San Augustine Coach Marty Murr Relishing Final Weeks With Son Gavin at Quarterback
It's a special thing for a high school football coach to coach his son, especially in the fourth round of the playoffs.
San Augustine's Marty Murr is one of three East Texas coaches who have sons playing quarterback for their teams this weekend, along with Longview coach John King and Tenaha coach Craig Horn.
Senior Gavin Murr has proven to be one of East Texas' premier quarterbacks at any level. He has thrown for 2,203 yards and 26 touchdowns with only three interceptions in his final season, which his dad said -- like most parents would agree -- has gone by way too fast.
"This whole season, it's gone so fast. As his dad and his coach you want it to slow down a little bit," Coach Murr said on Wednesday. "He's been a ballboy for me since he was 6 years old and it's been a great ride with him the whole time. It's a thrill of a lifetime only coaches and coaches' kids can experience."
Coach Murr said one of the most rewarding things being Gavin's coach is seeing a reflection of himself on the field every day.
"The cool thing is he's been around the game so much, they understand everything about you. They understand the system, all your quirks. It's like having a coach out on the field. It sounds cliche, but it's true," Coach Murr said. "I think the drive of a coach's kid is phenomenal."
But Gavin Murr and his team still have work to do. The 13-0 Wolves face Centerville at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Palestine for the Class 2A Division I Region III championship.
San Augustine goes into the game with one of East Texas' best offenses, averaging more than 40 points per game and featuring the area's top statistical running back in senior K.J. Davis, who has rushed for 2,123 yards and 29 touchdowns and is averaging almost 10 yards per carry.
It's not often you see a school at the 2A level as equally dangerous passing the ball as it is running, but that's the case for San Augustine.
"I've coached at bigger schools and there they coach one side of the ball and that takes all the practice time because they have more players. Here we go half and half," Coach Murr said. "We're committed to throwing the ball and most teams aren't equally as good throwing so we feel like we have an advantage there. It's harder to game plan for us."
But where the Wolves have improved the most, Coach Murr said, has been on the defensive side of the ball. San Augustine has surrendered double-digit points just four times this year, compared to 11 in 2016. The Wolves have allowed seven or fewer points in nine games, including three of the last four.
"We changed our scheme in the spring and our kids have just bought into it. we live in an offensive world, but the defense is equally important," said Murr, who said his team is plus-21 in the turnover margin this season. "Our defense has definitely been our biggest turnaround and the main reason we've won 13 games."
With that said, Murr pressed that his team will have to "play perfect" on both sides of the ball to beat Centerville on Friday night.
"Centerville obviously has been one of the best teams in this region for several years, and we're not surprised they're here," Murr said. "Everybody can beat everybody right now. Everybody has two goals -- play in December and playing when it's cold. Our kids are fired up."