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Randy Hollis: Andre Dyson has the makings of being a great football coach

Published: Saturday, Aug. 16 2014 11:45 p.m. MDT

Former Ute and NFL defensive back Andre Dyson has returned to his Clearfield High alma mater as head coach of the football team. Photo taken at Clearfield High School on Friday, Jan. 24, 2014.

LAURA SEITZ, Deseret News

CLEARFIELD —

Andre Dyson is going to be a great football coach.

Just listening to the former Clearfield High, University of Utah and National Football League standout talk passionately about his approach to the game and what it means to him, it’s enough to make even a morbidly obese, 60-something-year-old guy like myself wanna suit up, line up and hit somebody again.

That’s only gonna happen these days, thankfully, when I doze off while watching an NFL game on a Sunday afternoon and start dreaming about playing linebacker for the Steelers.

But I’m sure that when the first-year Clearfield High head coach talks to his players, they can’t help but get fired up about playing the game — and playing it with the right mindset.

Or, at least, they certainly should.

Dyson is taking over a once-proud CHS program that hasn’t had a winning season since 2004, but he is undaunted in his determination to help turn the Falcons’ team back into a winner again.

And he isn't gonna back down from anybody.

“Talent-wise, yeah, other teams might have more talent, but all you have to do is beat them that one night,” he said. “It's not basketball; you don't have to beat 'em best out of seven. You just have to beat them that one night, you just have to have a better night than them, and it’s possible. Anything is possible.

"I played on some teams that weren’t as talented, and I played on some teams that were really talented. But to me, when I played on the Seahawks, we didn't have that much talent; we had so much more talent when I played for the Titans. But the Seahawks, we were a team. We loved each other; we played for each other. We had fun with each other; we hung out with each other. And ultimately we made it to the biggest game (the Super Bowl).

"When I was in Tennessee, we were a team — kinda," said Dyson, who was a stellar defensive back in the NFL. "The DBs were close and some other guys were close, but we had a lot of guys that were after contracts and money, so there were some other little added agendas. And we made it to some AFC championship games, we just never made it past the hurdle when I was there."

Because they weren't the type of "team" they needed to be.

You’ll notice Dyson’s vocabulary doesn’t use the word “I” very often. Instead, it’s more often about “us,” “we” and “team.”

And his players would be wise to listen to what he has to say. After graduating from Clearfield in 1997, he played at the U. of U. from 1997-2001, then spent eight years in the NFL from 2001-08.

So this is a guy who's been there and done that, at the highest level possible. And he definitely knows what he's talking about.

“To me, it’s all about coming together as a team," Dyson said. "Not just 11 guys on the field; I'm talking about the 70 or the 85 or however many kids that we have. That last guy, his job is to just clap on the sideline, cheer everyone every time they come off the field, give high-fives, tell guys, 'Good job,' or tell a guy, 'Hey, don't worry about it.' His job is important.

"It boils down to all of us being on the same page, being there for each other. Win or lose, we're gonna step in the locker room knowing that we gave it our best shot, that we gave ourselves a chance to win. That's what I'm preaching.

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