New Plano West defensive coordinator Todd Moody has been around.
The next stop in his lengthy coaching career – he’s fond of telling those he works alongside that his gray hair didn’t come from a box – has brought him to the Wolves, where he’ll take over a defensive unit that gave up an average of more than 44 points a season ago.
His decision to leave his last gig at DeSoto was born not only out of a respect for Plano ISD and its football programs, but for the Wolves’ new head coach in former Hebron offensive coordinator Tyler Soukup.
“I knew that he had been with good people,” Moody said. “I thought that it would be a good fit for me and somewhere that I could work with good people. Coach Soukup’s doing a great job. … I used to coach against [Hebron head coach Brian Brazil] when I was at [Euless Trinity] and he was the defensive coordinator at Lewisville, so I just knew that they were program guys and good people.”
The veteran coach is also looking forward to helping Soukup and the rest of the West staff turn around a program that’s gone winless in its last 26 outings, admitting that the challenge of restoring a program to relevance is a welcome one.
“It is fun to come somewhere and start something and get something revived – to install a program and make a difference,” he said. “It is fun to see that change. When you change that, you see that you don’t only change just the kids. You change the atmosphere and the culture, and it rolls over in the school and it rolls over in the community. …
“When you can make high school football special – and you don’t have to be the greatest player to play high school football – that’s what I love about it. You take a kid that’s just a good high school football player, and you help them be a better person. You help them be a better competitor.”
On the field, Moody will have the Wolves work out of a base 4-3 defense with the ability to be multiple in the face of the shifting and athletic offenses of today’s prep game.
His core philosophy is a simple one – the Wolves will be solid fundamentally, fly around, get multiple people around the football and keep the game in front of them to a degree that forces the offense to either be patient and earn every inch or fail.
“We don’t want to give up the big play. We’re going to make you earn it,” Moody said. “You’re going to earn your way down, and most teams will make some mistakes along the way to stop themselves. … In my experience, a lot of the time, they get impatient. Offensive coordinators get impatient, and they want the big play. They want the crowd to cheer.
“They want that. When you don’t give them that, it can frustrate them.”
Off of the gridiron, Moody’s ideas regarding building a program strongly align with those held by his new head coach.
The most important aspect of the new regime’s initial transition, he said, is the building of relationships among those in the program and the formation of a tight-knit culture that will allow the Wolves to move forward as a family.
“I see their demeanor changing. … I learned a long time ago that people don’t do anything for strangers,” he said. “You have to get to know each other, and that’s what we’re developing here. We’re developing those relationships. We’re developing relationships with the kids, and we’re developing that sense of family that every successful program has – that you’re part of something special, and you’re part of our family.”
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