First year Lehman Lobos athletic director and head football coach Bruce Salmon looks to get his program moving in the right direction this offseason in a pivotal transition year.
Since taking the job in February, Salmon described the transition as a smooth one for him and his players.
“Coming in the first two to three weeks I spent a lot of time kind of evaluating what we are doing and asking why we are doing each thing,” said Salmon. “After that you have a plan based on the feedback I got back from our coaches, our administration and our community. Then we developed a plan on what we needed to stop doing, what we needed to start doing and things we need to continue to do.”
Salmon is making the transition from Marion High School, a small 3A high school outside of New Braunfels where he took the Bulldogs to the playoffs with an 8-3 record in 2017, to a 6A program that went 1-9 last season.
Salmon brings more than 23 years of coaching experience to Lehman, with credentials of coaching on both sides of the ball. Salmon will coach the quarterbacks on offense and the linebackers on the defense.
“We’ve taught about 80 percent of our offense right now,” Salmon said. “We are teaching a lot of fundamentals and knowledge of assignment. So a lot of stuff is in place.”
Salmon’s offense will be a balanced attack of the run and pass game. He said the offense has already installed three out of four run schemes and four out of the six pass schemes in their playbook. On defense a 4-2-5 look will be used as the base package with the main focus on stopping the opponents rushing attack.
Salmon said the Lobos aim to occupy and stop the run, while pushing opponents to down and distance situations.
“We try and put our best athletes in the best position, and try and use numbers to out number them, and then play with great leverage,” Salmon said. “We spent a lot of time teaching that. Really learning pursuit of the ball together and filling the correct lanes.”
Salmon and his staff opted to not do spring ball this semester in order to get an extra week of practice in the fall in return. Without being able to see the players in pads, Salmon has had to evaluate the team in other ways.
“Football is probably about 15 percent of evaluating talent,” Salmon said. “Habit, effort, consistency and accountability is about 85 percent of it. We are looking for guys who give extra, who have good leadership qualities. We are looking for accountability.”
Salmon said C.J. Scott and Christian Ramirez are two players who have stood out to him based on their consistency and effort.
“I think C.J. Scott has really jumped up and taken on a role both offensively and defensively,” said Salmon. “Christian Ramirez has also been a guy who has really stepped up and been consistent with it.”
Heading into the summer, the Lehman players will have a quick break before they hop back on the grind for summer conditioning workouts, which will start the week after school ends.
For Salmon, the biggest key heading into fall camp is getting the new staff and players on the same page.
“The biggest thing for me is to have everything in place,” Salmon said. “The hardest thing about transitions is the transition part of it. I think our kids have done a great job of trying to figure out where everything is at. They are really hungry and want to do well. We are getting better everyday.”
The Lobos will take the field and begin fall camp on Monday August 6.