Win Forever, real quickly just to kind of, you know,

share that, share that mentality that again, I've, I've lived and breathed, um, because of you

guys for so long.

Y: That's really well said. Jake. I, uh, to hear you say that I get the chills because that was the

essence. You know, when I was at SC, you know, like as I referenced, I'd stay in the office late

as would Pete, you know when we would get done with our respective work we met in his office

around midnight and we had this little whiteboard, little square, probably 2x2 and on it in the

center was WF and around it we're all these ideas book, you know, the ability to teach and

coach at clinics, overarching philosophy and like a real pillar to shape, you know, and, and

guide people if they need it, a movie, a peace rally. All of these things that we ended up

checking off the list. And here I am Coach Quarterback, he's the head coach of the best team in

the country. I'm like, how are we finding time to do this? But that was Pete as you know, like he

can be, he's not a singular guy, he's not just an old ball coach. He's got much more to his spirit.

And when we would talk about it, and even in writing the book, I didn't even want to write the

book. I wasn't even supposed to write the book, but when the book was supposed to be

finished, you know, Mark Jackson and I looked at Pete and said, we're not sure if this really

sounds like it's your voice, like what's the, let's go back to work on it. And uh, he tasked me with

that and I went and finished the book now that, that people have read all over the world, but at

the essence of it was helping people be the best version of themselves. And to do that, you

have to be in a relentless pursuit of your competitive edge. You have to create value, you have

to be clear about your beliefs and your philosophy and you know, that approach that you've

lived and were exposed to when you were going through losing your sight was what Pete

crystallized when he got let go with the Patriots.

J: Yes.

Y: And I think we recognized that man, it's not just for football coaches, it's for anything. And I've

used it in my personal, professional life as you have and as have countless others. And Yeah,

man, it was literally just about what do we hope to, what does he help to lead the world and

work. And what can I do to help lift that or elevate that or articulate that? And it was really only

about helping people be the best version of themselves. But to do that you gotta be able to state

what type of person you want to be. Yeah. And that's where we really started to ideate and get

to work.

J: That's awesome. No, that's really awesome. And then for those who haven't read the book, I

really, really, really recommend it, Win Forever. It's, it's an awesome, awesome book that

obviously is easy, and changes lives. Um, but so, okay, so Yogi, so then after you coach you,

uh, you go and kind of this analyst TV personality kind of size. So what, what kind of inspired

you to do that? You just, you obviously, I mean, we can see how much you love football, um, for

playing and coaching, but what kinda got you kind of more on the analyst side?

Y: Jake, great question. Jake. Um, for me when I was in college, when I was a sophomore,

right, I would get to meet Bob Davie, Kirk Herbstreit, all the guys calling games, Chris Fowler.

Cause we were good. We were top 20. Larry Fitzgerald was my roommate. Like we were

bowling, we were, we were always on the verge. We were kind of that perennial. We were like

Auburn probably, you know, like top 10 maybe and then we lose a game. We would be top 12,

you know, we were kind of always playing in that world, but every time coaches were, analysts

would come, they'd sit and watch film and the big team room. And I'd always be there, cause I

was a nerd in football and always watching film. And I sorta talked to him and I was like Whoa,

this is a job. And they'd be like, yeah, this is what we do. And I'd be like, Oh okay. You know

how it is, you're, you're that age. And we didn't have the Internet really. Like it was called the

Facebook. And Pitt was one of the few, I think it was the top 20 schools to get it when I was

there. Internet was kind of old school wasn't great. So you didn't really know a lot about the

world and specifically around entertainment like people do now. Like you could go to a

production team because Gameday’s instagram video takes you there. You didn't get to do that

in our era. So I start to ask them questions and they would ask me questions and I learned that

if I gave them a little bit of our game plan to help their broadcast, they would give me advice. So

I started to meet the aforementioned Michael Fallon, O’Garrett, Ed Placey. All these rock stars

and on my spring break instead of going to Cacun and ripping it, I go to Bristol and I'd spend a

couple days up there. On my winter vacation, I'd go up there and watch the control room talk

about the Heisman, and I sat down and was like, this is dope. And then in the season on Friday

production meetings when those analysts talked to Clay Helton and Clancy Pendergast, et

Cetera, I would sit on those meetings. So I started making friends. So much so Jake, the way I

got in Michael Fountain calls me and says, tell me about Matt Barkley, right? Sanchez leaves

early, the college football world's wondering what's going on

J: Right.

