Starting a Football Program from Scratch in Krum, Texas

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Photos via Gary Robinson, Krum ISD

 

In 2006, a bond election was held to build a new football stadium/ field house in Krum, but was narrowly defeated. In 2007, the stadium/field house was placed on the ballot again and passed. Thus, the search for someone to build the Krum football program began. It’s very rare in the state of Texas to run across a town that has never had a high school football team. This was the case in Krum, Texas in 2007.

Krum has historically been a basketball powerhouse winning five state championships (1971, 1978, 1994, 1996, and 1998). In the early nineties, as a student at the University of North Texas in Denton, I started hearing about Krum ISD just five miles up I-35. I was working on my undergraduate degree and planning to become a coach; I often thought it would be a great opportunity to start a football program. Little did I know that after spending twelve years at Coppell High School as an assistant, and one year at Poteet ISD as an Athletic Director /Head Football Coach that opportunity would become a reality; along with the unique challenges that come with starting a football program from scratch.

The Plan

Photo via Gary Robinson, Krum ISD

2008

After being hired in March of 2008, the first order of business was to come up with a plan for the next five years. After meeting with the school board and superintendent, we decided that we would start the program at the middle school level fielding a seventh and eighth grade team. When the decision was final to start at the middle school level, a list of equipment was put together that would need to be ordered to start a middle school football program. In Krum, Texas there was nothing that resembled a piece of football equipment, so everything had to be ordered.

All equipment; such as helmets, shoulder pads, uniforms, sleds, dummies, tees, footballs, etc. needed to be ordered and shipped to Krum before August. All of this had to be done staying within the confines of the budget.

After the decision was made to start with middle school football, a plan was devised to play UIL district football in August of 2012. This plan consisted of the coaching staff needed, the equipment to be ordered, and also the strategy for introducing football to the kids. The coaching staff consisted of a total of two assistant coaches and the head football coach for a total of three coaches. The first part of the plan was to add one grade per year with the eighth grade players leading the way up to their graduation.

Two new coaches would be hired each year that a new football grade was added with the intent to have 12 coaches on staff for the 2012 inaugural UIL season. Also in 2008, the first playbook was written along with the implementation of the offense, defense, and special teams to the middle school players. The first season consisted of 23 seventh grade players and 28 eighth grade players.

2009

In 2009, a freshman team was added to the already existing middle school program along with two new coaches for a total of five coaches on staff. All five coaches would coach the three teams. A middle school coordinator was also named at this time. In addition, a boys powerlifting program was started to coincide with the offseason strength and conditioning program. In 2009, Krum competed in five varsity powerlifting meets with all freshmen.

2010

Krum would field a middle school program, a freshman team, and a JV team. Two new coaches were hired totaling seven including a defensive coordinator and offensive coordinator, along with hiring the first athletic trainer for Krum ISD. In addition, the JV team would also start playing varsity football games. With the JV team that season, they played six varsity games and four JV games. Varsity record was 4 and 2 with a total record of 8 and 2. The JV beat varsity teams Ranger, Dallas A Plus, Gainesville State, and 2a Alba Golden in double overtime. The losses were to Frost and Blue Ridge that year.

2011

In 2011, one year from UIL district play, Krum had a middle school program, along with three high school teams. The teams would play a freshman, junior varsity, and a varsity football schedule with freshman, sophomores, and juniors. The outlaw schedule of 2011, the first year of varsity football, ended with a 6 and 4 record. Two new coaches were hired with a total of nine. This year Krum would also start a girls powerlifting team.

2012

The first year of UIL district play, Krum was placed unexpectedly into a higher 3A division, by nine students (the program was built for a 2A). The district consisted of five 3A teams including Krum. The pre-season consisted of four 2A teams and two 3A teams. Three new coaches were hired for a total of 12. Krum fielded a middle school program, a freshman team, a junior varsity team, and a varsity team.

Finally, all grades would be participating in football.

First Times

Photo via Gary Robinson, Krum ISD

When starting a football program there are many first time accomplishments. On September 11, 2008 the Bobcats won their first football game in Krum ISD history by winning two middle school football games against Celina. The new football tradition had begun. I will never forget the huge crowd we had at the game. It was the biggest crowd I have ever seen at a middle school football game. A lot of people from Krum wanted to say they were there when it started.

On August 27, 2009 the freshman team won the first ever high school football game. We had a big crowd that day and the local newspaper came out and did a huge front page article on the game.

On September 10, 2010 we won our first varsity football game. This was actually the second varsity game we played in but the first varsity game at home on our new turf. This was a very exciting game for me because we proved that we could play varsity football.

On October 12, 2012 we played in and won our first UIL district football game. At the time of this win we were 6 and 0 and in the middle of the most exciting season that I have been a part of. On November 15, 2012 the Krum Bobcats played in their first playoff game. For the seniors that season, it was ironic that they started the program as eighth graders playing against Celina, and ended their very successful career in the playoffs against Celina.

Unique And Unforeseen Challenges

When starting something as big as a football program in a town that has never had it, it is inevitable that there would be unique and unforeseen challenges. One of the more obvious challenges was the funding, such as continued new uniforms as the program grew, equipment for the weight room, medical supplies, band equipment, etc. Some of the not so obvious was the lack of administration and faculty knowledge of football. The lack of knowledge on how to plan a pep rally, what the cheerleaders were supposed to do on the sidelines, starting a marching band, not having a fight song, having a football homecoming, a booster club with only three members, cost of transportation and not having enough busses, lack of knowledge of strength and conditioning, etc.

