COPPERAS COVE — Jason Hammett wants to finish what he started.
Two years ago, Hammett arrived at Copperas Cove alongside Bulldawgs former head football coach Jack Alvarez. During the span, he witnessed the full spectrum of emotions as the program rallied to make the playoffs in 2018 before suffering through a three-win season last year.
Now, Hammett looks to guide Copperas Cove back to prominence after being named the Bulldawgs’ new head coach and athletic director during Monday’s monthly school board meeting.
“The most attractive thing about this job is that I’ll get to continue the work that we’ve been putting in over the last two years,” Hammett said. “It’s about the kids.
“I want to take the next step with these guys, and it was an easy decision because we’re in the middle of things and not having to go back to the beginning.”
Hammett served as the Bulldawgs’ assistant head coach under Alvarez, who departed in February to take over as head coach at Cuero, and he becomes the program’s third head coach in a four-year period after longtime head coach Jack Welch left prior to the 2018 season.
Much like when he arrived, Copperas Cove is facing adversity.
Welch suddenly resigned after more than two decades at the position, and the unexpected turnover prevented the Bulldawgs from being able to participate in spring practices. Nevertheless, Copperas Cove adjusted and went 7-4 en route to a postseason berth.
Now, like numerous other teams, the Bulldawgs are facing the possibility of having spring practices canceled due to growing concerns surrounding the coronavirus. Additionally, the University Interscholastic League banned all athletic activities until May 4 at the earliest.
Hammett understands every season is unique, though.
“It’s a complicated equation,” he said. “Last year, our health was a big issue.
“The main thing is going to be our work ethic. We started our offseason training a few months ago, and of course, that is on pause now, but they are putting in the work and the improvement is there.”
But the current situation leaves a cloud of uncertainty looming, prompting all athletes and coaches to wonder when normalcy will resume.
The wait is especially trying for Hammett, who is eager to begin his first head coaching job, but he believes patience will pay off.
“Just a little success will breed even more success,” Hammett said. “Then, that will create confidence.
“So, I’m just looking forward to getting back to work with these guys.”