I'm a coach's wife, telling a story the best I know how. It's important and I want to get it right! Jump on the train quick for the Temple Wildcats are gathering steam! Their destination is unknown but their desire is for greatness. Prayerfully join us as God unfolds a new chapter. They've all been good but I won't be surprised if He's saved the best for last!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cat's got my tongue!

Before Coach and I became Temple Wildcats we were Cooper Cougar's. It was then that I decided to keep a blog journal of the football season. Coach and I go way back to junior high and I know how much he loves documentation (aka scrapbooks). That's when it occurred to me that blogging would be a great new way to share the journey. At first, I tried to tell the story with facts and newspaper articles, without personally getting involved. However, when the second season rolled around I found myself bored with the impersonal perspective. After all, it's about my husband, for heaven's sake! The love of my life, and his passionate adventure to make a difference in the lives of young men. He is confident that the game of football and the lessons learned along the way, will grow boys into men. Preparing them to be responsible leaders of their families and communities. Along the way he plans to win a State Championship or two! It's a BIG deal!...and I'm excited about it! No doubt, it's personal. There is only one way to tell this story. It's with my heart.


So, I began to share my thoughts along the way. Adding silly observations from time to time. . . just for fun. Really for him, because I love to make him laugh. Anyway, the Cooper Football blog was virtually unknown. Read only by family, friends and a few coaches wives.


In January 2011, all of that changed when Coach decided to interview for the Temple High School AD/HFC job. Concerned citizens of Temple began to Google 'Coach Mike Spradlin' and my little blog was found and the word spread fast. When the day came for Coach to interview with the committee, he was amused by the number of times that people mentioned 'reading his wife's blog'. I was amazed! The day Coach accepted this new position I went to Blogger and secured Temple Wildcat Football. With enthusiasm I began to make plans for a new chapter. . . a new adventure! Amazement turned into intimidation. People would be reading this stuff! What if I say something wrong? What if I'm misunderstood? I froze. . . I didn't know what to say. The cat got my tongue!


Truth is though, this isn't my first rodeo. I know what's about to happen in Temple, Texas. I've watched it time and time again. Coach, has spark! He can light a fire but he'll need your help and most of all your prayers to keep it burning. Will you join me? Will you boldly go before the throne of God, thanking Him, in advance for all He is going to do in the days to ahead?
Like minded men are gathering to accomplish a common goal. Amazing things are on the horizon. Hope and hard work will make a good team great. Buckle up Wildcats, we're in for a wild ride!

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Wildcat Welcome!

One week ago today Coach accepted the AD/HC job and we became Temple Wildcats! News traveled fast via the 6:00 news. Resulting in a wave of phone calls, emails and texts. All from dear friends pouring out kind words, thank you's and best wishes. We were touched.
The following Monday, we we're touched again when a large group of TISD administrators, teachers, counselors, parents, school board and community members gave Coach an enthusiastic and warm welcome. And just when we didn't think it could get any better, it did and they presented him with a enormous basket of goodies!

T shirts, Under Armor hoodies, caps, a stadium blanket, jewelry, travel mugs, coffe cups, gift certificates, Wildcat memorabilia and book of Temple's history! It was amazing on so many levels. We we're wowed beyond words! A great big thanks to everyone who contributed to making our day so special! We can hardly wait to help get the Wildcat Train back on track!!!
I love blue! It's always been my favorite color!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Temple Daily Telegram

Temple gets its man: Popular pick Spradlin approved as Wildcats' football coach/AD
by Marcus Hood Sports Writer
Published: February 8, 2011

After being approved Monday afternoon as Temple’s football coach and athletic director, Mike Spradlin (center) shares a laugh with Dr. Robin Battershell (left), Temple ISD’s superintendent, and initial interview committee member Cheryl Jones. Spradlin, 56, comes to Temple after guiding Abilene Cooper to a 37-23 record and three consecutive trips to the third round of the playoffs. (Rusty Schramm/Telegram)A mere formality made everything a reality.

