Woodrow Wilson football coach Bruce Land has been at the school for six seasons, finishing 5-5 in 1992. He chatted with Advocate Community Newspapers Sports Editor Brett Hayman about his career, as well as the upcoming season.
Advocate: What’s your favorite memory as a coach?
Land: Winning the district championship in 1991 here at Woodrow Wilson is at the top of my list. We hadn’t won one for 22 years, and ironically, we had only 22 players on the entire team. We started three sophomores and never stopped hustling. They were an exciting group to coach.
Advocate: What was your best overall team?
Land: It would have to be the 1962 Samuell High team that went to the state quarterfinals. We had a player named Johnie Johnson who was really special.
Advocate: What do you enjoy most about coaching?
Land: Just watching guys mature as athletes and people. We encourage our players to make mature decisions both on and off the field.
Advocate: What’s the hardest thing about coaching?
Land: What really disappoints me is seeing a player with lots of talent that isn’t mature enough to use his ability. Sometimes you do your best coaching when you don’t have a lot of talent, but through hard work, you find a way to win anyway.
Advocate: What are your hobbies outside of coaching?
Land: Snow skiing and water skiing. I like to paint, oil painting. I specialize in landscapes.
Advocate: What’s the most exciting game you’ve ever coached?
Land: The Hillcrest game in 1991. We had to beat them to win the district title. With two minutes left on the clock, they punted the ball to Greg Ellis. That was a mistake. He took it back 67 yards and that one play gave us the game.”
Advocate: What’s your coaching style?
Land: I’m not a yeller or a screamer. I expect my players to execute. Once in a while, I may chew a guy out, but I try to build their confidence as much as possible.”
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