OT: Arkansas prep coach gets kicks from not punting





Joe will be the first to adopt this strategy. :wink:


My father was a varsity high school coach and, at one point, had a guy running the freshman team who believed in this strategy. This would have been 15 years ago or so.

The frosh coach always said he should be more worried about developing players and wasting time on special teams plays didn’t do that for him. Our frosh team went about 3 straight years without losing a game…and one of those years only allowed six points, on a kickoff return…another part of the game they never practiced.

That same coach was the varsity basketball coach for a long time, too. He was more orthodox in his methods there, but just as successful. In pre-class Indiana basketball days, he won a pair of sectionals (equivalent to state titles for schools of 500 or so kids), beating Marion (the blue blood of blue bloods in Indiana prep ball) to win the second one. The next year, my school was ranked for a while in Indiana’s Top 10, but we were knocked off in the tournament by Marion, led by a skinny 6’9" freshman center named Zach Randolph.


Gregg Easterbrook (aka Tuesday Morning Quarterback at ESPN.com) has been mentioning this coach in his column for a few years. Easterbrook has been preaching the virtue of being aggressive and going for it more often. Pro coaches especially are too conservative. I am one who thinks teams punt way too much. I have been preaching this to friends for years. Personally, I would hardly ever punt after passing midfield and would NEVER punt if I made it past the 40.

At high school level it really makes no sense to ever punt. First of all, how many kids in high school are effective punters? Even going for it deep in a team’s own territory is not that risky becuase how many good kickers are there in high school? If a coach can trust the defense to make stops, I’d let the other team try a field goal any time. The only reason to change this philosophy is if a team had a kid who could develop into a college punter.


Joe needs to stay away from this.

He didn’t survive for 40+ years as a head coach by jumping on everything that’s “trendy”. :stuck_out_tongue: