Coaches Corner #15 - Ray Blake

Ray Blake, Former Stanford Associate Head Coach New Head Coach at Bixby HS, Oklahoma

:55- Stanford Experience
● Ray’s history at Stanford
● How he found out the Stanford Program was getting cut
● The text that changed the program’s history

2:38- We’re going to do things on our terms
● Competing in all black
● 8 Duals all season

4:01- How Stanford Kept the team training during Covid
● Remote Training Camps
● RTC Camps in California and Chicago
● The loophole that kept the team training “Outside”
● Living and Training in Groups of six or “household”

5:35- Bixby, Oklahoma
● “We knew what we were getting into”
● The process of moving

7:45 “Wrestling is built into your school schedule.”
● Official Title “Coordinator of Wrestling Operations”
● Wrestling is built into school schedule
● First Hour: In Wrestling Room first hour with Junior High Wrestlers
● Sixth Hour: In Wrestling Room with HS Wrestlers

9:00 “We have a great system here.”
● Young and talented
● State Dual Runner-ups, 3 Champs, 10 State Qualifiers, 5 State Placers all returning
● Great Coaching Staff (Roller, Gibbons, Douglas, Embry, Money, Evans)

11:15 “By the Way Bixby Football is a Program”
● Bixby Football Success
● Stadium
● Dual Sport Athletes
● Taking advantage of Strength and Conditioning Program

13:15 “Build the Bottom Up”
● Our team as a whole can move forward quicker
● Transition from Stanford to Bixby
● Kids ranked top 10 in country and others are on first day
● New kids don’t feel undervalued, everyone feels committed to program, family, success

15:00 “Connecting with kids, that’s tough”
● Coaching is relationships
● Tougher to do at HS level

16:25 “Pushing the Programs Core Values”
● Better students, teammates, employees
● No matter how good you are in wrestling you can control your level of commitment
● It’s not your skill level, it’s how willing you are to commit
● Carried Core Values from Stanford: Family, Integrity, Passion, Sacrifice, Hard Work,Positive Attitude. Are you Bixby Built?
● The Fight to Keep Stanford Wrestling succeeded due to Core Values
● When you see kids doing the right things, point them out. When you see kids that aren’t, point them out and talk to the team about them.

19:30 Field Trip to Wrestling Room
● Branding Work
● Core Values and History
● Printed out Core Values and Placed on Wall

22:25 “You can’t have an ego”
● Reaching out to HS Coaches
● Let go of your Ego.
● You can’t be afraid to ask for help

24:00 “I’m excited to compete and figure out what kind of team we have”
● Most excited about creating the right culture
● Getting kids who aren’t thinking about going to college and opening up doors
● Growing girls program

25:00 Womens Wrestling and Coach Blake’s Plan for Girls Wrestling
● Build the Bixby Girls Program
● I see the Girls Side being a huge side of building Bixby.
● Girls wrestling is sanctioned in Oklahoma for two years
● Oklahoma Girls Wrestling is a work in progress

27:00 Bixby Rivals: “I don’t pay attention to that stuff”
● Stillwater, Broken Arrow, Mustang
● Hardell Moore
● Rod Jones, Ethan Kyle reached out to Coach Blake
● Better for state if best programs are working with each other
MI Grappler