3-Minute Drill Podcast

Using the Coach for Life model, the Thornton-McFerrin Coaching Academy strives to help coaches of all levels develop their skills in coaching by focusing on five areas (or domains) of the human dimension: Mind, Body, Team, Character, and Craft. The 3-Minute Drill is a podcast that provides the opportunity for experienced coaches to speak to these dimensions and pass along their knowledge, expertise and lessons learned to others in the coaching profession.

This podcast is for any coach at any level who is looking for short words of wisdom provided by seasoned coaches with a wide athletic background and a desire to share their experiences. The goal is to provide insight and a different perspective on how coaches and their teams can be successful in their sports.

Episode 1: Chris Castillo

Chris Castillo is the athletic coordinator and head football coach at the San Antonio Highlands High School. Coach Castillo is a native of Waco, TX, and has coached at the collegiate and high school levels. In his podcast, Coach Castillo brings a wealth of knowledge about athletic leadership and successful coaching principles.

Episode 2: Dr. Susan ElZa

Dr. Susan Elza is the first female UIL athletics director in the 105-year history of the organization. A Waco Midway high school graduate, Dr. Elza has served as the (Justin) Northwest ISD Executive Director of Athletics. Before that, she was assistant AD in the Allen school district and has been a head softball coach in both Garland and Allen.

Episode 3: Bryan Wood

Bryan Wood is the current Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at Burnett High School in Burnett, Texas.  Coach Wood enjoys sharing his coaching knowledge with young coaches who are looking to advance in their careers and is a Program Captain within the ROCK Mentor Program.  Coach Wood has been a football coach in Texas for 22+ years and has coached at Shallowater, Sunray, and Randall High Schools.

Episode 4: Megan Symank

Megan Symank, the assistant athletic director for College Station ISD, joins the Thornton-McFerrin Coaching Academy for the fourth episode of the 3-Minute Drill. Coach Symank comes from a wealth of experience in the coaching profession. In 2012, Coach Symank initiated the College Station Lady Cougar Basketball program and throughout her career with the Lady Cougars, she tallied 195 wins, 7 trips to the playoffs, and a state tournament appearance.  As a result, Coach Symank garnered the 2019-2020 “Coach of the Year” title from the Texas Girls Coaches Association.

Episode 5: Marty Criswell

Marty Criswell joins the Thornton-McFerrin Coaching Academy for episode 5 of the 3-Minute Drill. Coach Criswell spent 32 years as an educator in Texas public schools, 23 of which were spent as an athletic director and head football coach. Coach Criswell’s accolades are numerous, highlighted by his induction to the Texas High School Hall of Fame and a state championship with the Denison Yellow Jackets. He now resides in Bryan, Texas and is a recruiting consultant for Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Episode 6: Maggie younger

Coach Maggie Younger joins the Thornton-McFerrin Coaching Academy for episode 6 of the 3-Minute Drill. Maggie Younger is in her 18th season as the head volleyball coach at Rockwall-Heath High School. She started the program in 2004 and was awarded the 5A-6A Texas “Coach of the Year” award in 2014 by the Texas Girls Coaches Association. Prior to her time at Heath, Younger was a dual sport athlete playing both volleyball and basketball at Northwestern State University.

Episode 7: Cornelius Anthony

Coach Cornelius Anthony was a 4-year letterman and 3-year starter at Texas A&M University and was a member of the Wrecking Crew Defense who won the last conference championship at Texas A&M in 1998 (Big XII Champions). After graduating with honors at Texas A&M in December of 2000 he went on to play professional football between the NFL and the CFL until 2008 and retired shortly after to pursue a career in coaching in 2009. His “Great Commission” as a coach is simple; positively transform the lives of his players through the platform of sports and to teach other coaches how to do the same. Coach Anthony has been a head coach for the past 5 years. During his tenure as a head coach, through intentional and transformational mentorship/leadership development, Coach Anthony has produced 5 head coaches from his staffs’ who are currently all head coaches and campus athletic coordinators to date. These Coaches are carrying on the work of the “Coaches Great Commission” by also positively transforming the lives of young men and women in their perspective programs!