Y: Matt Barkley is, the high regarded freshmen from Orange County and he knew that I would, I

knew Matt and I said, I'll tell you all about him, but put me on TV and he goes, excuse me? I

said, yeah man, I don't have a job. Put me on air and I'll tell you everything you want. And he

goes, Yogi, this is ESPN. You got one chance. And I said, I don't care. And they gave me a

chance and I went on College Football Live and started talking about quarterbacks like every

Tuesday for two years, didn't get paid, which was probably like illegal in terms of HR. And I was

like, I get, I need exposure, I got to hustle. Like all the same stuff that Pete taught me you when,

we were at SC. It just busted my ass and just kept trying to find angles in it.

J: That is, that is, that is really, really, really cool. Um, yeah. So then obviously you then you

kind of take on this role and the creative side kind of comes out of you, which I think is one of

the more special sides of you, a Yogi. And you start kind of creating these shows. Um, you

know, three, three for the, for the show is kind of your first one. Talk to kind of about following in

a Locker, a Newton and Tyrod, kind of as a, they go in and obviously sticking with the


Y: Yeah. So you, you learned this, um, because you've had access to locker rooms, you know,

your whole life for the most part. And I didn't realize that that was a skill. So I finished coaching

and Sark takes the head coaching job at Washington, offers me to coach the quarterbacks. I

have my come to Jesus moment. I'm 26 at the time, offered a six figure job. My family never had

six figures like I, it would have been awesome. But there was something inside of me saying it

ain't right. You know, and it wasn't him. He still like a big brother to me. Uh, but I, I didn't want to

live the life of a coach where I was moving every year. And your, your pseudo living the same

story, you know, with different beats and different characters. But I didn't want to do that for 30,

40 years. I wanted to see the world and I wanted to travel. I've always had that bug and that itch

of like the world's big man, like nobody knows what football is and you know, in the middle of

South America, like they have no clue they're learning now. But back then it wasn't a thing. So I

wanted to see the globe but when I came back I still wanted football to be my life in the season.

Well Espn was creating a documentary series, um, uh, really a documentary collective around

quarterbacks and it was called the Year of the Quarterback. So their whole platform is all about

quarterbacks cause that's where the quarterback rating came from. That's where a ton of

content on QBs came from. It's really the first time in entertainment where a network doubled

down on one position. So I knew the head of content and her name is Joan Lynch who was a

mentor of mine and one of the few still to this day, executives that have believed in me. And she

said, hey, we're trying to do a doc. I said, well let me think about it. I talked to Sark and he goes,

you should follow Jake. And Jake just turned down being the number one or number two pick in

the draft to come back. So he turned down 20 million bucks to be a Senior. So I went up there

and we pitched the series and we were with an acclaimed director, Jonathan Hawk, who at the

time I knew nothing about, I just, he knew how to turn a camera on and put it together. And I

realized my skill was getting access and what I learned throughout the process that knowing

how to navigate a locker room, talk to coaches, talked to families, know when to get out, when

to hide in the corner. That's a real skill. And that's called a producer. Like people get paid for

that. So I said I'll produce and you teach me how to make a film. And that was the beginning of

my filmmaking, storytelling career of I don't know how to turn the camera on. I don't know what

lighting is. I don't know how to do audio. I don't know how to edit, but I know how to do access.

And that's what started it so that we followed Jake and that blurred into Cam Newton and Tyrod

Taylor as you referenced. And uh, they went nuts and it was really cool cause we were the first

doc. We're the first, we're the first film in the history of television, sports television to mic up a

college athlete in a game. It was probably, we didn't run it through compliance and everybody

that you probably should have, but we mic’d up Jake Locker for his final game and I get a note

from his dad every year saying, I watched it back. Thank you for capturing his senior year. And

uh, it was beautiful. It was really fun for me to lean in. And from that point, I think I've done over

20 films now where if you get access and respect access, you can tell a beautiful story and

that's become a real passion of mine.

J: That is awesome. When is the drive going to do USC?

