Brynie Robinson didn't waste any time getting the ball rolling after he was hired as Colton's new football coach.
Just a few days after he was hired on July 4, he organized a weeklong overnight camp for his players at Colton High School, giving himself and his players a chance to bond and to get some work in.
"I feel like he has helped the team bond and grow together," Seth Bruesch, returning senior tight end/defensive back said.
"The camp he put together was a great time and helped us get to know some of our teammates we didn't talk to as much. I feel this closer bond will improve not only all of our relationships, but our teamwork and play on the field," Bruesch said.
Robinson, 31, took a year off from coaching last season after serving as head coach for Vashon Island High School in the Seattle area in 2015, where he led the team to a 4-6 record.
Despite coaching in Seattle, Robinson still lived in Silverton – where he currently lives and works as a financial advisor – and lived in Vashon Island during the football season, sometimes out of the back of his truck before being able to move into one of his assistant coaches' basement. He just wanted to coach somewhere, and he was willing to do whatever it took.
After the 2015 season, Robinson was involved in a car crash on I-5, where he suffered a leg injury that took a few months to recover from. He took the 2016 season off and followed his brother at Churchill, watching the games from the sidelines.
Much of his coaching experience was gained under his father, Robby Robinson, who has coached high school football in 13 states and won state championships in two, including one as Silverton's head coach in 1990. His brother, AJ Robinson, is currently the head coach at Churchill High School in Eugene, and Brynie said his coaching style, and some of his gameplans, draw influence from AJ and Robby.
For example, Robinson said his offense is going to be a mix of the veer and the spread, which sounds to me like we could be seeing some cool Tim Tebow-like action from returning senior quarterback Dawson Hall, who has both the speed and the arm to pull off some big plays under that kind of offense.
"We've worked on it a bit; coach [Robinson] said he's had a lot of success with it before and I'm pretty excited to be running a lot more and see how it all works out," Hall said.
"Coach [Robinson] is a lot different from Leighton," Hall said. "So far he seems to focus on staying positive and having fun this season."
"He's changing up how we run stuff a bunch, which will be interesting to see what happens but I think the team as a whole is happy with our new coach," he said.
Robinson said his coaching philosophy revolves around having fun playing the game of football, and he believes that when fun starts to happen, success will follow. He also thinks of football as a way to develop players into men.
"We treat football as a 'man factory,'" Robinson said. "I think football is a man factory, and the goal is to get them to be better men, God willing, better husbands and fathers."
"When I played, it wasn't as fun as I wanted it to be, so I wanted to do it a little differently if I was going to be a coach," he said.
So Robinson got right to work trying to incorporate fun into his program as he launched a weeklong overnight camp at CHS just days after being hired. I visited Robinson and the team last week, where the cafeteria was strewn with tents, sleeping bags, and TVs complete with Xbox hookups along the walls as the team ate lunch after their morning practice.
Robinson's camp went from last Monday through Friday, and each day consisted of three practices; two of them being fun practices, while the other was more serious and used for season prep.
"It's been a blessing having the kids jump into the water," Robinson said when asked how things are going so far with the team. "We talked about not just dipping their toes in, but jumping in, doing a jackknife, getting it all in right away."
Robinson said he's most looking forward to the development of his players, while he's a little bit concerned about the program's depth. His goal is to get the numbers to 50 over the next few years.
"The hope is that the fun aspect of it is like a sweet aroma, and enticing allure to other people in the school," Robinson said of growing the program.
"I think just being authentic is going to build those relationships," he said. "The goal is to just be better each day."
For this season, Robinson said he is a "big fan of wins over losses," but he wants to build a more competitive spirit at Colton, "develop the inner lion," as he put it.
He said he doesn't have any expectations for this year other than fun.
His coaching staff so far includes Shawn Moyer-DeMarre at defensive coordinator, Micah Farmer as the defensive backs coach, Tony Kafoa as the running backs coach, Chris Ward as the quarterbacks coach, Mike Hall as the wide receivers coach and offensive assistant, Mike Phillips as the defensive line coach, and former Colton wrestling coach Kerry Benthin as the offensive line coach.
The Vikings' schedule on the Oregon School Activities Association website only has five games listed so far. They're currently listed to start the season at Vernonia on Sep. 1 at 7 p.m.
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