Episode 8: Libby Pacheco

Libby Pacheco currently serves as the first Chief Operating Officer of the Texas High School Coaches Association and Education Foundation. Libby was a coach and educator across the state of Texas for 22 years before her transition over to THSCA in November ’21. Pacheco has been honored as District Coach of the Year 5 times and has garnered 10 state playoff appearances. Pacheco has a B.S. from Texas State University in Exercise Sport Science, a M.Ed. from North Texas in Educational Leadership, and was a basketball student-athlete at St.Edwards University in Austin.

Episode 9: joey Florence

Joey Florence is a two-time state championship-winning football coach and was inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame in 2020. As a head coach, Mr. Florence was named District Coach of the Year ten times, State Coach of the Year twice and coached the national Under Armor All-America Game in 2012. He received the UIL Excellence Award in 2006 and served on the Texas High School Coaches Board of Directors from 2006 to 2009. Florence graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1989. He served as an assistant coach at Sulphur Springs High School and Marcus High School before becoming one of the youngest head coaches in the state when he was named head coach at Cooper High School in 1994 at age 28. He has served Denton ISD as the director of athletics since 2014.

Episode 10: Dr. Silvia Salinas

Dr. Silvia Salinas currently serves as Executive Director of Athletics for Dallas ISD which is the second-largest school district in Texas and the 16th largest in the nation. Before becoming the first female executive director of athletics for Dallas ISD, Dr. Salinas began her career as a math teacher and coach at Lockhart High School. In 1996, she joined Dallas ISD at Skyline High School but left for a brief period to coach at Northwestern State University.  Dr. Salinas returned to Dallas in 2000 to teach at Bryan Adams High School and Richland College but then transitioned to W.T. White High School prior to becoming an assistant director of athletics for the district in 2004 and then executive director in 2019. This is her 18th year in athletic administration and her 29th year in education. 

Salinas holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science from Southwest Texas State University, where she competed in cross country and track & field. She earned her master’s degree in sports administration from Northwestern State University, and a doctorate in higher education and athletics administration from the University of North Texas. 

Episode 11: Shannon Rideout

Shannon Rideout currently serves as an Assistant Athletic Director with Fort Bend Independent School District.  Prior to working in administration, Shannon worked with Fort Bend I.S.D. for ten years. During that time, he served as the Head Coach for Boys Track & Field at Bush High School for eight seasons.  This is his twentieth year in education.  He has served in various administrative roles during those years, which includes serving as the Area Athletic Coordinator for Austin I.S.D.  Before working in education, Shannon worked in the broadcasting industry as a television sports reporter and sports producer.  

Episode 12: Felicia Brock

Coach Felicia Brock has been coaching at the high school level since 2013 as the Strength & Conditioning Coordinator at College Station High School. Coach Brock works with numerous teams including volleyball, girls cross country, boys cross country, boys basketball, girls basketball, baseball, softball, girls track & field, boys track & field, boys golf, girls golf, boys wrestling, girls wrestling and cheer. In addition to these HS teams, she assists with the athletic development at three middle schools in the district. Last, in addition to her role as S&C coach, Coach Brock is also the CSHS Assistant Athletic Coordinator and PE Department Head. Coach Brock is SCCC certified with the CSCCa and CSCS certified with the NSCA. She is also a proud member of the NHSSCA-TX.  Coach Brock is happily married to Jobi Brock and they have two children, Evelynn (7) and Harrison (5).  
Coach Brock attended Texas State University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Sport Science. Later she earned her Master of Science degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sport Physiology from Texas A&M University.  Coach Brock first started her strength & conditioning career interning at Texas A&M with her mentor, Raychelle Ellsworth in 2008.  Upon completion, Coach Brock worked as the strength & conditioning coach at the collegiate level at the University of Houston, University of Florida, Samford University and Texas State University before shifting her role to the high school level.  

Episode 13: Bryan Polk

Brian Polk currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA). Prior to his time with the THSCA, Polk spent 5 years as Associate Athletic Director of the University Interscholastic League, and 17 years as a teacher, coach, and administrator in districts across the state of Texas.

Episode 14: Dr. Lisa Langston

Dr. Lisa Langston was a four-year letter winner in women’s basketball under the coaching of Cherri Rapp and Lynn Hickey. She also earned two letters in track and field under Charlie Thomas and Ted Nelson. Dr. Langston earned first-team All-Southwest Conference honors in 1985. She received her Bachelors of Science with a minor in Biology from Texas A&M University, her Master’s from Tarleton State, and her Doctorate from Texas Woman’s University. She is currently working as the Athletic Director in the Fort Worth ISD and is the past president of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA). In 2019 Dr. Langston received the NIAAA State Award of Merit for her continuous dedication to High School and Middle School Athletics.

