Interview with Coach John Ware
By Reid Althage
LAFM: How many years have you been in coaching?
This will be my 15th year overall.
LAFM: What is the name of the first school you coached at? What other schools have you coached at?
I started out at Haynesville. My first two years I coached TE, Wing Backs, and LB. Then from 2000-2006 I was the DC. Next, I went to Bolton and was the head coach their for 3 years. I then went to North Caddo and was their Head Coach for 3 years. Now I am here at North Webster.
LAFM: What made you get into coaching? Who or what influenced you the most?
I guess mainly the influence of coaching and sports had on my life. I was an athlete in high school. I really felt like I would miss the competition if I was not in it. Growing up you always want to be a pro athlete. Unfortunately for me that was unattainable. I wanted to be able to keep competing, so naturally the next thing was coaching.
I would say 3 people had a big influence on me. Coach “Red” Franklin at Haynesville. I played under him for 2 State Championships as a player. Then I coached on a state championship team with him. He was one of the major influences in my coaching career. Another person is Tommy Reeder. He coached with me at Haynesville and went on to be a Head Coach at Ruston for about 6 years. Also Mark Ware, who is actually my cousin, was also at Haynesville when I was their. He is at at West Monroe now. They were all great guys who did things the right way. I would say all 3 of them had a big influence on me.
LAFM: Did you go to college? What did you major in?
I went to Southern Arkansas and played Left Field for their baseball team. I majored in Kinesiology.
LAFM: Who are some of the best players you’ve ever coached?
Bric Langford was our QB at Haynesville when we won the State Championship in 2000. He also played baseball for me. Bric was a guy who could do just about anything. He was good at everything he did. On the same team was Alonso Jackson. He was our MLB. Alonso was 6-4, 230 lbs and ran a 4.6 40-yard dash. He had great instincts, tough, and just a good football player. Both kids were a big reason why we won that State Championship.
LAFM: What would you like to see changed in Louisiana High School football? Your opinion on the split?
I mean I do not mind the split. I was one of those guys who had Evangel and Cavalry in my district for so many years. You play those guys week in and week out and it is different. Anyone can see that difference if you are on my side. Still, I do not have a problem with them in the least bit. As far as the High School Athletic Association, I have always supported them and everything they have done. I think what we have going on right now is probably the best scenario for all of us.
LAFM: Do you think the brand of Louisiana football is different than anywhere else?
I do not know about differences, but I would say it is just as good as anybody else. I know we are right here on the border of Arkansas and Texas is not far away. The only difference between us and Texas is that we do not have as many schools and probably as well as the money they receive from the independent school district. Player wise it is pretty proven that we have some of the best talent and teams here in Louisiana.
LAFM: Do you feel like the offense/defensive philosophies differ between North and South Louisiana?
Yea I do think their is a little bit of difference. I think just about anywhere you go in the state you can look at it by region. You will notice a lot of the teams within the same region will do the same thing. When you play other areas and get to playoffs you will see different things. Over the years when you have seen that same area, it is kind of the same brand of football every time. That is not always the case but looking at certain areas you will see a lot of the same “flavor” I guess you could say.
LAFM: Who is your favorite NFL or college player of all time and why?
I do not know….I was always a big fan of Peyton Manning over the years. I played against him in high school and always had a lot of respect for him and still do. I have always been impress with how he handles and carries himself on and off the field which is overlooked now a days. He was the best high school player I have ever played against. He is one of the strongest mentally players to ever play the game, and I have a lot of respect for him.
LAFM: How was it playing against Peyton Manning?
It was pretty cool. We actually played him in the semi-finals in 1991 in New Orleans. I mean I was the Center for the team, so it was not as though I, myself, was going up against him. It was the last game that him and Cooper actually played together. We were fortunate to end up on top 27-21. With about 18 seconds left, Peyton was trying to get Cooper open over the middle on a crossing route and our MLB came up and intercepted it. It was a great game.
LAFM: Who is your favorite college or pro football coach?
Nick Saban hands down. Not even close. I love the way he coaches. I know many people do not like some of the things he does. To me, he is the best ever to coach the game. Obviously he has good players, but his mind set and approach to everything he does is spot on.
LAFM: What makes North Webster’s football program and school special?
Our school has great kids and great participation. We have a little over 500 kids here at North Webster. We have over 260 participating on a Friday night. With Almost 60% of our school being at our games, it is really fun to coach. We have so much support. The kids work extremely hard on the field and in school.
We have come along way in a short period of time. I foresee great things in our future. We were knocking on the door this past year and are hoping to knock it down next year.