New Glenbrook Apache head football coach Chris Norton is stepping into a much better opportunity than he did when he accepted his first head coaching job two years ago.
Norton took over a West Memphis Christian team that had won just nine games over the previous five non-playoff seasons, while the Apaches are coming off a nine-win playoff season.
"We took over a tough, difficult situation there," Norton said on WMC. "They had won a state championship in 1996 and then had a stretch of 10-win season, before falling on tough times. We worked hard to get the program back competitive, and I feel we left it in a better place than hen we found it."
Norton is happy with decision to take over the Apaches' football program.
"I truely feel like this is one of the better jobs in the association (MAIS)," he said. "I told (Glenbrook Head Master) Mr. Gladney and (Athletic Director) coach (Jeff) Dalton that when we met. I also told them that I wasn't looking to leave West memphis, it was just that I really wanted to be here at Glenbrook."
Norton went 4-6 and 5-5 with one playoff appearance in his two seasons at WMC. His WMC teams dressed less than 20 players both years.
"One of the nig things that interested me from the start, was the number of kids," Norton said. "Coming from West Memphis where we dressed 18 kids and then coming here and seeing 34 kids in the weight room on Monday, that's a game changer. We're excited about coming into an environment where the kids are excited about playing football and we hope to sell that to even more. We hope to promote in the school and get some of the guys walking the halls to come out and play as well."
Norton expects to bring his spread, high-temp offense to the Apaches.
"What we do is similar to what they've done here in the past," he said. "We're going to spread it out and put the football in the air. I don't subscribe to the thinking that you have to have a run/pass balance. We can balance the field, and balance out touches. We're going to get a lot of kids involved and play at a fast pace."
But that's not to say that Norton won't adapt to his new surroundings.
"We've got guys on staff that helped win nine games here last season," he said. "So we're going to sit down and merge our systems a little. We believe in what we're going to do, and we believe the kids will be excited about it. The more kids get excited, the better off your program is. I really feel the school is in a position for some good times in the next few years, and we're excited about getting started."