WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Monday night, the Wichita Falls ISD board approved Grant Freeman as the 22nd head coach in Wichita Falls High School football history.
Freeman had served as the Coyotes' offensive coordinator this past season and takes over for the man who hired him, Paul Sharr, who resigned last month after 1 season as head coach.
"Obviously you have to be excited for [such] a great opportunity," Freeman said Monday after the board meeting.
The Coyotes are coming off back-to-back 1-9 seasons, and Freeman said change starts with looking inward.
"I'm very process-driven, not product-driven," Freeman said. "I think that's one of the things that's going to be important here, is we've got to focus on us, and focus about how we do things. Why we do things; what we're doing."
Even with the late change in the school year, Freeman says he'll definitely hold spring football practices, starting within the next few weeks.
"I will always substitute 17 practices for a week," he said. "It is so advantageous to your program. It's so advantageous to your kids, and it gives them a kick-start into summer. And you really get that extra week of rest going in, so that you're not just wiped out at the end of the season."
The Coyotes will only get 4 home games this year, with one of them being the rivalry game against Rider which doesn't always feel like a true 'home game.' Also, they'll open with a tough one against 4A Division II state finalist Sweetwater, a team with which Freeman is very familiar.
"Being a West Texas guy, that's a big deal for me," he said. "Especially also coming from Brownwood, where I've been the last few years. Sweetwater-Brownwood, those things really ring true around football. Well so does Old High. And we're going to do that, we're going to get Wichita Falls High back to that level."
Old High soccer has gotten to that level recently, with their first-ever trip to State, and Coach Freeman is eager to spread that buzz of success that the football Coyotes haven't felt since the first 2 years under Danny Russell.
"You saw how much [the soccer run] lit up this school," he said. "You saw how much it lit up this community. It's now our job to carry on with that, and to take that and to build it into everything that we're doing."
Freeman, a San Angelo native who graduated from Angelo State University, previously was the head basketball coach at Brownwood and Comanche. At Brownwood he was also the offensive coordinator of the football team.