Episode 15: Josh Mcdonald

Coach Josh McDonald ’01 ’08 has been an educator and coach in the state of Texas for 20 years and holds two degrees from Texas A&M University. Coach McDonald currently serves as the head boys and girls powerlifting coach and is an assistant football coach (DL) at Greenwood High School in Midland, Texas.

Episode 16: Kelli Campbell

Kelli Campbell attended Texas A&M University from 1995-2000 and was a 4-year letterman on the track and field team. She also actively volunteered in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Aggie Athletes Involved. As a junior, Kelli entered the Professional Program in Accounting (PPA), obtained a Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting, and Master of Science in Management Information Systems. After graduating in 2000, she worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) then transitioned to Fortune 500 company, Temple-Inland, Inc. based out of Austin, Texas. While at Temple-Inland, she was an internal auditor and eventually became the Enterprise Change Management (ECM) Lead within the IT division.

Episode 17: Robert owens

Robert D Owens has been the Boys Coordinator, Head Football Coach, and Head Track Coach at Wellborn Middle School since 2018. He is also an FCA sponsor at Wellborn. Before coaching at Wellborn, Owens was an educator and coach at Southwest High School in Fort Worth, TX. He Studied Psychology and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University and was the class of 1994. He is a husband and father to his wife Stephanie Owens, and son, Preston Owens.

Episode 18: Tonya McKelvey-White

Tonya McKelvey-White is the head track and field coach at James E Taylor High School at Katy ISD where she specializes in coaching the hurdles, sprints, long jump, triple jump, and relays. As a student-athlete for Clemson University, she garnered All-America honors in the long jump three times (NCAA Indoor in 1993 and 1994 and NCAA Outdoor in 1993). She was the Atlantic Coast Conference champion in that same event in 1992 and 1994. In 1993, she was a member of the ACC champion 4×100-meter relay team. McKelvey-White was also a qualifier for the USATF Nationals in 1993 and 1994. Upon completing her career at Clemson, she joined the South Carolina staff as an assistant coach. She then came became the first African-American female assistant in West Virginia University history when she joined the women’s track and field staff in 1997 where she worked with the jumpers and hurdlers. She later coached at North Carolina A&T University.

Episode 19: Dr. Jamey Harrison

Dr. Jamey Harrison is a dedicated and experienced professional whose connection with the UIL runs deep. Having been actively involved in UIL events as a student at his alma mater High School, Hardin-Jefferson High School, he participated in athletics, academics, and music, Harrison’s passion for these activities influenced his career path as a teacher and coach. With a strong educational background, including serving on the Legislative Council as a superintendent, Harrison has consistently worked towards enhancing the academic and extracurricular experiences of Texas students. Prior to his current role, he served as the superintendent of Bridge City ISD for 4 years and has held various positions in public education for over 14 years, including teacher, principal, and deputy superintendent. Outside of his professional life, Harrison is supported by his family, including his wife Chelle, a former teacher, and their two sons, Jackson and Jett.

Episode 20: Terennee Knight

Terrenee Knight was born in Gary, Indiana and moved to the Dallas, area around the age of 9. She is a proud graduate of Garland ISD’s Naaman Forest High School where she was a 4 year varsity track team member and played basketball. Coach Knight graduated from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies. She also holds a Masters of Arts in Education from the University of Phoenix and principal certification from Lamar University. Her teaching and coaching journey began in 2009 as a middle school English teacher and basketball/track coach in Garland ISD. She has taught 6th and 8th grade English at the middle school level as well as English 1, 3, Creative Writing, and Literary Genres at the high school level. During the last 10 years of her 14 year tenure in Garland ISD, she has served as the Girls Athletic Coordinator at Lakeview Centennial High School. Coach Knight believes that hard work, commitment, and paying it forward are the cornerstone of being a great coach, teacher, leader and member of the community. She is the proud life partner of Micheal Robinson II and doting mother to her child, Makari.

