SYSTEM IS GENERICALLY CALLED THE DOUBLE-WING
(TECHNICALLY SPEAKING - IF EITHER
END IS SPLIT, THE FORMATION IS NOT A "DOUBLE WING.")
IN STRICT FOOTBALL TERMINOLOGY, A WING
(SHOWN AT LEFT) IS A
FORMATION CONSISTING OF
A TIGHT END (1) AND
(2) - (A WINGBACK DEFINED AS A BACK CLOSE TO THE LINE AND JUST
OUTSIDE THE TIGHT
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;
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 SYSTEM
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 then had moved on to
Portland State, where he was putting up huge scores. Mouse Davis,
a brilliant offensive innovator, was the guy who eventually introduced
the Run and Shoot to pro football.
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
"Tiger" Ellison, of Middletown, Ohio, whose book, "Run and Shoot
Football," is still available (fair warning: be prepared to PAY for
people who have read Tiger Ellison's book will recognize immediately
role in modifying and popularizing Tiger Ellison's invention and
adapting it to the pro game.
SLOT (RUN AND SHOOT)
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
found was a lot easier for me 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 can be 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
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
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 wider
splits, like the one I run today. We could - and sometimes
did - run our entire
package from it.
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
immediately 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 was
going to mean tightening up my "Tight" formation, at least when I
wanted to run those plays.
It didn't make a whole lot of
sense to me 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
my offense can I still run if I go to this tighter formation?"
The answer, I found, 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 after other offenses 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."
AN OFFENSE WORTH LOOKING AT - Reprinted from Texas
Coach Magazine, March 1996
Read my article on the "WILDCAT" direct-snap package from
RETURN TO HOME
A graduate of Yale,
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
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 one 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
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 2011, 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
In 2012, North Beach
won four games, and in 2013, adding an "open wing" to the Double Wing
attack, North Beach improved to 7-3.
In 2014, North Beach
finished 10-1, finally losing in the state quarterfinals after
winning ten straight. Combining Coach Wyatt's "Open Wing"
with his Double Wing, the North Beach Hyaks outscored
their opponents 437-74 and experienced
their first undefeated regular season ever, their first outright
league championship since 1975, and their first playoff win since
1983. Todd Bridge was voted Pacific League Coach of the Year
and, following North Beach's double-overtime win over league
power Raymond, Seattle Seahawks' State Coach of the Week.
North Beach finished Number 4 in the final Washington State Class
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