Y: When a USC says, we'll give you access all season.

J: I, I'll, I'll, I'll try to work on that. Man. It's uh, they, they just cut my access off so, you know,

we'll, we'll try to try to work on that together.

Y: Yeah, well, it's a tough thing, right? I mean, you know, and I always say this is a storyteller.

We pitch programs all over the country every year. And in that part of storytelling is kind of

dying, you know, like, cause cause schools give so much access on their own channels now.

But to me it's about the storyteller, right? So if I can come in, they're crafting Jake Olson’s story

is a beautiful challenge and something that we all want to do. To me, crafting the story when

something negative happens to a team is where coaches have to trust you. And that's the hard

part, right? A kid gets arrested or kicked off the team, things that just naturally happen

unfortunately around the country and that's unfortunately it's a that's true.

J: Um, what about, I remember speaking to you about what, eight months ago maybe or so, um,

and you're, you're really working on life in a walk and kind of tell us about that. How, how special

that was with your father?

Y: Well, Jake, that gave me, that changed my whole life, you know. Um, I recently got engaged

and uh, I think the process began then, um, with being around my dad and being able to be

really vulnerable with him. Uh, so bottom line for people who don't know the story, my dad was

diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2004. He never dealt with it until 2009. And I never dealt with

it either until 2013. Um, it was something I just pushed to the side. It's something that I was like,

oh, he'll be fine. And then one night, I mean, living in my home in Venice and I was watching a

movie and thinking about my next adventure, where am I going to travel to? And I watch this

movie about this famous walk called the Camino de Santiago, which is a famous walk through

France and Spain and Portugal and it is a very spiritual walk. And I'm like, I'm going to do that.

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I don't know if you've ever had moments like this where

you're overcome with emotion. I started to bawl and I'm like, I never dealt with my dad being

sick. And Oh my God, I have so many questions about life and his life. So I flew home the very

next weekend, I flew to Brooklyn where my sister was living at the time and I walked into the

living room and I said, dad, I'd like to go for a walk with you and we'd love to walk as a family.

And he goes, sure, where are you thinking? Like prospect park around the corner? And A, I

said, no. I said, here's a plane ticket. Um, I'd like you to meet me in Madrid and we're going to

walk this famous walk. And he's like, uh, looks at my mom, like, do I get the okay, you know,

and uh, she gives him as okay. And away we went. And at the time I had sold the travel show

and the production company or I tried to create a travel pilot. And the production company said,

Hey, we'd love more footage of you that isn't your iPhone or your smartphone or your shaky

camera operation. Can we come with you on your trip? And I said, sure, I'm going to this walk

with my dad. And the production company said, okay, we'll pay, we'll take care of all the

cameras and all that production. Let's just find some money for travel. And when we come back

we'll see what type of content we have. And Jake, we landed and the production companies

sifted through all the content and they said a Yogi, a, it was a great trip. We had a great time.

You and your dad are awesome, but we don't think there's a movie there. And I said, okay, do I

get the content? They, said yeah, do whatever you want. And I went home and edited what I

thought was going to be a home movie. And when we put the trailer out, it went bonkers. And all

of a sudden, I'm getting calls from USA Today, men's health and all of these features on our

film. And what I recognized is our film was basically about me going through my dad's life. We

went through a different decade of his life as we walked 15 to 22 miles a day. What I recognize

that so many men that is specifically are like us and athletically minded. We are taught for

whatever reason that it's okay to cry after you win the title like Michael Jordan or Russell Wilson.

It's okay to cry if you lose a championship. It's okay to cry in sports, but it's not okay to get

emotional anywhere else. And I was that prototype and when I learned was it, majority of men

are like that, that are jocks that grow up around sport. So our film, we think that we unite fathers

and sons and family members and special ways, but most importantly we try to make it okay to

have the conversation around emotion and being vulnerable. And uh, it, it literally changed my

whole life, Bro. Like the only thing I ever loved was football. And after that I clearly began to

have different passions and like I said, off the top, I think it began the process of me meeting my

now fiance.

J: That was really, really cool. That's special. Yeah. I, I've been meaning to go watch it. And I

really, really, um, you know, I think that'd be impactful for my relationship with my father as well.

