Collected Wisdom with Heritage Hall coach Andy Bogert...
By Robert Przybylo
This was a fun 30 minutes earlier this week.
Collected Wisdom with Heritage Hall football coach Andy Bogert
Interviewed by Robert Przybylo, email@example.com
Residence: Oklahoma City
Coaching football is in Andy Bogert’s blood. In the championship program, the coaches are asked who they would like to have dinner with. Bogert’s answer: New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick — to talk even more football. Since coming from John Marshall in 1999 and becoming head coach in 2005, Bogert has built up the Chargers football program. In the last four seasons, Heritage Hall has won two championships and reached another final. The Chargers won their third state championship last weekend in a classic battle with rival Kingfisher to finish another perfect season.
We moved around a little bit. My dad was in the oil business. I was actually born in Charleston, South Carolina, my dad was in the Air Force. We moved to Enid when I was in first grade. Then we went to Sidney, Nebraska, in second grade and then to Oklahoma City in the third grade and have been here ever since. I graduated from John Marshall.
For college, I graduated from Oklahoma State. At my 10-year reunion at John Marshall was where I started to get into coaching. We had four different coaches in four years when I was at John Marshall. I came back for the reunion and the coach we really wanted to coach would decline it every time, Clyde Ellis. His freshman team had never lost a game. But he was so busy with track, winning all those titles. I ran into Clyde at the reunion. Clyde said he was taking the coaching job.
I told him anything you need for help, just let me know. He said ‘well, you can help me by being out on this field with me.’ I was working for my dad in the oil business at the time. I asked if there was any way we can make this work. He said, ‘if you want to do it, do it.’ So I worked with Clyde, and we learned football together.
Started coaching defensive backs, worked my way up to offensive coordinator and was at that spot for five years. We won it in 1995. Clyde retired. I stayed one more year and then came to Heritage Hall.
We got on a roll (in 1995) and John Marshall hadn’t had much success. It was just building up and building up, and it all came together. Our lowest weight on the line was 240 pounds. We had two 300-pounders on the line. Justin Matthews carried it 50 times in the championship game. We had Reggie Tate at QB. We had a bunch of big kids. We had a transfer from Heritage Hall that really helped and opened the holes at fullback. That was the year we went undefeated in football and basketball. It was a great time, all kinds of athletes.
It was tough (to see John Marshall split). We tried everything we could. We built a weight room there, furnished the weight room. Tried everything we could to make it OK. It’s just difficult because they didn’t have the funding that some of the other schools had at the time.
At the time, Oklahoma City Public Schools wouldn’t hire a lay coach to be the head coach. I was unpaid there the entire time at John Marshall. I just loved football and loved what I was doing. Loved the kids, the whole thing. Love of football and love the school was why I did it.
I decided to stay around one more year after Clyde retired. Not the same without Clyde. Rod (Warner) had been saying you need to come to Heritage Hall. From fifth grade on, my oldest son, Brian, went to Heritage Hall. I had been around there, and that’s where I got to know Rod. It was good to get paid, too.
It was a lot different (going to Heritage). But the kids weren’t that different. Wanted to play football and wanted to learn. They didn’t do much in the summer at Heritage. At John Marshall, we had been going to passing leagues for years. It bonds your team and makes your team. So at Heritage, we started doing stuff in the summer. To me, it’s a big part of bonding and forming your team for the next year.
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