By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Kevin Engle is prepared for some adjustments as he makes the move from 11-man assistant (at Mounds) to new 8-man head football coach at Deer Creek-Lamont.
“There’s always going to be some adjustments no matter what job you take,’’ Engle said. “It’s going to be a little bit different. ‘’
He’s adjusting to not having an outside linebacker or safety on defense and he knows the guards will pull out differently.
But he has been able to use some of the 11-man schemes in the summer passing leagues the Eagles have participated in.
“It still comes down to blocking and tackling,’’ Engle said. “You have to stress fundamentals. If you don’t block or tackle, you won’t have a chance to win anything.’’
Engle played his high school football at Newkirk and graduated from Northwestern Oklahoma State. He was Mounds’ offensive coordinator the last two years and coached three years at Ponca City and one at Fort Gibson.
He also will double as the school principal at DCLA.
He feels he’s ready to be a head coach after six seasons as an assistant.
“You’re never truly ready until you do it,’’ he said, “I’m a little nervous, but it’s nothing that I can’t handle. I’m finding there’s a lot more about being a head coach than the X’s and O’s.’’
Engle inherits a program that has gone to the playoffs six straight years and won a state title in 2010. The Eagles return only four seniors, but junior quarterback Harrison Muegge is back.
“These guys have been around winning,’’ Engle said. “Coach (Mike) Thompson (his precedsor) and coach (David) Zachary did a great job. This isn’t a rebuilding job. The coaches before me did everything right.’’
He has been impressed with what he’s seen in the passing league, and in the weight room.
“They do everything you ask,’’ he said. “Everything is a ‘yes sir’ or a ‘no sir.’ If you do things the right way, winning and losing will take care of itself.’’
Engle has coached both a spread offense and an offense that had a 70-30 run-pass ratio.
“I never say this is the offense or defense we’ll run,’’ he said. “It all depends on your kids.’’
He has the mentality of an offensive lineman and his offenses might reflect that.
“I told Harrison that my philosophy is getting at least five yards on first down,’’ he said. “We won’t put it all on the house on every play, but we’ll do the things that give us a chance to win.’’
He has spoken to Waukomis head football coach Jon Claborn about making the adjustment from 11-man to 8-man. Thompson has given him advice too.
Being a young coach, he said, should be an asset.
“I kind of speak their language a little bit,’’ Engle said. “I’m not too far removed from what they were going through.’’