They’re as different as rock and paper.
You will hear one coach at the top of his lungs, inspiring his team. You will see the other coach with steel in his eyes, directing his own.
One manic. The other machine.
But the personalities and coaching styles of Goodyear Desert Edge coach Rich Wellbrock and Queen Creek coach Joe Germaine, whose 13-0 teams will face off Saturday in the Division III championship game at Sun Devil Stadium, are just as effective as the other.
“Coach Germaine is the real deal,” Queen Creek senior receiver/safety Mike Graff said. “He’s classy, he’s smart; it’s obvious why he has a reputation because he’s such great guy. He never freaks out. He always stays calm. He’s one of those intimidating figures. You know he’s there. It plays into your mind.”
Said senior running back Kyle Woolard of Wellbrock: “He’s always wired. He’s always hyped for everything. I think that helps our team a lot. It brings energy to our team. We don’t ever come out flat. We just feed off of his energy.”
Germaine and Wellbrock are the two hot coaches in the state. Both were hired by their respective schools in 2010. And both have made an immediate impact upon their arrival.
In 2009, Desert Edge went 5-6. Under Wellbrock, the team has won 30 of its past 37 games and has yet to miss the postseason. In 2010, Desert Edge lost in the playoff semifinals in double overtime to eventual champion Phoenix Thunderbird.
Queen Creek was also 5-6 the year before Germaine took over. Since then, Queen Creek hasn’t won less than 10 games a season, reaching the playoff quarterfinals in 2010 and the semifinals last season.
The teams have taken the personalities of their head man. Desert Edge, with its big-personality coach, has a big-play offense. Queen Creek, with its methodical coach, can wear teams down.
Germaine’s coaching style has been influenced by the coaches he learned from while starring at Mesa Mountain View High and Ohio State and through a 10-year pro career.
“Having played the game for so long, I’ve had a lot of great coaches through the years who I admire and have affected me as a player,” Germaine said. “I’ve always just had a passion for the game. I love teaching the game. I’m not a rah-rah coach. I’m not a yeller. Only when I have to. I just try to teach life lessons through the game that coaches have taught me through the years. Teach those lessons of how to be better young men and husbands and fathers some day.”
Wellbrock said he’s always been a fiery coach.
“It’s funny how more people notice when you’re team is a little bit successful,” he said, laughing. “It’s just kind of who I am. There’s so much that goes into a Friday night. As a head coach, a lot of times, that’s the time of the week that most fun. That’s always been me. Always been high energy.”