When Will Kates got to Merkel in 2021, he was the third head coach in the last three years.

The program was a revolving door.

Kates wants to make that stop.

This is his third season leading the Badgers, and he’s getting things headed back in the right direction.

He’s providing a sense of stability in Merkel.

The 2023 Merkel football team is 3-1, and they are just 26 points from passing the grand total of points scored last year by the Badgers.

Things are looking up in Merkel with Will Kates leading the way.

“I mean I have some characters here,” said head coach Will Kates. “We love these guys they know that. We have a lot of fun, the grind is real and sometimes there are hard conversations, we also have a lot of fun. We enjoy each other and I think that’s what makes it worth it.”

Quarterback Maddox O’Malley said, “I’m just lucky to be one of the few that had have the same coach stay here for this amount of time so, there’s really no other way to explain like my love for him. He’s a great guy, he’s a great coach, I love everything about him.”

“There are a lot of times that I wish it was just ball you know,” coach Kates added. “I want to get in there and just watch film on my computer, take notes, but there are so many other things. Meetings and if you’re pulled to the school for another sport or issue, that’s part of this job.”

Coach Kates went on to say, “But, the benefits are are having great assistant coaches that you know you can trust that if I was gone and had to do something, would this continue to roll on. And I believe in those guys that it will, we have a great staff and the kids know what to expect from them. Once again, that’s the level of consistency we’re looking for.”

Center Adrian Rocha said, “He’s just a fun dude. He knows when to joke around but also he knows when to be serious and when to be that authority figure. It’s just always fun to mess around with him because he can mess back, but yea it’s just always fun.”

Kates said, “The attitude and the expectation belief is changing at this place and that’s the only way it’s got to be for us to move forward and do things we’ve never done. That’s the goal.”

Will Kates is the Abilene Federal Credit Union Coach of the Week.