Skip to main content

SS:Archives - Hal Wasson

Jan 30, 2012 12:02PM, Published by Mike, Categories: Life+Leisure, City+School




Southlake Style Archives: Hal Wasson's first interview with Southlake Style -  Dragon Pride September 2007 

It takes a special personality to even begin to fill the shoes of former Dragon Head Coach Todd Dodge, Southlake’s reigning citizen of the year and creator of the “Dodge Ball” phenomenon that has brought national recognition to our small city. Once you meet Hal Wasson, the Dragon’s new head football coach, you will quickly understand why the school board unanimously chose him from a pool of twenty-eight extremely well qualified candidates.

What makes Wasson the right man for the job has yet to be seen by most of the city. But according to University of North Texas’ Todd Dodge, “I’m taking some good candidates with me to UNT, but to me the only choice is Hal Wasson. He has a wealth of experience and his knowledge of the way we did things will be great assets.”

Need more proof? Just ask Dragon senior wide receiver Jeremy Gray about what sets Wasson apart and he’ll tell you “He’s always fired up.” Even Wasson himself will tell you that he’s “intense”. Yet, the real special quality that comes with his leadership is that he knows when to be intense and when to be calm. Wasson knows when to have what senior running back Tre Newton says is “Pep in your Step” or when to just be peacefully focused. Coach Wasson may spend his working hours on the gridiron yet he balances his life through down time relaxing with his family, reading books or watching movies.

We started our conversation with the calmer side of Hal. When asked about his hobbies, he proudly remarked, “Believe it or not my kids are my hobby. I’ve spent a lot of time chasing them around. Now one is at OU and the other at A&M.” Wasson is a true family man and with two children about to finish college one could say he raised them well. Even though his own children may be gone, his empty nest is now chocked full of Southlake Carroll Dragons.

Hal Wasson was born and raised in Corsicana, the son of Homer, a hard-working cotton farmer. He grew up amidst a backdrop of down home family values which included Dad’s fierce work ethic, a way of life that fashioned Dad as a prosperous farmer and board member to the local university. These early life lessons still guide Wasson’s daily unwavering determination as he journeys through life as a husband, father and coach. “My father has been my life’s greatest inspiration,” says Wasson. “He has always stayed the course and has always focused on the positives in everything.”

Don’t let his calm exterior fool you for long; when it comes to coaching he professes to be “very intense, passionate and enthusiastic”. In fact, it wasn’t long before the intense side came out, he’ll even admit he’s not trying to hide it.

Wasson makes no excuses for complacency; rather he stays focused on the integrity of the program through each individual’s contribution beginning with his own. “I’m a very, very hungry coach,” says Wasson. “I never want to let a kid down. I never want a kid to come off the field and say that we didn’t do our homework to get prepared.” It’s his selfless attitude of doing what is right for the program and its players that leads senior offensive lineman Jake Jackson to say “he takes a personal interest in us as players and people.”

When it comes to the success of the 2007 Dragons, both sides of his personality will play as important of a role as his 20 years of head coaching experience. Often new leaders enter a new situation with the excitement and desire to leave their personal mark on an organization. For Wasson this does not seem to be an issue. He freely admits, “I believe philosophically in the things that Coach Dodge stood for with the entire program. It was a really nice fit for me personally as well. The program has been extremely successful and “I don’t want to change for change’s sake.”

In his coaching past, Wasson had seen great success with a more blue-collar, physical running attack. Yet in 2001, as the running backs coach for Southlake, this “forever student of the game” learned a big football lesson from his own son, Chase, a QB who would go on to lead the Dragons to their first 5A state championship. 

“My son woke me up to the new era of football [the spread offense, AKA Dodge Ball]. He helped me realize there is more than one way to accomplish a goal. That rejuvenated me and my ability to continue to have fun with the game of football. I hope no one ever has to tell me to quit because I’m no longer enjoying this game.”

Coach Wasson has passion to spare and he knows that will spill over throughout the entire organization and the community. He often tells his players, “Every day is a holiday and every meal is a banquet.” Simply put, embrace every moment of every day. More specifically treat every day of the week with as much enthusiasm as Friday.

“We’re going to work, that doesn’t change [no matter who is coaching]. Some people confuse intensity, passion and work ethic with being too serious. I can’t change my intensity.” From off-season conditioning and pre- season Dragon Makers (intense team oriented conditioning drills) all the way through game day execution a Dragon’s work ethic is second to none. Yet, along the way Wasson also believes there is time to “have fun” and he thoroughly enjoys being around the kids and the camaraderie of the coaches. “This team and its brand of offense is fun because you never know who is going to get the ball, it keeps every player on their toes.”

