Welcome Back, Wyatt
Wed, 06/23/2021 - 1:18pm admin
R-IV Hires Alumnus Head Football Coach
Amanda Mendez, Publisher
At their meeting on June 14, the Willow Springs R-IV School Board voted to offer Joel Wyatt a contract as head football coach for the 2021-2022 academic year. Wyatt replaces Loga Schwalm in the PE/Conditioning/Head Coach position. Schwalm’s resignation was accepted by the Board in the same meeting.
Wyatt, WSHS Class of 1988, brings a career record of 111 and 24 to Bears football. In an interview with Howell County News, Wyatt summarized his coaching career: he started out coaching for the Houston Tigers before coming back to Willow Springs in the late 90s. He moved on to Mountain Grove’s program for five years before taking the helm at Malden and then Kennett.
In his seven seasons at Malden, Wyatt led the Green Wave program to two Final Four appearances, including a trip to the State Championship game in 2015, which they lost to Lamar. In an overall record of 69-16, Wyatt secured three conference and three district championships.
At Kennett, Wyatt led the Indians to four conference and three district championships with a four-season record of 42-8. The program went to the Final Four in 2019.
Wyatt returns to Willow Springs for family reasons, he said. His mother passed away recently, so he has returned to his hometown to be close to his father, who travels to all Wyatt’s games.
“It was a good move for family reasons,” he said, “It’s about me wanting to give back to the community and my high school.”
Work has already begun with this year's roster of Bears. The team and coaching staff have been at the weights all week, Wyatt reported, calling it a “great first week.”
“We’re gonna coach them hard and hug ‘em later,” Wyatt said, “We’re not going to let them cut corners.”
About the existing Bear football program, Wyatt said, “I really like our coaching staff. We picked up Eric Metcalf from Thayer, which is a winning program. We have Coach McCrosky, who I worked with in the 90s. Dylan Carter has enthusiasm, and I like the way he works with the kids.”
Wyatt said he has not had a chance to work much with Coach Jason Henley.
“The best thing the community can do is to get behind these young men. And pack Palenske,” said Wyatt.
Donations of drinks and snacks are also welcome to help the Bears power through their busy summer schedule in the lead up to the opening game of the season at home against Clever.