Going the Extra Mile
Coaches Known To Be Last To Leave Their Office
August 30, 2017
Only crickets and the occasional passing car can be heard in Legacy’s parking lot that was filled with loud trucks and teenagers just a few hours ago. While everyone else lays in bed or fills the seats of a fast food restaurant at 1 a.m. after a Friday night football game, coach Jerry Wyatt sits in the football field house loading film and updating stats.
Coach Wyatt teaches ILPC and Astronomy in the classroom and coaches freshmen offensive and defensive linemen on the football field. He also serves as the football program’s Hudl coordinator. This makes him in charge of the three student filmers, making weekly and end-of-season team highlights, communicating player stats with local news outlets to help get them nominated for weekly awards and putting together personal highlights for varsity players to send to colleges.
Along with this, Coach Wyatt also has the responsibility of recording statistics and doing self-scouting in the press box during varsity games. Because of his heavy responsibility load during football season, Coach Wyatt doesn’t leave campus until 12 a.m. on Thursday nights and 2 a.m. on Friday nights following football games. He said that he only gets to spend about 45 minutes in the morning and an hour and a half in the evening with his two kids during the week. Coach Wyatt said that seeing all of his work come together makes the extra effort worth the long hours.
“That’s the biggest highlight for me, kind of what makes it worth while is being able to see that all at the end [of the season]. Being able to put that all together and saying ‘here’s what I do.” Coach Wyatt said.
Coach Nolan Crowdus started working at Legacy last year. He not only brings a lively, humorous atmosphere to the football field, but to individual students as well. Coach Crowdus works independently with students that need extra help in on-level Algebra 1 and Geometry classes.
“I like it because I can do a lot of special one-on-one stuff and that’s what a lot of kids need,” Coach Crowdus said. “You have to love what you do to actually have fun. If you’re not excited about what you do then why are you doing it? There’s nobody forcing people to do anything so if you don’t want to do it then just stop.”
Coach Crowdus also coaches offensive football and has become known for his wild, likable personality that brightens up normal day to day life.
“I actually love kids. I like talking to kids. I like how they make jokes and they’re just always laughing,” Coach Crowdus said. “Like adults [have forgotten] that. They don’t laugh anymore. I know where I used to be and where I could be. To end up with a college education and doing something that I love to do there’s no reason to not be happy every day.”
Coach Crowdus graduated from Bowie High in Arlington, Texas and went on to play football for Oklahoma University. He started coaching and teaching in Oklahoma and decided to move back to Texas and work in Fort Worth. Coach Crowdus said that the city still didn’t feel like home to him, so he came to Legacy.
“I know this area’s type of kid, and I was that type of kid. I know how these kids are, I know their surroundings. The same streets these kids grew up in are the same streets that I grew up in,” Coach Crowdus said. “I understand kids better cause I’m like ‘Hey I used to do the same thing that you did. Oh, you’re going to a party over there? I used to do the same thing back in 99.’”
Coach Joseph Sam teaches social studies and coaches defense. He gets to school at about 6:30 a.m. and doesn’t get home until 7:30 p.m. at night during the week. Thursday nights he doesn’t get home until 11 p.m. following football games. On Friday nights, he doesn’t get home until 1 a.m. and has to return to the field house at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning. Coach Sam said that his inspiration has very little to do with football.
“I want to see men become successful in life, [and] become better men, husbands and dads,” Coach Sam said. “Football will take care of itself if you’re good enough to play it on the next level, but the life lessons that we can hopefully teach them outweighs the whole x’s and o’s format.”
Planning for practice takes Coach Sam two to three hours to complete. Varsity game planning takes four to five hours and to get ready for Saturday also takes four to five hours. He studies film and works with other coaches to come up with plays to match what the other teams seem to do the most. Coach Sam said that focusing on his main goal makes everything else fall into place.
“If we can make you a better person, you’ll become a better football player.” Coach Sam said.