Alex Oliver is the current coach for the Mustangs Linemen. He is a dedicated young man, coming to coach the Mustangs straight from his night job. Soft spoken, he is known for rarely speaking up in front of the group. His presence is felt through his one-on-one interactions instead, and his players speak fondly of him. He loves life as a coach, and has a good head for the game.
His favourite part of coaching is the feeling he gets when one of his players starts to understand their role. “When you get someone who you have a hard time teaching, and they finally get what they’re trying to do, you just see them light up when they score or get that big block.” He talked a little about the difference between coaching and playing. “It’s hard, because when I played I always put everything out there. For the past couple of years it’s been hard, because I just wanted to get out there and play. I would kind of get caught up in the game sometimes when I was trying to coach. This year has been a lot better, and I’ve been more focused as a coach.”
He sees teamwork as the greatest strength amongst the Senior Mustangs this year. “For the past couple of years we’ve had divisions within the team. This year it seems to be all one team. It’s really good to see.” He says the mentality of his players has improved, and that they owe some of their success to it. “We got a little upset, but we just pushed it aside and kept going, knowing that we could still come back from it, we could still score again. Having that mentality helped us a lot this last game.”
He said he’d been working on the Mustang’s blocking when they pull their linemen, and has seen some success. “Some plays we pulled our guards. They come around to block, and we usually form a wall, and they’ll just kind of hold their guy there. We’re trying to teach them to follow through and actually get their block, so that you can lay them out or something.” He is still working with his linemen and defensive backs on tackling, coverage, and containment.
“We’ve got a lot of good hearts,” he said of his current team. “We work well. They’re a great team to have this year. It’s nice to know we’ll have almost all of them again next year.”
This is Alex’s third year as a coach after six years of playing football with the Mustangs. He played one year at the Peewee level, two years of Bantam, and three years with the Seniors.