The Rick Hurst era of Eastside football has come to an end and a new era has began – the Troy Hoff era.
Hoff was announced as the new head coach on Wednesday. He’ll be a familiar face to players and the staff, as Hoff has served as an assistant of some sort on Hurst’s staff for the last 10 of his 14 years at Eastside. Hoff has run the gauntlet of assistant coaching positions before finally taking over as a head coach for the first time in his career. The number of positions Hoff has served in include: special teams coordinator, running backs coach, JV head coach and offensive coordinator, varsity offensive line coach and assistant head coach.
The responsibilities of a head coach are endless, especially in high school. Dealing with players, parents and staff can be a daunting task, but it’s one Hoff is ready for.
“I can’t tell people just to go see coach Hurst. I can’t pass it off anymore,” Hoff joked.
“You realize that now you’re responsible for the players, and the staff,” he added. “They’re problems become your problems. Their concerns are now your concerns. It’s a lot more to be aware of. Not that you don’t have that as an assistant coach, but I think as a head coach I look at it as my responsibility to be aware of all that and obviously it’s my job to take care of it and help when we do have problems in any of those areas. Whether it be academic, socially, kids got things going on at home, just a lot more.”
Hoff echoes the sentiment of caring for players’ on and off the field that Hurst did when he was in charge. Hoff says he wants to hold his players accountable in the classroom, in training, and on and off the field.
“I want to be a coach that has high expectations for our young men. As a program that reflects that, I want to be the kind of coach that pushes them to reach their full potential,” Hoff said. “I think if we can do that for our young people in all areas then we’re on to something.”
Hoff has an experienced football backgorund. He was a running back in college at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota, before becoming an Assistant Coach there.
Hoff says his knowledge of the offense got him his first coaching job with his alma mater. He knew the system well – the protections, the running game and the passing game – and it got him a job as a quarterbacks coach. There he learned a lot from the offensive coordinator. Hoff says it was an eye-opening experience for him, it taught him how to put the game together and it gave him a lot of insight into the game of football.
When he served as an offensive coordinator at Central, a high school in Aberdeen, Hoff focused on the passing game. Hoff’s history with the passing game should do wonders for the Eagles’ spread offense.
“Offensively, I bring my perspective of having experience with it in college, working a little bit with them,” Hoff said.
Hoff says his experience in so many offensive assistant coaching positions has taught him what can hurt a defense. Despite his offensive proficiency, Hoff says he’s not necessarily an offensive-minded head coach. He describes himself as a team-minded head coach, one that is willing to adjust and knows that is takes defense and offense to win games.
“I think you gotta work together,” Hoff said. “One thing I look at, I think you gotta have complementary schemes that can help each other out and at the end of the day just being productive and efficient on both sides of the ball.”
“Our expectations are high with what we think our kids can do. That’s where it starts. Our core of our foundation is gonna be on attitude, effort, character and commitment. That’s our program foundation,” Hoff said. “Everything that we do and the culture that we want to develop and continue to maintain here is going to rest on those four things. After that it’s about competing. These kids need to learn that that’s a life skill. That doesn’t end when they get off the football field. Those four things are going to carry them a long way and being able to compete and go to work for something is going to take them a long way in life.”
The Troy Hoff era at Eastside has began.