The annual Piney Woods Football Clinic will host its 2022 event on Friday and Saturday at Holiday Inn Longview - North (300 Tuttle Circle, Longview, Texas 75605), and hundreds of coaches are expected to attend.
“It’s grown to a huge event,” said Longview athletic director and head football coach John King, who is also a Piney Woods Football Clinic director along with Barry Norton, Aaron Henson and Billy Robbins. “We’re expecting 400 to 500 attendees over the two days, so it’s a big deal.”
Both days of the coaches-only event will feature six 50-minute coaching lectures, and five of the six on Friday will come from current college coaches. Friday’s portion of the event will launch with University of Tennessee at Martin quarterbacks coach Drew Tate at 3 p.m. and University of Alabama special teams coordinator and tight ends coach Drew Svoboda at 4 p.m.
Following Rockwall-Heath High School campus athletic coordinator and head football coach Mike Spradlin at 5 p.m., the college trend returns with University of Texas at Austin defensive line coach Bo Davis at 6 p.m., the Texas Tech University football staff at 7 p.m., and the former Gilmer High School head football coach Jeff Traylor-led UTSA staff at 8 p.m. That will all precede the Friday night coaches social.
“Our college speakers love coming out because it gives them an opportunity to recruit East Texas during the day, speak at night, and head back for their recruiting weekend,” said King. “So, it’s a win-win for everyone.”
Saturday will include three high school lectures in both the morning and afternoon sessions. The early portion will include Bellville athletic director and head football coach Grady Rowe at 9 a.m., Gregory-Portland offensive coordinator Greg Winder at 10 a.m., and Magnolia defensive coordinator Chase Hargis at 11 a.m.
Following a mid-day break that includes a noon lunch and a 12:55 p.m. draw for door prizes, the late lectures will come from Arlington Martin head football coach Bob Wager at 1 p.m., Pearland athletic coordinator and head football coach Ricky Tullos at 2 p.m., and Mineola athletic director and head football coach Luke Blackwell at 3 p.m.
“I think we got a great lineup of speakers coming from high school and college, and some of the college speakers are former high school coaches,” said King. “We have an array of speakers from offense, defense and special teams. We’re going to learn from football, network, talk recruiting with those guys for our own players, and promote both the game of football and East Texas football while the clinic is going on.”
The clinic was first hosted half a decade ago. Now, coaches will travel far distances to attend.
“More interest,” King said of the biggest change in the event since its founding. “Not only from East Texas, but we now get out-of-state participants and guys from all over the state of Texas. The speakers and vendors love it. What they tell me is it’s one of the best clinics in Texas.”
“It’s the only clinic we have in East Texas,” he added. “We started to give us an event in East Texas. But, we invite coaches from Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. We have attendees each year that come from those four states. The majority of the coaches that are coming are from East Texas, but we get a lot out of Louisiana and Arkansas, a few out of Oklahoma, and even Kansas a couple years ago.”
If you’re a coach who’s interested in attending the clinic and didn’t pre-register, there will be walk-up clinic registration from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, and all day on Saturday. The registration fee will be 75 dollars. If you want to reserve a hotel room at Holiday Inn Longview - North for the event, mention the clinic for an 85-dollar room rate.