Chris Edwards is going from Versailles Tiger to Houston Tiger.
Edwards accepted a contract offer last Thursday from the board of education to become head coach and athletic director. One of three finalists, Edwards becomes Houston’s third football coach in three years.
Edwards, 33, said he was intrigued by the Tigers’ football tradition and the opportunity to become A.D.
“Football is a big part of life there, and that’s something I’m very interested in,” he said. “It’s a difference in atmospheres that I’m looking forward to.”
Edwards is familiar with the rebuilding project he inherits at Houston, which sunk to 0-10 last year under first-time head coach Josh Gettler. He inherited a winless Versailles in 2004 and guided the team to three, four and four wins in three seasons. Before he arrived at Versailles, Edwards led Winfield, which had just six wins in its history, to nine victories in two years.
“I’ve taken these programs over that have been in similar or the exact same situation as Houston,” Edwards said. “You can fall off the top of the mountain right to the bottom. It’s difficult to jump from the bottom way back to the top in one quick movement.”
A 1997 University of Missouri-Columbia graduate with a masters from Central Missouri State, Edwards was an assistant football coach at Kearney from 1997 through 2002. He was head coach during his stints in Winfield and Versailles.
Edwards said he will bring a multiple I-formation offense and 4-3 defense to Houston. Last year, the Tigers’ offense switched multiple times throughout the season.
“You can fit it to your kids pretty easily,” Edwards said of his offensive scheme. “You can make changes every year to fit what personnel you have, and you don’t have to wholesale change your offense. You can go between an option game, power running game and passing game with some little tweaks and turns.”
Edwards knows it may take time to restore Houston’s football program, but he’s ready for the challenge.
“You just have to be patient, set out your expectations and demands, and the kids will buy into it,” he said. “When you have past tradition or success at a school, there’s no reason you can’t get back to that point.”