Episode 21: TRoy Degar

Troy DeGar, a former standout quarterback at the University of Tulsa, began his athletic and coaching journey during his time at Houston Westbury High School, where he honed his skills and developed a deep understanding of the game. Following his high school football career, DeGar went on to play for the University of Tulsa, where he started in 22 games for the Golden Hurricanes. After his graduation in 1996, DeGar embarked on a coaching career that showcased his remarkable leadership and knowledge of the sport at Dallas Carter, Westbury High School, Fort Bend ISD, and most recently accepting the position at Kempner High School. Troy DeGar’s remarkable journey from a standout quarterback to a revered coach stands as a testament to his unwavering commitment to the game and his players.

Episode 22: Dr. Mike Thornton

Dr. Michael “Coach” Thornton is the Director of the Texas A&M Thornton-McFerrin Coaching Academy, a Clinical Assistant Professor in Kinesiology and Sports Management, and continues to serve as the President/Executive Director of Read Youth Charities and the Deerfoot Youth Camp. Additionally, he is an official for Division 1 men’s basketball. Coach Thornton serves on various department, college, and Texas A&M committees as well as advising the Women’s Basketball Club Team and the Student Coaches Association.

Episode 23: Christina Amo

Christina Amo is a 4th year Ph.D. student in the School of Public Health. Her research focuses on Sport and Exercise Psychology. She is a coach and former athlete.

Episode 24: Adam Miles

Coach Miles is in his 11th year in education and 10th year in FBISD. After serving a year as the Assistant Coach, he was named Swimming & Diving Head Coach in the Spring of 2021 where he quickly reorganized the team into a growing Aquatics program in anticipation of UIL’s newest sport: Water Polo. Prior to teaching, Coach Miles spent 15 years in the U.S. Navy serving aboard 3 different fast attack submarines as a Chief Petty Officer. He is currently pursuing his Master’s in Sport Management from Texas A&M and is a member of the Thornton-McFerrin Coaching Academy’s Veteran Coaching Program.

Episode 25: Dr. Lauren Craig

Dr. Craig began working in the Texas A&M Athletics Department in August of 2017 and is currently the Assistant Director of Counseling & Sport Psychology Services.

Dr. Craig completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Midwestern State University and her master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Central Oklahoma. She earned a PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Oklahoma, where she worked with the Psychological Resources for OU Student-Athlete’s (PROS) office for three years as a graduate assistant and clinical practicum student.

Dr. Craig also completed her doctoral internship with the Student Counseling Service at Texas A&M’s Student Counseling Service from 2016-2017, where she received specialized training and work with student-athletes under the supervision of Dr. Ryan Pittsinger and Dr. Mary Ann Covey.


Episode 26: Lindsey Killingsworth

Lindsey Killingsworth serves as the Undergraduate Program Coordinator for the Thornton-McFerrin Coaching Academy. She received a bachelor’s of science in kinesiology (2007) and master’s of science in sport management (2016) from Texas A&M University. Lindsey has over 15 years of experience in public education in Texas serving ISDs in the Panhandle, East Texas, and the Brazos Valley. During her coaching career she was a high school head basketball coach and assistant cross country and track coach. She has also served as a middle school athletic coordinator and head volleyball, basketball, and track coach. She specializes in creation, management, communication, and logistics of events in the educational and sports setting. As a former physical education teacher, she is passionate about life-long fitness and physical activity. Lindsey is also a certified RYT-200 yoga instructor and teaches classes in Bryan-College Station.

Episode 27: Phil “Bear” Murchison

Coach Bear Murchison is currently in his 29th year of coaching. Coach Bear is the defensive coordinator at Oak Ridge High School in the Conroe Independent School District since 2020. Before his time at Oak Ridge, Coach Bear was the defensive line coach and strength and conditioning coordinator at The Woodlands High School (2005–2020). Before his varsity coaching, he held various roles as a campus coordinator, junior high coordinator and assistant coach in wrestling, track and field. He coached in the 2016 6A Football State Championship, was the throws coach for TWHS in 1999 when they won their first state title in Track and Field. He also started the wrestling program at TWHS as served as the head coach. He has been a wrestling assistant coach for 19 years. Coach Bear has helped to send over 35 football players to play at the college level in his 18 years as a varsity football coach. In four seasons as the defensive coordinator at Oak Ridge, his defenses have finished in the top 3 in district stats all four years. Oak Ridge has made the playoffs three out of four of those years and has two play-off wins in that time. Oak Ridge had three play-off wins in the prior 38 years.

