By Chuck Licata, Managing Editor at TexasHSFootball.com
Or won’t he?
Forget about the fact Kent Walker has just secured his first-ever head football coach/athletic director’s position at Rogers High School in Central Texas.
Forget about the fact Walker was an assistant coach in Rogers in 2008 when his older brother, Jeff, was the head coach of the Eagles (Kent left Rogers after that year to become an assistant back at Round Rock High School – first under former coach Lannie Wilson, then new and current head coach Jeff Cheatham).
There’s just one question football fans in Central Texas – and in particular, at Rogers High School – want answered as soon as possible.
Will Kent Walker re-install the Slot-T offense at Rogers?
“That seems to be the first thing I’m asked ever since I took the position,” Walker said with a big chuckle over the phone Thursday afternoon.
You see, Kent’s brother Jeff is a highly-acclaimed Slot-T offense coach; the Slot-T is an old-school, run-oriented offense that’s a variance of the old T-formation from the early 1900s. Ironically, Kent is more of a “defensive” guy as he leaves his current position at Round Rock as the team’s co-defensive coordinator (along with Randy Franklin) to take the Rogers’ job.
Jeff Walker (who now teaches but doesn’t coach in the Liberty Hill ISD) was the offensive coordinator for Jerry Vance’s Liberty Hill Panthers when they steamrolled teams with the Slot-T offense (as well as a rock-solid defense) to win back-to-back Class 3A state championships in 2006-07.
Jeff Walker then became head coach at Rogers in July of 2008 and immediately installed the Slot-T offense. The results were effective: a 9-1 regular season plus a playoff appearance in the fall of 2008 and an overall record of 58-14 in Walker’s six years at the helm.
Darren Anderson took over in 2013 when Jeff Walker left. He put in the spread offense and went 13-11 in his two years with the Eagles, although they tumbled to a 1-9 record this past season.
Thus, the excitement about another Walker (Kent, who’s 37 years old) coming back to Rogers.
And the anticipation (or is it anxiety?) of whether the younger Walker will re-install the offense that produced 58 wins in six seasons for his older brother.
Finally, an answer: sort of.
“I’ve got to get to Rogers, sit down with coaches on that staff and see what fits the kids there the best,” Kent Walker explained, still laughing at the initial questions. “Right now I can’t say if we are or are not running the Slot-T. I’m going to talk to the coaches, then talk to the kids. We’re going to come together as a group and we’ll gather the information we need.”
Walker, for the record, has plenty of experience running both the Slot-T and spread offenses. He started as an assistant on Lannie Wilson’s Round Rock squads from 2005-07. He actually started as an offensive coach with the Dragons.
When Kent joined his brother Jeff at Rogers in 2008, he coached the offensive linemen as well as linebackers. After that year he came back to Round Rock with Wilson and was named offensive coordinator. But Walker then “found a home” when current RRHS head man Jeff Cheatham took over for Wilson a year later and tapped him to become a co-defensive coordinator.
That experience should help Walker when he works with both the offense and defense at Rogers.
Oh – Kent Walker did have a declaration to make about the Rogers offense when it takes the field this fall.
“No matter whether we go with the Slot-T offense or spread offense, you can count on one thing,” he stated. “We are going to run the football. Period. I made that well known when I addressed and was interviewed by the Rogers ISD school board.
“Now, that doesn’t mean we won’t throw the football, but we will base our offense on the run.”