RICK IN HIS OWN WORDS
During the 42 years I have coached football at both the high school and college level, I have seen a lot of changes in the world and in my profession. I am no expert at modern technology, but I do enjoy and appreciate the amazing information available via the internet. At the urging of friends and family, I have decided to start a blog. I have to admit, I am not sure exactly how to start or if I have anything beneficial or worthwhile to say. Here is what I am going to do, I’ll talk about football, coaching football, leadership, and life lessons that I have learned over the years. I will also tell you stories about some of the great and not so great people I have met over the years. I also want to share with you some ideas about how to run a football program.
I was born in Denver City, Texas. My dad worked in the oilfield and mom was what we now call a “stay at home” mom. I am the oldest of four kids, three brothers and a sister. We were all born between 1955 and 1960. We moved around a lot during my younger days. We lived in Denver City, Hennepin Oklahoma(suburb of Davis), Lovington New Mexico, Andrews Texas, Duncan Oklahoma, and Ardmore Oklahoma. Dad had a variety of jobs. He was a farmer/rancher, drilling mud truck owner, car dealer, stock market/futures market player, insurance salesman, grocer, Mexican importer (not what you think), and receptionist at a brokerage in Shawnee, Oklahoma. It sounds a lot worse than it actually was. I just don’t think Dad liked working for anyone other than himself. I’m sure a child psychologist could have had a field day with us during that time, but it wasn’t ever a big deal. When you are kid, you don’t know if you have a problem unless someone tells you that you have a problem. We would be somewhere for six months to two years and Dad would come home and announce, “We’re moving!” As a kid, I guess we all thought that everyone was moving around just like we were. I ended up attending 7 schools during my 12 years of school.
When you are the “new kid”, you become close with your family and you learn how to meet people and adjust. I wouldn’t suggest that upbringing, but the four of us are somewhat successful and living “normal” lives. One brother is a former insurance salesman turned full-time gun dealer(who I might add, has a Guinness World Record silver goatee). My other brother is the big-time football coach in our family because he is a TEXAS high school football coach. He is the head coach at Johnny Manziel’s old high school.
He didn’t coach Johnny, but has had the opportunity to visit with him on a couple occasions. My sister is living the dream in Bonham, Texas. She is a grandmother now and enjoying spoiling the babies. I am way too young to be a grandfather, so I find it odd that my little sister is a “granny”. It might have something to do with the fact that she got married at 12, and I got married at 40.
When I was in the 3rd grade, my brother and I decided we were ready to play football. The age limit in Duncan, Oklahoma was 4th grade, but for some reason, one of the best coaches I ever had, Hamer Prestidge, decided to let my brother and me play for the Will Rogers Eagles. It is because of Hamer Prestidge and men like him that I am a football coach today. He was a great coach. He was full of passion, full of enthusiasm, and would not hesitate to yell and scream to get your attention. Even when he was chewing my tail, I knew deep down that he cared for me and wanted me to be my best. I believe that having Coach Prestidge as my first coach was one of the best good “breaks” in my life. We lived in Duncan for about 8 years and then moved 45 miles away to one of our rivals, Ardmore, Oklahoma. After graduating from Ardmore, I walked on at Harding College, in Searcy, Arkansas. I played 4 years of college football there and then began my coaching career.
My Coaching Career
I was an assistant coach at Del City, Oklahoma; Putnam City West in Oklahoma City, and Edmond High School. After being an assistant one year at Edmond, I got very lucky and was promoted to head coach. After 4 years there, I became the head coach at Tulsa Union High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Two years later, I got an opportunity to coach at what was then called Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. In Springfield, I met my future wife, almost got fired, and decided to go back to coaching high school football. We ended up at Broken Arrow High School, in Broken Arrow Oklahoma. My wife, Mona, wanted to find a smaller town to raise our family and we got lucky and got to coach football in Greenwood, Arkansas. After 16 years at Greenwood, I decided to accept the position of Senior Assistant to the Head Coach at the University of Missouri. I was interested in learning how things are done at the Division I level. Coach Drinkwitz, the head coach at Missouri, has been a friend of mine for several years, I am excited and honored to work for him and looking forward to learning new and different ways to coach the game I love.