To the Armada football players, this season might show a new side to Todd Stump than the one they were familiar with.
The Armada chemistry and physics teacher is taking over the school’s football program.
“He’s a lot more intense,” quarterback and linebacker Ben Seago said. “In the classroom he is more hands-on and caring … and out here is he more brutal. Kind of a ‘get it done’ sort of guy.”
Gone are the days of a laid-back atmosphere at Armada’s practices — but the change brings a mood players say will boost their Friday night performances.
“We want high-intensity reps,” Stump said. “It’s get in, (do) two hours of high-intensity stuff, and get out.”
The focused practices and tough mentality aren’t the only benefits to having Stump at the helm. Teaching some of these players for three years in the classroom, Stump and his Tigers already have built a foundation of solid chemistry.
“It’s a pretty big bonus to have your coach in the classroom before he’s your coach,” running back and defensive back Michael Haller said. “I know a lot of our guys were excited to grow with him.”
While Stump and the players alike are excited for Armada football’s new chapter, he said it wasn’t an easy decision to man the Tigers.
Prior to taking the Armada head coach job, Stump was at Capac High School. He called it a tough decision, but he said coaching at the school where he teaches and working more with his students was too good to turn down.
“I had a good job, it worked well and I worked with a lot of great guys up there (at Capac),” Stump said. “But at the same time, it’s the opportunity to work with kids I see every day.”
With the move to the black and orange, Stump is taking on more paperwork that comes with being head coach. The new playbooks have to be made. The new offenses and defenses have to be implemented. The schedules for games, practices and camps all have to be created.
But in his first year, Stump also is working on something not every football coach in the state would adhere to. Instead of requiring athletes to play, think and dream football 24 hours a day, he urges his players to get out and play other sports.
While the weight room can directly improve the strength of the team, playing other sports in the winter and spring adds other benefits to the gridiron.
“They’re going against other schools, staying competitive and they’re creating rivalries,” Stump explained. “Do we get as much pure football work? No, but we get a lot of athletic work, a lot of conditioning and stay competitive year-round.”