Decatur’s new offensive coordinator will keep things up-tempo
New Decatur High School offensive coordinator Jayson Lavender is excited about the hand he’s been dealt.
With a TCU commit at quarterback and numerous skill-position kids returning, he knows how productive the Eagle offense could be with his no-huddle attack.
“We are going to play with tempo, and we are going to play fast,” Lavender said. “We are going to spread the field and get our kids the ball in space. I think we have a great offensive line here, and we are going to be able to run the football. I’m excited about that. That’s where you win football games is up front.”
He replaces former offensive coordinator Glenn Vrba who recently retired.
“You can’t replace a person like Coach Vrba,” Lavender said. “He did a wonderful job here.
“Our philosophies are very similar – it’s just a different style. Bottom line is building relationships with the kids and getting them to play for you. There are a lot of wonderful schemes out there. My job is to make sure our scheme fits our kids.”
Lavender spent the last four years as the head coach at Wichita Falls High. Before that he served as offensive coordinator at Mesquite and Garland.
After working with all that talent at the bigger schools, Lavender says Decatur’s Grayson Muehlstein has the best tools of any quarterback he’s coached up to this point.
“Utilizing those talents are going to be critical,” he said. “My job is to make sure we put him in a great position every snap. He has the ability to run and throw and you don’t get that very often.”
Muehlstein returns as the league’s leading passer with 1,444 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2012. He’s getting more comfortable with the new system during the spring and summer.
“He’s starting to understand how to play fast,” Lavender said. “When you first implement an up-tempo offense things happen much faster. Sometimes when you deliver a ball somewhere that window is already gone before you deliver it. That is an adjustment that he had to get through as he was transitioning to this offense. As of three or four weeks ago, he’s gotten it.”
Cain Lowe also returns as the league’s leading receiver after 542 receiving yards and eight touchdowns last season. Levi Rust is back at running back after gaining 761 yards and scoring seven touchdowns.
Lavender is glad to be back at just concentrating on the offense instead of dealing with the day-to-day duties of a head coach and athletic director.
“I’m back in my comfort zone,” he said. “Everybody wants to be a head coach, and I got the opportunity to do that in my hometown. I’m very family-oriented, and I’ve gotten to shift my focus away from an overall athletic standpoint to concentrate on the offense and spend more time with my family.”
Lavender and his wife, Shelli, have three children: Jackson 8, Kenzie 4, and Lexie 2.