When you think of football and television shows and movies, you think of The Blind Side, Remember the Titans, Rudy, Friday Night Lights and HBO’s docu-series Hard Knocks. This summer, Netflix added another docu-series to the list, Last Chance U in late July, and it is safe to say the show has blown up.
For Mountaineer fans, there’s a recent alumni of West Virginia on the show. Mountaineer quarterback Clint Trickett is currently entering his second year in his role of quarterbacks coach for the Lions, at East Mississippi Community College where the Netflix show is filmed and revolved around.
For those who have not seen the series, the following contains what could be deemed as *Spoilers* as the first season has been completed and the second season is being filmed now.
Last Chance U is a six-episode series chronicling the JUCO team and their path as they started the 2015 season on a 24-game winning street. The Netflix series has blown up, essentially going viral, which was not what many, including Coach Trickett thought would happen.
On filming, the new coach commented, “I didn’t know how big it was going to be so, I just kind of acted like they weren’t there. I was too busy being caught up doing the job.”
Needless to say, the show has done extremely well, with a second season ordered and being filmed at this time.
Getting the opportunity to coach seemed like the very organic next step for the quarterback after an unfortunate series of concussions made an attempt at playing the game Trickett so loves as a career. Last year, Trickett relocated himself to Scooba, Mississippi and jumped into a coaching staff who had won three National Championships for their division and had won 24 games in a row. Add moving to a new part of the country, and a camera crew filming practically your every move, and that makes for quite the first year on the job.
“For people who have seen the show,” Trickett told us, “it was an interesting and a crazy year. If you haven’t, there was a quarterback issue. First time we had lost, ending a 24-game win streak.”
Last season, the Lions unfortunately lost their second game of the season, ending that incredible 24-game win streak. As evidenced by the show, this loss came as a shock to players, coaches and fans alike. The Lions went on to win the remaining games in their season, culminating their season with an unfortunately documented on-field fight between the Lions and Mississippi Delta. As a result of this fight, the Lions were suspended by the NCAA for two games, one being the first round of playoffs last season, and the second being the first game of this season, this coming Thursday night’s game.
Trickett explained the ramifications of the suspension, stating that players and coaches that were present at that Mississippi Delta game are ineligible to participate in this season’s opener.
“Anybody who was at the game last year is still suspending, including myself, so I can’t go to the first game.”
As a result of this incident last fall, the Lions will take 31 players and four coaches to their first game of the season on September 1.
The Lions are known for producing top quarterbacks for Division I schools, as evidenced by the last two Ole Miss quarterbacks, Chad Kelly and Bo Wallace. Both were players at East Mississippi prior to playing for Hugh Freeze and the Rebels.
With that being said, Trickett had several talented quarterbacks to coach in his first year, as seen on the show and widely talked about going into the 2016 season. Last season Trickett had the opportunity to coach Wyatt Roberts and John Franklin III. Roberts is now a walk-on quarterback just up the road from Scooba, at Mississippi State.
“Mississippi State,” said Trickett, “the closest place next to my town. It’s only an hour away, so I go there a lot.”
John Franklin III is set right now to be one of the backup quarterbacks under Gus Malzahn for the Auburn Tigers. Coach Trickett also has plans to get to Auburn to see quarterback John Franklin III leave his mark on SEC ball this fall as well.
As it is well-known, Clint Trickett comes from a football family. His dad is Florida State’s assistant head coach/offensive line coach. His two older brothers are in the coaching business as well, Travis is the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Samford, and Chance works for the Los Angeles Rams scouting department. Football and coaching is in their blood, and Clint is doing a great job of paving his own path of a coaching career.
As many Mountaineers know, so many roads in our hearts lead back to Morgantown, and when asked if he had an ultimate coaching goal or career desire, Clint Trickett feels the same was as most Mountaineers; Morgantown.
“One day I would maybe like to end up back in West Virginia, that’s home for me. If I could one day end up there, I’d be fine with that.”
It goes without saying that Mountaineers love a homecoming, Stedman Bailey is doing it, and maybe Bailey is just paving the path to returning to Morgantown for Trickett to follow in his steps and coach at West Virginia one day.
With the football season now just days away (thankfully), we asked Coach Trickett how he felt about his Lions and the Mountaineers for this upcoming season. Coach Trickett, as a good coach typically is, was focused on his Lions getting through the first game with many players and coaches ineligible to play due to last season’s incident.
“Looking pretty good, obviously the first game, you’ve got to deal with that. Our second week, we have probably our second best team in the state at least. If we can get through those two. We just got to take it one game at a time and that’s what we plan on doing.”
Trickett also has high hopes for the Mountaineers, as he made great improvements between his junior and senior seasons at West Virginia, he sees Skylar Howard likely to do the same.
“I think they’re going to be solid this year, again coming off a great bowl win. Skylar’s got another year under his belt, so he’ll be more improved.” Then Trickett reflected, “From my junior year to my senior year was by far the largest leap I took, so hopefully if he does that as well, then the sky’s the limit.”
Coach Trickett is optimistic for the Mountaineers both on offense and defense for the upcoming season as many Mountaineers also are. It goes without saying that wherever coaching takes Clint Trickett, he will always have a special place in his heart for WVU and the Mountaineers, and the quarterback turned coach is sure to do great things in his coaching career.