STAR CITY — Jett Furneaux was unable to lead Star City to a state title as a quarterback, but starting this year he hopes to win one as a coach.
“Right now, it’s a honeymoon,” Furneaux said about coaching his alma mater. “I’ve wanted to be a part of something special here at Star City.
“I didn’t quite get the chance to as a player, but to have the opportunity as a coach is really special.”
Furneaux, who quarterbacked the Bulldogs from 1997-99, thinks being a Star City native gives him an advantage as a coach.
“I’m a hometown guy,” Furneaux said. “Right now, I think there is a sense of trust.”
Another thing that should help the Bulldogs is that Furneaux has been the team’s offensive coordinator for the past four seasons.
“I think it’s been a pretty smooth transition,” Furneaux said. “We use the same terminology on offense and defense.
“I think it made it easier on the kids.”
So far, Furneaux has been impressed with what he’s seen in practice, especially from the defense.
“Really pleased with the overall defense,” Furneaux said. “They’ve been flying to the ball, which you love to see.
“The intensity has really impressed me.”
Furneaux inherits a young team from former coach Blair Brown, but Furneaux thinks system familiarity will help the players transition to the high school level.
“Something we’ve been doing for a few years with these guys is that our (coaches) have coached the junior high,” Furneaux said. “So, they are running the same offensive and defensive schemes with the same terminology.”
The youth for the Bulldogs begins at the most important position with sophomore Tye Brown, the son of the former coach, playing quarterback.
“It’s a big difference,” Brown said about not having his dad coach him. “I’ve always been around coach Jett, because he was more of an offensive guy.
“The team’s attitude has changed a lot, and it’s different but different in a good way.”
In 2012, Brown played the final four games of the varsity season. His success this season will be a major factor in determining how well Furneaux’s first year goes.
“Probably one of the smartest football kids I’ve ever been around,” Furneaux said of Brown.
His dad may have been the head coach, but since he was in sixth grade Brown has spent most of his time working with Furneaux.
“I’ve spent most of my time around him,” Brown said of Furneaux. “I learned everything from him.”
Fellow sophomore Austin Capps, who transferred from Dumas prior to last season, hasn’t been around Furneaux as long as most of the team but still thinks the promotion was a good decision.
“I think it’s better,” Capps said of promoting Furneaux. “We don’t have to change terminology.
“We already trust him.”
While Furneaux would like to fill the Bulldogs’ trophy case as much as possible, it’s not his only objective.
“We expect to compete for titles,” Furneaux said. “But more than that, we are trying to change the community. …
“Especially, the expectations the community sets for these young men.”