Even the offensive linemen get to catch passes during team practices and who knows when else! Southlake Carroll finished 2006 as undefeated State Champions with the honorable addition of a “Mythical National Title”. For 2007, most preseason polls, including USA Today, had the Dragons as the #1 ranked team in the nation. All of this recognition both locally and nationally has Wasson “humbled” as he knows the foundation for this attention was built by many past and present players and coaches.

He has instilled a respect in today’s Dragons for the contributions of those who have come before them and he tells his players to “continue to build upon that foundation” best summed up with the generations long motto of “Protect the Tradition.”

In the end, Wasson knows his team starts its season in the shadows of a great tradition but by the end he believes, “This team will create its own identity and I respect them for that.” Former head coach Dodge knows, “The program deserves someone that will keep the traditions alive and he definitely will.”

Along the way, Wasson will undoubtedly add some new traditions of his own, and they too, will be worth protecting.


 




  • Dean and Deluca Invitational

    05/28/2017
    12:00AM

    Join the crowd at the 71st Annual Dean and Deluca Invitational, a PGA Tour golf tournament, as so...


  • Memorial Day Backyard Party

    05/28/2017
    01:00PM — 02:00AM

    The Ginger Man’s Annual Memorial Day Backyard Party will be packed with cold beer, live music, an...


  • Dine For Dragons: May 30

    05/30/2017
    07:00AM — 12:00AM

    Eat in. Take out. Help fuel Carroll Education Foundation with every meal on May 30. Restaurants p...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Each pair of new or gently used shoes donated puts us one step closer to our goal of providing Em...


  • PARTY ON!

    06/02/2017
    07:00PM — 10:30PM

    Join us each Friday night for our weekly ballroom dance party! A great mix of ballroom, latin, c...


  • Dean and Deluca Invitational

    05/28/2017
    12:00AM

    Join the crowd at the 71st Annual Dean and Deluca Invitational, a PGA Tour golf tournament, as so...


  • Memorial Day Backyard Party

    05/28/2017
    01:00PM — 02:00AM

    The Ginger Man’s Annual Memorial Day Backyard Party will be packed with cold beer, live music, an...


  • Each pair of new or gently used shoes donated puts us one step closer to our goal of providing Em...


  • Dine For Dragons: May 30

    05/30/2017
    07:00AM — 12:00AM

    Eat in. Take out. Help fuel Carroll Education Foundation with every meal on May 30. Restaurants p...


  • Each pair of new or gently used shoes donated puts us one step closer to our goal of providing Em...


  • Each pair of new or gently used shoes donated puts us one step closer to our goal of providing Em...


  • PARTY ON!

    06/02/2017
    07:00PM — 10:30PM

    Join us each Friday night for our weekly ballroom dance party! A great mix of ballroom, latin, c...


  • Summer Kickoff

    06/03/2017
    12:00AM

    Get ready for the City of Southlake to kick off summer with a big bang boom! This year’s annual e...


  • Conquer the Gauntlet

    06/03/2017
    12:00AM

    Jogging is like an easy stroll in the park compared to Conquer the Gauntlet, a grueling four-mil...


  • 2017 Mansfield Farmers Market

    06/03/2017
    08:00AM — 01:00PM

    In continuous operation since 2004, the Mansfield Farmers Market has experienced a renaissance in...


  • Yard Sale Fund raiser for the Mansfield Historical Society and Museum June 3rd 210 N. Smith...


  • Crawfish Boil

    06/03/2017
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    Grand Prairie's annual Crawfish Boil features freshly boiled crawfish accompanied by potatoes and...


  • Medallion Help-Create - School is Out!

    06/03/2017
    10:00AM — 01:00PM

    Hip, hip, hooray! School is out for summer! Vetro is celebrating summer break with fire and flame...


  • Saturday, June 3, 2017 The Perot Museum TECH Truck engages youth in hands-on, maker-based scie...


  • Spotlight on Hissing Roaches!

    06/03/2017
    05:00PM — 06:00PM

    Also known as Hissers, these cockroaches are actually clean and don't bite! Come learn all about ...


  • Big Bang Boom

    06/03/2017
    05:30PM — 07:30PM

    WHO: Big Bang Boom, parent-friendly children’s music WHAT: MasterWorks Concert Series ...


  • | Country and rap music has never sounded so good together! If you are a fan of both genres, you ...


  • Downward Facing Dad

    06/04/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    A fun-filled class for children and their fathers at the FlyKids Yoga studio! And an early treat ...


