After two seasons as the defensive coordinator and then the last three as the offensive coordinator of the Liberty football team, Matt Swinnea was officially promoted June 25 to become the Redhawks’ next head coach.
Swinnea has his hands full inheriting a Liberty squad that failed to win a game a year ago but is poised for a bit of a turnaround in 2019.
The Frisco Enterprise caught up with Swinnea this week on his new position, the upcoming season and much more.
How excited are you to get the ball rolling as the new head coach of this program?
Swinnea:I’m very excited. We obviously didn’t have a great season last year, but I thought we had a really good offseason. We were able to accomplish what we wanted to in spring ball and went into the summer saying we needed to win the summer. We’re ready to get going.
After the Redhawks went winless a year ago, what strides have you seen from this team during the offseason that suggest matters might be different this fall?
Swinnea:We focused on a couple of things: accountability and competitiveness. We tried to instill that into the guys and they ran with it. We competed in everything this spring, whether it was in the classroom with each other or on the field. Whatever it was we could find to compete in, we competed in it.
Just how good is District 5-5A Division I with the likes of Lone Star, The Colony and Little Elm, just to name a few?
Swinnea:I’d really rather be in a different one.
Top to bottom, there are just some amazing and talented schools and the competitiveness is strong. It’s tough to go against all of those guys.
How difficult will it be to replace Mitchell Miller and who is line to take over under center?
Swinnea:Mitchell was such a great player, leader and overall person. He was so intelligent, so I took advantage of that as an offensive coordinator and I poured a lot on his plate. We don’t really think we have just one guy who can do that this year and it might be a quarterback by committee.
We had a good battle between sophomore Cade McGarrh and junior Will Glatch, who will both have a chance there.
Which players offensively and defensively are expected to make huge impacts this season?
Swinnea: Offensively, we return a kid that we think is a big-time threat at wide receiver in Keavon Wright and another receiver that came on strong last year in Connor Hulstein.
Up front, we have Corbin Ridlehuber coming back to start for his third straight season. He’ll be a big piece for us as he anchors that front up there.
Defensively, we have a great player up front at defensive end in Prince Ugoh. He is a real talent up front, and Will Glatch will try and do the amazing inside linebacker and quarterback combo. He’s just a football player. We’ll be playing a lot of young kids, but those are some guys that will definitely stand out for us this season.