Kris White, the new head football coach at Moore County High School, sat down with The News to talk a little about his coaching philosophy as his first season as a head coach looms ahead.
Q: Why did you pick Moore County to be your first head coaching position?
A: We lived here for seven years from 2003 to late 2009 going into the 2010 season. The year that I coached here (as an assistant) you got a sense and a feel about how the community loved football. Win or lose, you’re going to hear it, but here is one place that if you work the kids hard here and are fair to them and you’re making them become young men, you know, if you get beat on Friday night the people here respect the fact that you’re working those kids. Now, it is about wins and losses, I get that, but as long as you’re working the kids, coaching them hard and you’re fair to them, people respect that. When it came open, even after having been gone, this is the one place I’ve always looked back to where the people really appreciate someone working their kids hard.
Q: Are you more of a defensive coach than an offensive coach?
A: Yes, sir, that’s pretty much all I’ve ever coached is defense.
Q: Will you coordinate the defense?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Who will coordinate the offense?
A: Right now, it’s T.J. Christian, and Manny (Buchanan) is kind of his right hand man on that. T.J. is probably going to be a lot more involved in the running game stuff and Manny has got some history in the passing game, and they’re really meshing well together.
Q: What’s your offensive philosophy?
A: Over the years, with all the programs I’ve been … at Riverdale, Coach (Gary) Rankin was an “I.” It was pound the ball, keep the defense off the field. Now, we scored a lot of points because we had athletes. The Coach (Ron) Aydelott came in and it was Wing-T and we ran the ball. We were the same way at Oakland, we were going to pound it, try to keep the defense off the field. Being at (Knoxville) Catholic the last five years with Steve Matthews, he’s a spread guy, he’s trying to get as many plays possible. I like the spread, as long as you still have true run game concepts where if you can get in there and knock people off the ball –then, that’s what I want to do. But the way football is, what it’s turned into, the 1-yard hitch is a run play now .… I’m a run-first type of guy, but I get it. You got to be conditioned for what you have, too.
Q: What’s your defensive philosophy?
A: I’ve always been more of a 4-man front guy. I believe in that. The last two years and even my last couple of years at Oakland, we started jumping around from a 4-3 to a 3-4, getting into some stack schemes. As long as it’s simple for the kids, multiple fronts, I like it ’cause it gives offenses trouble, ’cause they can’t prepare for three different fronts in a week. To our kids, to be in our 4-3 and jump into our 3-4 means nothing different to the D-line except for one person. A 4-3 will be our base.
Q: What do you hope will be your calling card for your Moore County Raiders? What do you hope people will take away after watching your team play on Friday night?
A: The No. 1 thing would be how hard we play, because those are things we can control, that the players can control on their own. No. 2, I want them to say we looked organized and well-coached. And me being a defensive guy, I walk them to walk away saying they get after it on defense. There again, that’s a “want to” by the kids and the coaches preaching it in practice.
Q: How will you measure success this first season?
A: Wins are a huge deal. How I’ve always measured success being on different teams, I want to be better Week 10 than we were in Week 1. I’ve coached teams where in those first three weeks, four weeks we were gangbusters and unreal and by Week 10 and ion the playoffs we weren’t even close to the same team. For me, are we getting better each week and are we building. To me that keeps the kids’ motivation level high versus going backwards and regressing.