  • Summer Art Camps

    06/05/2017
    09:00AM

    All summer long, and during other school breaks, we will be holding half day camps and week long ...


  • Animal Family Art Week

    06/05/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    Join the Art House all week long for fun with animal art! Projects for the week include three lit...


  • Summer Art Camps

    06/05/2017
    09:00AM

    Throughout the year Art House provides art camps for ages 5-16. During school breaks, and through...


  • Each pair of new or gently used shoes donated puts us one step closer to our goal of providing Em...


  • Summer Art Camps

    06/06/2017
    09:00AM

    All summer long, and during other school breaks, we will be holding half day camps and week long ...


  • Animal Family Art Week

    06/06/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    Join the Art House all week long for fun with animal art! Projects for the week include three lit...


  • Summer Art Camps

    06/06/2017
    09:00AM

    Throughout the year Art House provides art camps for ages 5-16. During school breaks, and through...


  • Summer Art Camps

    06/07/2017
    09:00AM

    All summer long, and during other school breaks, we will be holding half day camps and week long ...


  • Animal Family Art Week

    06/07/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    Join the Art House all week long for fun with animal art! Projects for the week include three lit...


  • Summer Art Camps

    06/07/2017
    09:00AM

    Throughout the year Art House provides art camps for ages 5-16. During school breaks, and through...


  • Each pair of new or gently used shoes donated puts us one step closer to our goal of providing Em...


  • Summer Reading: Playdate with Ronald McDonald

    06/07/2017
    10:30AM — 12:00PM

    Playdate with Ronald McDonald: Wednesday, June 7, at 10:30 a.m.


  • Enjoy lunch and a discussion about: • Hip and Knee Pain • Different Types of Arthritis • Joi...


  • Summer Art Camps

    06/08/2017
    09:00AM

    All summer long, and during other school breaks, we will be holding half day camps and week long ...


  • Animal Family Art Week

    06/08/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    Join the Art House all week long for fun with animal art! Projects for the week include three lit...


  • Summer Art Camps

    06/08/2017
    09:00AM

    Throughout the year Art House provides art camps for ages 5-16. During school breaks, and through...


  • Symphony Arlington KidsNotes

    06/08/2017
    10:30AM

    KidsNotes is a one-hour program that begins with the reading of a book such as, “Zin! Zin! Zin! A...


  • Household Hazardous Waste Dropoff

    06/08/2017
    03:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Environmental Collection Center is the City's permanent drop off facility for unwanted househ...


  • Summer Art Camps

    06/09/2017
    09:00AM

    All summer long, and during other school breaks, we will be holding half day camps and week long ...


  • Animal Family Art Week

    06/09/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    Join the Art House all week long for fun with animal art! Projects for the week include three lit...


  • Summer Art Camps

    06/09/2017
    09:00AM

    Throughout the year Art House provides art camps for ages 5-16. During school breaks, and through...


  • Each pair of new or gently used shoes donated puts us one step closer to our goal of providing Em...


  • Household Hazardous Waste Dropoff

    06/09/2017
    03:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Environmental Collection Center is the City's permanent drop off facility for unwanted househ...


  • PARTY ON!

    06/09/2017
    07:00PM — 10:30PM

    Join us each Friday night for our weekly ballroom dance party! A great mix of ballroom, latin, c...


  • 2017 Mansfield Farmers Market

    06/10/2017
    08:00AM — 01:00PM

    In continuous operation since 2004, the Mansfield Farmers Market has experienced a renaissance in...


  • HillsideFIT: June Run Club

    06/10/2017
    08:00AM — 09:00AM

    Get geared up for summer with Hillside Village‘s HillsideFIT, a free fitness series taught by exp...


  • Mulch Madness

    06/10/2017
    08:30AM — 11:30AM

    Mansfield Water Utilities offers FREE mulch to Mansfield residents. Proof of residency required. ...


  • Dragon Boat Festival

    06/10/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    Dragon Boating is back for year four in Grand Prairie, TX! The 4th annual Grand Prairie Dragon ...


  • Household Hazardous Waste Dropoff

    06/10/2017
    10:00AM — 03:00PM

    The Environmental Collection Center is the City's permanent drop off facility for unwanted househ...


  • Medallion Help-Create - School is Out!

    06/10/2017
    10:00AM — 01:00PM

    Hip, hip, hooray! School is out for summer! Vetro is celebrating summer break with fire and flame...


  • Gates open at 2pm | showtime 4pm $35 general admission $45 preferred viewing $70 vip seating...


  • Please join us in sharing our vision of Freedom Life Church launching in Mansfield September 2017...


Read This Month's Digital Issue