For someone who has never previously been a high-school football head coach, Darrell Weeks’ vast and diversified experience in the sport certainly makes him qualified. Now his chance has come.
On March 30, the 45-year-old Austin, Texas, native was announced as the Wakefield Warriors’ new head coach during an after-school gathering in the high school’s town-hall area. Weeks, a special-education and math teacher at Wakefield, has been out of coaching since 2010, as he has been spending a lot of that time taking care of his three children.
Week’s wife is a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, so the family has moved a lot, recently relocating to Northern Virginia from San Antonio. The 2021-22 school year is Weeks’ first at Wakefield. He talked with former Wakefield head coach Wayne Hogwood about joining the staff this past season, but it did not work out because of family matters.
“I have tons of coaching experience and I’m ready to get back into coaching. I’m so excited I’m ready to go strap it up right now,” Weeks said. “We are ready to go, and we are putting a staff together. This is my daydream job.”
The new coach watched Wakefield play last season and liked what he saw.
Through the 2010 season, Week had been an assistant high-school football coach at various schools, including one in Germany. He has coached middle-school football, coached a semiprofessional team in Finland, coached in college, in the youth leagues and flag football. Weeks was an assistant coach of the 2003 La Marque High School team in Texas that won a state championship.
In college, Hicks was an offensive lineman, playing three years at Division II Angelo State University in Texas. An injury ended his college career, then Hicks went on to graduate from the University of Texas.
Wakefield director of student activities Nate Hailey said 27 applicants applied for the Wakefield job, with Weeks one of two finalists.
“We got it 100-percent right,” he said about hiring Weeks. “He brings excitement and experience.”
A number of Wakefield football players attended the announcement, when Weeks explained that he prefers a strong run-oriented attack on offense and and a physically aggressive attacking defense.
“There is a lot of talent here,” Weeks said. “We will punch you in the gut and not let you up. We will blitz and put a lot of pressure on people. We’ll say, ‘Here we are. Try to stop us.’ We will run the ball, then throw it over the top to one of our great wide receivers. Wakefield football will be about building relationships and pushing players to achieve.”
Weeks plans to reach out across the Wakefield community to promote the program, visiting middle schools. He encourages the Wakefield football players to be involved in multiple sports and cheer on other school teams.
His team motto for the Warriors is: WAKEup, with T-shirts on the way.
“If people sleep on us, we will wake them up,” Hicks said.
One assistant coach already on Weeks’ staff is the familiar Antonio Francis, who was a member of Hogwood’s staff and also is Wakefield’s head boys varsity lacrosse coach during the current spring high-school season.
Weeks takes over a program that enjoyed good success under Hogwood during his nine seasons in charge. Hogwood was the winningest coach in program history, leading the Warriors to six region playoff berths, two district championships, 40 victories and the team’s lone playoff win. Wakefield made the region playoffs this past season.
NOTE: The head coaches of the other two public high-school football teams in Arlington – Josh Shapiro of Washington-Liberty and Bruce Hanson of Yorktown – were invited to the announcement. Shapiro attended. Given a chance to comment, Shapiro joked that maybe a coaching change at Wakefield would reverse his team’s recent fate when playing the Warriors. “We have lost to them five straight times,” Shapiro told Weeks.