BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS) — For the first time in more than 40 years, football will be played at Bluefield State College.
Over the summer, the college announced the return of the program and Tony Coaxum as their new head coach. He said starting a program from the ground up is normally a challenge, and with the pandemic, it is even more difficult.
“Not being able to do home visits and seeing a lot of kids play it’s been a little challenge, but you adapt and over come and use the tools out there cause it’s not just us, everybody is going through the same thing so it’s an even playing field,” Coaxum said.
Coaxum said his vision for the new program is to be a fast and physical team. With many local high schools near the college, keeping boys local is a big plus.
“When you have kids from the area and from the state, they are already a little more invested because now they are going to see their high school coaches, little league coaches and their family is going to be right their when they play,” Coaxum said. “We have a few kids from Bluefield High School right down the road and they get to play in Mitchell Stadium for another four years and those kids know how to win championships.”
With this being a new program, the coaching staff has a full roster to fill, allowing them to look at more players.
“We have that ability to take more chances and take a kid that’s a little more raw and say you know what we have a whole another year of developing and grooming these players, so in that regard it helped us,” Coaxum said.
Along with building a new football program, Coaxum said his goal is also to build these young men into future men of character.
Coaxum said he wants to save some room for the Class of 2022, but they currently have about 60 players who committed to play at Bluefield State College in the fall. He said their ideal roster size for the 2021 season would be between 80-90 players.