HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: White looking forward to a new challenge at Pampa

Former Compass Academy head football coach and athletic director Floyd White knew it was going to be a tough decision but at the end of the day, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go back home and coach the same high school football team he once played on.

On Monday, White was named the new head football coach and athletic director at his alma mater Pampa High School.

He leaves after two years spent in Odessa coaching at Compass Academy at the Class 3A level.

Prior to his arrival at Compass (which played its first season of varsity football in 2020), the Cougars had only one victory in both 2020 and 2021.

White coached the Cougars to consecutive 4-7 seasons which included a playoff appearance both years.

“Ultimately, when you’re a little boy and you play for your hometown and then you get that chance to coach in your hometown, it’s one of those things that’s hard to turn down because traditionally, we were one of the stronger teams in the area,” White said. “There’s nothing that Compass did wrong or anything like that. It was just a good opportunity for me and my family and from other standpoints that I just couldn’t turn it down.”

White replaces Cody Robinson who resigned last month after three seasons in Pampa to become the assistant coach at Gilmer.

The Harvesters, who play in District 2-4A, Division I, are coming off a 2-8 showing from last year.

The team went 5-6 in 2022 while its last winning record came from a 6-5 showing in 2021.

2021 was also the last time the Harvesters made the state playoffs.

Still, White said he’s excited about this new challenge.

“It’s a great opportunity,” White said. “It’s something new. It’s going to be a tough transition just like compass was a tough transition since they were in a tough district. It’s an opportunity to build something, again, and that’s something that as a coach, you relish.”

White is eager to see what he has to work with when he takes over in Pampa.

“First thing we have to do is we have to get in there and get our process in place with how we workout and how we do things and what our expectations are,” White said. “Those are all things that we have to put in pretty quickly. The kids have to understand that we’re not here to mess around. This isn’t recreational football. It’s time for us to get after things.”

White said there are a few things at Compass Academy that have helped prepare him for this next challenge and there will also be some things that he won’t have to worry about as much including the stadium situation.

“There were a lot of things for me and the coaches that we had to do that were not normal things that you have to deal with like dealing with the stadium situations and learning how to adjust practice schedules and all those other things,” White said. “Those have really helped me because when I was first here, it was just me and another guy doing it. You have to learn how to organize and lean on people and depend on people to do things that are outside of their expertise. That in itself has prepared me.”

Over the years, Compass Academy, which does not have its own stadium, has had to play its home games at different venues in the area including Ratliff Stadium, Astound Broadband Stadium and Greenwood’s J.M. King Memorial Stadium.

That won’t be a concern in Pampa, which plays at Zach Thomas Stadium at Harvester Field.

White will also have a bigger coaching staff to work with at Pampa even though he said he’s not sure of how many assistant coaches he’ll have.

“There’s a lot of them,” White said. “I’m not sure how many but it’s significantly bigger than what I had at Compass Academy. Not that there was anything wrong with Compass Academy. We had what we had. You make it work the best that you can.”

Last year, the Cougars had five assistant coaches on staff.

While it wasn’t an easy choice to leave, White is confident that Compass Academy will continue to move in the right direction.

“It’s been one of the most gut-wrenching and difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make professionally,” White said. “You hate to leave your kids but you know that ultimately, they’ll be in great hands with whoever takes the program next. I have a firm belief that the administration and all the coaches at Compass Academy are going to make sure that the kids have the absolute best coach they can have. That’s something that I can walk away with knowing in my heart that those kids are being taken care of. That makes it a lot easier on me.”