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Home News-Telegram Sports Bland returns to C-P as OC

Bland returns to C-P as OC

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COMO - Como-Pickton has brought back a familiar face back to the coaching staff with Conley Bland. Bland has been hired as the new offensive coordinator for the upcoming school year. After retiring last year from Pittsburg, Bland will bring his 34 years of coaching experience to the C-P Eagle team.
“I don't have any secrets to coaching offense,” said Bland. “I don't plan to change much to the program. I look forward to coaching at Como-Pickton.”
Bland won't be working with a completely unfamiliar staf,f as he coached with the current athletic director and head football coach Paul Tullis at Dallas Woodrow Wilson.
“While at Woodrow Wilson, we made the playoffs over five times,” Bland recalled his days as the offensive coordinator there.     He made more than just a connection with Tullis in his days with Woodrow Wilson Wildcats; Bland was on staff with head coach Bob Estes who sparked the current Texas Longhorns senior linebacker Sergio Kindle. Kindle excelled playing offense and defense at running back and linebacker for the Wildcats, recording 411 tackles and 55 tackles for losses, while rushing for 5,632 yards and 86 touchdowns over his final three seasons.
“While at Woodrow Wilson, we ran some spread and wing offense systems,” Bland said.
His roots also run deep in Sulphur Springs. Bland coached a ten year stint (1979-89) at SSHS during the years of Ron Poe. “I was on the Sulphur Springs coaching staff when Greg Owens was in school,” added Bland. “It has been really great seeing him succeed with the state championship team.” In fact both of the Bland children, born and raised in Winnsboro, are graduates of SSHS.
Bland moved on from coaching at Sulphur Springs to become the athletic director at Como-Pickton from 1989-91.
Prior to Pittsburg, Bland started as the offensive coordinator and promoted to the head coach after Pittman Keen at Quinlan Ford just before the Panthers were in 4A action in 1995. In his first year at the helm, the coach finished the season in District 10-3A with a record of 9-3. “We had a tough run at in while in 4A,” said Bland on his 3-7 for the 1996 season in District 12-4A and ending 0-10 his last year at Quinlan.
His wife, Shirley, has been working at First Baptist Church in Sulphur Springs for the past 20 years.
“I had to adjust to country life,” admitted Mrs. Bland. She has been quite content with their home they built in Winnsboro 14 years ago.
Coach Bland is from Winnsboro, growing up there, and it is where his family calls home. The two may be “empty nesters” as both of their children have graduated college and married. Daughter Crystal is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University and son Craig is a graduate of the University of Texas.
“Both of our children were very active in extracurricular activities while in school,” said Mrs. Bland. “Recently, it has become quiet around our house so I had to get a dog,” Mrs. Bland said laughingly as the couple are not yet grandparents.
“I will be helping out part-time and only working half a day at C-P.” Unsure of what he will teach, Bland holds a history degree from East Texas State University. “After having a little time in the military to think about it,” Bland explained, “coaching is all I ever wanted to do.”
According to Dave Campbell's 2009 Texas Football, Como-Pickton is currently ranked seventh out of the eight teams in District 13-2A just above Alba-Golden. Players to watch include runningback James Carter, linebacker Brandt Steele, wide receiver Corey Gibson, free safety Jeff Hendricks, defensive lineman Zach Hankins, offensive lineman Kaleb Mund, runningback Angel Mercado, linebacker Cameron Bain, offensive lineman Robert Carden, and tightend Keith Anderson.
Texas Football features Lone Oak in the top slot followed by Caddo Mills and Winnsboro. The Eagles went 3-7 for the season with a 2-5 district mark for 2008.     “I do give much account to predictions in magazine or newspapers,” said Bland, “after coaching for this many years. I just take it one play at a time and work with what I am given.”
According to reports, Como-Pickton currently has an opening for an assistant football/basketball/track coach with a teaching field of high school science as coach Travis Woods has resigned his position that included athletic trainer to return to the nursing profession.
 

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