In February, Kansas State hired Brian Norwood as its new secondary football coach. Norwood replaces Tom Hayes, who retired in January. Hayes was not only the secondary coach, but defensive coordinator as well. Norwood will also serve as co-defensive coordinator.
This is not Norwood’s first time around the block. The 53-year-old veteran has 28 years of coaching experience.
K-State head coach Bill Snyder will be the second hall of fame coach that Norwood has worked under. From 2001-07, he was the safeties coach at Penn State for Joe Paterno.
Most recently, Norwood served as associate head coach, co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach at the University of Tulsa from 2015-17.
On August 6 at K-State’s Football Media Day, Norwood said he was looking forward to being part of the Wildcat coaching staff.
“I’m excited about being at a program with so much history with Coach Snyder and so many coaches that have played in the program,” Norwood. “It’s a great environment with great young men, so I’m really excited about it.”
The Wildcats finished the 2017 season as the second-worst team among FBS Division I teams in terms of passing yards allowed per game, giving up an average 309.1 yards. Norwood will likely be expected to improve that number.
“I really am coming in bringing whatever knowledge I can,” Norwood said. “Coach Seiler is a tremendous defensive coordinator, so I’m excited about working with him and all the defensive coaches.”
Eliminating explosive plays, working on specific game situations such as third down and being high in takeaways are specific focuses for Norwood and his secondary.
Despite being in Manhattan for just seven months, Norwood has already made an impact on his players. At media day last week, senior cornerback Duke Shelley and junior safety Denzel Goolsby both had high praise for their new position coach.
“He’s awesome, man; I love Coach Norwood,” Goolsby said. “He’s brought in a lot of good stuff, a lot of good knowledge. Learning from him has been awesome this offseason, being able to see things from a different perspective. Any time you have a completely new coach it’s going to change everything from how he’s coaching you to how he’s teaching you on film. It’s been good for us.”
Shelley said Norwood has taught him a lot so far, especially with technique and alignment, as well as to look for things that he has never heard before.
Shelley and Goolsby have not only benefitted from the addition of Norwood on the field, but off it as well.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever had such a positive coach, such a spiritual coach, too,” Goolsby said. “I think it’s cool to see how much he cares about his faith. He’ll start and end every meeting with a Bible verse.”
Goolsby also called Norwood a players’ coach, saying he is not afraid to have fun with the team.
“Even when practice is getting long or tough, he’ll find a way to make things interesting or fun for us,” Goolsby said.
As the season approaches, Norwood said he is just thankful for the opportunity that he has been given to coach young men.
“They’ve had success here defensively in the past,” Norwood said. “All I want to do is come in and help in any way I can to be able and continue that success. We have a lot of room to grow.”