Interview With New Delaware Valley Head Football Coach Troy Gore
Posted April 8, 2014 10:29 pm
I recently had a chance to talk with the new Head Coach of Delaware Valley Charter High School, Troy Gore. I first “met” Troy back in August of 2011 while he was still coaching at Imhotep High School in Philadelphia, PA. Fast-forward to today and I find Troy Gore looking to bring Delaware Valley Charter High School football’s respect level to where it was a few years ago.
Cleezy: You were one of the founders of Imhotep Charter High School. Briefly talk about your coaching career at Imhotep.
Gore: Yes, I was one of the original coaches directly involved in the planning and implementation process of developing a football program at Imhotep. I was the offensive coordinator before I left for a couple of years to coach at LaSalle University. I then came back to be the Defensive Coordinator and then the Running Back’s Coach and the Special Teams Coordinator. All the while, I was the Assistant Head Coach under Coach Marc Wilson and Coach Al Crosby.
Cleezy: How hard was it for you to leave Imhotep to take the job at Del-Val?
Gore: It was extremely hard to take the job at Del-Val. I’m leaving kids I have known since they were in middle school. But the most encouraging thing is mostly, if not all, hit me up and congratulated me for receiving the position. That’s what made the transition a little easy because they encourage me and reached out to me and thanked me for what they believe I done for them. I say this with total humility because these kids have done more for me than I have done for them. I have grown more as a man by teaching them how to be men.
Cleezy: What are some of the reasons you decided to take the head coaching job at Del-Val?
Gore: I took the job at Del-Val because I love Philly football. I love what Coach Keita and the coaches are doing at the Philly Skills Academy on Sunday mornings. I love what Coach Abrams is doing at Ace Athletics on Friday nights. I love how Coach Fulton allows high school kids to workout with NFL Pro Bowlers. I love what Coach Crosby is doing with the 7v7. I love that Philly has the greatest little league coaches in this country because we send more teams to Florida than any other Metropolitan city in this nation. I mention all these icons because they are making Philly Football respected and the players more recruitable. These young men at Delaware Valley Charter High deserve the same focus and detail that is provided at other great programs throughout the city. This will make them better men and will make Philly football as a whole more competitive. Plus, the opportunity to be a head coach where you can take all that you learned and facilitate it into a productive program is to honorable to not take advantage of.
Cleezy: You helped build Imhotep into the program that it has now become, one of the premiere programs in the Philadelphia area. What are some of the things that you’ve learned that will help you build the program at DVC?
Gore: The same principles of setting trends, building foundations and developing educated men will be the primary focus at DVC. We will set trends internally by establishing a tradition of greatness in the classroom, in their lives and lastly on the football field. We will build foundations by making sure this trend become the stamp of who we are at DVC. I told the staff and the players to “Expect To Be Great”. These are my expectations and everything we do through mentor-ship, holding each other accountable, being a servant to the team’s mission, and by maintaining a positive image will help us reach my expectations and the program’s expectations of each other. I want us to exceed our expectations by constantly and consistently maintaining character, attitude, disciplined, educated and lastly technically sound in football. If we strive for greatness in the first four disciplines, then the football play will be easy and can handle itself. Academics will be the key to help us achieve these goals, because academics builds confidence and confidence strengthens desire and desire dominates laziness. When you know you have the ability to do so, their competitive nature will make sure the ‘do so’ is successfully accomplished.
Cleezy: How has the transition been so far for you as far as getting acclimated to the new players, parents, community, etc.?
Gore: The transition has been good so far, externally. I have help from the City Recreation Commissioner finding us better practice facilities because due to not having any locker-room or field; we will have to be bussed to our practice field each day during the season. I’m receiving assistance from my church, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, and receiving community assistance from local business who wants to partner with us to help us develop the program. But most of all, I have hired the best coaching staff out there. These guys are awesome and their commitment has made the transition that much easier. They are highly respected within the organizations they came from and their humility has made it easier for me to provide them the vision I have for this programs. The transition has been a little difficult externally because of the past as expected. For this program to flourish and be successful, change as to be initiated and whenever there is change, there is a casualty. That casualty can be a way of thinking, people, traditions, cultures, or the usual – we always done it this way. No matter the casualty, it has to be cut for the betterment of the program and for the vision as a whole. The ‘cutting’ process makes wounds that may take years to heal but for the surgery to be successful, some things have to be cut out.
Cleezy: What are some of the principles that you plan to instill into the players in your program?
Gore: As stated earlier, our team motto is Expect to be Great. This is both visionary and at the same time it teaches humility. It provides direction and at the same time sets the standard for expectation. It forgets the past but at the same time allows the past to strengthen the future. Expect to be Great humbles the program to let us know we are not where we need to be. Until every player gets straight A’s, every game is won, and every player is in college; only then can we call ourselves great. I expect to one day reach this goal. I expect to strive for these goals in every drill, meeting, study hall, practice, game, discipline, encouragement, shout, scream, talk, whisper, pat on the back, shake of the hand, pound of the fist, sweat that is wiped, blood that is stopped, and tear that falls. Everything we do as a staff, program, parental accountability, community assistance and teaching guidance will go to reach this goal of greatness. This is my expectations and if all mention buys into it, it can be accomplished. I truly believe it.
Cleezy: What are some of the things that you’ve shown your new players to make them believe that Del-Val football will be different, meaning better?
Gore: First thing I and along with my coaches had to do was restore the confidence and trust of the players as it pertains to playing football and allowing another unknown coach to be an integral part of their lives. I can’t tell you how many times my coaches had to answer personal phone calls, text and social media questions based around trust. These players were hurt last year because they put their all into a season that was cut short because of discipline and past incidents. They did not believe in Del-Val Football no more.
They gave up on their dream returning to that Del-Val winning tradition. They no longer trusted any coach for that matter to hold them accountable for something that may be gone tomorrow. The past coaching staff did all they could with very limited resources. As stated we have no facilities, no locker-room, and no practice field. Sometimes this lack of resources can contribute to the lack of commitment. We will not allow these adversities to be enabling or to be used as an excuse for not striving for greatness. We will use this adversity to drive our mission.
Our motto is Expect to be Great but our mission statement is ‘Against All Odds.’ We will strive for greatness ‘Against All Odds.’ Then after trust was established, we implemented a two-tier practice schedule to facilitate commitment. We have field practice after school followed be study hall and weightlifting in the early evening. The linemen receive individual workouts and training every Saturday morning after they eat breakfast with each other. Each player is able to meet with their personal academic advisor and tutor three days a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This adviser provides daily insight to me on each player’s academic progress.
Cleezy: Thank you for your time and I will be talking to you more in the upcoming months.