Matt Thompson's mind is moving at the speed of a computer. It has to just to keep pace with the requirements to put his fingerprint on Jesuit's football program.
After nearly 20 years as an assistant at Armwood, Thompson is seeing high school football from a whole new perspective as Jesuit's new head coach.
"I knew it was going to be tough," said Thompson. "I knew it was going to be hard. I knew there was going to be a lot of work. I'm getting phone calls right now. The biggest surprise is how busy you actually are every single day. There is no down time."
It's a long work list that Thompson embraces. New experiences and priorities include dealing with parents, putting a staff together, and getting teenagers to buy into a new system.
"When I was asked what kind of program I wanted to build, I said I wanted to build a program that my son would be proud of," he said.
Thompson says he wants to win.
"This is why I do this, but are you talking about a program that you can be proud of or a program that wins all the time. There are standards here at Jesuit that is a little different than anywhere else that I've been and I like it," he said.
"A lot of this stuff is going to be new," he tells the players. "Figure it out. Get the most out of it."
Finding enough time to build a winning program isn't easily done. It requires being proficient on a computer, something that is changing the way coaches prepare.
"It used to be we'd have these late nights where we traded film," Thompson said. "I can remember trading with Earl Garcia (Hillsborough) up at Steak and Shake, on Hillsborough Avenue, at 2 in the morning."
It's a lot different now.
"Now with just a click of a button, your film is uploaded and you can send it over to another team that you are playing."
A program called Hudl takes it one step further, allowing coaches to match up a game's play-by-play transcript with the game video, creating instant breakdown. It eliminates hours of tedious work, allowing more time to work on adding more titles to Thompson's trophy case.
"The expectations are high and I like the challenge," Thompson added. "Just give this time and we'll get this thing rolling."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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