Selma native West joins Morehead St. coaching staffPublished 8:21pm Thursday, February 7, 2013
A Selma native is settling in to a new coaching position in Kentucky.
Selma High School graduate and Alabama State University alumnus Rod West was recently named the defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator at Morehead State University of the Ohio Valley Conference and the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision on the Division I level.
West, who spent the last two seasons as an assistant at Texas A&M-Commerce and has had stops at Morehouse (Ga.) and Delta State, said it’s truly a blessing to be on the Morehead coaching staff, and he’s excited to join the Eagles’ program.
“It’s great. It’s an opportunity to be with a Division I program as defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator,” West said. “It’s a big step for my career. I’m just blessed and I have an opportunity to work with some great coaches.”
West said his upbringing in Selma has a lot to do with who he is and what he’s been able to accomplish.
“My upbringing in Selma and all the stuff I learned there helped shape me and molded me a lot,” West said. “Selma still has a very dear place in my heart. I try to get back as much as I can, and hopefully we can get some players from there.”
As he settles in with the Eagles, West, who played at Alabama State from 2005-2008, said his previous playing and coaching experiences will help him in his job at Morehead State.
“I was lucky enough to be coached by some really good coaches that taught me a lot on and off the field. And now a lot of those lessons stayed with me and I still implement them today,” West said. “Not just that, but my previous coaching experience. It’s one of those things where you take a little bit from everywhere you go. I definitely keep a lot of stuff I learned from college, and I’m going to implement that here.”
West said he’s already started to get to know the players as they progress through offseason workouts and prepare for spring practices.
“They’re doing their winter conditioning now, and we’re doing meetings. I’m actually meeting guys now, and they’re coming in and I’m telling them some expectations I have for them,” West said. “And they’re asking me questions about my philosophies and I’m making sure their academics are on the right track and things.”
West added that things are going well, and that he and the players are eager to get started.
“It’s been great. All the guys are enthusiastic about the change and they’re excited about some of the things we’re going to implement, and they’re ready to get to it,” West said. “The good thing about it is that we have a lot of young guys. They’re eager for the opportunity to show why they deserve to be Division I players and make a name for themselves at this level.”
West said football has long been a part of his life, and his love of the game has helped him make a smooth transition into coaching.
“Just playing the game. I had played football since I was seven. After I graduated from college, I tried to see exactly what I wanted to do, and I knew I still wanted to be around the game,” West said. “I spoke with some of my coaches, I told them that I had a passion for it, and they asked me had I thought about coaching. I told them a little, and I took it one step at a time and just wanted to stay around the game. It’s just one of those things that felt natural and was a smooth transition.”