New face of football

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New face of football

Football players line up on the sideline for a drill during practice. Larry Swinnea takes the reigns as the new head football coach this season.

Football players line up on the sideline for a drill during practice. Larry Swinnea takes the reigns as the new head football coach this season.

Carter Brock

Football players line up on the sideline for a drill during practice. Larry Swinnea takes the reigns as the new head football coach this season.

Carter Brock

Carter Brock

Football players line up on the sideline for a drill during practice. Larry Swinnea takes the reigns as the new head football coach this season.

Yael Even, Managing Editor

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There’s a new face leading the Redhawks football program as former defensive coordinator Larry Swinnea takes over for Chris Burtch, who resigned over the summer for a job with the Frisco ISD Athletic Department. Wingspan caught up with Swinnea to get his thoughts on being the school’s new head football coach. 

Wingspan: How long have you been coaching football?

Swinnea: “This will be my 30th year.”

Wingspan: What have you learned over the past few years as a coach?

Swinnea: “While there are numerous things that have been “learned”, the most important thing learned is that one should never stop learning.”

Wingspan: As you coached other sports before, what do you think it will be like coaching one sport?

Swinnea: “While I may be coaching one sport, the new job also entails being campus athletic coordinator.  That means I will in essence be “coaching” other coaches. I’m very excited about being able to support all programs in this new role.”

Wingspan: What do you like about working with the players?

Swinnea: “I really enjoy watching players mature over time and discover who they are as people.  One of the biggest satisfactions in this job is seeing young people 10, 15, 20 years after graduation as they blossom into fathers, husbands, and leaders in their communities.”  

Wingspan: How is your transition to being the new head coach?

Swinnea: “It has been great. The best thing is that there are already relationships established and those are always the most important thing. Our administration is outstanding, our teachers are awesome, our players are fantastic and I get to work with a great group coaches. That’s a recipe for a great transition.”

Wingspan: How is it to have your family with you on campus?

Swinnea: “It is the absolute best and I’ve actually never known anything else.  We have always been together. There is something special about seeing all three of my children graduate from Liberty and to have my wife on campus as a teacher as well.  We are Redhawks, through and through.”

Wingspan: Why did you step up for the new head coach position?

Swinnea: “I’ve been preparing for this role my entire career. One of the great things about working with Coach Burtch for 15 years is that he gave me a great deal of responsibility, authority, and autonomy within the program.  We have invested a ton of love and effort into Liberty High School the past 5 years and the chance to lead the Athletic program at the highest level is the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Wingspan: How have you been preparing for the new season?

Swinnea: “There are many moving parts to preparing for a new season but the most important is hiring and assembling a great staff. We feel like we have added six great coaches to an already super staff. Coach Gregory led an outstanding summer strength & conditioning program and Coach Gonzales is doing a fantastic job as our Associate Head Coach. I like how the staff is getting along and am really excited about seeing them in action once the players arrive.”