Wildcats go high tech with new assistant coach
De Soto High school football players may learn plays on the video games that some of them enjoy at home during their free time.
Allen Terrell, the Wildcats' new offensive line and defensive line coach, works in the sports media and football content development divisions of Sport Vision Inc., of Olathe, a nationally known company that works on sports technology projects, such as the placement of the first down line on the television screen during professional football games. Sport Vision also has offices in New York and Los Angeles.
Terrell, 26, also creates the football playbooks for Sega's collegiate and professional football video games.
"It's a great job because it allows me to do football stuff," Terrell said. "It is a job that most sports fans would dream about doing."
Terrell plans on applying the technology aspect of football to rebuilding the De Soto football program.
"For all of the playbooks, I'm doing all of the animated software so we can switch things and see how plays will pan out," Terrell said.
In addition to his technology background, Terrell also brings the experience of playing four seasons as a linebacker, defensive tackle and long snapper for the Kansas State Wildcats from 1993-97. Terrell was a sports management major at K-State, yet the school dropped the program before his senior year. He finished his sports management degree at Kansas University after his football eligibility at K-State expired. A role player for the Wildcats, Terrell played alongside and keeps in touch with former teammates and current NFL players Martin Gramatica of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Quentin Neujahr of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Kendall Jacox of the San Diego Chargers, Todd Weiner of the Seattle Seahawks and Chris Canty of the New Orleans Saints,
"On game day (at K-State) when you come out of the locker room, you feel like you are walking two feet above the ground," Terrell said. "You are really pumped up."
Terrell said that the attitude and outlook of De Soto Head Coach Brad Scott is comparable to his former K-State coaches Bill Snyder, Bob Stoops, Mike Stoops and Brett Venables.
"Coach Scott is really trying to teach these guys to be perfect in what they do," Terrell said. "He shows them that detail is everything and that the little things matter. Coach Scott is similar to Coach Snyder."
While coaching will be new territory for Terrell, he is no stranger to the Kaw Valley League rivalries as a 1993 graduate of Lansing High School. In fact, he once viewed De Soto as a fierce rival during his career as a Lion. Ironically, a home game against Lansing is the first game on De Soto's 2001 schedule.
"We were big rivals when I was in high school," Terrell said. "During my senior year we were 4-0 and De Soto was 0-4 and they came into Lansing and beat us. I guess if you can't beat em, join 'em."
Terrell said that he considers his high school Coach Rick Hodum, the current offensive line coach at Mid-America Nazarene College, as a second father. He said that starting as an assistant coach at De Soto will make him decide if he wants to follow the coaching path as well. Terrell said he will be able to bring more than just technology to the Wildcat program.
'This is kind of like a testing ground for me but it is also something I want to get into," Terrell said. "I have a lot of knowledge and experience about the defensive line and my personality will fit in with the team. Like Coach Scott, I am kind of a vocal guy so I will assume that role."
Terrell said he believes that the De Soto program could turn around and become a competitive force in the the Kaw Valley League.
"I am impressed with the kids participation," Terrell said. "They went 0-9 last year, got kicked around and are all back this year."
Terrell, who enjoys golfing, hunting, fishing and spending time with his wife Julie and 17- month-old son Zach, said that De Soto has shown some signs of improvement in a recent summer league.
"They are having some success on Saturdays in the (Basehor) seven on seven League," Terrell said. "The (DHS) coaches are saying that last year they learned to compete, this year they will learn to win and eventually they will learn how to become champions."