Coach Bear is a graduate of Texas A&M, ‘93, earning a BS in Kinesiology and Science Composite as his second teaching field. He earned a master’s in education administration from Lamar university in 2009. In 2007, Coach Bear was recognized by the Montgomery County Hospital System with the Lifesaver Award for helping deliver CPR and use an AED to save the life of a coach who collapsed during practice. During his time in Aggieland he interned as a student athletic trainer for the Aggie Football and Aggie Track and Field teams. He earned his Athletic Trainer’s License in 1995.

He grew up in Fredericksburg, Texas and is a 1989 graduate of Fredericksburg High School where he earned letters in football and track and field. He has been married to his wife Stacey for 20 years and has two children.

Episode 28: Dereck Rush

Dereck Rush started his high school football coaching career as a Co-Defensive Coordinator/Varsity Defensive Ends Coach at Odessa High School in 2000. He went onto serve on coaching staffs at Midland Christian High School and John Tyler High School, where was named the Head Football Coach and Campus Athletic Coordinator in 2007, overseeing 65 coaches and 1,200 student-athletes. In 2012 he accepted the head coach and assistant athletic director position at Oak Ridge High School in Conroe, overseeing 85 coaches and 1,900 student-athletes. Rush is an active member in his church where he serves on the member board of directors, is involved in several athletic associations and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. His career includes the implementation of character development and community service programs for student-athletes, overseeing construction projects and developing numerous community partnerships. He earned a Master of Education degree from Grand Canyon University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Mississippi State University where he was a member of the Bulldogs’ football team. He also holds a certified athletic administrator certification from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and a teen leadership course certification from the Flippen Group’s Capturing Kids’ Hearts program.

Episode 29: Travis Reeve

Travis Reeve is in his 25th year of coaching, and 12th year as a head football coach. As an assistant, he began his coaching career in 1998 at his high school alma mater Victoria High School. He then made stops at Plano West, San Antonio MacArthur, Cuero, and San Antonio Churchill. In 2012, he was named head football coach at Cuero High School where he spent 8 seasons, including a 4A Division II State Championship in 2018. In 2020, he became the head football coach at New Caney High School, and spent three seasons there. In 2022, New Caney finished as undefeated District 13-6A Champions and Area Finalist with an 11-2 record, which was the most wins in school history. Following the 2022 season, he took the head football coaching job at El Campo High School.

Episode 30: Matt Nally

Coach Matt Nally has been at the helm of Melissa Football since 2015. As the Head Football Coach, he has steered the Melissa Cardinal football team to an impressive overall record of 80-24, with a playoff record of 11-5. Nally’s coaching prowess has been recognized with prestigious titles such as Coach of the Year for three consecutive years (2021, 2022, 2023). His dedication to the sport was further acknowledged when he was named Texas High School Coach of the Week in 2020 and Dallas Cowboy Coach of the Week in 2023. His coaching journey began at Cayuga High School, where he held various coaching roles before ascending to positions of greater responsibility. Beyond his on-field accomplishments, Nally has also made significant contributions to the coaching profession through his publications in Texas Coach Magazine, his instructional video series with Championship Productions and Coach Tube, and his role as a keynote speaker at numerous clinics across the state of Texas. Nally graduated from Frankston High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Texas in 2003 and a Master of Education in Administration from Lamar University in 2011.

Become a Participant!

If you are a seasoned coach and/or athletic administrator and would like to submit an audio recording for consideration as a 3-Minute Drill, please do the following: 

  • • Find a quiet location with minimal interruptions.
  • • Use your phone or electronic device to record an audio file. CLICK HERE for technical instructions on how to create an audio file using your phone.
  • • Introduce yourself and provide a very brief description of your coaching experience that highlights your most valuable achievements.
  • • Provide words of wisdom and/or insights that can be used by all coaches at all levels to help be successful.
  • • Limit recording to 3 minutes or less.

After finalizing your recording, please email the audio file to CoachingAcademy@tamu.edu.

Thank you again for your time and willingness to take part in the 3-Minute Drill Podcast.

Best Regards,
The Thornton-McFerrin Coaching Academy