By Alex Gonzalez
When I heard the news about Riley Saxon becoming Temple City’s new head football coach I said, ‘Wow, Saxon became the head coach the same week Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss are relieved of their duties from the Lakers. Obviously the Saxon hire is bigger news right?. I have to talk to him.’
That is exactly what I did. I got on the phone, texted and called him and ask if he wanted to have a sit down with me so I can personally pick his brain and what he plans on doing for Temple City and their football program.
GONZO: What happened the day of the hire?
SAXON: First day, my phone is just blowing up. I Couldn’t keep up with everything. That was cool. Since then, getting situated and catching up is bit of a challenge but its been good and the kids are excited.
GONZO: Besides you, what does this hire mean for your family?
SAXON: Its surreal to start off. In Joe’s article and in the school news paper it said that I’m the 14th head coach in history. Just reading that in print it was a surreal, it hit me. My parents are proud and I don’t think that its hit them fully. I don’t even think it’s hit myself fully but they’re excited and my sisters are excited and proud.
GONZO: Since you’ve graduated, there has been five coaches with a combined record of 38-76-2 and you are the third coach in four years. You feel any pressure?
SAXON: I think there is always pressure. Pressure in a sense that everyone is excited and if it goes wrong, how are they going to react? I don’t think it’s going to be wrong. I think we are going to be prepared, and were going to show a different product. I think there will be more pressure as time goes along but I have confidence in the coaching staff that I have and confidence in the kids. When those two work together we’ll see a product that we all can be proud of and I don’t have to worry about that pressure as much.
GONZO: Have there been former teammates and coaches come to congratulate you on the hire?
SAXON: I’ve gotten a few texts. Coach Mooney texted me. Coach Backus talked to me. There has been a lot and I can’t keep track. I’ve had a lot of former players that I played with congratulate me.
GONZO: What are you looking forward to?
SAXON: There are a lot of things that I’m looking forward to. I really enjoy seeing the kids grow from the first day in spring to the first day in pads to that first game and to that first victory. They can see all that hard work they put in and see that light bulb click when that happens. It’s going to be awesome here Friday night, first game, the band is going to be playing the lights will be on, it’s going to be a really cool moment.
GONZO: Are you going to have an Offensive Coordinator call the plays or are you calling the plays?
SAXON: I will be calling the plays. I have a guy, who I trust that will be in the booth. He and I have been working together for multiple years. At San Marino we won a league championship together. We have the same philosophy and we have the same eye for things.
GONZO: Are you going four wide?
SAXON: Fullback and a Tightend. Go watch the 2005 and 2006 teams at Temple City and thats what you’re going to see. I understand the Temple City kid and I’m going to use that to our advantage.
GONZO: Are your seniors ready to lead?
SAXON: There are guys that I have to set the tone. I have guys that I have to guide the underclassmen to be at that point that I want. We’re going full speed. We are going to push it and I expect us to make some noise. We are ready.