Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Coach Pat Murphy

Posted by admin March - 7 - 2011 - Monday

I am amazed at how helpful coaches are. I have met/interacted with quite a few around the country in the last couple of years. I missed this when I coached high school a few years back. I’m sure that others probably felt the same way about me but we had little fellowship among the coaches in my area. We viewed each other, I’m afraid, as the enemy and wanted to have little to do with each other— for fear that the other guy would get an edge. Retiring solved that problem. I have really enjoyed helping others and talking football (and the Lord!) with many of you reading this right now! I would encourage you to “reach out” to the coaches in your league. If you do not have a coach’s association, look to start one. Get involved in it. Get to know these guys. As I said, some of the best people I’ve met since I retired are other HS coaches. I want to mention one of them to you here.

His name is Pat Murphy and he is the HC at Capital HS in Helena, MT. Pat runs a shotgun version of my beloved Wing T offense. He has spent countless hours tutoring me through email on its nuances. We both spoke at the National Wing T Coaches Clinic in Pittsburgh so I had the chance to meet him in person and shake his hand. Great coach and great guy!

Pat has just gone online with his own website. It is If you are looking for a unique way to run your Wing T offense, Pat’s got one for you. I am pleased to recommend this website to my readers. If you are a Wing T guy, you need to check it out.

Since I am talking up coaches, let me thank a couple of other guys who’ve been very helpful to me. They are great resources and would be glad to help you with any questions you might have concerning their offense. The first is Cecil Phillips at Amherst County HS in Amherst, VA. Cecil and I became friends when he started up a program here in our area. He moved to Amherst (which is up at the other end of the state) 3-4 years ago to take over a traditionally succesful program. He called on me for some advice and our friendship just grew. His offense is the double Slot/double SE Wing T— with Jet Sweep being his signature play. This past fall he went to a Spinner version of this double slot out of the shotgun and fell in love with it. He would love to talk Jet and Spinner with you.

Another guy who’s been tremendously patient with me is Rick Darlington down at Apopka HS outside of Orlando, FL. I saw Apopka on ESPN in August and was wowed by his Single Wing offense! We contacted each other and, once again, here’s a coach who goes out of his way to help you with this Single Wing attack.

One more guy is Rich Hargitt. He’s outside of Charlotte, NC. Rich’s area of expertise is the Double Wing offense. He and I are actually collaborating on a new book: 101 Shotgun Wing T Plays which Coaches Choice has agreed to publish. He is a storehouse of knowledge… and again very willing to talk football any time you want to.

Finally, I want to mention Danny Dodson. Danny is my friend and a Brother-in-Christ. He is the HC at Woodside HS in Newport News, Va. I kinda helped Danny get started with his Wing T offense and he’s gone waaaaaaaaaaay past me with what he is doing with it now— again, a lot of stuff from the shotgun/Wildcat look. Danny plays in the same district as Phoebus and Hampton HS. If you know anything about Virginia football, you know about these 2 perennial state championship programs. Danny has earned the reputation of making that district a “3 team race” and not just 2 anymore… running his version of the Wing T. He will be speaking at the Wings ‘n Things clinic in Lynchburg, Va in a couple of weeks.

OK… there are more! I will mention some others at a future date. My point is, there are plenty of coaches out there willing to help you if you just ask. If you get the chance to visit a college’s coaches clinic… go for it! However, I have found over the years that it’s tough to use a lot of the stuff that colleges use. I would encourage you to find a HS staff near you that your staff can travel toand meet with. Most HS coaches are flattered that you would ask to spend some time with them. A nominal fee to compensate him for his time makes it worthwhile for everybody. I always used to take my staff to meet with and “clinic” with a successful HS staff in our state. I gained a LOT more from talking with them than I did from a college staff. Talking to another HS coach affords you the opportunity to find out how he does things. He’s dealing with the same situations as you are. A “kindred spirit,” if you would.

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