Everything about moving to Houston has been new for Willis coach Michael Wall.
He learned pretty quickly coming from the Austin area that I-45 isn’t as crazy as I-35.
Wall spoke for the first time representing the Wildkats at Wednesday’s 43rd annual Conroe Noon Optimist Club Pigskin Preview at Lonestar Convention Center.
“Everything is new to me,” Wall said during his speech. “We got here in March and as soon as we got here, we kind of hit the ground running. We were in staff transition, so I was trying to hire a new staff. (But) we are all settled in and a couple of my guys are still looking for places.”
Wall, who most recently was the offensive coordinator for perennial Class 6A contender Lake Travis, inherits a Willis program coming off a down year where it went 2-6, it’s worst finish since going 2-8 in 2012.
Wall grew up on football, was a quarterback at Tulsa and in the Arena Football League and is ready for his next challenge.
“Texas High School football — it’s pretty awesome,” Wall said. “Football has been my passion since I was about 5 years old.”
Wall described for the audience the building of his coaching staff, including the hire of recent Texas A&M quarterback Jake Hubenak who he coached while at Georgetown High School. In total, six staff members come from outside of the Houston area and a few them —including Wall himself — lived for short a period of time in a pop-up camper.
“I call us all like-minded individuals that care about kids and want to make our school, our hallways and our community a much better place,” Wall said.
Wall is excited to see what the Wildkats can do on the field after spring ball. Practice for varsity starts Monday.
“Our kids are hungry,” Wall said. “There’s talent at Willis and there’s a bright future ahead. I would not be here if I did not feel like we could come into a place and be successful.”
Wildkats players and fans alike will be witness to changes in all facets of the game.
“It’s a new offense, it’s a new defense, it’s a new special teams,” Wall said. “It’s a new philosophy coming into town. We’re proud to be here and to get those guys going.”
Willis joins District 8-5A (Div. 1) which includes defending state champion College Station, recent Class 6A quarterfinalist Lufkin, Magnolia, Magnolia West, Caney Creek and Waller.