Coaches spotlight: Larry Hurd Jr.


Larry Hurd Jr

For as long as many students can remember, WJ football hasn’t performed as well as expected, but the team has found success during the 2018 season. While students were once used to going to games and watching the Wildcats lose, the story this year has been a different one. New Coach Larry Hurd Jr. has found a way to completely turn around the negative stereotypes about the team. They already have more wins (four) than they had all of last year (two), with a current record of 4-4. This impressive stat has the WJ community wondering just what Hurd Jr. is doing to prompt such an immediate change.

Right from the start, Hurd Jr.has aimed to change the culture within the team.

“We are dedicated to being the best we can be daily,” he said. “We are building a family first, team approach to our program that all of our players are buying into. We come to work everyday with a positive attitude and a belief that we can win.”

This mentality has brought a new sense of motivation to the team which can be seen through their practice habits and game play on Friday nights. Players credit Hurd Jr. with this incredible turnaround season, but the coach has taken a humble approach to his team’s success, crediting the players rather than himself.

With all the new changes there have been many reasons for the Wildcats’ success.

“[The players] belief and desire to be the best they can be everyday. The fact that they want to be coached and want to be good. This team doubled their wins from last year already with three games remaining. They are not content. Our goal is to be 1-0 every week and to be 1% better every day,” Hurd Jr. said.

Hurd Jr.’s constant support and belief in his players has ignited them to play better. However, he has done more than just instill a new mentality to the football team. He and his players have put in countless hours to prepare for their opponent. Hurd Jr.’s work ethic is another reason for the team’s turnaround.

“People have no idea the amount of time that a football coach spends game planning and preparing for practice.  Probably 30-40 hours a week on top of our other full time job goes into football planning,” he said.

Despite having the job for only a couple months, Hurd Jr. has left a very positive and lasting impact on his players.

“He brought an intense mindset to our team. Forcing the best out of us. Personally, he forced the best out of me so that I can be the best that I can be as a player, teammate and leader,” senior captain Rodrigo Pardo said.

Ultimately, hiring Coach Hurd Jr. has been a major success for the WJ football team. Not only has he implemented a new way of going about the sport, but he and his players’ hard work and determination to change the narrative surrounding WJ has resulted in the first hopeful season in a while.