The next head coach of the Cody High School football program will be a familiar face to students and staff.

Matt McFadden, a physical education teacher at CHS and last season’s defensive coordinator, will be a head coach for the first time in his career and will be the Broncs first new coach after 13 years under Cris Williams.

“It’s something I’ve always dreamed about,” McFadden said. “Football has always played a huge role in my life. It’s a game that has always given me a lot and I need to give back to these young men. I can’t wait.”

McFadden has been at CHS for five years and directs the school’s Zero Hour and Pure Performance programs, which both target young athletes.

He said Zero Hour has allowed coaches to place athletes in leadership positions to see how they respond.

“We get a chance to see the kids doing all the stuff that hopefully will carry over to their sport,” he said. “Most importantly, you get to develop relationships with those athletes.”

The Broncs played their best football at the end of the 2012 season, defeating Worland 41-0 in the regular season finale and upsetting Riverton 24-17 in the first round of the playoffs. Cody lost to Star Valley in the semi-final matchup one week later.

All four Broncs who earned All-State or All-Conference honors return to the squad this fall.

“What you saw was those kids that played a lot of time were sophomores or juniors and it takes a season for them to grow up,” McFadden said. “Toward the end of the year we came together and played as a team and you noticed that. It takes time with those young kids and hopefully that momentum will carry over.”

McFadden said he is in the process of putting together a coaching staff during the next two weeks, and all starting positions on the team are open for competition. “It’s up in the air right now,” he said. “There is not a set position other than head coach. We are building it from the ground up.”

McFadden played high school football in Kanab, Utah, with a program that was slightly smaller, but similar to Cody’s. He wasn’t recruited out of high school and walked-on to the football program at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah in 2000. He earned a football scholarship one year later.

“You walk on with a little bit of a chip on your shoulder, but you just have to work harder than the other guys and you have to get to know the game better than them,” he said.

McFadden was an All-American and First-Team Big Sky Conference member by the time he finished his senior season in 2003. His 350 career tackles are third in school history and his 133 total tackles in his final season are also in the school’s top-10.

Now his first objective is to continue developing leadership in the Cody program and foster relationships between coaches and athletes.

The focus is on “winning the day,” McFadden said, which means succeeding in daily activities including weight room work, practices and getting good grades in the classroom. “If we can do that and improve daily then at the end of the season we’ll be right where we want to be,” McFadden said.

Reprinted with permission from the Cody Enterprise newspaper.