The New Iberia’s high school football landscape is seeing a change this season in two head coach positions. Each coach brings with them a good record, seasoned experience, and similarities where it counts: mentoring young men. We offer a rare insight into their coaching philosophies and commitment to developing their players.
New Iberia Senior High (NISH) begins a new era this fall as Curt Ware takes the reigns as head football coach.
Ware, a Eunice native, comes to NISH from Rayne High School where he led the Wolves to an 83-70 record and nine playoffs.
While getting acquainted with the players this spring and summer, he tackled the obvious subject of “change.” “There are a lot of ways to coach, and these past few months I’ve encouraged the guys to embrace the change and try and get better.” Ware’s Wing-T system, for one, will be a one of those differences for the Yellow Jackets.
Coming from a Class 4A school for the past four years, Ware says he is excited to be coaching in a Class 5A school. The goal of course: get the team to a playoff.
Ware’s expectations of the players are simple: show up each week and play as hard as they can – every game. “Because winning is based on a point system, every game is just as important as the next,” he says.
His philosophy is “if you get the players to believe the system and they work at 100 percent, then we have the best chance to win.”
Football, a Great Teacher
Challenges of the game vary from a player’s mind set to the weather. With the sweltering humidity and heat indexes over 100 degrees, practices have been hard. “How you react in adversity is part of the game and a life lesson,” Ware says. “It takes discipline and heart to play. If you work hard together as a team, you’re going to win games.”
There are gratifying moments to coaching other than the wins. Ware says he enjoys the relationship he builds with the kids. “I tell my teams each season, ‘You’re never going to be together like this again; enjoy each other.’ You end up being like a family - I still talk to guys I coached 20 years ago. “
Handling Player Individuality
Dealing with different personalities might be the hardest challenge for a coach. “Every kid is different. As a coach, you have to understand the way they process learning, and you have to effectively communicate with the different personalities. The only way to accomplish that is by getting to know each student,” Ware says.
When asked why he became a coach, Ware smiles, “It’s the closest thing to playing football for a living.”
Before coaching at Rayne High School, Ware started as assistant coach at Bolton High School in Alexandria eventually becoming defensive coordinator.
Important Coaching Qualities
“This is my 28th year, and I’m still learning how to be the best coach. One of my best friends is Notre Dame High’s coach, Lewis Cook; he taught me to put the kids first.”
A big part of coaching involves making judgements in stressful situations and in doing so, Ware says, “You’ve got to have an analytical mind - to see the game and all its moving parts and anticipate the next plays.”