THEOLDCOACH Q/A Madisonville HC Rusty Nail
Q1: Coach, congrats on the new gig as HC at Madisonville, talk about what initially peaked your interest when the job opened?
A1: “I started my coaching career 23 years ago right here, we had some familiarity with faculty and administration and knew the situation going in. There’s potential here in Madisonville athletically we are now in the process of making changes and aligning things specific to our program.”
Q2: You spent a year out of coaching, how tough were Friday nights being away from the sideline and was there a time or moment when you realized you wanted to put the whistle back on?
A2: “When coaching school started, I went down and finished up some things with THSCA and I started to realize how much I’d miss it. Then the first Friday night was tough and gut wrenching. I think I knew then it was time to get back into it.”
Q3: Are there any similarities at all between the insurance business and coaching?
A3: “Not at all, the business world is WAY different, they aren’t as time oriented for sure! ” (Laughing).
Q4: Tell us about your first few weeks at Madisonville, what has your schedule been like, are you spending a lot of time in the community to get people fired up about the Mustangs again and are you trying to comb the halls to get some new faces in the program?
A4: “We are doing a lot of things in the community and across all campuses, really just to get everyone excited about the Mustangs. We are wanting to generate more interest in not only football but in Madisonville Athletics as a whole. We haven’t had to comb the halls, the administration and counselors have done a great job in identifying kids that may be potential athletes and bringing them to me. Hopefully they’ll work out, but our numbers are definitely up.
Q5: When you took over the Mart program, they had a lot of previous recent success, Madisonville hasn’t had much recent success. From a high level standpoint, what types of things are in your plan to get the program turned around and do you do things differently taking over a program that hasn’t had as much success vs. a program that has been successful?
A5: “It’s the same approach, we are instilling the same values we had in Mart because they are tried and true. It’s more about just fine tuning things within the program. We are working on removing the divisions most notably with a universal athletic period instead of specializing. We aren’t big enough to have specialized off-season, we’ve got to share kids and a universal off-season works out better. College coaches are looking for multi-sport athletes, we want to develop ‘Mustangs’ not ‘Mustang Football’ or ‘Mustang basketball.’
Q6: Realignment is just a few weeks away and Madisonville like a lot of schools can go a number of different directions, what is your non-district scheduling plan and philosophy?
A6: “We have 3 different plans on the board, we’ve got some backups and possibilities lined up for non-district scheduling, you just never know what curveballs will be thrown your way, so we try to be as ready for as many different scenarios as we can. We are looking for a competitive schedule, I’ve never been afraid to play good people, we want to see where we are at. The goal is to become one of those big time type of programs and I think the best way to do that is to see those teams up close and personal. “
Q7: Being at a smaller school you don’t have the luxury of spring football, how do you go about evaluating your kids is it just how they compete in off-season, 7 on 7?
A7: “We’ll do some 7 on 7 of course in the spring and summer, we had 15 sophomores who played last year so there will be lots of film evaluation and we’ll do some football type activities in the off-season to see where the kids are. The offensive system they ran last year was very similar to what we did in Mart and what we’ll do here so that makes the transition easier for the kids. We are changing up the defense so we’ll have to spend time there with terminology, etc. We are really spending a lot of time getting stronger in the weight room. The kids here missed out on time in the weight room because of sport specific things and we’ve changed that and the kids have totally bought in. We need to definitely get stronger and more explosive, but we’ve got some great kids. We are excited about the buy in from the kids and community.”