For the second time in three years, the men’s varsity football team will have to adjust to a new head coach. As Kevin Anderson recently was offered a job as head coach of Menlo College, former James Logan assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Scott Coats will be the man taking over.
“My goal is to establish a perennial, year-in-year-out championship level football program,” Coats said. “To do that, the first thing we are going to do is work real hard to get the guys bigger, faster, and stronger.”
In addition to strength and conditioning programs that will occur over spring, the football team will also travel to a team camp at some point during the summer.
“We want to build important bonds and camaraderie, so that they can grow both as players and as young men,” Coats said. “With that, the wins come.”
Coats’s offensive scheme will be based around the pistol formation, popularized by the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) football team. Colin Kaepernick, a UNR alumni and current San Francisco 49ers quarterback is one famous local that can often be seen running the pistol.
“When I was at James Logan, we adopted the pistol four years ago, learning it from the Nevada coaching staff,” Coats said. “It is a very multidimensional offensive attack, but it is not a total night-and-day change from what Piedmont has run the past couple of years.”
Under Coats, the Highlanders will also feature an entirely new coaching staff. Introducing some of his new coaching staff at the first football meeting on February 13, both returning and new varsity players were curious, yet optimistic about the new hires.
“We all will have to adjust to the coaching changes,” quarterback junior Spencer Kim said. “You have to deal with the cards you’re dealt, but I have faith that these new coaches understand the game and are willing to help us do as well as we possibly can.”
After losing to Fort Bragg in the first round of NCS last year, the team still looks to accomplish their renowned motto “Pass The First,” in reference to the first round of sectional playoffs. Time will tell whether the Highlanders will succeed in conquering that goal, yet Coats remains confident.
“I believe, that with this staff and with the enthusiasm of the players who I have met so far, that all those things are accomplishable,” Coats said.
Growing up in San Leandro, Coats played free safety and wide receiver for San Leandro High School, thereafter graduating and attending UC Davis, majoring in political science.
Coats has an extensive coaching history, spanning all the way from the East Bay to the Washington D.C. area, and including sports other than just football. While a senior at UC Davis, he began as an assistant coach at Davis High School, then spent two years at San Leandro High School after. At San Leandro, he not only coached girls’ soccer, but also was the activities director and a social studies teacher. From there, he moved to Washington, D.C. to further pursuit his teaching career. While living on the East Coast, Coats taught and coached at Dominion High School, J.E.B. Stuart High School, and W.T. Woodson High School in northern Virginia. After five years back east, he moved back to California, where he coached at James Logan in Union City.
Coats attributes much of his love for football and his motivation to coach to his old defensive coordinator from high school.
“He pushed me, but also had a lot of faith in me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the experience that I had with him,” Coats said.
Prior to games, Coats does have certain rituals that help him prepare. During team meals at James Logan, it was a necessity for him to be behind certain people in line and hand one fork and one plate, but no napkin, to the person standing behind him.
“I’m kind of superstitious, I find things that work and I tend to do them week-in, week-out,” Coats said. “They’re going to certainly change with the new program, though.”
While he does not have a particular set of music that he listens to now, he would frequently listen to heavy metal rock back Metallica to pump himself up before games.
“Even though [Metallica] amped me up in high school, I won’t be the one controlling the music in the team room during weights or before game time,” Coats said. “I’ll leave it up to them.”
Above all, Coats main goal in to build a team that is based on character, hard work, and mastery of the fundamentals,” Coats said. “I’ve worked hard to put together a championship level staff to make the players as good as they can possibly be.”