If you enter the Y.A. Tittle Athletic Fieldhouse at Marshall High School, you’re likely to notice construction work, a lot of which is being done by the football coaching staff.

“We’re trying to build something special,” first year athletic director and head football coach Jake Griedl said.

One could say that improving the fieldhouse is just a microcosm for what the Mavericks are trying to do as they make additions to the coaching staff.

“I think we’re all focused on winning,” said Jay Wilson, who was recently added to the squad as the team’s cornerbacks coach. “I think we’re all focused on doing the right thing and putting the little things into the big things. As you can see with the construction going on, the majority of us, we’ve been the ones painting, putting things up and making things right. I think the kids are really going to enjoy it and I’m hoping the community gets a chance to come in and see it because I think they’re really going to enjoy it too.”

“We’re all here for the kids,” Griedl said. “We’re all here to win and we know that this isn’t a rebuild. The iron is hot and we need to strike right now. The opportunity that he has with some of the athletes who he’s going to work with, he knows that’s a great opportunity for him to advance his coaching career. Once he saw it, even though he had some other great 6A offers, when saw the opportunity here, in the present, he knew this was the spot for him.”

Wilson, an Omaha, Nebraska native, has also had coaching experience in several states but this will be his first gig in Texas.

“I wanted to get into a Texas high school for a couple years and I just reached out to coach Griedl and found the post,” Wilson said. “I knew a couple guys who I talked to about the job and talked about Marshall and it just kind of worked out. I went to a couple of interviews and ended up here. I’ve been a little bit all over the country coaching so far – California, Kansas, Texas, New Mexico and I’m not tied down to anything and I’m kind of a wonderer so I ended up here. It should be a good deal.”

“I posted a defensive-varsity coaching job on social media,” Griedl said. “He reached out to me and it didn’t take me long to realize that he’d be a great fit here. He had some other opportunities on the table – North Shore, Cedar Hill, Westfield, and for whatever reason, he chose us. I think at the end of the day, I think what he realized when he got to come and meet our staff in the interviewing process was how real and genuine our staff is. We’re not going to blow smoke. We’re not going to tell you what you want to hear and then do something different.”

The new cornerbacks coach said there’s nothing like Texas high school football.

“The commitment to high school football in Texas is greater than any other state in my opinion,” Wilson said. “There are really talented people who care, communities who care and that makes it a really easy destination for guys who are high school coaches.”

Wilson added he’s enjoyed his time so far.

“It’s been great,” he offered. “Everyone I’ve met has been great. If I go to Walmart or to a restaurant wearing Marshall stuff, everybody says hi and is really friendly and some people knew who I was even without that stuff. So that’s been a pretty unique and cool feeling. It takes a little adjustment to a different town obviously but I think the community is making it really easy.”

“You can see just from talking to him that Jay is charismatic, high energy, he’s fun,” Griedl said. “Our kids are already drawn to him. He take his job seriously and pays attention to the details and because of that, he’s going to be a really outstanding coach for us.”