Coach's Corner: Bruce's Clint Faust
The Bruce Trojans have young players and a new staff for 2017, but that hasn't stopped newly-hired head coach Clint Faust from being optimistic.
Faust has worked as a coach in North Mississippi for 13 years: 12 as an assistant at Water Valley and one in the same role at Itawamba AHS. He is inheriting a team that went 4-8 in 2016 (a record that included losses to county rivals Calhoun City and Vardaman), but made the playoffs. I had the opportunity to talk at length with Coach Faust about his coaching journey and what he expects out of his 2017 Trojans.
SES: So what made you decide to take this job? Obviously it's kind of close to Water Valley, but what all played into that decision?
Faust: I have always wanted to be a head coach, and what better place to get a shot? Bruce is a place that is rich in tradition, has great community support and top-notch student athletes. I have always respected the type of program Bruce has been over the years. Coaching against them, I always knew we had to play well to have a chance of winning.
SES: Awesome. Now, talking about the program, they've had a few rough patches the last few years, but made the postseason last year. I know you're replacing a lot of talent from last year's team too, including the starting quarterback. What challenges are you facing and working on to make 2017 a good year for the Trojans?
Faust: Right, I think we graduated around 20 guys last year. I believe that there is a lot of young talent coming up, they just need quality practice reps and game experience. After all, I believe that is the greatest teacher there is, even in life. We will rely on our linemen to be the backbone of this team while our skill players continue to grow and get better at what we do offensively and defensively.
SES: Do you have a front-runner for quarterback heading into the summer and fall?
Faust: Trent Hall and Jay Collins will split reps this summer, and we should be able to have a clear decision once the regular season gets here.
SES: Are you implementing a new offensive or defensive scheme this year?
Faust: We will try to be a Split-4 on defense. We want to be multiple on offense: be physical in the run game and throw it enough to keep folks honest.
SES: I'm big into football uniforms. Are you planning any changes this year or in the next few years?
Faust: We are getting a new home and away set. No changes in colors or anything. [We're] going back to the Bruce script [on the helmet].
Coach Faust may have a lot of new faces to work with in 2017, but he is ready for the challenge. Perhaps this fresh start can help return the Trojans to their former glory.
**Photo by Cal Brown.