In a specially called meeting Monday afternoon, the Temple school board unanimously approved Mike Spradlin as head football coach and athletic director.

"What has gotten me to Temple is the people," Spradlin said, addressing the board. "I can't promise you any miracles, but I can promise our kids are going to work hard and they are going to be very competitive. Through that process we are going to teach them to be great citizens."

Temple ISD announced last Thursday that Spradlin - Abilene Cooper's coach and athletic coordinator the last five years - was the lone finalist for the job, beating out Cameron Yoe coach/AD Rick Rhoades.

Spradlin, 56, introduced his wife, Roxanne, and daughters Beth and Kim, who were there to support him at the hiring, before signing a two-year contract worth $105,900 per year.

It was somewhat appropriate for Spradlin, who focused on the family atmosphere that has guided his coaching style and hopes to bring to Temple.

"I'm tired of talking about me," he said. "I'm ready to work and be a part of the team. That's what it's all about. That's what we try to create. A vision I have is that our athletic program is a family. You can do two things: you can do your job and want the person next to you to do their job so it benefits you, or you can do your job and want the person next to you to do their job because it benefits them. What we are going to create is that where it benefits them."

That was a theme that was important to Temple's superintendent, Dr. Robin Battershell, who emphasized Monday what she said when the search began back in December - that she wanted a person who would work to bring Temple to "the pinnacle of success in sports, fine arts and academics."

Although Spradlin and Battershell said it's unclear when Spradlin will begin work full-time in Temple, he already is going to begin working on building the family atmosphere. He planned to meet with freshman athletes after the school board meeting and hoped to make appearances at Temple's girls' soccer and basketball games tonight.

Girls soccer coach Oscar Bersoza was a member of the eight-person interview committee responsible for picking the initial group of finalists. The committee unanimously picked Spradlin as its top choice for the job, and Bersoza said it wasn't a hard decision.

"I knew Temple needed a winner, and Coach Spradlin is a winner," he said. "Even in the interview process, he just exudes confidence. He talked about mentorship and brotherhood. He's a winner and someone who is going to step out and say, 'It's not just about football. I'm here for all sports and willing to help out.' I'm excited and look forward to what he has to say."

Spradlin brings a four-school, 12-season head coaching record of 80-54 - he led Cooper to the third round of the state playoffs the last three years - to a struggling Temple program that's 37-77 with one postseason victory in the last 11 seasons under David Beal (2000-02), Tam Hollingshead (2003-04) and Bryce Monsen (2005-10).

Monsen had a 19-43 record in six seasons and guided the team to 5A state playoff trips in 2007 and '08, both resulting in first-round losses. After Temple finished its 1-9 season in November, Battershell informed Monsen that his contract would not be renewed at the end of the school year.

Spradlin said he looks forward to the challenge of turning Temple around, adding that he wanted to make the playoffs his first season as the Wildcats' head coach.

"I really don't like to use the term 'rebuilding' because one of the things I am going to talk to the current kids about is they won't want to be on a five-year plan; they want to be on a five-minute plan," he said. "That's the first thing we tried to attack when we went to Cooper.

"I want to be (in the playoffs) in Year 1, but we are going to do it right. We are not going to sacrifice doing it right for that to happen. We are going to take care of the kids and care about them. They can't care unless you care. We want to build those relationships to get them competitive. How fast we get (to the playoffs) depends on how fast they buy into what we are trying to do. And I think they will buy in quickly."

Prior to taking over at Cooper in 2006, Spradlin was at the University of Houston, his alma mater, where he was the offensive line coach from 2003-05 for current Baylor coach and former Houston teammate Art Briles.

Spradlin said he and Briles have texted back and forth since he got the job but haven't talked because of the coaches' busy schedules.

"I've never been around a man who shaped my coaching more," Spradlin said of Briles.

Spradlin also had head coaching stints in Navasota and Round Rock Westwood and said because he recruited Central Texas for Briles he has become somewhat familiar with the district he is joining, 12-5A.

