Interview with Chris Kuykendall
By Reid Althage
LAFM: How many years have you been in coaching?
This will be my 14 or 15th year.
LAFM: What is the name of the first school you coached at? What other schools have you coached at?
I began at Carrolton Newman Smith High School in Dallas. From their I went to Mckinney North (Dallas), next was West Ouachita, then Caldwell Parish, Sterlington High School, and Nacotish Central was my last stop before getting here at Bolton. I have learned a lot from each school and a lot from many different people.
LAFM: Who or what influenced you the most in your coaching career?
Matt Middleton is one person. He taught me a lot about coaching and football. He has been one of my closest friends since I have been here. Now he is in the college ranks. I was with him at Caldwell Parish. If I ever have any questions I typically call him. . Secondly, Jim Holloway became my head coach my senior year of high school. He was a great coach and mentor. He had a major impact on me as well.
LAFM: Did you go to college? What did you major in?
I went to Southeastern Oklahoma State and studied education. I ran track and played football. I was a WR, RB, and KR for the football team.
LAFM: Who are some of the best players you have ever coached?
When I was at Newman Smith, I did a lot with strength and conditioning. I actually worked with Jason Maxeill who is a basketball player. He is with the Orlando Magic now. Football wise, one has to be Robert Brooks who eventually went on to play at Wisconsin. I coached him at Newman Smith as well. He was a great athlete and great person at that. He was the one who during the Big 10 Championship in Drew Brees’ time who actually caused Drew to fumble the ball in that game. Also, Jamie Johnson played football and baseball for us at West Ouachtia. He is a kid who has worked through adversity. He had a car accident and had to go through reconstructive surgery. He went on to play Junior College (baseball) and went on to Oklahoma University. He has such great drive. I keep in touch with him, and I can tell things I taught him have stuck with him. I would talk to him about how I handled certain situations and different things my coaches told me. He is just a great guy. He is with the Detroit Tigers Organization right now, and I wish him all the best.
LAFM: What would you like to see changed in Louisiana High School football?
Back in Oklahoma and Texas there was not as much adversity between public and private schools as there is here in Louisiana. You know there is pros and cons to both sides when it comes to the split. I do not come up on either side. I do not know what is right and what is wrong. I am not sure how to change it either. It is hard to find one perfect way. It is not a thorn in my side. I never gripe about it. I see both sides of the situation
Also, I would like to do what Zachary has done which is switching to an independent school system. The only reason I say that is I am in a situation where we do not get much monetary strive. If we went independent we could really benefit from it. Apparently Zachary is doing really well and benefiting from switching to an independent district. When I was in Dallas I did not have to fund raise or anything. I just had to coach. It is hard to go to a school which has not been winning for a time and change it. I want to be able to give my kids the best opportunity and best conditions to play football.
LAFM: Who is your favorite NFL or college player of all time and why?
I probably have two of them. The First would be Raghib Ismail who went to Notre Dame. The second would be Barry Sanders. Now I am not an Oklahoma State fan, but he just impressed me with the way he carried himself. His whole demeanor was always perfect. He did not showboat. He just played the game.
LAFM: Who is your favorite college or pro football coach and why?
I would have to say Bob Stoops. It is what he has done off the field. He always has his kids helping out with community service. The biggest reason is he has rules, and if you break them then you are done. He always stands by them and makes no exceptions for anybody. In 2006 they were the number one ranked team going into fall. They had Adrian Peterson and Rhett Bomar leading the team. Bomar broke rules and was kicked off the team. Bomar was going to be their QB for the next 3 years. They did not have another QB ready to replace Bomar. Stoops always said it is not about you, it is about the team. He would not let the team and program suffer.
LAFM: What makes Bolton High School a great school?
Bolton has a history. It is one of the oldest schools in the state. We have a great principal, Misty Slayter. Besides just giving me the opportunity, she has helped in every way possible hear at Bolton. I have appreciated that being a first time guy. Our school is starting to bring back some enthusiasm. Our soccer team has done really good representing us last year and this year. You know people have told me that their was a time Bolton was a known school. You go around town we have a lot of alumni. Many of our kids parents went to Bolton. We want to get that enthusiasm back. In the future I hope we build on what our football team did this year. We went 5-5 which is better compared to recent years, but still not great. It is not satisfying yet because we wanted to make the playoffs. I think 1 or 2 more wins would have put us their. We just need to build on it. I want to teach our kids how to win, how to prepare to win, and what it takes to win. i want to try and make Bolton a respectable football program.