Over the course of his 30-plus year career, Hays High athletic coordinator Les Goad grasps the all-encompassing nature of a coaching transition.
Changes on the field, as well as off, can be overwhelming for the uninitiated and unprepared.
That’s why Goad and his staff continue to foster learning, whether it’s through new schemes or getting players to better know one another.
And while the Rebels chose to forgo spring football in 2018, Goad said his program continues to show growth and progress as they ready for August workouts.
“We feel like we never have enough time we want to, but we’re making the progress we need to make and we realize it takes time for those changes to occur,” Goad said.
One of the primary learning curves is getting players to adhere to Goad’s run-oriented offense, which helped him garner success at Geronimo Navarro. Teaching a new defense, which is based on the 3-3-5 stack, is also a point of order for Goad and his staff.
Goad said his defensive scheme is aggressive and tries to get “as much speed on the field as you can,” as well as the ability to create pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
Implementation of the 3-3-5 stack began roughly six years ago at Navarro and was done as a response to the growing popularity of spread offenses, Goad said.
“The 3-3-5 stack gives us versatility,” Goad said.
Player evaluation will be the next step in the process this spring for Goad. The process includes working out on the field during the school day and teaching schemes and fundamentals.
Goad said the staff has “a lot of time allotted to us” during the class period to work on the transition. It’s something Goad has done during his time at Navarro, which, as a 4A school, did not have spring practices.
Helping the cause are upperclassmen that include returning quarterback Xavier Martinez, as well as linebacker Mark Mireles, tight end Bayler Jordan and defensive lineman Andrew Eddleman. Goad said returning upperclassmen are stepping up and working hard to make the transition as smooth as possible.
“They are all guys who established themselves before I got here and they are doing everything they can during the transition to bring a positive attitude and reach the potential this team has,” Goad said.
Welcoming in a handful of new coaches to the fold, as well as filling in for coaches who are retiring or departing, is equally vital for Goad. It’s also the reason why the Rebel staff chose to not conduct spring practices, and instead have an extra week of practice in August.
Leaving the program will be longtime assistants Gary Gaddy and Mitch Phillps, who plan to retire from coaching. Joining the ranks will be Aaron Foster, who served as Goad’s offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Navarro for the past eight years. Other coaches from Navarro who plan to join the Rebel staff are defensive coordinator Chema Chavez, as well as assistants Nick Lopez and Robert Jones.
“The kids are responding well and working hard,” Goad said. “We’ve had a few personnel changes because of people moving, but it’s pretty good.”