"We played Copperas Cove and Killeen," he said. "Recruiting the area I'm familiar with some of the fieldhouses around here and I've got a good feel for the competition and the coaching staffs."

But his big focus is in house. He plans to visit with the staffs and athletes at the middle schools and make sure they are part of the family atmosphere, adding that the fact that Temple is a one-high-school town was one of the attractions to the job, which will allow him to build the program from the ground up.

And he understands that while he wants to see Temple succeed in all of its endeavors, he will be here primarily to coach football.

"It's been my experience, and no disrespect to any other department because football is not more important, but it can drive the ship," Spradlin said. "If we can be successful if our players do right and act right, we can be successful. And that can serve as a vehicle to change the culture and get everybody on board. Next thing you know, our other teams are winning because they feed off of that."


Monday, February 7, 2011

It's Official!

As of today at approximately 1:00, Coach Mike Spradlin is the Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at Temple High School, in Temple Texas! The School Board voted him in, he signed a contract and answered questions at a press conference.

Superintendent, Dr. Robin Battershell (below) and the Senior Leadership Team of Dr. John Hancock, Assistant Superintendent of Administration and Student Services, JJ Villarreal, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Kent Boyd, Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Facilities and Joe Palmer, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources unanimously selected Michael Spradlin as the new Temple Athletic Director/ Head Football Coach.

We met so many wonderful people today! Dr. Robin Battershell, administrators, the school board members, Principal Jason Bullock, TISD employees, teachers, coaches and community were simply amazing. Seriously, I'm not sure I've ever felt so welcomed. We were touched! I can hardly wait to get here! One thing is for sure, as of today, we are officially Temple Wildcats!

p.s. Thanks for the GIGANTIC goodie basket! I can't wait to get my hands on it!

I'm so glad Beth and Kimberly drove from San Antonio!

Coach showed us his new office and the weight room!

I also snapped a pic of the impressive stadium.

(no, they're not suited up today...I got this off a poster. I'm tricky like that!)

Coach says there is a lot of work to do but they'll do it and do it well and I predict in the near future this stadium will be the site of championship football, again.

So, here we go! Please keep us covered in prayer. Things work out much better that way. We're a team, you know. It will take us all doing our best.

Thanks for making us feel so special!


Friday, February 4, 2011

A New Chapter!

Temple selects Cooper's Spradlin over Yoe's Rhoades for coach/AD job
by Greg Wille
Published: February 4, 2011

Abilene Cooper’s Mike Spradlin was chosen Thursday as the finalist to become Temple’s football coach and athletic director. “I’ve coached long enough to know Temple is storied on tradition and has got the makings of something real special,” said Spradlin, who had a 37-23 record at Cooper and is expected to receive school board approval Monday. (Photo courtesy of Abilene Reporter-News)While driving back home to Abilene late Thursday afternoon, Mike Spradlin sounded plenty ready to start as Temple's new head football coach and athletic director.

The Abilene Cooper coach will have to wait for approval from the Temple ISD school board Monday before he officially gets to begin guiding the Wildcats' fortunes.

After interviewing Spradlin and Cameron Yoe coach Rick Rhoades on Thursday, Temple Independent School District announced during the afternoon that its superintendent, Dr. Robin Battershell, will recommend Spradlin, 56, for the coach/AD position at the board of trustees' special meeting at 12:30 p.m. Monday.

"I'm flattered and honored," said Spradlin, who plans to be at the board meeting Monday and on the Temple High School campus next Tuesday and Wednesday before starting full-time Feb. 14. "I felt so impressed with the whole process and the people I've met, the superintendent and the assistant superintendents.

"I've coached long enough to know Temple is storied on tradition and has got the makings of something real special," said Spradlin, who rebuilt Cooper's program by going 37-23 with six playoff wins and two district championships in five years. "I'm leaving a real good situation, but I've got a gut feeling that something special can happen. It's going to be a process and I'll get down there and start building relationships."

