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Qualifications more than overshadow family ties

By Victoria Advocate
March 25, 2009 at 10:04 p.m.
Updated March 24, 2009 at 10:25 p.m.

Memorial head football coach and Victoria school district athletic director Mickey Finley has been criticized for naming his son Clint Finley as the Vipers' defensive coordinator and boys head track and field coach.

Clint Finley was 3 years old when he moved to Klondike.

Memorial head football coach and Victoria school district athletic director Mickey Finley had just begun his first head coaching job and his son was right there with him.

Clint Finley was there when Mickey coached at Comanche and Iraan and followed his father to Cuero, where he became the starting quarterback as a sophomore and led the Gobblers to the Class 3A state final.

Clint Finley also won a gold medal in the hurdles at the state track and field meet during his senior year at Cuero.

Finley was recruited by Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor and Alabama before electing to attend Nebraska on a football scholarship. He played safety for the Cornhuskers and spent a brief time in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs.

I have no intention of going through Clint Finley's entire biography, but he's been around football all his life.

I've known Clint Finley since he moved to Cuero and if anybody has a passion for the game, it's him.

I've also known Mickey Finley since he coached at Cuero and I've witnessed how committed he is to winning.

The suggestion Mickey Finley would do anything to hurt his team's chances of being successful is ludicrous and that includes naming his son as the Vipers' defensive coordinator and boys head track and field coach.

Mickey Finley has coached football for over 30 years, he's a well-compensated public figure and he knows criticism comes with the job.

But he was stung by accusations that his recommendation to hire Clint Finley to coach at Memorial was nepotism.

"The only reason he was brought into this was because of me," Mickey Finley said. "I'm paid pretty well to take criticism. But it's really unfair to him."

Mickey Finley is not the first head coach to hire his son as an assistant. Mark Reeve's son Travis is Cuero's offensive coordinator. Former Bay City coach Warren Trahan hired son Beau as his offensive coordinator in Dickinson.

Beau Trahan is now coaching at Baylor under Art Briles, whose son Kendal is an assistant for the Bears. Mark Reeve's son Charlie coached a year at Cuero and is now an assistant at Texas State.

Clint Finley has experience coaching football and track and field. He coached with his father at Cleburne and was set to become Mike Rabe's defensive coordinator in Ganado until Mickey Finley got the Schulenburg job. Clint became the Shorthorns' defensive coordinator.

Schulenburg went 11-1 in 2006 and Clint Finley helped design a defense which held a Rice Consolidated team that was averaging over 43 points per game to six points.

Mickey Finley realizes that Clint Finley lacks experience, and he's surrounded him with experienced coaches like Kyle Taylor and Tommy Psencik.

What Clint Finley has in abundance is enthusiasm for what he's doing. I know from personal experience the players respond to him.

I have seen him go over tape and work on technique with his football players. He has also assisted hurdlers from around the area with their technique.

Clint Finley is Mickey Finley's son. He's also a good football and track and field coach, and that's why he's coaching at Memorial.

Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or mforman@vicad.com, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.

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