Q/A with head athletic trainer Coach Doley

Meghan Helton, Reporter

Rider/Old High week is upon us. While Rider’s traditions are well known throughout the school, there are some who have never fully experienced the pride of being a Rider Raider.

Coach Doley, head athletic trainer entering his 17th year on the job, made the switch from Wichita Falls High School (Old High) to Rider in January of this year. While Doley has always been around the rivalry, this will be his first time on Rider’s side.  

Q: Have you been a trainer at any other schools?

A: I was a graduate assistant at Midwestern State University for the 2002-2003 school year. And then I started at Old High following 2003. And I was there until January 2019.

Q: Why did you transfer from Wichita Falls High School to Rider?

A: It was a promotion for me. I was the assistant at Old High and I’m the head athletic trainer here. It was a great opportunity for me, and I’ve been very appreciative of that. I’m glad I’m working here, I love working with coach Brittnee Harder. It’s just been a great deal for me. So, for myself, it’s been wonderful.

Q: How have your Rider and Old High experiences been different?

A: Well, this is kind of my first year here to experience the craziness of rivalry week. You know, I’ve seen it from the other side of town and it’s just a fun atmosphere. This town transforms into a crazy town. The lines are pretty well drawn. You know, if you live on this side of town, you’re going for Rider and if you live on this side of town, you’re going for Old High. But, you know, having experienced it for all those years over there, I’m curious to see what goes on over here. I don’t really know a whole lot about the Happening or any of that. This is going to kind of be my first experience with that and I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a really cool week. There’s lots of different activities and it seems like every night there’s something going on. Whether it’s coach Holly’s Special Olympics softball Home Run Derby. And of course, Wednesday we’ll have the sub-varsity games and then on Friday we’ll strap it on for real.

Q: Would you say your job has changed since you moved to Rider?

A: Athletic training is pretty much the same wherever you’re doing it. As far as the kids’ change, kids are kids. The kids over here are the same as the kids on the other side of town. However, there are more administrative duties and things like that. But, I really enjoy working with Brittnee, and she does an amazing job just as helping me get everything done that needs to be done. She needs to be praised for how hard she works because she does a great job.

Q: Do you still keep up with the coaches you worked with formerly?

A: The guy that was the head athletic trainer at Old High for all the years I was over there retired in May. I still have lunch with him a few times a month. I still talk to some of the guys I work with over there. We have a coaches’ Bible study every Wednesday morning, and it’s coaches from Rider and Old High that participate, as well as some from Hirschi. And so I still see them, even though it’s different. Different isn’t bad, different is good. It’s been a really good experience for me over here and working with coach Bindel, all the coached over here, Dr. Blair. I couldn’t have asked to fall into a better situation than what I fell into.

Q: What do you think it will be like on the other side of the Rider/Old High rivalry?

A: I mean, the record in this game speaks for itself. I was over there for 16 football games and I think we won five at Old High in the time I was there. So, it will be different in the fact that I’ll have to really make sure that I walk down the right sideline. No, I’m kidding, but it’ll be different as far as just… I don’t even know what the right words are to say. It’ll just be different. But, there’s no doubt that Rider has had a whole lot of success against Old High in football and I’m looking forward to that aspect. And I’m looking forward to seeing some of the guys I took care of and the seniors I took care of for three years over there. So it’ll be nice to see them, shake their hand, give them a hug at the end of the game. But when we walk off the field, I’m hoping that we win and they don’t. 

Q: Do you think it will feel different being on the opposite side of the rivalry?
A: I’ve worked other sports since I got over here against them and, you know, it is different just because I know a lot of those kids and I know a lot of those coaches. But, after a few years, it won’t feel any different. This will be my home and this is my home. I feel like I’ve built relationships with coaches and the athletes over here just like I did over there, and so now I have broader reach and know a bunch more kids. But, as far as different, sure it’ll be different. But changes happen and in life, you’re going to deal with changes. It’s how you adapt to them. And this has been one that has been very easily adaptable and I really, really, really enjoy being over here.