McFadden Talks Coaching Shrine Bowl
Written by Cole Havens on December 29, 2020
Last week it was announced that Head Coach of Cody Bronc Football, Matt McFadden, has been chosen to coach the North Team in the 48th annual Wyoming Shrine Bowl. McFadden will be the head coach in this contest for the first time since 2015. I was able to catch up with coach McFadden to talk to him about the honor, what it’s like coaching this game and more. Coach McFadden on being tabbed as one of the games best Head Coaches.
“It’s an honor. Voted by your fellow coaches and that’s always a big honor. It’s a terrific cause. So to be able to go out and a chance to coach some of these Cody seniors one more time is really what kind of drives me but it’s an awesome cause. It’s a terrific game, you’ve got terrific athletes and yeah, it’s another chance to play football. Really excited about it.”
Coach McFadden now begins the process of selecting his staff and roster. While he’d love to take his entire staff and senior class, he cannot do so. He gives insight into how the coaching staff and player selection works.
“You get to select staff from all different levels of football. The one staff member I know I’m taking, Jim Talich, D-Coordinator. You get to take one assistant from your team. Then as far as players. So coaches nominate their players. They have to be seniors, they have to be in good standing. So they’ll put in some paperwork for those seniors, their top seniors that they feel like can play successfully in this game. You can take no more than five players from a single team. If you take five players from one team, you can’t take more than three from another. You have to have players at all levels.”
Coach McFadden goes on to talk about what it’s like to have the opportunity to coach so many different kids from around the state.
“Yeah, it’s awesome. You know, we always kind of think that, ‘oh the 6-man, they’re a little bit smaller,’ but those dudes are studs. Phenomenal tacklers. So it’s really exciting. You get to coach the big names that are going, that you see sign somewhere and are going to play D-1. Yeah you get a chance to work with some of the big names but also you get to meet some of these kids and really just develop relationships with these kids and later on. At our state game we had some of those Shrine Bowl kids that I coached from Lovell and Thermopolis and they showed up. That was a long time ago since I was last head coach. So they show up and they’ve got kids now and that’s the best part about it. It’s just really awesome.”
The last time McFadden coached this game he got to coach one of Wyoming’s best.
“I got a chance last time I was head coach to coach Logan Wilson. You know, so I’ll take credit for that. Moved him from safety to linebacker. You never look back, right? That was me. I did that.” McFadden says laughing. “No but a chance to coach him. Funny fact about him, he’s the best punter I’ve ever seen in my life. Like he could punt in the NFL. Nobody, Wyoming didn’t give him a shot at doing that. He could’ve done it. Linebacker-Punt combo woud be awesome. He kills the ball.”
While Shrine Bowl is a week long event that culmintaes with the game at the end, McFadden says that’s not even the best part.
“The highlight of the trip is you go to Salt Lake and you go to the children’s hospital. So that’s by far the best point. And I think up until that point it just feels like a football game and an all-star game and you’re prepping and your scheming, your practicing and doing that. But once you walk into that hospital, when you walk out it changes your heart and it changes your mind. That’s really what it’s all about. The game is cool and the game’s awesome but a chance to go through that hospital with those kids and just show them that and show them what they have is really amazing.”
Cody Football’s Matt McFadden is the North Team head coach in the 48th annual Shrine Bowl, set to take place June 12th, 2021 at Cheney Alumni Field at Natrona County High School in Casper, Wyoming. Stay tuned to the Big Horn Radio Network for more.
ICYMI: Here’s the article from when he was announced as a Shrine Bowl coach: https://mybighornbasin.com/matt-mcfadden-chosen-as-shrine-bowl-head-coach/