Each week, Hinkley football coach Michael Farda preps his kids for a variety of situations that they can see on the football field. Among them is the victory formation. Until last Friday night, he hadn't gotten the chance to make that call. The Thunderbirds beat Thornton 28-18 last week, giving the program its first win since Oct. 15, 2015. To see his players finally see a reward from all their hard work over the summer and during fall camp is a sight he'll never forget. Farda is this week's Denver Broncos High School Coach of the Week. He becomes just the second coach from Hinkley to win the award, and the first since 1997. The award is selected in partnership with the Broncos, CHSCA and the InSideOut Coaching Initative, which seeks to transform the current win-at-all-costs sports culture.
Years as head coach: 3 (10-13 overall)
Years at Hinkley: 2 (1-11)
Previous stops: Maypearl (Tex.) defensive assistant (2007-08); South Grand Prairie (Tex.) assistant (2009); Maypearl (Tex.) head coach (2010-11); Joshua (Tex.) defensive coordinator (2012); Venus assistant (2013-15); Hinkley head coach (2016-present).
Question: Why did you become a coach?
Farda: How much do you got? I was fortunate enough to have my hero, who was my high school football coach. It just so happened that he was also my father. Really, that's where it set the stage, I guess, for my love of first of football and then the impact that I was able to feel from coaching. I'm not trying to be a surrogate father or anything, but if that's a role that maybe I assume for somebody, I'm okay with that. I just know what kind of impact my daddy had on me and what kind of experience I had going through his program in high school as a player. I want to be able to offer that to other kids.
Q: Is that why you coach the way that you coach?
Farda: It's not an act. When I'm excited, it's genuine enthusiasm for the kids. It's a situation where you know what kind of work and time and effort and energy go into it. It's hard not to be happy when things kind of work out and you see kids get to display all the energy and tears and blood and hard work that they put into something. A lot of times, I feel like, especially where we're at, that a lot of our kids get looked past on occasion. They don't have the wins necessarily that warrant people to look at their record and look at their games and how they performed. I feel like they were due. It was a great game for them to show out in front of their fans, parents and friends.
Q: Putting yourself in their shoes, what do you think it's like to be coached by you?
Farda: I don't know. Most days I figure maybe they don't like me too much. I will say this. (If I'm them) I know that I won't get lied to. I know that Coach Farda is going to be honest with me. I know that Coach Farda is going to coach me hard. I know that Coach Farda is going to expect excellence. It's high expectations regardless of genetics or ability or anything like that. I know Coach Farda is going to lift me up, even if things don't go our way. That's about all I have to offer.
Q: Do you have a favorite memory or moment when it comes to your coaching career?
Farda: Recently, it's definitely the Thornton game. The moments that I like and enjoy the most are things like getting an invitation to a wedding from a young man who was on my team at my previous head coaching spot. A phone call from a kid who maybe can't make film session because he as something going on at home and he trusts me enough to talk about it. Those are the things that I enjoy most. That confidence, that security. I guess being important enough to a kid that they trust me enough or maybe that I've made enough of an impact on their life that they want me around. That's pretty rewarding.
Q: Going back to Friday night, how special was that moment when the clock ran out and you guys had the win?
Farda: The kids and I are all looking around at each other wondering what now? What do we do now? It was elation on the sideline. Every week, when we're going through Thursday walk-through and we're going through various situations and scenarios with the kids, one of the things we have on the Thursday walk-though script is the victory formation. You get to kneel and that time is going to run out and you're going to win the football game. Ever since I've been here, we've never had to call victory formation. The kids were fired up. We had just got the onside kick and we told them, "Guys, we get to run victory. Go. Get the win. Ready, break." That was fun. Oh my gosh, I looked around at the smiles and tears start welling up in your eyes a little bit. They got to run victory. That was cool.
Q: What are you feeling in that moment when you see your quarterback take the knee and you guys have done something in your second game this year that you didn't get to do last year?
Farda: Pure, unadulterated pride. Not a pride in terms of success or failure, or wins or losses. But to be able to look at kids, because you've been preaching to them for so long to stay the course and keep the faith and grind, and see them jump around and high-fiving each other and just collapse and go to all fours with their helmets off because they're completely exhausted, and it works out this time.
Ryan Casey - CHSAANow.com