FROM THE BLEACHERS: Herald-Banner Column

Jack Welch has served as a high school and college football coach for 39 years. He holds a Doctorate in Education. He can be reached at

We all understand a dynamic coaching staff can turn around downtrodden programs. We also understand talent can overcome many ills in a program. Just exactly how much does having a supportive board of education and administration mean to a sports program?

It is exceedingly difficult to determine what different variables do for sport programs. One thing is for sure. Programs sustaining success for multiple years have a solid foundation. The foundation includes the community, the board of education and the administration expectations. The board and administration understand the expectations of the community.

Programs will have spikes in levels of success, but the lows will not be extremely low over a course of time if the community demands excellence. On the other hand, when a historically downtrodden program has a spike in success, when the variables associated with the spike are no longer available, the program will return to its roots because the leadership foundation have not changed and the community does not demand excellence. It is extremely hard to change the life blood of a community.

Let us examine some great football programs. First, when I say examine some great programs the names coming to the forefront in high school football include: Allen, Aledo, Lake Travis, DeSoto, Southlake, North Shore, Cedar Hill, Carthage, Duncanville, Euless, Guyer, Longview, Steele, Highland Park, Ryan, Mart and Skyline. There are many more. It is interesting to note two teams (Guyer and Ryan) are from Denton ISD.

Most of these programs have had coaching changes during the last decade, yet they continue to succeed at a high level. There might be a little drop from one year to the next, but it does not last long. The communities of these teams have high expectations for school success in sports, as well as academics, and have had for many years.

I would be interested to examine how each program performed during the years of each superintendent of schools. I would also be interested to examine the tools of the trade each head coach had during their tenure. Did these outstanding programs receive budget cuts or additions? Did the number of coaches for the team decrease or increase? Did the number of coaches available for the athletic period increase or decrease? Are the athletic facilities equal or below their opponents? How long did a superintendent remain employed while the programs were unsuccessful?

Several of the programs listed above have had head coaching changes. Successful coaches were hired as replacements. Each of these schools has excellent facilities for the level of competition they play against. Each of these communities has a history of excellence.

Thought for the week, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”  — Aldous Huxley

Dr. Jack Welch is a college football coach. He has a doctor degree in education and has been an administrator and football coach for 39 years. He can be reached at

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