The Turnaround: Racking up the miles

Jason Strunk
Lubbock High School Head Football Coach
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Jason Strunk and David Thetford Lubbock HS

Busy week for Strunky with two road trips to DFW-area, but also able to squeeze-in an interview with David Thetford between Lubbock HS basketball games.

I had a busy week, to say the least.

Last Sunday, Super Bowl Sunday, I drove back from Dallas after being at the DFW clinic. As I said earlier in the week, what a great clinic. Met a lot of new people and talked a lot of ball. I brought back a lot things we are going to incorporate for LHS football. You can never learn enough when rebuilding.

What a great game we had on Sunday. Pats-Seahawks was one of those instant classics. But let’s cut to the chase; the Seahawks let one get away. I know all my kids watched it, so I discussed it with them on Monday afternoon.

I told my team that if we are faced with exact same situation the Seahawks faced, we are going to pound it into the end zone on the ground. Tough teams pick up tough yards. A tough team can get one yard when it counts. I told our kids we will punch the opponent in the mouth and run in for victory.

I don’t criticize coaches. The NFL coaches are the best in the business. I know they know their personnel. They watched hundreds of hours of film and yada, yada, yada. I also know common sense. Sometimes we over-think as coaches and forget that common sense is an important part of life and football. Common sense, despite the statistics, for me is to hand it off once and see what happens. The Westerners will do that.

The kids learned part of our identity, thanks in part to the choice the Seahawks made. Always finding teachable moments.


Lubbock football Kinkaid's

Strunky and his staff stopped at Kinkaid’s for lunch during road trip with Lubbock co-offensive coordinator Jake Willingham making the call on where to eat.

On Thursday afternoon Neal Tull, Jake Willingham and Nate Jephcott loaded into the SUV with me for another road trip to Dallas. Awesome trip for us! We learned some great things on this trip about football and each other. Being tight with your staff is imperative. We are tight already and this trip fortified that belief. You need chemistry within your team and your staff. Don’t fool yourselves into thinking your staff cannot be close. The business approach (not getting close to staff members) doesn’t apply to a football coaching staff. You need to be family and I am not afraid to say that these guys are family to me.

Josh Ragsdale, HC of Adamson HS, put on a great clinic for a bunch of coaches. We learned a lot there. Presenting

Tony Johnson at Adamson HS DFW coaches clinic

Tony Johnson speaks during Coaches Clinic at Adamson HS.

our nutrition education plan to other coaches was an honor. I cannot thank ‘Rags enough! Me and the guys are very appreciative for the chance to speak.

Once again we closed our trip with a stop at Grapevine HS. Randy Jackson has it going on there. Wow, is all I can say. Their workouts are high energy. So much juice. We picked up a bunch from coach Jackson again. This time we were able to sit down and talk O and D for an hour. Great experience and fun to talk to one of the best Texas has to offer.

-On the way back from Dallas I laughed for a solid thirty straight minutes, to the point I was crying and my cheeks hurt. So much fun with those guys this weekend. Nobody will ever know what we were laughing at. That’s what makes this staff great.
-Pitchers and catchers report soon. Cannot wait. This basketball stuff on TV is wearing me out.
-I was asked if played in the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Pretty sure that is a short joke. Wal-Mart greeters get me every time.
-Lining a Mike backer up in a three point stance, 4.5 yards off the ball was meant to be a Twitter joke. But it spurned lots of questions. Coaches take this stuff seriously.
-Neal Tull kicked me and put his hand on my chest twice while sleeping in the same bed at the hotel. “Grape Ape” must have been having a bad dream. I may not ever be the same.

Till next time, FIO.

About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.