MY OFFENSIVE SYSTEM IS GENERICALLY
CALLED THE DOUBLE-WING
(TECHNICALLY SPEAKING - IF
EITHER END IS SPLIT, THE FORMATION IS NOT A "DOUBLE
IN STRICT FOOTBALL TERMINOLOGY,
A WING (SHOWN AT LEFT) IS A FORMATION
A TIGHT END (1)
A WINGBACK (2) - (A WINGBACK DEFINED AS A BACK CLOSE TO THE LINE AND JUST OUTSIDE THE TIGHT END)
MY SYSTEM CAN BE - AND FREQUENTLY IS - RUN
FROM A WIDE VARIETY OF SETS, SOME OF THEM SHOWN IN THE PHOTOS ABOVE: THE BASE FORMATION ("TIGHT" FORMATION AT LEFT IN THE PHOTO ABOVE) CONSISTS OF TWO TIGHT
ENDS AND TWO WINGBACKS; "SLOT"
FORMATION, SECOND FROM LEFT, SHOWS HOW EASILY WE CAN ADD ANOTHER
FORMATION, YET PRESENT DEFENSES WITH VASTLY DIFFERENT PROBLEMS; THIRD
FROM LEFT IS AN UNBALANCED-LINE FORMATION, FROM WHICH WE CAN RUN MOST
OF OUR OFFENSIVE PACKAGE; AND FARTHEST RIGHT IS "STACK" FORMATION,
WHICH ALSO ALLOWS US TO RUN MOST OF OUR OFFENSE
THE ROOTS OF THE
My roots in this system go back to 1979,
running the Run and Shoot (Double Slot) as an assistant to
Steve Stanich at Central Catholic High School in Portland,
Oregon. Lots of people in the Northwest were running it
then, largely because of the influence of Darrell "Mouse"
Davis, who had won a state championship at Hillsboro,
Oregon, High and had moved on to Portland State, where he
was putting up huge scores. Mouse, a brilliant offensive
innovator, was the guy who eventually took the Run and Shoot
to the pro level.
people are under the mistaken impression that Mouse Davis invented the
Run and Shoot. Actually, Mouse - who preferred to call his offense the
"Double Slot" - always gave credit for its invention to the late Glenn
"Tiger" Ellison, of Middletown, Ohio, whose book, "Run and Shoot
Football," is still available - but be prepared to PAY for it. Most
people who have read the book will recognize immediately Mouse Davis'
role in modifying and popularizing Tiger Ellison's invention and
adapting it to the pro game.)
DOUBLE SLOT (RUN AND
In 1980, I took the head coaching job at
Hudson's Bay High, a large high school in Vancouver,
Washington, and continued with the Run and Shoot that my
predecessor at "Bay" had been running so successfully. But
when it became apparent by my third year there that we were
having as much success "Running" as "Shooting," especially
with the misdirection running game, I decided to get serious
and try to learn more about misdirection from the best in
the business - the University of Delaware. I contacted
them and bought a playbook and a two-reel film package
showing the Delaware Wing-T in action, and it turned out to be the best
purchase I ever made.
I started out trying to run Delaware's
plays from the double slot (Run and Shoot) formation, but
soon realized the stupidity of trying to reinvent something
that had already proven successful, and changed over to the
Delaware attack 100 per cent. Rather than adopt the
Delaware numbering system, though, I retained my
play-calling numbering and terminology, which I felt was a
lot easier to teach to high school kids. I especially liked it
because it guaranteed that our backs wouldn't crash into
each other (this is no joke - that's a major problem in
teaching any misdirection offense). My decision to retain
my terminology would turn out to be the key to the
development of my current system.
That was 1983. Over the years, I came to
love and respect the Delaware Wing-T (still do). We rarely had a
player over 210 pounds, and one year our backfield averaged
only 5-7 and 150 pounds, but our Wing-T kept us competitive
in the state's largest classification.
Delaware, we ran from multiple sets - often shifting in and out of them
- and we used lots of motion. Although we played with one end or the
other split most of the time, our base set - which we just called
"Tight" - was a Double Wing, exactly - except for the tight splits -
like the one I run today. We could - and sometimes did - run our entire
package from it.
In 1987, I went overseas, and spent two seasons running my Wing-T with a Finnish team. Overall, I
coached in Finland for seven seasons, and in the process won
two National Championships; but those first two years,
playing in the top division with an inexperienced small-town
team, were tough going. We moved the ball okay, but we stunk
on defense. And the worst beatings we ever got - both years
- were at the hands of a team from Helsinki, the big city -
a team called the Roosters.
Compared to us small-town guys, the
Roosters were big-time. They were big and talented and
experienced, and they could afford two American
coaches - one for offense and one for defense. Their
offensive coach was a California named Don Markham,
and he ran a power play nobody could stop.
He ran it from a Double Wing. It
looked almost the same as my Double-Wing - my "Tight"
formation - but upon closer inspection, his "Tight" was really tight. There were very tight splits (if
any at all), and his fullback was much closer to the line of
scrimmage than mine. I could immediayely see how easy it would be to
adapt Don Markham's power play - and the trap that
complemented it - to my system, but to do it I could see I was going to have to
tighten up my "Tight" formation, at least when I wanted to
run those plays.
It didn't make a whole lot of sense to
jump into that formation just to run those two plays, and
yet I didn't want to give up the versatility and flexibility
of my Delaware Wing-T system, so for me the big question
became, "How much of the rest of my offense can I still run
if I go to this tighter formation?"
The answer was, "all of it" - and then
some. And, true to its Wing-T roots, we are able to run our
core plays from a variety of formations, several of which you'll see in the photos above.
I have never departed from
Wing-T thinking, and for the most part, my blocking principles and
rules are those that have enabled the Delaware Wing-T to remain an
effective offense years afer others have come and gone.
Rather than go on, I urge readers to read the
article with which I introduced my first video, "Dynamics of
the Double Wing."
OFFENSE WORTH LOOKING AT - Reprinted from Texas
Coach Magazine, March 1996
my article on the "WILDCAT" direct-snap package from
(A graduate of Yale, Hugh Wyatt
has been coaching football since
1970. After two years in the World Football League, as Player
Personnel Director in Philadelphia and Assistant General Manager in
Portland, he has been a high school coach in the Pacific Northwest.
since 1976. He has coached internationally, in Finland and Denmark,
and early in 1996 released an instructional videotape, "Dynamics of
the Double Wing." Since 1976, he has been a head coach at seven high
schools in the Pacific Northwest, and an assistant coach at six.
Overseas, he has also been a head coach of three different teams in
Since 1997, Coach Wyatt has put on
more than 185 clinics or camps in 28 states and a Canadian province ...
Alabama, Alaska, Alberta (Canada), California, Colorado, Georgia,
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New
York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas,
Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin... He has personally coached the
Double-Wing in Finland, Denmark and Germany, and at 5 different US high
In 2008, in his first year at North Beach High School in Ocean
Shores, Washington his team went 7-3 and earned him Pacific League
Coach of the Year honors. (In 2007, North Beach had finished 1-9.)
In 2009 he served as offensive
coordinator at Woodburn, Oregon, a Class 5A school that had won just
two games in the last five years. With heavy emphasis on his Wildcat,
Woodburn's 2009 team under head coach Tracy Jackson won three games, including the school's first
league win in twelve years!
In 2010, after a two year hiatus during
which North Beach went 3-16, he returned to North Beach as an
assistant to new head coach Todd Bridge. In the first year of Coach
Bridge's rebuild, North Beach, starting three freshmen on the
offensive line, managed three wins, including a defeat of the
defending state champions, and North Beach's first home win since 2008)
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