Person High School head football coach Joey Carroll walked into his newly-renovated office and something immediately caught his eye.
It was a helmet sitting on the long conference table located in the center of the room.
He picked it up, sat down in his chair behind his desk and said, “these P’s aren’t quite right.”
The new Rocket head coach looked at it carefully started to remove the Person logo off of one side of the helmet, moved the sticker maybe a quarter of an inch before smoothing it out.
That may seem like a little thing, but it spoke volumes to just how detail oriented Carroll is.
In the last week or so, I’ve ran into several of the Person coaches who have all asked me the same thing.
“Have you seen the football coaches’ office?”
They all insisted that I wouldn’t believe it when I saw it, so I made a point to stop by this week.
Now, I’ve been around here for a while. Many of you probably know, I had a three-year stint in the 2000s and came home as the C-T’s sports editor in January 2012.
I remind you of that to tell you this — the football coaches’ office looked practically identical during those years.
There were wooden cabinets directly to the right of the door when you walked in with folders of teams from the PAC-6 days and a desk that kind of became a catch-all for the members of the coaching staff.
During the summer and early fall, there was fly tape hanging from the ceiling with the occasional victims stuck to it.
Frankly, I never thought anything of how the office looked because it just was just always the same, from one coach to the next.
When I walked into the coaches’ office Thursday, I frankly didn’t recognize it. The old cabinets and uniform closets were gone. There were new chairs around the conference table — all with fully-functional legs and logos on the back.
The room still had the freshly-painted smell.
“We need these guys to know that (football) is important,” Carroll said. “Anything that we can do to put a thought in their heads that ‘hey, this important to (the coaches). It matters. The facilities matter. The details matter. There’s a ton of behind the scenes work that people don’t see that (assistant coach Kendall Cobb and athletic director Jeremy Clayton) have done. They’ve put hours in to get the place ready. The kids walk in and there’s the wow factor, but we want there to be a wow factor all the time and that it matters to us. It’s not just about getting wins, but if something is important in your life, then you have to work at it and work for it, even if things aren’t going well.”
Those are just the aesthetic changes.
The players who have participated in workouts all have the same practice shirt, with the only difference being the number drawn in the center of a white box.
It will be interesting to see what other changes occur in the program in the coming months, but so far, it’s been impressive.