by Troy Tennyson
UNION CITY - In his first statement as the newly appointed head coach of Union City Charger football, new head coach Clint Colborn said with a smile, "It's a great day to be a Charger."
Colborn steps into the head coaching position of one of the most successful programs in Big 8 history, albeit a program that is coming off a very rare down year under the now departed coach Zac Neal who stepped down from the position early this summer.
Colborn brings an extensive coaching resume to Union City and will look to instill a new offensive and defensive attitude along with a different set of work habits.
Colborn started his coaching career in 1992 where he patrolled the sidelines of the women's JV and the men's varsity basketball programs at Allegan High School. He started his football coaching career in 1995 when he worked as an assistant coach at Otsego High School, a job he held for six years. Colborn then moved on to Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Central, followed by stints at Kalamazoo Christian and Comstock before finishing off with a long run at Gobles before accepting the job at Union City.
Colborn is looking to bring a toughness and intensity to Union City that harkens back to the old days of Charger football, as he will look to employ his favorite type of offense, the Wing-T.
"I've coached a lot of different offenses but what I like to come back to, what is home, is the Wing-T," said Colborn. "What you guys saw last year in Constantine, it's a very similar system to them, somewhat like Edwardsburg and teams like that. It's a very blue collar system, I like to say we are a very blue collar team based on discipline. If you've seen the Naval Academy football team the past couple years you see what a team full of disciplined tough kids can do, and that's what we are looking to do here. We don't have to be fancy, we aren't trying to paint a masterpiece that will sit in the Louvre, we are here to be tough and play hard-nosed football. We are going to be an in your face type of football team, on both sides of the ball. We are going to be an in your face type of football team, a team that plays football because we love to. I have always said that the kids are here not to play football, but to be football players. That's how our system is ran and it has worked for me very well in the past. I have been lucky to have worked with some great mentors and coaches in the past that have had a lot of success, going to the playoffs multiple times. It won't always be pretty, but it will be effective."
Colborn not only brings a wealth of knowledge in terms of the Wing-T and hard nosed football to Charger Nation, but he also brings a new attitude and a new mantra to the program.
"We will live by two basic philosophies here, one being that the kids come first," said Colborn. "I've always said that if you have a question with what we are doing, do the kids come first, that's the most important thing. Second we will live and preach five core values to our team, and if what you are doing falls into those values, then you know you're going in the right direction. Those five values are integrity, discipline, respect, honor and hard work. That will be our mantra going forward and you will see that everywhere when it comes to our team. We are just going to check those boxes, if those boxes are checked, the boxes of integrity, discipline, respect, honor and hard work, then you are doing something right."
Colborn went on to elaborate how his five core disciplines not only help the team itself, but it helps with numbers and it helps with participation as kids within the school will see what their friends are doing and want to be a part of something big.
The new coach has a lot of new and fresh ideas that he hopes to bring to Union City, including a variety of ways to get the community more involved, things such as a community tailgate, an EMS/First Responder Appreciation Night, and much more.
What it came down to though for Colborn, was just an appreciation for towns like Union City and their willingness to fight.
"I've coached at big schools and small schools throughout my years, but I've always been more attracted to the small schools," said Colborn. "Small towns where we can make a difference. There are different situations at every school district, different things that have happened with different programs. Each district has its own story and may be at different places and sometimes a school just needs a breath of fresh air, a new system, a new way of looking at things, and I enjoy that challenge. I would much rather take over a program that has a few hurdles, with players that have a bit of a chip on their shoulder, with parents that are hungry for a team to get to the playoffs again, and that's what I relish here. I'd rather take over a program that wants to fight, that has that chip, rather than a team that is just turnkey that may just be sitting back on their laurels. I have been welcomed warmly by the area so far, from the administration to fellow coaches to some of the few folks I have been able to meet, they have all been amazing. I've had a lot of former players, coaches and parents reaching out after it was announced that I was hired, saying they are excited to see what we are going to do here and that they want to come out and watch our games. I think the community is feeling the same way, we have a great community here that is hungry for a winner. It will be a lot of hard work but I am really looking forward to it."
Taking over so late in the process may be prove to be a little difficult for Colborn, especially taking over a program that is coming off a very rare down year, but the foundation is in place. Over the next few weeks emails and phone calls will be going out to former players and potential players, with workouts beginning after the fourth of July. Look for those emails or phone calls over the next two weeks, while also keeping an eye out for the Union City Football Facebook page to relaunch very soon with updated information.
It's a new day for Charger football under Coach Clint Colborn, a program that will live by the mantra of Integrity, Discipline, Respect, Honor and Hard Work.
Welcome to Charger Nation Coach Colborn, now lets get to work.