On Monday afternoon, Carbon High School announced that Phil Howa will be the new head football coach. “I’m excited I have this opportunity,” said Howa. “I hope I can encourage student athletes to come out and be involved.” Howa will be a familiar face as he has spent 40 years in the district with the last 28 years at Helper Middle School. During that time, he coached football, wrestling, basketball and track at the middle school.
Coaching has always been a passion of Howa’s, who mentioned that he went to college with the goal to coach Carbon High football one day. That day has arrived. “It’s been on my to do list for a while. I know how much energy and time it takes. The time is right now,” commented Howa.
Coach Howa has a number of goals but repeatedly mentioned the importance of creating an atmosphere that will allow the largest number of players to flourish. “I won’t make cuts. I do believe there are 100 great athletes in Carbon County. My biggest focus is to make kids feel like they are valued.” Howa went on to explain that he would prefer to have 22 different players that fill the offensive and defensive spots. He would love nothing more than to work in 40+ players a game. The reasoning behind this philosophy is to keep the team fresh and ready for the fourth quarter. In addition, it allows more players on the field, which ties back into his goal of valuing his players.
Howa also mentioned that athletes from all types of backgrounds are welcome. He plans on starting with the fundamentals to help those without a football background catch up quickly. “Athletes, we can find a spot for you, but you have to give us a chance to work with you.”
Howa continued, “We have a good following for football. I hope I can keep the excitement and change the tradition of Carbon High football. Can I guarantee that we will [immediately] win games? No, but I can guarantee that kids will enjoy practice and feel good about themselves.”
Open communication as always been a priority of Howa’s. “Kids have always known they can come and talk to me. They can pull me aside and tell me what they are thinking. I never hold grudges. Kids know they can screw up and come back the next day ready to go.”
Howa’s staff has not been set at this point, but Coach Howa know the importance of surrounding himself with good people. “I can’t do this alone, I know that. I’m going to need great help to teach basic fundamentals until they are automatic. We will coach as a team and hopefully we will play as a team.” Howa then stated the mindset of the program. “We want to compete and represent our school with pride and character. We will do this with good ol’ hard work, keep things simple and be tough. My first goal is that Carbon football will be a class act.”
Schematically, Howa said is to too early to decide which packages the Dinos will run on either side of the ball. As a former college running back, Howa knows the importance of having a great line. “We can have the best quarterback, running back and receivers, but if we don’t have anyone blocking, it won’t matter. I have always thought the trenches are the most important part of a football team.” He continued, “We need big athletes, strong athletes and skill position athletes.” Given the right personnel, Howa would prefer to run an option offense, but is prepared to scheme around the players he has.
Likewise, on defense expect the Dinos to start off in a 5-3 or 4-4 zone and work their way into man. “If [the players] pick zone up quickly, then we can go to man or what the situation calls for. I like my defense aggressive and moving…. line up in the gaps and take two offensive players with you. We will need an attacking linebacking core that can hit, read and react.” He went on, “Special team is just as important as any other part. You can get a lot of kids involved in special teams.”
The biggest concern right now is how Coach Howa can begin to meet his current players and lobby for more to join. “I love working with the kids. I feel like I can make a difference and that I have a lot to offer. We can do anything our kids are willing to work for.” Howa concluded, “I’m definitely excited. The goal is to take a program that hasn’t had a lot of success and make it successful.”
Howa will also be joining the teaching staff at Carbon High as a physical education and health teacher.