VYPE Magazine editor Brad Heath caught up with coach Cody Hilburn to find out what made this season special for him and what kind of legacy he wants his seniors to leave behind once their playing days are over. Seneca lost 20-7 to Mexico in the playoffs Nov. 20th after a magical run that saw the Indians win the district title.
VYPE: Coach, where did you start your coaching career?
Hilburn: I coached tight ends for one year at Missouri Southern State University before coming back as an assistant to Seneca for five years. After that I spent the last 10 seasons at Carthage High School.
VYPE: Every coach seems to have a mentor or someone they coached under who left an impression. Who is that person for you?
Hilburn: I’ve been fortunate to play under several great coaches. Coach Tom Hodge played a large role in me pursuing teaching and coaching as a career and continues to be a mentor for me to this day.
VYPE: This season has been a good one for your team and staff. What have you seen out of your players this year that impressed you the most?
Hilburn: We have a team full of high character kids. These guys show up every day ready to work. They understand that you don’t just show up on Friday’s and win football games. They have committed to daily improvement and have learned to love the process you have to go through in order to be successful.
VYPE: What do you want your players to take with them once they leave your program?
Hilburn: More than anything I want them to take our core values and use them in everyday life being good husbands and fathers someday. If all they have learned is football throughout the season, I haven’t done a very good job as a football coach.