Not often does a football coach get to watch his players at every level of their development through high school, but that’s exactly what new Plano coach Brad Kunz is experiencing.
It is his fourth year in the Reapers’ program. He was the freshman offensive coordinator in his first year. The past two years he served as the sophomore offensive coordinator. He takes over for longtime varsity coach Jim Green this season.
That means he has seen this senior class grow up firsthand.
“You don’t get to do that very often,” Kunz said. “It made me really close to them and let me help them in their lives more than anything, which is the most important thing.
“The senior leadership we have and the ownership of the team we’ve had the last few months, the way they’ve bought in to what we’ve been selling them, it’s been really exciting to see.”
Kunz won’t be calling the plays offensively this season. The Reapers went outside the program and brought in former Addison Trail offensive coordinator John Parpet to call the shots.
“Originally, I wanted to call the offense, and I give our athletic director Jim Schmidt credit because he said, ‘Brad, if you want to build this program, let’s hire an offensive coordinator,’ ” Kunz said. “I’ve always been a firm believer that you don’t outcoach teams, you outprogram them.”
Parpet inherits a talented offensive unit to work with, particularly in the backfield. Four rushers that ran for between 514 and 328 yards are back in seniors Eloy Carrera, Shaun Wollenweber and Weslye Brown and junior Tony Elias.
“We still run a lot out of the wing-T, but a little bit different type of play-calling, but other than that, it’s pretty much the same,” Brown said. “(Parpet) is a great guy. He knows what he’s talking about. He’s got great coaching tips. He’s seen all the big competition. Everything he says, we just kind of take it in and learn from it. We just keep learning.”
Brown is a player that Kunz is particularly excited about.
“I really hope that some college gives him a chance because he’s that good of an athlete,” said Kunz, who won a national championship at the University of Miami in 2001 as a player. “I think there is more than one position he could play. He’s also playing linebacker for us.
“Just look at (current Northwestern player and Plano graduate) Joseph Jones, he played safety for us and he plays linebacker at Northwestern now.”
At quarterback, senior Collin Seyller, who is also a valuable defensive back and has the ability to play wide receiver, is splitting reps with intriguing sophomore Grant Burris.
“(Burris) takes everything coach has to say to heart; he pays attention,” Brown said. “Our senior quarterback is very helpful, he mentors him. They help each other, work with each other. It’s nice to have two guys that are good at the position.”