Westlake gets seven new assistant coaches to take over football program

A new era has begun for Westlake football, as Todd Dodge takes over the head coaching and athletic director positions. But Dodge isn’t the only new coach — seven other position coaches will join him to lead the Chaps next year.

Linebacker coach Lee Munn is one of them. He has been coaching for five years at three different schools. Although he’s been at many different spring practices he said that he has never seen a transition this smooth.

“I’m excited to be here,” Munn said.  “I’m glad to be rocking and rolling and we don’t have to wait.”

He said the first few weeks of the fall schedule will be tough for the Chaps.

“Our first two weeks are going to tell a lot about what kind of team we’re going to have, just because of who we’re playing,” Munn said. “Southlake Carroll is always a great program and a lot of people are going to sleep on Temple, but we won’t.”

David Granson is the new strength and conditioning coach. He has been coaching for 14 years at five different schools.

“To be a part of a big school and a program like this is great,” Granson said. “It’s the feeling you get from being here, and the feeling of being well- known and liked — it’s all just so exciting.”

As far as next season goes he is optimistic.

“As far as X’s and O’s go I think that defense will get off to a fast start,” Granson said. “They are very intelligent and a lot of our best players are on defense. Offensively I think that we might not be as fast as defense. We’ll get to the point that we need to, but that’s going to take a little while.”

The new defensive coordinator Tony Salazar has coached at four different schools for 10 years before coming to Westlake.

“It’s pretty early, but I’m optimistic,” Salazar said. “This last week-and -a-half has been one of the best week-and-a-half’s worth of work I’ve ever been a part of. Everybody’s working hard and I think that the coaches are buying in. The coaching staff that was already here that stayed has been a tremendous help both on the field and off the field to help us get an idea of what the daily formalities are here at Westlake and also learn more about the kids. That’s the hardest part for us, to have to coach a kid who you don’t know the name of sometimes, but the kids understand that we’re here and we’re all about them. They know that the ultimate goal is to be successful on and off the field.

Salazar got his first job as an assistant college coach, which is not the route most coaches take.

“I started out coaching at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor, in Belton,” he said. “I played football there and then continued to be a graduate assistant while I was earning my masters degree. From there I went to my alma mater, Dripping Springs High.  After moving up the coaching ranks, I went to become defensive coordinator at Leander for four years until I was recruited by Coach Dodge to go to Marble Falls for one year. I moved with him to here, and that’s where I am at this point.”

In addition to Munn, Salazar and Granson, four other new coaches will lead the Chaps into the 2014 season. Cornerbacks coach Chase Hargis, offensive line coach Branden Murdock, assistant offensive line coach Doug Wilson, and offensive coordinator Kirk Rogers all bring experience and expertise to their positions.

“I think our staff is young and energetic,” Munn said. “We’ll bring as much fun and energy as we can, and even though we’re new we’ll do what Westlake always does — be the best we can possibly be.”