And in this ‘Corner’: Woodbury football coach hosts weekly info sessions for communityWoodbury second-year head football coach Andy Hill holds weekly sessions of “Coach’s Corner” – a roundup of the past week’s game and a look ahead at what’s to come.
By: Mike Longaecker, edtior, Woodbury Bulletin
The room is dark and the audience is rapt.
Andy Hill paces across the floor of the Woodbury High School lecture hall, the light of a video projector illuminating him as sets in on his hour-long lecture.
But instead of the football players or social studies students he’s used to instructing, Hill, head football coach for WHS, is talking to parents. He’s going through his weekly session of “Coach’s Corner” – a roundup of the past week’s game and a look ahead at what’s to come.
The sessions are among the changes the second-year coach has brought to the Royals’ football program in hopes of reaching out to the community. The meetings, held Tuesdays at 6 p.m. at WHS, are all open to the public.
To see a program like Coach’s Corner in the metro was a breath of fresh air for at least one parent.
“I think it’s a good thing,” said Glen Moon, father of WHS senior quarterback Sawyer Moon.
An Albert Lea, Minn., native, Moon said such sessions are common in rural communities, though not as much in larger cities.
“I think every program should do it,” he said.
Hill got the idea in 2001 while working as an assistant coach in Apple Valley, where the head coach led a similar session. When Hill became a head coach in Virginia, he implemented the program there.
The idea, he said, is not just to break down the X’s and O’s of the game. It’s also about accountability.
“It’s really diffused a lot of the issues that come up,” Hill said. “It’s nice to know that you can get face time with me every week.”
Alex Schmidt, the father of WHS senior lineman Kyle Schmidt, said he’s appreciative of what Hill offers through Coach’s Corner, where attendees can pepper the coach with questions throughout the meeting.
“He’s open to anything like that,” Schmidt said. “I think it’s very good for coach Hill. You get the feeling that (he) cares about kids more than just football.”
The meetings are part discussion, part confessional. After a painful loss earlier in the season, Hill admitted to the group that calling for a fake punt was a blunder.
“He’s pretty honest about where he screws up,” Moon said.
Hill said he knows the discussions open him up for criticism. He said he hasn’t dealt with any gripes about playing time from parents at the meetings. But if issues like that come his way, he said he’s ready.
“I don’t mind answering the hard questions,” Hill said.
Moon, who battles a well-publicized terminal cancer bout with humor, said Coach’s Corner has made a fan out of him.
“If I’m not dead next year, I’ll continue to go,” he said with a laugh.