“I ask them how they feel, they say good. I say how you feel, and they say great,” Ken Stills said.
In his first offseason with Bishop McLaughin, the Canes newest head coach has already made an impressive impression.
“I don’t think anyone does it better than Coach Stills,” sophomore wide receiver Jack Miller said.
It didn’t take long for Stills to make himself at home at Bishop McLaughlin. He quickly implemented a regimented workout program for the players, while never forgetting what the game is all about fun.
“Enjoying the game, about having that vision, that excitement, which Bishop McLaughlin has,” Stills said. “They have a great vision for these kids.”
That vision is playing out on the football field and the volleyball sand courts where players get next-level conditioning.
“Football’s about teaching,” he said. “You can’t reinvent the wheel. It’s blocking and tackling. I played defensive back in the league. I did a little bit of offense and it’s going to be fun molding some of the kids.”
Coach Stills came to Bishop McLaughlin with name recognition, thanks in part to his son, Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills.
“I knew his son from the league,” Miller said. “I had him on my Madden team.”
But Coach Stills was an NFL player in his own right in his day. He spent six seasons in the league, mostly with the Green Bay Packers where he felt the Lambeau Field love.
“I was always the 11th guy introduced at the stadium,” Stills said. “When they got to introduce my name, the crowd was already so high that when I come out of that tunnel, I was just floating on air.”
Having a coach who played at the highest level, for one of the most iconic NFL teams sets him apart.
“They know what it takes to get you to the next one,” Miller said. “They know what it takes to not only get you from high school to college, but from college to the next level, get you where you want to go.”
Coach Stills has brought a different perspective to the Canes.
“I look at football very differently,” said Dontrevius Jackson, a junior running back/defensive back. “I appreciate it now. I’m working much harder.”
Working harder and working together toward a common goal.
“We’re always talking about one heartbeat, so they’re going to have that memory,” Stills said. “And then hopefully we win some ball games here and bring the first title here and they’ll have those memories. So, it’s definitely about memories.”
“They’re never going to forget 2020 as it is, but hopefully football-wise we can make it special as well.”