on a rainy Pacific Northwest practice field more than 11 years
ago, I never dreamed that I was introducing my high school team
to an offensive formation that would one day explode on the national
scene as an NFL "innovation." It was October, 1997, and I was
showing a direct-snap version of my Double-Wing offense to my team, the
La Center Wildcats. For want of a better name, we called it
the "Wildcat." How original.
my surprise when a few years ago I saw the University of Arkansas
running a direct-snap series which it called - the "Wildcat"
(?) And then this past season, the Miami Dolphins became
the talk of the NFL with a direct snap package of their own, also
called, thanks to an Arkansas connection on their staff, the Wildcat.
NFL coaches being copycats just like the rest of us, other teams in the
NFL were running their own versions of the Wildcat, and quickly the
term "Wildcat" as a generic description of a direct-snap formation to a
player who wasn't necessarily back there to pass became as common as
"single wing" once was.
how'd the name get to Arkansas in the first place, and from there to
the Dolphins? There's no plausible explanation other than a video
I marketed, and an article I wrote for Scholastic Coach and Athletic
Director in December, 1998. Herman Masin, legendary editor
of Scholastic Coach, gave it the title, "'Wildcatting
It' With the Double Wing."
after the article appeared, I began hearing from coaches around the
country, and by popular request I put the Wildcat on the agenda at all
my Double-Wing clinics. I had already included a segment on the Wildcat
in my popular "Dynamics III" video, and found a lot of interest in it,
especially among youth coaches, for whom the conventional center-
quarterback exchange is a chronic headache.
1999, I added a seven-page section on my Wildcat to my
Double-Wing playbook, with the explanation, "Named after
the mascot of the school where I first ran this set, the Wildcat - and
the series it has inspired - was introduced during the final games of
our 1997 season."
years, I've explained and shown the Wildcat to hundreds of coaches at
clinics and camps, and sold numerous playbooks and videos.
I haven't the slightest idea how many teams have actually run my
Wildcat at one time or another, but there's a lot of them, and
they know how it got its name.
whole deal of having to explain the real derivation of the name of the
formation could all have been avoided if I'd just waited another 11
years to name it.
coach at North Beach High, in Ocean Shores, Washington, and we're
the Hyaks. ("Hyak" is a Chinook Indian word meaning "Very fast.")
I'd love hearing broadcasters gush over
the Dolphins' innovative Hyak formation.
(At least in Canada they know who gave the Wildcat its
Aberdeen Daily World's Profile of Hugh Wyatt