BGP Q&A with Franklin-Simpson Football Coach Doug Preston

  1. #1
    by Colonels_Wear_Blue is online now Moderator
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    As part of a series of interviews that is conducting in 2018 with coaches around the Commonwealth, BGP had a chance to catch up with Doug Preston, head football coach of the 4A Franklin-Simpson Wildcats.

    BGP: Tell us a little about your coaching background - which schools you've been at as a head coach or as an assistant before you started at Franklin-Simpson? Which positions have you had personal experience coaching?

    Coach Preston:
    I am a graduate of EKU. I’ve been all over. Some of the key stops in my teaching and coaching career have been working for Roy Kidd at EKU, Ray Graham at Harrison County, Marty Jaggers at Lincoln County and Sam Harp at Danville. Franklin-Simpson is the most satisfying place I have ever worked. There is a strong tradition and many people that care deeply for football here. The amount of effort our players and the community put into having a class football program is really amazing, humbling and exciting all at the same time. I have had the honor of coaching many kids here over the years that are children of former players and or grandchildren of former players. I am a football ‘junkie’ and have coached every position on the football field at one time or another. I have called offense and defense. The process of developing a team and program is what I really enjoy.

    BGP: What was it that made you realize you wanted to be a coach? It's obviously not as easy a job to do in this day and age as it may have been in the past. Are there any particular individuals or coaches who pushed you to realize that it's what you wanted to do?

    Coach Preston: I really fell in love with football as a young kid just watching the game and playing ball with my brothers in the back yard. I guess I began thinking I would like to coach as far back as middle school. I really can’t say anyone pushed me to get into coaching. Football is just something I could never really stop thinking about throughout high school and college. I don’t really know why but it has just always been that way with me. I remember one summer I had a job working in my hometown at a paint store. One of my duties was to bring paint up from the storage room. So I would often hide out and read Coach of Year clinic manuals I borrowed from my high school coach. Eventually the owner of the store began asking me what was taking so long for me to get paint supplies moved up to the shelves. I couldn’t quite get him to understand that I needed time to read a few articles each day. That still makes me laugh looking back at that situation.

    BGP: Are there any games in your coaching career, or even as a player or spectator of a high school game, that you look back at and think, 'Man…now THAT was a memorable game' ?

    Coach Preston: There have been so many memorable games throughout the years. I would have to say our semi-final win when I was the head coach at Bullitt East over a tremendous Calloway County team was pretty memorable. I think the score was something like 52-49. They probably threw it 35 to 40 times that night and we threw it maybe one time. I began using the saying 'Hey Diddle Diddle here we come up the middle' that season. We didn’t care if you knew exactly the play called we were running right at you. We were big and strong and not many teams could stop us. We lost a heart breaker the next week in the state championship 15-13 to Bell County (they were also a 'Hey Diddle Diddle' team). One of my good coaching friends, Dudley Hilton, was coaching Bell County and it was really great to face off against one of the all-time winningest coaches in the history of Kentucky High School football. We went down the field with about 1:30 to go and scored with 13 seconds remaining in the game. Our two point attempt failed. That was a great bunch of kids at Bullitt East in 2008.

    The State Championship win this past season over Johnson Central was undoubtedly the most satisfying win of my career. I was fortunate to get to coach my son Collin in that game which made it that much more special. After winning 14 straight games in 2016 but then having been soundly defeated by Johnson Central in the 2016 state championship game we really had a lot to prove in 2017. We started the season slowly but improved every week of the season. Our goal was to get back and win the whole thing in 2017. I really wanted to win the state championship game more for our players, coaches, parents and the fans in Franklin than for me. As the last seconds of the 2017 championship game ticked off the clock I couldn’t help but think of my great group of seniors from 2016 that came up one game short. I looked over my shoulder to see some of those guys on our sideline. I realized I was still hurting for them. I was extremely excited and happy for our 2017 kids at the same time.

    The semi-final game against Collins High School in 2017 was a classic high school football ‘war’. I had the honor to find out just what a tremendous person and coach Jerry Lucas is in how he presented himself as we talked in pre-game. His son quarterbacked their team and he was one of the best I have ever faced. It was one of those games where as a coach I was obviously happy to win but hated to see a very strong well coached team with good kids have their dreams end in the final seconds. I have much respect for those kids and that coaching staff.

    In 2016 we had a final play win over Greenwood with a miraculous play from our QB Jackson Caudill to WR Hunter Janes. Classic ending that was in the mode of Flutie’s pass for the win over Miami way back when.

    In 2017 we were down 20 points and came back to win 35-20 over a very talented and well coached Hopkinsville team in the Regional Championship. I also had the honor to meet another classy head coach – Craig Clayton.

    Ok. I could go on and on. I have lots of great memories of great kids and tremendous high school football games over the years. I love ‘em all!

