New Central Catholic coach was a career Army man
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Although some struggle with their transition from the military into the working world, new Central Catholic football coach L.D. Green Sr. has hit the ground running.
Just seven years after submitting his resignation to the United States Army, Green feels fortunate to have landed his first head coaching job. He had been an assistant under Central Catholic athletic director Carlos Enrico from 2007, shortly after leaving the army, to 2010.
Nonetheless, he said he was surprised June 8 when Enrico called to offer him the position vacated days earlier when Buttons coach Don Byrd retired. Green accepted the job June 10.
“I did 24 years in the military, and all 24 years I knew I wanted to be a coach,” Green said. “I’ve wanted to coach since I left college (in 1981).
“One of my mentors told me that it was remarkable that seven or eight years later to be the head football coach at a school with a reputation of being a great program. I hadn’t thought of it in that context. Even now, I’m still humbled by it. I definitely feel blessed.”
In the last two years of Green’s previous stint at Central Catholic, the Buttons compiled a 17-7 record. In the three years since, Central Catholic has gone 15-18. The 2013 team was 4-7 with a 2-3 mark in TAPPS District 2-I.
“Coach Green has a passion for helping students succeed in the classroom and on the football field,” Enrico said in a news release about Green. ‘He believes in the Catholic Marianist mission of our school and has experienced success everywhere he has coached.
“I wholeheartedly believe he has the knowledge to be successful here for a long time. He brings renewed energy that will resonate well with our student athletes and parents.
“Our alumni will quickly learn that his dedication to success is second to none. Coach Green will help our kids and is the best choice to lead our football program. I am excited to be working with him.”
Green was an offensive line coach at Trinity University the last two seasons. In his previous stint at Central Catholic, he coached defensive backs, the defensive line, special teams and was the strength and conditioning
coordinator. He was in charge of the defensive backs in 2007 and 2008. For the next two years, his position responsibility was the d-line.
“It was absolutely wonderful,” Green said. “It was my first coaching job after being out of the army. I retired April 30 and ended up getting the job May 2. It worked out just right.
“I learned a lot. We definitely had a good run and accomplished good things.”
Meanwhile, he also was earning a bachelor of arts degree in history at the University of Texas-San Antonio. Green also had multi-tasked while in the army. He coached at Moanalua High School in Honolulu and Ft. Campbell High School in Kentucky to gain three years of experience before his military retirement.
Green submitted his retirement paperwork while serving a four-month deployment in Iraq in 2007.
“The military probably helped develop the sense of leadership,” Green said. “You always strive to be in charge. You first learn to follow, then you teach others how to execute. That makes for great units.”
He helped coach an undefeated team at Trinity and coached a state championship squad at Moanalua. His experience coaching offense, defense and special teams, Green said, has prepared him to run Central Catholic’s program.
“Being on both sides of the ball, if I haven’t played it, I’ve coached it,” Green said. “That has helped me understand the game totally.
“The resources are here at Central Catholic. It’s a matter of the guys buying in and feeling the love. If the guys buy in, then you can make the magic happen. It’s just like the domination of San Antonio Spurs.”
Green said he wouldn’t change the offensive or defensive systems the Buttons have been running under Byrd. He’s also hoping to retain much of the staff and benefit from their perspective to maintain continuity in the program heading into this fall.
“It’s very overwhelming, the love and support I’m feeling from my former players,” Green said. “I’m just happy they’ve accepted me at Central, as part of their fraternity and their family.”
As coach, Green feels a responsibility to impart that academic success goes hand in hand with athletic achievement.
“I’m going to bring the program up, but I’m going to mold you in the full circle of life,” Green said. “I want to make you a better man, a better husband, an outstanding leader and just a great citizen.”
Central Catholic should return a big chunk of its offense. Senior quarterback Joseph Nava ran for 811 yards and passed for 801. His brother, Jaime Nava, also is back. Junior Jacob Rodriguez and Jimin Suh rushed for 597 and 264 yards, respectively. The first four receivers were lost to graduation, but Joe Aldrete and Troy Lozano each had 63 reception yards.
Once the first season ends, Green and his staff will determine what modifications might need to be made for 2015. There is no five-year plan for him to follow, but he expects the Buttons to be competitive from Game 1.
“It’s more of a three-year plan,” Green said. “Once the season’s over and we give the seniors a great season, I’ll meet with the juniors and sophomores. Again, I don’t expect any changes scheme-wise. We’ll just look at where we can get better in the W-L column and compete better.
“Then we’ll see if we can get that district championship.”