Football: New head coach gives Aztecs hope

Sean Knox aims to breathe new life into football program that has struggled in recent years

FARMERSVILLE – It’s been the tale of two halves for Farmersville football over the last decade. The early 2010s were filled with winning seasons, playoff wins, and a Division VI Valley championship in 2013. 2015 to now has been the complete opposite as they haven’t won a game since 2017. New head coach Sean Knox has been tasked with the assignment of bringing Farmersville football back to the top and deems himself to be fit for the challenge.

As the first Black head coach in Farmersville’s young history, Knox brings over a decade of football experience to the program. He’s also from the area as he played in high school at Tulare Western before going to play Division I football at the University of Utah as a defensive back from 1987-1990. From there, he bounced around the Canadian and Arena Football League before beginning his coaching career.

Knox has spent the last ten years at various colleges around the country including Marian University where he was a defensive backs coach for a secondary that ranked third in the country in interceptions with 26, and included three All-Conference defensive backs in 2010. From there he went to University of Minnesota Crookston where he spent five seasons as the defensive backs coach, special teams coordinator, and strengths coach, before moving back to the Central Valley as the defensive coordinator at Reedley College in 2016.

He spent one season in Reedley before coming home to be the defensive coordinator at Tulare Western in 2017 under head coach Ryan Rocha. Knox’s most successful years as a coach came during his three-year run with the Mustangs. The team combined for a record of 31-7 with two Valley Championship appearances in 2017 and 2019. His defense was second in the Central Valley in interceptions in 2018 with 25, and finished fourth in 2019 with 21. Part of those teams were defensive backs Jordan Burrell and Mikey Fisher who are both currently playing Division I football at Davidson College.

Following the success at Tulare Western, Knox is ready for the new tests he’ll be facing as he takes over a struggling Farmersville football program. Thankfully for the Aztecs, their new head coach has experience on both ends of the spectrum. He’s been a part of winning teams but then also coached on teams that have struggled to gather up wins such as his experience at the teams at University of Minnesota Crookston, Reedley College, and even his first head coaching gig at East High School in 2008. As a result, he understands that before any success on the field happens, rebuilding the culture from the ground up will come first.

“I’m going to get tested again. Coaching is about what you can do when things go wrong, that’s the magic of your coaching ability,” he said. “I want to create a positive culture. A culture that supports academics and football as a motivational byproduct of those academics.”

The expectations he has for himself are simple: build the numbers up and restore confidence in Farmersville football. As far as the product on the field, Knox’s vision for the Aztecs is an opportunistic offense that takes care of the ball and scores with the utmost of efficiency. Defensively, he wants his squad to take advantage of the opposing offense’s weaknesses to create turnovers and create more chances for his offense.

The Aztecs will open the season with a bye week before making their home debut on Aug. 27 against Avenal at 7:30 p.m.

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