Not a fable...
By Hugh Wyatt

Standing 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.

Imagine 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.

Soon, 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.

So 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."  

Soon 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.

In 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."

Over the 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.

This 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.

I currently 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 name)

Read The Aberdeen Daily World's Profile of Hugh Wyatt

CLICK for Video (1998)
SC and AD
My 1998 Scholastic Coach article
S-I thumbnail
Tim Layden's Dec 08 S-I article
Kerry Eggers- Portland Tribune
playbook thumbnail
Wildcat plays from my playbook
Coaches who've used my Wildcat
WC video
Game Footage of my Wildcat


WILDCAT DVD2 DVD set- $49.95

DVD #1 - A 1-1/2 hour long clinic presentation by Coach Wyatt at the 2007 Single Wing Conclave on the Basics of the Wildcat, including video clips of drills

DVD #2 - 90+ minutes of game and practice footage... (1) The background (2) Teaching the snap; (3) Teaching the Basics; (4) Video clips of the basic double-tight package shot from behind; (5) HS Wildcat in summer camp; (6) Wildcat clips from several years of high school games; (7) Two entire middle school games; (8) Tight Shotgun; (9) Spread shotgun; (10) Tight Punt formation; (11) 8-Man Wildcat practice by state championship team; (12) 8-Man Spinner Wildcat; (13) Triple-A/Triple-C "Quads" Package; (14) Easy adjustment to single wing; (15) 1960's single wing footage showing Princeton's "Pistol"; (16) Dutch Meyer's TCU Direct-Snap Double-Wing from the 1950s; (17) BONUS- practice video of Wildcat Option

2 DVD set- $49.95 ----

Plus Basic Double Wing playbook with Wildcat section (total value sold separately $84.90) = $74.95

Plus Basic Double Wing Playbook/Video package (total value sold separately $136.85) =$116.95)

Wildcat Packages