New Brownwood Lions head football coach and athletic director Kyle Maxfield will hit the ground running following Friday's introductory news conference.
Maxfield will be back in town next week to begin his offseason program and the implementation of his offensive and defensive philosophies. He inherits a Brownwood program that is coming off an 11-3 campaign and a berth in the Class 4A Division I state quarterfinals — the Lions' best performance since 2010.
“We like to base both sides of the ball and our kicking game on toughness and work ethic,” Maxfield said. “I know those two things exist here and we always feel like we can get it to another level. We try to play disciplined football and we want to be the best blockers and tacklers out there. That's what we base our program on — playing smart, playing hard and playing physical.”
During Maxfield's seven-year stay at Shallowater, the Mustangs averaged 38 points per game while allowing 20. Shallowater eclipsed 500 points in four of the last five seasons and tallied 610 last year — averaging 47 points per game. Shallowater also boasted the 2015 Built Ford Tough Class 3A High School Football Player of the Year in Cooper Ogle, who rushed for 3,216 yards and 47 touchdowns.
Maxfield described his ideal offense as being extremely similar to what the Lions ran in 2015, with a willingness to adapt to the strengths of the roster any given season.
“One thing we do on both sides of the ball is formulate our plan based on what kind have talent we have and what our strengths and weaknesses are,” Maxfield said. “We've been primarily a shotgun team with a lot of schemes out of the gun, one- and two-back stuff. We start with the run and do some play-action passes off that. A lot of our big plays come off play-action because we want to be successful with the run.”
Defensively, the Mustangs gave up more points during the 2015 campaign — 312 — than in any under season under Maxfield. Still, the 24 points per game surrendered in 2015 is considered stellar in this age of uptempo offenses. Shallowater has yielded 20 points per game on average since 2009 and did not surrender 300 points in any other season.
“On defense, it's about tenacity and a relentless pursuit to the football,” Maxfield said.
Aside from Xs and Os, Maxfield also spoke about his approach off the field.
“I've always had a passion for working with kids and developing kids from middle school up,” Maxfield said. “Not only developing kids but developing coaches along the way. I know there's been some great coaches that have come through here that weren't head coaches and we plan on continuing that tradition.
“I know the football team had a great season last year and we plan on building on that. I know we have great kids and great coaches and I'm very anxious to get started next week with putting in our plan and the process that goes in with our plan. I'm looking forward to working with kids and developing relationships with them. That's what it's all about.”
Asked about taking over a storied program like Brownwood, Maxfield was extremely candid.
“Probably five or six years ago this job and this task would have been pretty intimidating for me,” Maxfield said. “But I feel like though our success in Shallowater and the way we developed kids and coaches, along with my playing career, my career as an assistant coach and a head coach has primed me for this opportunity and I'm very confident we're going to make this work and bring a championship to Brownwood.”
Maxfield likely will not be the only new coach on Brownwood's varsity staff, but answer to the question how many new faces was unclear Friday.
“I have to meet with (superintendent) Dr. (Joe) Young about that, but I think there are some really good guys out there that would be a great fit for this program,” Maxfield said. “You have to surround yourself with good people, and that's No. 1 on my list right now.”
With expectations always sky high in Brownwood, Maxfield's goal is to continue the run of success he's experienced the past seven years. However, he made it clear that future successes belong to the community, not him.
“This isn't about me, it's about Brownwood football, Brownwood athletics and the community of Brownwood,” Maxwell said. “We want to win, but we want to do it the right way. We want the community, the school, the faculty and the student body to all be a part of this process. And when we hold up that trophy we want them to have a personal connection to it. I know that's important to the Brownwood community and that's what we're going to strive to do.”