— By GREG WEBB
It would have been very easy for former Wimberley athletic director and head football coach Weldon Nelms to rest on his laurels — and there are significant laurels available to rest upon — but the coach admits to an intrinsic oddity often befalling individuals who long for yet another test.
“I guess I am a bit peculiar in that I really like challenges,” Nelms said. “I was sitting in my office [at Wimberley] on a Wednesday — things were great, no problems — and Mr. Scoggin called. “I’ll admit I was a bit nervous about [the head coaching position] and wasn’t sure I would want to leave a “comfortable” situation and go back into the building process, again.”
With lots of think time beforehand, during the trip up to Roo land, and after the initial interview with WISD’s selection committee, Nelms hints of at least some divine intervention taking hold of the process, along with his love of the prospect of the new challenge.
“I came up on Thursday to interview, and after eight hours of driving and the 2-hour first meeting, I was asked to come back for the follow-up,” Nelms said. “For whatever crazy reasons, I felt like the good Lord either wanted me out of Wimberley or in Weatherford.
“The opportunity at Weatherford just seemed to mesh and I am very excited about being here. My wife was very supportive and upbeat through the whole process.”
Nelms has been very pleased with the response from all quarters since arriving in Weatherford — from his WISD colleagues, to the parents and Roo fans, to the kids who will be following the coach, who has seen 33 seasons, onto the gridiron.
Entering Parker County with eyes open, Nelms is cognizant of the heightened level of apprehension and expectations that come with the job, and is candid about the process.
“I’m not a magic man with special potions or anything like that,” he said. “I’ve been a builder throughout my career, and I have always had a deep passion about working with the kids.
Nelms has brought some help with him, to install the system which has garnered an exemplary amount of success, recent as well as throughout the coach’s tenure.
The Roos offensive coordinator is Jerod Fikac, while Dick Smith will head up the Roo defense. Secondary coach Kip Holt, also heading up the strength and conditioning program, is already on board, as well.
Ricky Beaty, a former quarterback for Nelms, will officially join the team in the fall.
“It’s a big help having those guys along, since they already are familiar with our schemes,” Nelms said. “There are great coaches everywhere, and already here at Weatherford, as well, but it will help us install the system faster.
“They are family men and hard workers, and fully realize we are here on a mission.”
The Weatherford Football Booster Club is illustrating their excitement about Nelms taking the Roo reins with a meet-n-greet, which will be held on Monday, at Kangaroo Stadium. The welcoming event will preface the start of the spring drills.
The Weatherford head coach does not stray far from his main intent when talking about building “the wall” with the kids and the coaches. He is convinced the method is tried and true. There’s nothing in a successful history to suggest otherwise.
[This profession] is the ultimate opportunity to touch kids lives,” he said of coaching. “It’s not just about winning games — the winning takes care of itself after you’ve taken care of the little things.
“And that’s what we’ve tried to impress on these kids in the short time we’ve been here.
“All of this is exciting to me, to make this program what it needs to be. And if I don’t, I hope they run me off and get somebody else, because these kids deserve that.”