Temple ISD spokeswoman Regina Corley said the eight-person community search committee and Battershell's senior leadership team decided unanimously to select Spradlin as the lone finalist following Thursday's interviews.

"It was a unanimous decision to recommend Coach Spradlin. We think he's the best fit for our district," Corley said in summarizing the feelings of Battershell and the committee members. "Either one would have been a good choice."

If approved, Spradlin will bring a 12-season, four-school head coaching record of 80-54 - including leading Cooper to the third round of the state playoffs the last three years - to a struggling Temple program that's 37-77 with one postseason victory in the last 11 seasons under David Beal (2000-02), Tam Hollingshead (2003-04) and Bryce Monsen (2005-10).

Rhoades brought stellar credentials to the table, including a seven-season head coaching record of 62-26 highlighted by state championship game berths at Class 4A New Braunfels in 2002 and 2A Yoe in 2010. His 2010 Yoemen won their first 14 games before losing 33-27 to now-three-time reigning champion Daingerfield in the 2A Division I state final.

After Temple called to give him its decision Thursday, Rhoades said he gave his best effort to get the job and now looks forward to continuing work in Cameron, which hired him less than two years ago.

"I think (the interview) went well," Rhoades said. "My reaction to the news is I feel like I would have been blessed I would have gotten the job, but I've got a great situation here in Cameron, so it's a win-win situation.

"I wouldn't change anything. I wanted to do the best I can. It's nice to get back to work here and I'm glad the process is behind me. (Temple) handled it real well. I think Coach Spradlin will get them rolling."

Rhoades indicated something about the interview process that might have put him at a disadvantage compared to Spradlin, who's talked openly about how appealing he finds the opportunity to reinvigorate Temple's struggling program.

"On the phone call from Dr. Battershell she said she felt my heart was really in Cameron," Rhoades said. "There's probably some truth to that, and it probably came out in the interview.

"I'm in a situation where within five years all four of my kids will be in college, so I'd be crazy not to look at it," he said of the Temple job. "Temple was a good situation because of the proximity to Cameron and that in a lot of ways they're very similar - great pride and tradition."

Spradlin is a graduate of Dallas Carter (1973) and the University of Houston (1977), where he played for the Cougars' 1976 Southwest Conference and Cotton Bowl championship team. He was college teammates with current Baylor coach Art Briles and served as Briles' offensive line coach at Houston from 2003-05 before heading to Cooper.

Spradlin's other head coaching stops were at Midland Christian (15-7 from 1996-97), Navasota (6-5 in 1998) and Round Rock Westwood (22-19 from 1999-2002). He worked in private business from 1987-95.

In 2006 his first Cooper team lost at Temple, breaking the Wildcats' 17-game losing streak. A year later the Cougars edged Temple's district championship team in Abilene, and Spradlin's last three teams went a combined 28-11 - 8-5 and 9-4 in 4A, then 11-2 last fall back in 5A.

With junior and first-year starter Clayton Nicholas passing for more than 2,900 yards and 30 touchdowns in a potent spread offense, Cooper beat Arlington Lamar 41-6 in the first round of the Division II playoffs and Amarillo Tascosa 36-17 in the second round before losing 55-7 to eventual state finalist Denton Guyer in a Region I semifinal.

Spradlin is humble about Cooper's recent success.

"It's not about me; I'm just a part of that," he said. "I want to help my team win but I don't take the credit for it. It's a we thing at Cooper - great principal, great coaches, great kids. They're committed."

Spradlin said it's unclear how many assistant coaches will come with him from Cooper to Temple, saying, "I'm sure we'll look at staff issues. I'll work within the system and we'll get the right people on board. I'm a team player."

Spradlin's team in his personal life includes his wife, Roxanne, a 29-year-old son who was a Marine and daughters who are 27 and 25.

Spradlin said anyone who's concerned that he's close to retirement shouldn't be.

"I'm telling you, I don't even think about it," he said. "I'll coach as long as they let me. I have no plans to hang it up."