Shawn Copeland’s native roots will always be “Deep in the Heart of Texas” as they say but he’s starting to feel right at home again in the far west Valley. The former Glendale Kellis head coach is now calling the shots down the I-10 at Verrado as the new leader of the Vipers.
“Things have been phenomenal,” Copeland said to Sports360AZ.com before a recent spring workout. “Booster club has been A+. Our athletic director and the staff here have been A+. I was led by God here. I was feeling the nudge to apply for it.”
Copeland tallied a 19-12 record during his four years at Kellis. He left after the 2017 season to return to Texas but jumped at the opportunity when it was presented. So far, his reception has been well-received for a group coming off a rare losing season (4-6) last fall.
“Personally, I really like what he’s doing,” 2021 running back Logan Gingg said to Sports360AZ.com. “He’s bringing a lot energy. He’s bringing something new to the program and everyone is really buying in right now.”
— Verrado Viper Football (@Verrado_Vipers) April 29, 2019
The “buy-in” wasn’t always there in 2018 after Verrado started 1-6 before rallying to win three in a row to end the year under former head coach Tom Ward.
Now the onus falls and on Copeland and his new staff to return the Vipers to their winning ways.
“Earn the right to win,” he explained. “Bottom line is we have to put the work in right now. We’ve got to earn that right to win in the fall. That’s been my biggest message to them.”
Remember This: Your coach really doesn’t determine your playing time.
Your own choices do. Your effort. Your attitude. Your coachability. The work you put into development amongst other factors.
— Verrado Viper Football (@Verrado_Vipers) May 2, 2019
The Vipers open their season hosting South Mountain on August 23rd in Buckeye.