After a season of forgettable moments and the devastating 2-9-football season in 2014, The Texas A&M University Kingsville football team has started a new era a new head coach.
Meet Daren Wilkinson, the 10th head coach in university history.
Wilkinson comes from Colorado State University Pueblo where he helped lead the Thunder Wolves to a 25-2 record and two conference championships and a national title last year as offensive coordinator.
“There is always challenges in every job you take,” Wilkinson said. “I was at Colorado State for two years learning how to get kids motivated and keep kids motivated.”
With a new face at the head of the Javelina football helm, TAMUK will be looking to improve from their worst season in school history. The Javelinas fired head coach David Calloway after a school worst 80-14 loss to Tarleton State in October that proved to be the final straw for the two-year man. Calloway finished his tenure as head coach with a 3-13 overall record and 0-10 in the Lone Star Conference. Assistant coach Jaime Martinez took over as intern, and led the Javelinas to a win in their final game of the season against McMurray State. Martinez finished his stint as interim coach with 1 win and 5 losses.
“There has been a period of not a lot of great teamwork and great effort on a consistent basis. That is what we need to change and the effort and the attitude and the focus that goes into the jobs we are doing,” Wilkinson said. “There is a lot of history here at TAMUK and I hope to do the things coaches have done in the past and win championships and focus on the great things that have been done around here.
Starting Quarterback for the Javelinas Trey Mitchell feels the new head coach position can be not only positive for the team but for the program in the future as well.
“His national championship and 14-1 record (last year) was done at a different place under a different set of circumstances so I’m not really putting expectations on him,” said Mitchell. “It’s really been a focus on the expectations that he has placed on us in our effort and attitude on how you approach coming in and working everyday. Really wanting us to work the way he wants us too.”
Wilkinson just, in fact, may be the answer for the Javelina football program moving forward. When you finish a season hitting rock bottom, the only direction you can move going forward is up.
“I think the first goal for this spring is we have got to learn to come together as a team, interviewing each guy one-on-one and getting to know about them and what makes them tick and what they think about the program. One of the things here is there’s not enough trust, not enough team work, there needs to be a lot more trust as teammates and coaches. If we can accomplish that in the spring then we will set ourselves up to win some ball games in the fall,” Wilkinson said.