Published: August 29, 2013
A football revolution is brewing on the edge of Colorado Springs. This revolution could threaten our entire idea of authority.
At Falcon High, the football team will be led this fall by two head football coaches. Yes, you heard me right. Terry Pourier and Brian Green will share authority while guiding a potentially powerful team.
What's next? Will Sarah Palin and Colin Powell run on the same ticket in 2016 as co-presidential candidates? Will another high school try three head coaches? Or four?
I've been watching football games for decades without seeing a team with two head coaches. Anywhere. At any level. Never. Ever.
But there were two head coaches working side by side on a sunny Wednesday at Falcon's practice field, which is blessed with a panoramic view of the Colorado prairie. Pourier and Green, football radicals, were tinkering with the Falcon kickoff squad.
Kalen Ballage, the best high school player in our state, smiled and shrugged a few yards away. Ballage, a receiver/running back/general pain to defenses, had never heard of one team with two coaches, either.
"We're different out here in Falcon," Ballage said. "We do things differently. We don't go after the norm. We get out of our comfort zone."
Falcon's football program had been in a state of chaos, not comfort, for the past several months.
First, coach Trevor Hudson did not have his contract renewed by the school after drawing a three-game suspension from the Colorado High School Activities Association for recruiting allegations. Second, Falcon hired Keith Gille - twice - in a strange saga that saw him depart the job in June without coaching a game. He said he suffered from health issues.
When Green and Pourier heard the job was open again, both had the same reaction. The duo coached the Falcon Middle School team for the past six seasons, winning four league titles. Green served as head coach in name, but he and Pourier worked as dual head coaches in reality.
Green wanted to coach Falcon High if Pourier would stand alongside him. Pourier's thoughts were identical. The two men already had coached virtually every player on the high school team. They considered these athletes their kids, their responsibility.
"They were struggling so bad," Green said of the come-and-go coaches. "It felt right."
The struggles should soon end. Ballage leads a team jammed with size, speed and hunger. Falcon finished 7-4 last season despite the circus-like turmoil and lost in the first round of the playoffs. The first-round exit is deceptive. Falcon engaged in serious battle with Monarch, the eventual state champ, before losing 24-14.
Justin Barron is one of the state's premier punters and placekickers. He also starts at middle linebacker and is battling to start at quarterback, too. He knows every corner of his team.
"We can be great," Barron said. "Oh, we can be great. We have so much speed, and nobody works harder than we do."
Green and Pourier have devised a simple system. Green leads the offense, and Pourier watches over the defense. During their years at Falcon Middle, they occasionally clashed on strategy decisions.
"But never for more than 20 seconds," Pourier said.
"There's a vision that we share," Green said, scoffing at any suggestion of future squabbling in this dual head coach experiment. "We're each other's best friend. That's just the way it is. Nothing is going to change that."
Green believes strongly in Pourier's coaching skills. He calls his friend a combination of Knute Rockne, Vince Lombardi, Bud Wilkinson and Fisher DeBerry. That's quite a compliment. The coaching foursome won 530 games, eight national college titles and five NFL titles.
Pourier ended Wednesday's practice session by standing in front of his closely huddled players while talking strategy for Friday night's clash with Widefield.
Suddenly, he quit talking strategy. He looked at the team's managers, who had spent the hot afternoon delivering water to players.
"Hey, everyone, how about the finest managers in America," Pourier said. He led the team in a spirited round of applause.
Yes, Falcon's football team is in the middle of a radical yet peaceful football experiment. Two experienced coaches direct a talented squad.
This revolutionary idea could work.