Wellington head coach Greg Proffitt celebrates with his team after beating McCamey in the Class 2A Division II state quarterfinals last Friday. [John Moore/ Press Pass Sports]
Sometimes a change a scenery, a breath of fresh air, can be just what it takes to get back in a groove.
That seems to be the case for second-year Wellington head football coach Greg Proffitt who has the Skyrockets making their first Class 2A Division II state semifinal since 2017 when they play Windthorst at 7 p.m. Thursday on Leo Brittain Field at Lions Stadium in Vernon.
“It’s been fun,” said Proffitt, who is leading Wellington to its seventh semifinal in school history. “I told our guys on Saturday it’s been hard to wipe the smile off your face. This is an unbelievable, unreal feeling. We’re not ready for it to end because these kids are so much fun to be around. We’re looking forward to another one this week.”
Proffitt is soaking in this unbeaten 13-0 run as much as his players. In two years he’s 25-2, he’s taken Wellington to a quarterfinal and now a semifinal. Proffitt is doing a tremendous job after so many questions circled around his hiring two years ago.
To know the hiring of Proffitt at Wellington, you first have to understand his background.
Proffitt comes from great lineage. His father, Gary, was a legendary head coach at Golthwaite, winning three state titles — 1993, 1994, 2009 — in 27 years, and was a state championship as an assistant in 1985. Proffitt, a 2001 Golthwaite graduate, grew up in that success. He played for his father, then coached with his dad as the offensive coordinator on the 2009 state team, taking over the program in 2013.
Wellington coach Greg Proffitt looks on against McCamey last Friday. [John Moore/ Press Pass Sports]
But after a mediocre stint with the Eagles in his time at head coach, and following a rough season in 2018, Proffitt knew it was time to move on.
“I was always told you would know when it was time for a change, and it was time.” Proffitt said.
Little did he know when he applied at Wellington, he’d be interviewing and eventually be hired as the predecessor to former Wellington coach and the community proclaimed Mayor, Wade Williams. Williams had made shocking headlines by retiring with a record of 122-22 in 11 seasons, that included a 2013 state championship.
“Greg’s background made him appealing,” Wellington superintendent Kurt Ashmore said. “He followed his dad at Golthwaite, who was a part of four state championships. So he’d been in this type of situation before. He’s been around winning football. But he’s come in here, he’s embraced everything at Wellington. He’s put his own stamp on things but didn’t try and change anything that wasn’t broken.”
Proffitt knew what was ahead of him when he took the Skyrocket gig. He knew he’d have to win the community, and that came by getting W’s on the field. But more importantly for Proffitt, he knew he had a great coaching staff, a great culture, and just wanted to come in and keep it going.
“I didn’t want to change hardly anything when I came in,” said Proffitt, who has a career coaching record of 61-37. “The staff was in place, and I told them I didn’t want them going anywhere. I really thought this job was a good fit for me. The kids bought in and we’ve built great relationships over time. I’m always there for them and they know that. I know they have my back also.”
With the pieces and place, the players bought in, Proffitt and his family are loving everything about Wellington. Now Proffitt says its time to keep these smiles on the faces going for one more week and get to AT&T Stadium.
“It’s been hard to enjoy and soak it all in,” Proffitt said. “You’re worried about the next game, and you’re not guaranteed another one. In 101 years of Wellington football only seven teams have played in the state semifinals, and we’re one of them. We want to make the most of it because you’re never granted to do it again soon.”