Matt Lewis’ spread offense was a well-oiled machine in his four years as offensive coordinator at Saguaro.
Now it’s time to find out if it was the scheme or the playmakers that really made it go.
Lewis was hired Monday as the new coach at McClintock, a school steeped in tradition but one that has struggled in recent years. Mike Gibbons was fired after going 2-8 this season. He was 16-28 overall in his four years at the helm.
Saguaro won three 4A Division I state titles in Lewis’ four years as offensive coordinator under coach John Sanders, and the offense averaged nearly 49 points per game in 2010. However, some people believe it was because of Division I-caliber athletes like Teddy Ruben and D.J. Foster that made Saguaro so lethal, not Lewis’ formations or play-calling.
“People have said, ‘The Saguaro kids would make any offense look good,’” Lewis said. “If you have D.J. and Teddy, you can run anything. I would dispute that a little bit.”
With Lewis now at McClintock, the answer will be evident soon. He met with approximately 80 players on Tuesday afternoon, and was encouraged with the feedback.
Lewis will bring along Saguaro assistant Brandon Larson to be his offensive coordinator, as well as an overall aggressive nature which could include rarely punting.
Lewis said he doesn’t necessarily need a mobile quarterback to be successful, although that would be his preference. He said everyone on the offense that isn’t playing on the line will learn how to catch a shotgun snap, because it adds to the versatility of what he can do.
Despite the excitement the spread offense brings, Lewis said it is the behind-the-scenes stuff that will determine if McClintock can once again become a top-tier program.
“My main (message) is that if they want to be good, there is a road map we have to follow,” Lewis said. “If they don’t want to be good, then we’re going to struggle.”
Before his time at Saguaro, Lewis was the football coach and athletic director for Allen Academy, a small college preparatory school in Texas.
“I was happy to have a little break (from head coaching),” he said. “It reinvigorated me. Now I can hit this new challenge with some enthusiasm.”