CAPTION: Following of five years leading the Marble Falls football program, Brian Herman turned in his resignation Nov. 7. Photo by Ralph Arvesen
Former Marble Falls High School football head coach Brian Herman compared the 2023 team to a snowball sitting on top of a hill.
Minutes after his resignation Nov. 7 was announced, Herman reflected on the season and was asked about two components that may have factored into the program’s 3-17 record the last two years. In the five years he was the Marble Falls head coach, the Mustangs were 22-33.
Herman believes that had this year’s Mustangs gotten wins against Pflugerville Connally in the season opener Aug. 25 and Killeen Chaparral Sept. 8 coupled with the team’s only victory of the season — against Fredericksburg Sept. 22 — the outcome to this season would have been different. The Mustangs would have entered District 13-4A Division I play with a 3-2 record.
And that record would have started a snowball effect that led straight into the postseason.
To Herman, that record would have helped the Mustangs get two more victories in district, perhaps against Burnet, Canyon Lake or Taylor, and advance to the playoffs for the third time in four years.
Instead, because the Mustangs had only one win headed into district play, the snowball rolled the opposite way.
This year’s 1-9 record, coupled with the 2-8 record from 2022, may have been two reasons why Herman resigned his position.
Following the 40-14 loss to Connally during his postgame interview, Herman said he walked into the locker room at halftime and saw a group of players that lacked self-confidence. At the time, the Mustangs gave up a late touchdown and trailed 7-6 at the intermission.
“Self-confidence has been the big issue since I’ve been here,” he said, minutes after Marble Falls Independent School District announced his resignation.
In what turned out to be Herman’s final game coaching the Mustangs, a 28-7 loss to District 13-4A Division I co-champion San Antonio Davenport, Herman said he thought his team played its best game of the season.
“That’s why I was excited about the future,” he said. “We started looking like a football program. I was pleased to have some improvement and grow from it. We did some cool stuff. I was very proud of our kids in other games this year. We played better than we have all year.”
The 2023 Mustangs suited up about 30 players the last three weeks of the season, which meant many athletes playing on multiple units during a contest.
And the program faced another issue before training camp began in August. Gone was Robert Draper, regarded as the authority of Slot-T offensive lines, who accepted the head coaching job at Florence during summer 2023. His departure came a year after Heath Hohmann resigned to become the head coach at Skidmore-Tynan and the retirements of brothers Zane and Clay Bode. Both Draper and Hohmann wanted to become head coaches.
“Those four were super kid magnets,” Herman said. “They were the glue of the program, they were the heart and soul of what we were doing. They were deeply missed. They were the architects of what we did for four years.”
To help lessen the learning curve for the Mustangs, Herman promoted from within the staff, naming Ryan Craven the defensive coordinator and Richard Scales the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.
To help the Mustangs bond more, the Hermans held team dinners, gatherings and other activities at their home. Those events illustrated what the Hermans felt for the players.
“We love these kids, we love this community,” he said. “I never intended to leave.”
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