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Cache coaching ranks a family affair

For two years John Herbert and Clarence Madden shared an apartment in Greenwood, Ark.  

Not a bachelor pad, more like a think tank for all things football. They were coaches on staff at Greenwood High School, a football machine that is 63-5 dating back to 2009 and led by former Broken Arrow head coach, Rick Jones. 

They filled that apartment to the walls with X's and O's, tossing ideas back and forth. It's the place Herbert, who was upgraded two weeks ago from Cache football's defensive coordinator to head coach, says his gridiron education moved sharply upward. 

"We did nothing but football. It really felt like a two-year football clinic," Herbert said. "It didn't matter what time of year it was, fall or spring. During football season we talked a lot about scheme and how to prepare a team for practices and how to prepare for games. In the off-season we talked a lot about how to develop a program."

Those talks will come in handy this summer. Because after being named Cache's new head coach, Herbert said it was a "no-brainer" as to who he'd bring on as offensive coordinator. 

It was his father-in-law, Madden. 

"In my opinion, he's one of the best offensive line coaches in the state, if not the best," said Herbert, who got engaged and eventually married Madden's daughter, Jennifer, after the coaches left Arkansas in 2010. "He's just sold out to football. He's a football coach. He leaves no stones unturned. He's a coach's coach, no doubt."

Herbert is obviously close to Madden, who left Greenwood to be closer to family. He settled at Elgin, where he was offensive coordinator last year.   

Herbert, a 2002 Eisenhower graduate, is also close to his choice for defensive coordinator, Larry Derrick. The two coached together at Ike from 2010-2012. Herbert served there as defensive coordinator in 2012, before leaving for the same position at Cache in 2013. 

"For both coach Derrick and coach Madden, I've worked with those guys a lot. I would call either one of them friends; we support each other. I'm always learning from them. I dont think there's much I can do for them to learn from me," Herbert said with a laugh. "I just want to be a good leader for the football program. I know I can go to those guys and they'll give me great advice. It's a really good situation I have  to be around coaches and have the chance to bring in these coaches who have this experience. It's unbelievable."

The Lawton Constitution

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