Video: Recap - Chandler vs. Valdosta, 2016
See highlights from the Wolves' battle with a Georgia power in the GEICO State Champions Bowl Series.Chandler (Ariz.)
finished the 2016 campaign as the No. 1-ranked team in Arizona and 12th in the country. The Wolves went 13-2 against a very tough schedule featuring nationally ranked teams such as Corona Centennial (Calif.) and Valdosta (Ga.).
Head Coach Shaun Aguano has been the head coach at Chandler for the last six years, and the Wolves have been ranked in the top three in their division in half of those years. Every coach can learn something from coach Aguano.1. What does your program do differently from others in your league, conference or state that helped you win a state championship?
We play a very hard out-of-conference schedule in the beginning of the year. I want to play the best in the country to give our kids a chance to live up to high expectations. In the last few years we have played St. John Bosco, Bishop Gorman, Centennial Corona, Valdosta and IMG Academy.2. What do you consider to be the most important aspect of your state championship?
Discipline and paying attention to detail. Doing things right all the time in the classroom, on the field and at home. Kids buying into that brings about great teams.
3. What is one piece of advice that you would give to a coach wanting to win a state championship?
Pay attention to detail in all aspects of the game and in your program.4. Do you incorporate character development within your football program?
We use the "Character Matters" curriculum by Wade Salem. We have been using it for seven years. We spend 2-3 hours a week incorporating character in our preparation.5. Do you incorporate some type of leadership development program within your football program?
Our character curriculum covers leadership and we hold a leadership colloquium at the beginning and middle of our season.6. What is the No. 1 obstacle you face in building a championship-caliber football program in your community?
The No. 1 problem is parents putting so much pressure on the kids. Our kids compete at a very high level and I start only the best at their position. Sometimes parents put so much pressure on a kid that it's not fun anymore. Let them enjoy the experience and trust the process by having them learn how to work and compete because if they are fortunate to play at the next level they will need to be ready. 7. Who do you consider to be your main mentor in this profession and what about that coach do you try to emulate in your program?
I played at Linfield College (Oregon) under AD Rutchman. His professionalism, poise and attitude toward everything was remarkable. I try every day to instill in my kids what he has in me. He loved coaching kids and growing them into young successful men and fathers and that's my main purpose in coaching. Championships are great but building a foundation of accountability, work ethic, persistence and confidence is what makes us successful.
Chris Fore is a veteran Head Football Coach and Athletic Director from Southern California. He consults coaches and programs nationwide through his business Eight Laces Consulting.