Three former Trinity University football players have returned to campus as coaches for the 2012 season. Kyle Coats (’10), Jerheme Urban (’03) and Antonio Debouse (’13) have all taken on coaching positions with the football team.
Coats, a former Trinity outside linebacker, returns to Trinity after having completed his master’s degree while coaching at Hardin-Simmons University. As a recent alumnus, Coats is in the unique position of coaching his former teammates. However, Coats relishes the opportunity and takes pride in his players.
“The seniors this year were freshmen when I played, so it’s kind of fun to see those guys grown up. I feel like I earned their respect when they seen me as a player,” Coats said. “Coming back, I get Coach Kyle versus Coach Coats. I feel like I get the respect of those guys because they see how hard I worked as a player and all those guys have really grown up and matured since they were the young bucks on campus.”
Urban, a former Trinity wide receiver, is presently a National Football League free agent. Therefore, he remains on the Trinity football staff part-time while he continues to try out for NFL teams. Despite his experience as a wide receiver, Urban is switching to the other side of the ball and coaching safeties.
“I’ll be able to learn from the other side so that eventually, if I go back to the offensive side in a coaching role, I’ll understand how good defensive coordinators try to attack offenses, how they try to gameplan them, and what they’re looking for tendency-wise,” Urban said. “So for me, it’s a matter of expanding my knowledge of the game.”
Urban has been helping the team during its spring practices every year since his graduation. However, this is his first season working with the team in the fall. Urban pushes to make a continued impact on his alma mater’s program.
“It’s part of the whole ideology that everybody wants to be a part of this program having gone through it. You have a passion for it, you want to see it succeed. We’re all trying to leave our own legacy in a different way. We’ve all come through different eras of Trinity football, and we’re trying to bring a little bit of each era back for this team,” Urban said. “The team today wouldn’t be what it was without those before it. The team my senior year, in 2002, we wouldn’t have been the team that we were without the teams before us laying down the foundation. We’re just trying to not only bring some football knowledge but some Trinity history to these guys and help them carry on the tradition.”
Debouse, a former strong safety, is still a Trinity student majoring in finance and economics. After being a strong safety the last three years, Debouse decided to forgo his senior year of playing due to injury issues. However, he will remain with the football program assisting this team’s safeties. Debouse doesn’t feel a major difference between his playing days and coaching.
“I feel like it’s the same. When I was a player on the field, I was more of a coach. I was always helping out people who didn’t know the position or discussing it with everyone to do my job better. As a player, when someone asked me
The three coaches will make their Trinity sideline debuts at the season opener at home at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1, against Howard Payne University.