Some of these challenges still exist; building a successful program takes a lot longer than making it to varsity football games. One of the hardest things to do was sell the football program to the kids, community, existing athletic coaching staff, and administration. If I could get the community to buy into me and football coming to Krum, half of the battle would be won. Before the first middle school season started, I got all the moms together and had a football 101 class. We used a pink football and had the moms actually run plays. We had a lot of fun and made it a learning experience. I felt like the moms walked away from the experience having a more positive attitude towards football.

The Pee Wee football program was about to start its second season so I got all of the volunteer coaches together to go over my philosophy and playbook. One of my goals was to have all of the pee wee teams use the same terminology as we do in the school program and I wanted them to understand that we are one big team working together to develop a championship football program.

Every summer, I have a camp for the little kids in the community just like most football programs do. I usually average about 120 kids each summer, when I get a registration form in, I send a thank you note along with a Krum Football window sticker. I’ve got more compliments about the thank you notes than anything else I have done and it didn’t take very long to see Krum football stickers on cars all over Krum. In addition, I’ve also put together a presentation of my five year plan that I presented to the Lions Club. In Krum, the Lions Club has a lot of members so I had a big crowd to sell the program to. When we started our second season of football in Krum we had freshman football players so we were eligible to have two a days.

The first day that the UIL would allow us to practice, I scheduled us to start at midnight. I wanted to send the message to the kids that we are very serious about football in Krum and we are going to start practice the very minute that the UIL allows us to. At the same time I had the booster club make it a big party for the community. The booster club would start all of their activities at 9:00pm about three hours before practice. The community came out to enjoy the band, cheerleaders, tailgating, bounce houses, dunking booths, shopping, face painting, fellowship, etc. At midnight they would form a huge spirit line for the players to run through to start warm up. This started a new tradition that we have done every year since 2009.

What Football Brought To Krum

Photo via Gary Robinson, Krum ISD

Before I started a football program in Krum I didn’t realize the full extent of what it actually brings to a school and community. Looking back on the experience here are some of the obvious positive additions:

  • In 2012 we have 170 football players. (In 2007 there were no football players; in 2008 westarted with 51 football players.)
  • A new Krum Sports Medicine program with 12 student trainers.
  • In 2012 we took 45 kids to the district track meet. (In 2008 there were only 6 boys that ran track.)
  • In 2012 there are 85 kids that march on Friday night and compete in UIL competition with 20 Flag Corp members. (In 2008, there was no marching band or flag corp.)
  • In 2012 there are 28 cheerleaders and two mascots. (2008 there were 8 cheerleaders that cheered for basketball only.)
  • In 2012 there were 25 boys and 12 girls that participated in Powerlifting. Eighteen boys have competed at regionals, 8 girls have competed at regionals, and 2 girls have competed at state. (Prior to 2008, there was no Powerlifting team in Krum.)
  • In 2008, the first offseason strength and conditioning and summer program was started
  • In 2012 there were 8 officers and 35 members of the booster club. (In 2008 there were only three booster club members.)
  • In 2009, a new stadium, field house, and weight room were built.
  • Pep Rallies (school spirit).
  • In 2008 the first fight song was written (I had the opportunity to write some of it).

With so many more kids participating in extracurricular activities school spirit has gone up, grades are better, community involvement has increased, and less discipline problems.

First UIL Season

Photo via Gary Robinson, Krum ISD

Before the first UIL eligible district season began for the Krum Bobcat football team, they had already played in 16 varsity football games as a team. A lot of people thought that since this was the first UIL season that they didn’t have much experience, but in reality they knew what Friday night football was all about. While building the program they played teams in varsity games like Frost, Ranger, Blue Ridge, Alba-Golden, Sunnyvale SPC Arlington Oakridge, and Burleson Centennial. They played in seven homecoming games and won four of them. At the start of the first UIL season, they had lots of experience and were ready. The first season ended up being better than anyone expected. We were 9 and 0 and played for the district championship in our last regular season game. Even though we got beat on the last play of the game and finished regular season 9 and 1, we had exceeded everyone’s expectations. Two weeks later we got beat in the first playoff game ever in Krum football history. It was a season no one will forget.

In 2013 we finished the season with the boys that started the program as 7th graders. At the end of their high school career they played in 37 varsity games with a winning record of 22 and 15, and played two years of UIL district play and made the playoffs both seasons. I am very proud of the boys that started the program as 7th and 8th graders in 2008 and finished as seniors. Those boys stayed and built something great in Krum, Texas that will go on forever. In years to come they will watch the Bobcats play from the bleachers and they will always be able to look down and say that those boys have the opportunity to play football in Krum because of what we accomplished from 2008 to 2012. We have a sign that hangs in the field house that reads, “For Those Who Stay Will Be Champions”. They finished the job in fine fashion, and champions they are.

 

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2 thoughts on “Starting a Football Program from Scratch in Krum, Texas”

  1. I’m so thankful that I saw this article because I had no ideal everything you have done for KISD and the city of Krum, TX. We are so blessed to have you and your family in Krum. Thank you for your hard work and dedication.

    1. Amazing to learn of the people in our communities that devote their lives to impact our children. Thank you for taking the time to let Coach Robinson know how you feel.

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