After Further Review: Cole Young 8/19

Cole Young

By Cole Young PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: August 19, 2014 - 12:17 PM

There’s an analogy from college that I recall nearly every time I hear of a longtime assistant coach moving to the role of head coach.

My professor, who was also a retired baseball coach, compared it to moving from the co-pilot’s seat over to the pilot’s chair.

Sure, you could land the plane (or coach the game) if you had to from the co-pilot’s seat, but as the pilot the responsibility is all yours now.

In the southern part of the metro, two new head coaches have experienced a good deal of success as coordinators at their schools. 

Brent Maxwell takes over the head coaching position at Harrisonville after serving as the offensive coordinator while Matt Cochran is the new head coach at Adrian after serving as the defensive coordinator for more than a decade.

And while they can look to their predecessors and mentors for plenty of guidance, both have made it a point to put their own stamps on the programs they are now responsible for.

“That’s one thing you probably worry about the most,” Maxwell said. “Will the guys think we will continue to do the same thing as in the past? We made some minor adjustments just to make the program ours, and the guys have really jumped on board from day one.”

To say new coaches don’t face the “well, we’ve always done it this way” crowd would be a lie.

“Sometimes when you change something that they’ve been doing for 25 or 30 years, it can be hard to do,” Cochran said. “Parents and kids sometimes don’t understand initially, but you have to stick to your guns and they’ll come around. For us, everyone has adapted really well.”

While putting his twist on the program is one thing, but there’s a moment when it hits you that no matter what you’ve done to make the program your own, it’s really yours.

For Cochran, that happened quickly.

“I think it was kind of that first meeting I had with the kids,” he said. “You are looking out at them and they are looking right back and you listening to what you have to say. It’s was kind of like ‘All right, this is it, it’s on me now.’”

Maxwell is not so sure there has been that “aha” moment yet.

“We’ve been trying to get as much done as we possibly can,” Maxwell said. “We changed our offensive scheme and did a few other things. You try to focus more on those things.”

But as the Wildcats approach their season opener this week against St. Joseph Benton, that moment will likely come for Maxwell.

“As we get closer to Friday night, it will start to set in a little bit,” he said.