Argyle

Teague, Coakley Offer Advice to New High School Football Coach Jason Witten

Former Cowboys excited to see Witten join the high school coaching ranks

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A big headline on social media: Jason Witten announced as the new head football coach at Liberty Christian School in Argyle.

The tweet landed thousands of "likes," and reactions from two other former Dallas Cowboys who have also made the move from the NFL playing field to the high school sidelines.

"I was very excited to hear the news for Jason and for Liberty Christian," former Cowboys safety George Teague said.

"If I knew someone that could be a great coach that would be Jason Witten but I was totally shocked," former Cowboys linebacker Dexter Coakley said.

Teague is the head football coach at John Paul II in Plano. Coakley is an assistant football coach and head softball coach at The Oakridge School in Arlington. Both former Cowboys said they enjoy the chance to shape the lives of young student-athletes.

"You get a raw canvas and you get to mold these kids, you get to be an influence in these kids' lives before they go off to college and I think it's a great opportunity to coach at the high school level," Coakley said.

What would Coakley and Teague tell Witten if he were to ask for advice about coaching in high school?

"It was a very tough time for me in the beginning," Teague said. "I was very accustomed as a player of being told when you had to be there, what you had to eat, what you had to wear, you know, someone having your regimen already done for you, so to come into the head coach's role and actually be the one who had to design it and tell someone else and try to fit it into a school day's schedule saying, 'This is what you got to do and this is what you got to do' took a lot of discipline."

"(Witten's) going to be a 'newbie,' he's going to have to learn on the job," Coakley said. "But at the same time, treat all the kids the same. I mean these kids, they'll run through a wall for you if you treat them all the same."

Being a former Cowboy doesn't guarantee all coaching decisions will be viewed favorably.

"Because you are an NFL player, you're supposed to make every call correctly on and off the field," Teague said. "So that's another (piece of advice) I would give to Jason and say, 'Hey, just understand that as long as he played and we all know he's going into the Hall of Fame and all that, there's still going to be someone out there who feels they know more than him about the game of football.'"

But overall, there's no place Teague and Coakley would rather be than right where they are and they said they look forward to visiting with the newest member of their coaching fraternity in the next school year.

"Liberty Christian is in our district so we have to play them," Teague said. "I am scheduled to go him on Nov. 5."

"We go to Liberty Christian sometime with our wrestling team," Coakley said. "I'll see (Witten) walking around in the gym sometime and I'll jump off the third deck without him knowing I'm there and kind of suplex onto the wrestling mat so that will be one for everyone to see."

Any chance these guys gave Witten too much advice considering they will face his team in the future?

"We still have to coach our kids," Teague said. "We still have to put in the grind and the work, all the things that he's used to, all the things that all of our coaches are used to and I really, really do look forward to working with (Witten) and helping him as much as I can."

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