One-on-One with Coby Peeler – new Cougar football coach | Sports | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | March 30, 2017 5:00 pm
Last Updated: March 29, 2017 at 10:36 am
By CINDY CROSBY
As the newly named head football coach for the Colleton County Cougars, Coby Peeler had a busy end to his week. Following last Tuesday’s announcement, Peeler spent Friday at Colleton County High School meeting with the Cougar football players, holding a press conference for media and conducting meetings with staff.
A 21-year teaching veteran, Peeler currently teaches social studies at Greer High School and serves as the head wrestling coach and assistant football coach for the SCHSL Region 2-AAAA Yellow Jackets. Prior to his time at Greer, Peeler was an assistant coach at Broome High School.
Originally from Spartanburg, Peeler attended Dorman High School and then earned a B.S. from Clemson University in secondary education in 1996 and completed his master’s in curriculum and instruction at the University of Phoenix in 2005.
While at Clemson, Peeler earned a varsity letter in 1994 as a defensive back for the Tigers.
Following is an in-depth one-on-one with Coach Peeler, where he discusses his goals for the upcoming season of Cougar Football:
What interested you in Cougar’s football?
I began my career at Stratford High School, so I remember the old Walterboro teams that were in our region back in the mid-to-late 90’s. I always admired the passion and pride they played with and thought I could be a good fit here.
When do you hope to be “situated” in Colleton County?
I am under contract at Greer through the end of May, but will be back and forth until then. As soon as school is out, I plan on being here full-time.
What do feel are the most important components to establishing Colleton County as a dominant force in Region 8-AAAA football this upcoming season?
I believe CCHS has great potential, to once again, be a perennial power in 4-A football. I think there are areas where we can immediately make improvements in terms of focus and unity toward a common goal. I believe there is a desire to succeed, but we must develop the right mentality to reach our potential and be effective.
How can the community help strengthen the program while supporting the coaching staff and players?
The community has always been an important part of the success in this area. That pride in their school and team was palpable when I was coaching against them in the mid 90’s. Stay positive with our young men. Understand they’re going to work unbelievably hard to provide their community with a program that they can be proud of, and of course, come out and cheer them on.
Spring training is just around the corner. In your first days as the Cougar’s new football coach, what plans have you put together?
At this early stage, it is a matter of filling out a staff, installing new systems with coaches and coordinating two districts to allow me the best opportunity to be here. We are working on zeroing in on dates and will use the spring to evaluate where players will best fit in our system. It’s going to be sort of a work in progress this spring, but I feel we can still accomplish what we need, in terms of evaluation and installation.
Establishing a knowledgeable, cohesive, supportive coaching staff is likely a priority – how is this falling into place?
I am very close to putting the final pieces together for what I feel will be a terrific staff. We are going to have a great mixture of experience, energy, knowledge and enthusiasm. Hopefully, over the next couple of weeks it will be completed and installation will be well underway with our staff.
After watching film from last season, what are a few standout things you would like to build upon or change for the fall?
I have looked at some film – what stands out to me is we have potential. I feel the important thing is to focus on who best fits where in our system, to maximize their strengths, and to instill our philosophy on how we prepare and develop as a team.
Having had the opportunity to meet with the players, what was your initial impression and their reaction to the opportunities ahead?
The players seem excited. I think they are trying to feel things out and figure out who this new guy is and what he’s about. But, they are very eager to get underway and want a chance to compete. They were very gracious in their welcoming of me.
What are the core values and expectations you will demand from the players?
I was coached by Dale Evans in high school, a man of great character and integrity. Since then, I have coached under others who were successful for the same reasons – Ray Stackley, Will Young, Todd Staley. Like them, I am going to expect our players to be physically and mentally tough, but more importantly, to be men of integrity.
Academics – how important, how accountable?
Players can’t play if they aren’t eligible. More importantly, they can’t further their education and better themselves, regardless of how talented they are, if their grades are poor. Players’ grades will be constantly monitored during the season and mandatory study time will be incorporated for those with deficiencies.
What are the first steps you’ll take toward building the Cougar Football program – specifically retaining players interest at the JV/Varsity level and developing pride in the program?
I don’t want us to let kids slip through the cracks. We must be in the halls, in the cafeteria and in the community actively seeking kids that might help our program, which must start before the high school level. I want to reach out to the Rec and travel league programs and to the middle school to let them know how important they are. Everyone has a place in our program — I want to work to help everyone find a place to fit in and be a part.
Finally, will the Cougars have a new look in 2017-18?
We will be a spread team on offense, but will look a little different in terms of how we go about attacking teams. While we are going to attack both horizontally and vertically, the emphasis is on balance. Defensively, I think it will be a little more noticeable. We are going be a multiple front, attacking defense. While there are times when we will read and control, we want to get downhill and attack, blitz, show a multitude of coverages and bring pressure in a lot of different ways. There are a million different ways to do things, but what’s most important to me is that our players buy in, have confidence and believe in what we are doing, and that we keep the scheme to where they can play fast and aggressive.