After going 1-9 last season, the Bullard Panthers hired former Southlake Carroll defensive coordinator Shannon Wilson to be their new head coach. Wilson joined me on SportsRadio Live to talk about getting his new program on track.
Reid: How’s practice been for you so far?
Shannon: You know what, the attitudes are great. There’s been some warm weather and the kids are working hard, they’ve come a long ways. As far as the work ethic, we obviously have a lot of room for improvement, but that’s the foundation. I’m pleased with that.
Reid: Bullard went 1-9 last year, you come in to try and change that. As a first year coach, what’s the first thing you needed to establish with your team?
Shannon: We’ve got to have a team-first, hard work mentality. We really focus on the things we can control. We don’t control how tall we are or how fast we are, but we can work hard and play as a team. That’s the first thing we started with. Playing as a team, getting excited, having fun, building a hard work ethic. That’s where we start.
Reid: Defense last year was a problem for the Panthers, they were giving up almost fifty points a game. You were the defensive coordinator at Southlake Carroll, how do you change that in Bullard?
Shannon: Continuity is one thing. We have a new scheme, and we have a lot of new players on both sides of the ball. You get some inexperience and a new scheme, so we have to be continual in our process. Playing defense is a lot of playing sound, getting lined up, playing extremely hard and physical. They’re starting to understand that. Right now on both sides of the ball we’re focusing on playing hard and playing tough.
Reid: Five team district, you’re in there with Athens, Chapel Hill, Brownsboro, and Rusk. Does a small district help you as a first-year coach, since it gives you a couple of extra non-district weeks?
Shannon: I try to look at everything positive, I think it does. It gives us a little more time to get some of these guys some experience. Hopefully that pays off when we get into district. We were in a six-team district last year at my last school. Every game is a big game. I think this alignment gives us a few extra games to get ready.
Reid: After spending your career in Irving and at Southlake, how’s East Texas for you so far?
Shannon: You know, I love it. I grew up in West Texas, and I’ve been in the Metroplex for a while. I just felt like I was back home. However, there’s a few more trees here.
Reid: And they’re a little taller than you’re used to.
Shannon: Yeah, a little taller. But I love it here, the people are very supportive, great community, great school district, we’ve just got work to do.
For the full interview, click here.
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