By Chris McGee
College football is a tough sport for any coach. Most of the time, if you don’t win championships, you won’t have a job for very long.
That is why it’s imperative to put a lot of thought into a promotion. A good coach wants to make sure he has the right people in important positions who are dedicated to winning.
Eastern’s head football coach, Dean Hood, took this thought process when he decided to promote Dane Damron from special teams coach to offensive coordinator.
Damron grew up in Grayson, Ky. He gained his football experience as a quarterback at Georgetown College from 1990-94. During his years at Georgetown, he was a two-time National Association of Independent Athletics All-American.
He began his career at Eastern in 1995 as a wide receivers coach and graduate assistant under long-time coaching great Roy Kidd. In 1996, Damron earned his master’s degree in sports administration from Eastern.
Damron also spent nine years coaching on the high school level at Boyd County including three years as head coach from 2002-05.
Sometimes with a change in offensive coordinators, there tends to be drastic changes in a team’s style of offense, thus extending the learning curve for players already comfortable with an old system. This is not the case with Damron’s promotion.
“The only major change I want to make on offense is to change the terminology, so the systems will be clearer to the players,” he said. “Systems are all about execution.”
Damron added that putting players in the best positions to make plays is another goal on offense this year.
Eastern’s offense, which was one of the lowest-producing teams in the Ohio Valley Conference, had a major problem with consistency – something Damron vows to change.
“We had a stretch of four games last season, especially Jacksonville State and Tennessee Tech, where we had good consistent offense,” Damron said. “In the rest of the games, not so much.”
Damron’s transition from special teams to offensive coordinator was a smooth one, something that also comes as a positive for the Colonel offense.
“I’ve always been an offensive coordinator, whether it was high school or college,” he said. “We have great kids and a great staff.”
Damron summed up his coaching philosophy with one word: Execution.
“There are only so many plays you can run in football,” he said. “We all use the same systems. It’s all about execution.”
Hood didn’t have any qualms about promoting Damron.
“His familiarity with the players and the fact that he has called offensive games made the decision an easy one,” Hood said. “The players have also brought in the passion. Coach Damron brings the offense.”