So I'll, I'll hit you back up when I do and I think it's going to be something special. Um, where did

the passion come from to go and kind of help high schoolers and kind of with this elite 11 thing?

Y: Yeah, it's one of the most favorite things I get to do. Um, you grow up as an athlete and all

you want is people to breathe opportunity into you, right? Like you've had a coach to probably

said, Jake, you can't play football. And then you'll have somebody say, yeah, go for it. And if you

didn't, you just are headstrong and you rally. But at some point you need, I think as an athlete,

somebody to say, I believe in you. You know? And, and I didn't have that for a long time. Um,

and I remember when it did happen and a lot of it was even when I was with Pete and I

remember being like, man, if I had him as a coach, I might still be playing, you know, whether it

was arena football or you know, practice squad. But he breathed life into everyone, specifically

chip on the shoulder athletes and being around SC as you know, they, it's a hotbed of

quarterbacks. Yeah. So I was the guy that was holding the quarterback's hand, whether it was

Jimmy Clauson are huge recruits around the country when they would come. Tim Tebow. So I

got to meet everybody and then being with Sark, I got to really learn how to teach that position

and understand it. And when I left the founder of elite 11, who was, his name is Andy Bark, he's

a mentor of mine, planned out a really good beat in the offseason. He was one of those coaches

that I met when I was in high school that believed in me. He ran the Nike camps around the

country, excuse me. And I went to the first one. It was at Penn state. And I always remembered

him being like, wow, this guy giving me, gave me a chance. Like he kind of believed in me and

he probably didn't know me from any other, you know, 5’11” white wide receiver that showed up

at his camps. But I fell for this guy. Anyway, Elite 11, this was 11 years ago now, was not what it

is today. It was a really cool camp. It had the best guys. It wasn't about the competition but

about the teaching. But it still had this blueprint that when Andy asked him about it, I said, I think

it's American idol for highschool quarterbacks. And he said, all right, well do you want to be a

part of it? Why don't you do an audition? And it was the same deal or a year as the year of the

quarterback. So I went and did my audition. I was at TCU, I remember the, his name was Mitch

Wright. And I had to like win him over. And I realized that, uh, I know how to talk to these guys.

And it was really fun to be, you know, the pseudo host slash coach role where you're mentoring,

you're guiding, you're provoking and you're learning about TV and it's getting aired all over the

world and coaches that year were actually banned from calling. So they needed to talk to

coaches about, hey, what's so and so like, what's Aaron Corp play? What's Mitch Mustain like?

What's Matt Barkley like? And I was like, I got you. And I was trusted. So I leaned into it and fill

them up. And then when Trent Dilfer came on board, we took it to a totally other level. Uh, and

now it's in its 21st year. It's my 11th year. I just kicked it off over the weekend. And, and I get

great joy in meeting young men like Trevor Lawrence, like Tua Tagovailoa, just household

names or guys that nobody ever heard of that never played with meeting them at 16 when the

world and the pressure of the world, I should say is on their shoulders and they don't know how

to deal with it. And I love being around them and trying to just give them a few tools that they

could take to college to get developed by the coaches there to help them in life when it's hard.

And then when it's over, I talked to so many guys now that are done planning and I guide them.

You know, I do all the one for over stuff that you've been through and I coach them on how to

find their passion. So it's really, you know, nobody makes any money on it. We just love it. We

love the craft of being around when I think are the CEOs of sport, you know, the best in class

and being a part of the life. So I, I'll do it. I hope for the rest of my career.

J: That was awesome. No, it's, there's someone who, you know, not as a quarterback, but I've

been a high school over again where you kind of have that, those coaches both telling you you

can't. And those who tell you can, that the, the, the ones who are there for you make, make the

world of difference. You know, the, the coach coach Viselmeyer helped me learn a longsnap

obviously changed my life. So we as, as I'm speaking as, as high schoolers in those positions.

Yogi, we, we appreciate that. Um, so now, obviously you, you, you talked about your creativity

man, so you love to speak. I learned this today man. You did a Ted talk.

Y: Yeah, yeah. I, yeah, I, I'm always been speaking, you know, and I wasn't even in elementary

school. I would do like the, like the mock trial team, you know, I ran from, I was the president of

my class student council like a whole thing, excuse me. I've always really loved to perform. Uh,

and I think as an athlete when your career is done and you're not performing anymore, it's hard.

