The Turnaround Artist
There is a tiny niche of football coaches at the High School level that thrive on going into downtrodden programs and turning them completely around in short time frames. These are a rare breed of coach who welcome the daunting challenge to help improve the fortunes of long suffering players and fans. Donnie Kiefer is one of these guys that I have admired from afar for years, he was kind enough to agree to do an interview with me. His stated goal for the interview is to help both youth and High School coaches to understand that their situations aren’t impossible and give them some ideas that they might apply to their own situations. Donnie is currently head coach at Tuscola High School near Asheville, North Carolina. Tuscola has 1,038 students.
Dave- Coach Kiefer, how long have you been coaching High School football?
Coach- For 29 years, 25 as a head coach, primarily in the Carolinas.
Dave- How many different schools did you coach at?
Coach- 7 Different High Schools as head coach.
Dave- Tell us about some of the turnarounds from a numbers perspective.
Coach- I’ve been in some rough spots, places where the kids were ยูฟ่าเบท embarrassed to be part of the football team, embarrassed to wear the team gear. At one inner city school the 3 years prior to me arriving, the team went 0-30. In my first year there we played for the first ever East Region Championship game.
At the next school the team had won just 4 games total in the 5 years before I got there. In the first year there we played for the East Region Championship. We went 35-7 while I was there and went 12-2 in my last season.
Next I went to a well off suburban school they had won just 1 game in the previous 4 years before I coached there. We won 15 games in the 2 years there and lost both years to the eventual State Champions.
At another school we put together the first back to back winning season that the school had had in over 20 years.
I was a head coach at a school where we won 9 games 3 seasons in a row going 27-9, inheriting a program that was considered by many to be unsalvageable.