Keese claims accolades
“Get your hands dirty as soon as possible. Find a way to get into coaching whether it’s volunteer or low-pay. Experience is huge.”
This is the advice of 2001 Dublin High School graduate Kyle Keese to prospective coaches, and it’s coming directly from one of the top four strength and conditioning coaches in the nation.
So said the National High School Strength Coaches Association last month when it name him one of the four finalists for the title. Although it was recently announced he didn’t claim the national spot, he was named top in the region, besting other coaches from Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico.
The road to this title started with his hire at Denton’s Crownover Middle School following his graduation from Tarleton in 2006. He was named assistant coach of the program at Denton’s Guyer High School the following year.
While in that position, he and Bryan Kegans took a trip to LSU at the invitation of Coach Tommy Moffitt, where they observed the depth of the school’s early-morning routine and discussed strategy with the coach.
This meeting helped Guyer develop a new program and seems to have had an effect on Keese, who was named director of the school’s strength and conditioning in 2013.
Keese admits feeling the pressure at taking the promotion as the Wildcats has just won a State title, but the team was able to repeat the success in his first year. He also remembers the excitement of the team making the quarterfinals in 2015.
“I don’t know how many expected that team to succeed, but they excelled,” he said.
This success comes with the investment of the coach and his players. Keese can be found in the school’s weight room at 5:30 a.m. most mornings. He is joined by seniors preparing for the next step in an athletic career and will oversee the conditioning of all of the school’s 150-plus athletes throughout the day.
The 6A school claims a deep athletic program with a variety of sports, including football, basketball, baseball and soccer.
Keese described his nomination for Strength and Conditioning Coaches of the Year as a “wow moment” and credits his success to the rest of the coaching staff and the support of his wife, Kayla, who heads Guyer’s Track and Field program.
Keese has set a few goals for himself and the program for the coming years, including going several rounds deep into play-offs this year and winning another State title soon.
These accomplishments are possible with practice, patience and perseverance, qualities that Keese instills in his athletes and earned him bragging rights as the top strength and conditioning coach in several states.