    BGP: A lot of teams adopt some sort of motto or a mission statement for the program, or even for the individual program year? Does your team have one right now? Do you have a different motto for yourself as a coach?

    Coach Preston: We have a couple or so. Tim Schlosser had one here when I came on board and I have kept it. BTE – Block Tackle Execute. We also use MTXE – Mental Toughness Xtra Effort and we pride ourselves on being the hardest working team in the state.

    BGP: If I were to ask your players - past or present - if there's one thing they hear you say the most, what do you think it would be?

    Coach Preston:
    1) "I have tremendous respect for high school football players..." and then I explain why.
    2.) "I’m not telling you it will be easy but I am telling you it will be worth it!!"

    BGP: So many players come into a high school program these days with significant experience from pee-wee or middle school programs, and some of them are even walking into the 9th grade already having thoughts about getting college exposure. What is your approach to coaching your team knowing that you may have players walking onto the practice field who may not have any prior football experience at the same time as players who may have 7 or 8 years of football experience and coaching?

    Coach Preston: We work on fundamentals more than anything else to a fault to develop all of our guys regardless of their experience. I think that helps all of our kids. We make a point to make sure more developed players are never in a position to go against much younger, weaker or inexperienced players. Our coaches and players know this is our philosophy and understand why. So it is never really an issue.

    BGP: The Wildcats ended the season with a 12-3 record last year and the 4A state championship trophy. With that accomplishment to build off of, what are your plans for this season: just geep grinding and putting in the same hard work and get the most you can out of your players, or are you thinking there will be any noticeable changes from last season's overall gameplan?

    Coach Preston: Nothing much different. Each year our goal is to hopefully stay healthy and improve each week. If all goes well we could be playing pretty good football by the time we hit district play. Develop fundamentals and be consistent.

    BGP: How did it feel for you and your players to get to return to the 4A championship last season after a tough loss to Johnson Central in the 2016 championship, and to turn things around and beat the Golden Eagles in 2017?

    Coach Preston: Tremendous!! Coach Matney is one of the winningest coaches in Kentucky and Jonson Central is a dominant program. Most importantly we wanted to play our best football if we had a shot again in 2017.

    BGP: With Spring practice wrapped up, what strengths do you see the team having prior to really getting into the nuts and bolts of summer practice?

    Coach Preston: Our strength should be in our offensive line and backfield. I like what I see from the secondary so far and I like the talent level at linebacker but we are very inexperienced in that position. Our defensive line has some very good football players returning. QB is going to be kind of like our linebackers in the first half of the season.

    BGP: If you could pare down all of the qualities that you look for in a player, and get down to just one or two top qualities that you like to see the most, what would they be?

    Coach Preston: Character and Commitment first – then…Talent.

    BGP: Who are some of the players on your team this year that we should expect to see a lot out of?

    Coach Preston:
    Tre’ Bass – RB, DB
    Collin Preston – TE, LB
    Jack Randolph – OL
    Carlos McKinney – RB, LB
    Shawn Woods – OL
    Dalton Hunter – OL
    AJ Burr – OL
    Connor Rogers – LB
    Leandre Stutzman – DB
    Jevon Covington – WR
    Tedric Partinger – RB, DB
    Chase Gooch – OLB
    Traevon Goodnight – DL
    Michael Punzalan – LB, TE
    Jacob Chandler - DL

    BGP: Are there any teams that you would like to look at getting onto Franklin-Simpson's schedule within the next handful of years?

    Coach Preston: Haha, someone for week 4 in 2019. Portland High School, TN or Logan County.

    BGP: What are some of your favorite things to do when you have a little time in the off-season and you're not in football coaching mode?

    Coach Preston: Fishing…but I am always in football coaching mode.

    BGP: Which college / NFL teams do you root for the most?

    Coach Preston: I am a Steelers fan! They are the first team I can remember watching as a kid. Maybe they are the reason I got into this game.

    I am a UK football fan first but love watching several college teams play. would like to give a big thank you to Coach Preston for offering us some of his valuable time to talk and answer our questions!
    Last edited by Colonels_Wear_Blue; Jun 7, 18 at 08:03 PM.

  2. #2

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    Aug 14

    Love what Coach Preston has done at FS. Every season it seems like he has gotten the absolute most out of his team according to the talent level. After last season, there will probably a street or building named after him sometime in the future.

    Looking forward to August!!!!

  3. #3
    ATLCat's Avatar
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    Aug 11

    Love these interviews guys

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 17

    Quote Originally Posted by ATLCat View Post
    Love these interviews guys
    Agreed! I look forward to reading them all.

  5. #5
    Colonels_Wear_Blue's Avatar
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    Jul 09
    Colonel Country

    Heck of a season by Coach Preston and the Wildcats.

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