Damon Coiro was named the new head football coach at Grimsley High School on Tuesday.
Coach Coiro will face many challenges as the new head man for the Whirlies and the challenges are no different, than what anybody else who took over would have faced and since Coach Coiro has been at Grimsley, over the past year as an assistant football coach and as the head wrestling coach, why not him?????
He knows the personel, he knows the landscape and he knows what lies in front of him, in the very tough Metro 4-A Conference, with Dudley, Page, Western Guilford, Smith and Southeast Guilford, being the potential favorites…..
Dudley will be solid, Page has a great returning QB and two highly regarded RB’s to go with him, Western Guilford has an offensive line, that would make any high school coach smile, Smith is the team on the rise, with almost the entire starting team returning from last season and SEG will always be there for the battle with Coach Fritz Hesenthaler….
This will be a challenge, but Coiro has roots that can be traced back to The Citadel and if you have been there, then you can deal with the heat and the emotion, that are associated with disciplined football…
Coach Coiro will have to work quickly to stabilize the program and then work at a steady pace, to put all the pieces of the puzzle in place. I don’t think you can put the pieces of the puzzle back in place, since the puzzle pieces have not fit in the past three years….
Coach Coiro has shown he has the energy level, while coaching the Whirlies’ wrestling team and he will have to be able to maintain that level of energy, now that the football program is under his stead and watchful eye….One of the keys is you have to live there, live at the school from August 1, until the playoffs are over and that is a must, no matter if your team is Numero Uno, or the team that has to catch up….Day-in, day- out, you have to maintain a dwelling so to speak, at the school and you have to want to be there, so positive energy and signs of improvement, will be drivers that make that stay, worthwhile…..You have to want to be there and if the team is slumping, or if the classroom is spinning out of control, you still have to want to be there and the football field becomes your refuge and your solace in a time of need…
Coach Coiro played at Greensboro Collge, so he knows about the community and he will have to embrace the Whirlie Community and they will have to constantly embrace him, even when the chips are down and the darkness sets in at the end of October….
Football is a game and a lifestyle of seasons and you have to be a man of all seasons to love it and live it….
Summertime, when you are doing the off-season workouts and drills, August 1, which in the world of high school football, is the most sacared day of the year and the first-ever August 1, for a first-year coach, or a first-year player, is the most important day of their life….If you were around the game, each year on August 1, you stop and reflect on that first day of real practice each year and wonder was it worth it all, and could you have been doing something different….
Chances are, you will tell yourself that you gave it all and that you were used up, by the time you hit the lockerroom, on August 1 each year….
The first regular season game each year also stands for a moment in time and when you are a senior, this is biggset game of your career…..Have you arrived, can you compete with the best, do you have your position and your assignments down????? Will you be able to break through that paper banner, that they have you run through, before the first home game and others…
Later on, you have the first conference game, the Homecoming, the Conference title game, if it all comes down to that and then the last game of the regular season, or that last playoff game that we spoke of earlier…..
This is your life and Coach Coiro has given his life, to this calling and so have many other coaches in our area…..
“Am I good enough”, many coaches will ask??????
You are only as good as the horse that brung you and in layman’s terms, that means you have to have some horses, to be successful…..
Does Grimsley have the horses? If not, they better find some….They used to have them, and at that time the problem was, how do we use them?????
Jim Grobe has made a winner out of Wake Forest….Steve Spurrier had Duke in a bowl game….Dick Kemp made a winner out of Southeast Guilford, back when the Falcons used to trip over the 50-yard line, Tommy Norwood turned SEG into winners again, but it took him a few years and a long losing streak of at least a year and a-half, but he did it….When Tommy Pursley came to Northeast Guilford, they hadn’t made the playoffs in around 10 years and he has placed the Rams in the playoffs now, for something like 15 straight years….Page was way down until Coach Gillespie came in and righted the Pirates’ ship, just look at the Smith Golden Eagles, as your most recent example. They had lost something like 30 games in a-row, ’till Coach Rodney Brewinton started working his magic and got them back in the winner’s circle and into the playoffs last season….
Grimsley won three games last season and they went (3-3) in the conference and Coach Coiro was right in the middle of it…..
Grimsley will need to find some skilled athletes and how they position their coachnig staff will be crucial….
Not to dig up old days from the past too much, but when Coach Shuping was at Grimsley and they had success(Made it to the State Championship game in Raleigh), the thing that Coach Shuping had going, was he could let his assistant coaches lead the practice and he could walk around throughout the practice session and check on everybody…..He could let those assistants coach and he could be the head coach.
Not sure if that philosophy will work your very first year, but it would be nice to reach that level…..These days, it is hard to keep your assitants together, as a coaching staff, for any length of time….That old Page Pirate staff with Coach Kirby speaks volumes and Coach Kemp had the same deal working in Jamestown for many moons, just like Coach Norwood does now, with the Ragsdale Tigers and Coach Pursley has done it the same way at NEG, Coach Davis at Dudley, with Coach Mac and his staff, speaks continuity and Coach Gillespie at Page has been working with the same system and coaches since he took over….
Coach Coiro has grabbed the reins and he needs some horses and some cowboys to help him round up the troops….Those horses would be the players and the cowboys, the coaches…..
I am not the football master, but even Ronald McDonald knows you have to cut down on the turnovers…..(Maybe for Ronnie Mac, it is sell more turnovers and ice cream cones…)
The big picture says and it is easy to see, “you have to cut down on the turnovers”….Coaching turnover, Player turnonver, Football turnover….You have to keep the same coaches on a regular basis for a certain timeframe, your players have to stay in the program for four years, or you don’t even have a program and come Friday night, you can’t give the ball away…..The team with fewest turnovers will win….Coaches, players and footballs….The winning coaches have told us this for many years….
The job can be done and the mission accomplished, but it will take 16-plus hours a day to make this happen,(with players that are committed), but I think Coach Coiro was aware of that before he jumped in this whirlwind, called the Grimsley Whirlies…..