It's hard emotionally because you have identity issues, but from the muscle of performing well

and that's not there anymore. That is hard. Especially if you loved performance. And I played

football, not because I fell in love with it or my dad told me to play. I loved it because the most

people went to games and I was like, it's really cool and like 5,000 people cheer for you in high

school. All right, I'm going to get good at this. And, and I loved the performance side of it. And

then when I was in LA, I don't think I've ever even shared this, but when I was an SC coaching

and till to this day, I take acting classes once a week.


Y: You live in, we live in Hollywood. So why wouldn't you? And as a performer, I'd love being

coached as an actor to help me as a broadcaster.

J: Yeah absolutely.

Y: I think because the number one thing in acting is you need to listen like your life depends on

it. As an analyst on games, I need to listen like my life depends on it, right? I mean, listen to my

play, my play partner, I don't need to listen to the crowd. I got to listen to, to your body language

when Clay Helton brings you over and whispers in your ear. Right. You know, so that I train that

as an actor and loved the performance side and then speaking, well that's easy. You know, and,

and I didn't realize it at the time, but we have a mutual friend, named Keith Sarkisian who's a

music agent and when I left coaching goes, I bet to the rest of your career people are going to

start off asking you about what it was like in your time at SC. And I was like, no way. I'm more

than that. But that's not true. And everybody just wants to know whether it's leadership style,

conflict, all of that. So I began to speak and much like coaching you love watching people grow

and evolve or challenging or even fail. And I’ve bombed on stage. So it's kind of fun and I just

am trying to look in my life for as many moments where I can replicate playing again. And as an

analyst you only get 14 games or so you know, I have 80 shows a year. I would do 300 shows a

year. I mean that might be a little aggressive, but I'd love to perform, you know, as much as

possible because I get fed off of that.

J: Oh yeah. No, I know exactly what talking about. I said it's a thrill to be up on stage with

everyone here and everything you have to have to say. It's um, so I appreciate, appreciate that.

Take right there. Um, well Yogi, we appreciate you being on today. Talking about speaking you

can find Yogi’s profile on As you can tell, he's an awesome, awesome man of

many, many talents. And he is awesome for high schools, colleges, corporations, groups,

anything. He's got an awesome mindset with Win Forever, an awesome story and really can,

uh, put, put in a, uh, a motivation that not, not many other people can. So Yogi I have one last

question I guess. And look, we, we record this so we can, we can bleep it out if you really don't,

if you don't want people to know, but you know, being obviously going to Pitt, but you're here

working with the PAC-12 a lot. We know, we know you root for USC. You know.

Y: I think that when USC does well, it is awesome for college football because a lot of the

people on the east coast that you've met at other places, um, or even just the general media,

they don't necessarily always do their homework and pay attention to the west coast. And you

don't have to bleep that out man. I think that's the truth. So when SC does well, there's more

eyeballs on the PAC-12 and it's better for the PAC-12. And I love it when it, when the coli’s full,

you've been there man.

J: Oh, yeah

Y: It's, it's, it's one of the coolest places. Not In college football, but in the history of sports. So I

want SCto roll. I can't wait for them this season. The redemption story, I'll be calling a bunch of

their games on the PAC-12 networks, but my partner Ted Robinson, I love it. I love the Trojan

family is different. And, uh, and I believe that being at so many different schools around the

country, uh, and I can't wait to see him bounce back then, you know, spend anybody, it's hard.

It's hard to compete there. Um, and a lot of times you can have a false identity of who you think

you are. So I hope last year season, uh, you know, got in those players heads and now they're

like, hey, let's go to work.

J: We will see, well if you need any help analyzing the season or a sideline report, let me know.

I'll, I'll be at the games. So I love it. I'll be get their Spring game and then uh, we'll make sure we

got to record you on my podcast man and a bounce back and forth. This is fun.

J: Yeah, absolutely. All right. Yo, you will. Thank you so much again. To find Yogi, you can go to and book him for an experience of your choice. He is amazing. You can

also find the rest of our talent list there at and we thank you again today

for listening to the Let’s Engage podcast, till next time.