The Turnaround – Why the blonde?

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by Jason Strunk
Lubbock High School Head Football Coach
Follow @WestTxCoach

Jason Strunk Lubbock Football

Lubbock HS head football coach Jason Strunk in the middle of going blonde to uphold his end of a bet.

I have a cool job.

Every day I wake up I feel so lucky to be able to do what I do. I have fun. I enjoy my “job”. Not many Americans wake up every day ready to go do what they love. I’m one of the lucky ones. I love my job.

That brings me to the topic of this blog. Why the blonde? Well for starters, why not? If I want my hair blonde, I will do so. I am me. That will never change. I never cared what people thought of me. I still don’t. So if this was a whimsical moment for me who cares? It’s my hair.

But this wasn’t about me. This was about my job, our school and our culture. I made a de

Jason Strunk haircut

Strunky’s real hair color with his “hair doctor” Elisabeth.

the “Loud Crowd” a few weeks ago. The deal with them was sell the LHS side of the gym out and beat Lubbock Cooper. It was a real simple bet. We pulled it off and in a big way. The student body came  through and was an integral part in creating a raucous environment that helped carry the Westerners to a win. What an electric atmosphere!

Any time I can make a bet like this I am all in. Like I said, I have a cool job!


1. This helps create a climate of fun and excitement. The kids were pumped up to sell this thing out. They announced it for two weeks during the day. They made it their mission. They were huge in creating a home court advantage for us. They had fun and isn’t that an important part of high school?

2. Unity. No doubt about it, this brought people together. The basketball team, the Loud Crowd etc. This was a huge team effort. It helped forge a stronger bond for all of the black and gold, athlete or non-athlete.

Jason Strunk The Turnaround

Strunky’s transformation is complete!

3. This helps the culture and make up of the school. Turning football programs around is about changing the culture. Well, creating excitement amongst the student body in every sport helps build your football program. You want to create a winning culture. You want a culture that embraces excitement and the will to win. If it takes dying my hair blonde to help us get there, I will do so.

4. Your word is golden (or blonde). People have said to me, “I can’t believe you really did it”! Darn right I did! I gave my word and I followed through on a promise. Your word has to mean something. Without your word, you have nothing. Hopefully I was able to show kids that doing what you say your going to do is a critical part of life. How can  you get people to follow your lead if they don’t see you following through on things? Always, always, always stick to your word!

I’m sure there are a slew of other benefits I can throw in here. But four is good for the blog because it touches on everything I wanted this bet to hit on!

I have been getting my haircut at Regimen for the past year (on the advice of TTU football staff members). Naturally, I was going to put my blonde experiment in the hands of these guys (gals, actually). Simply put, they are awesome!

Regimen is owned by Natalie Craig, who has built quite a resume in cutting high profile coaches hair (I am not in that category). For ten years Natalie has worked on Mike Leach and Tubby Smith, all the way up to Kliff Kingsbury. Natalie has handled some high profile hair! There is a reason for this: she and her girls are the best at what they do!

Going to Regime for this was a no-brainer. First of all, the place is sleek. Ultra-modern look. Second of all, it’s the most relaxing thirty minutes I get every other week. Most importantly, they are about the community and getting behind good causes. They were all about me going blonde and helping us pull it off.

Elisabeth, my hair doctor for the past year, put in a good two-plus hours making this golden dome look good. They weren’t going to let me leave until they liked it. It was a process, one I never knew anything about. We got some good laughs in while doing this. It was a lot of fun!

Why am I writing about this? Because it is another step in building a program. You need to build relationships. After all this, I know Natalie and Regimen are LHS supporters! It is huge having people in your corner. They hooked me up. They helped me follow through on my end of the deal. That is outstanding community support!

The blonde look is a lot deeper when you break it down like this. It’s not about me or my hair. It’s about the school, the culture and creating a fun environment to be in!

A lot of people helped make this happen! I cannot thank them enough!

Closing II

Small Player Big Play

small player big play

No More Fumbles

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.