Carter leaving Carson
Paul Carter is chasing his dream.
The 30-year-old Carter, a teacher at Carson Middle School for the past eight years, and head JV football coach and head wrestling coach at Carson High, is leaving the state to work on a masters in education administration at Dordt College and be a graduate assistant for the NAIA football squad.
Carter said the education program at Dordt lasts two years. He said the college is paying for his education and housing plus throwing in a stipend for food each semester. Carter felt it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.
“I’ve always dreamed of coaching at the next level,” Carter said during a recent phone interview. “My ultimate goal is to coach in the NFL. It’s a pretty young staff. I think I’m the second oldest.
“I found out about the job at footballscoop.com. They had all sorts of coaching jobs listed on there, even NFL jobs. I applied for four different jobs. I talked to the head coach (Greg Youngblood) and the defensive coordinator. They flew me out there on a Wednesday, I spent all day there Thursday and flew home on Friday, and I had an answer when I got home. It was all done very quickly; very fast.”
Youngblood is happy to have Carter on board.
“Paul fit the education degree requirements needed and demonstrated he would fit the mission of the Christian College environment here at Dordt,” Youngblood said. “He had experience on the defensive side of the ball and had competed at a high level in wrestling in college.
“We felt Paul’s experience as a coach and his personal attributes such as his work ethic, ability to learn and grow in the profession as well as his character and family values, made him a great candidate to work with our staff and players in our program. We are excited to have him and his family join us.”
Carter admitted there was a small risk in leaving his position at CMS, but it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.
“At this rate, I could retire from teaching in the district at 53 if I worked straight through,” Carter said. “This is a two-year program, and if things don’t work out, I can come back to the area and teach or be an administrator.
“I have a very supportive wife (Cassie) and a very supportive family here in Carson. Our kids are young and not in school yet, so it makes that a little easier.”
Carson football coach Blair Roman feels the time is right for Carter.
“This is the perfect time to pursue college coaching,” Roman said. “It’s a young man’s game when you start out coaching in college, and it’s a great opportunity to get his foot in the door at that level. Paul is a tremendous coach. He’s demanding, but fair; an excellent motivator.
“He has played a key role in the success of the program, and it shows how your lower levels can really help the varsity succeed. One of the things that I pride myself on as the head coach is that the whole staff is invested as one, not separate levels, all working for the same goal. Paul was critical in that mission.”
Carter, a linebacker and running back in his playing days at CHS, won three Sierra League JV titles in six seasons as head coach. He coached two years at the freshman level, compiling a 12-6 record. As a head coach, he was 46-13 overall. He also was the head wrestling coach for the past two seasons, guiding Carson to a 9-1 record and one Sierra League title. Last year’s wrestling team was fifth in state and the top Northern Nevada finisher.
“I feel I’m ready for this opportunity,” Carter said. “I think having experience as a head coach helped prepare me. I’ve learned how to handle kids and other coaches, and do administrative type stuff. I feel I’ve helped coach Roman establish a program, and I want to thank him and coach (Shane) Quilling for all their help.
“I’ve always loved football, playing and coaching. I love wrestling, too, I thought it would be harder to land a football job because I didn’t play the sport in college. I feel as a football coach you have more control of what happens than you do as a wrestling coach. That makes a huge difference.”
A big plus for Carter is that he’ll be coaching defensive backs. Many times grad assistants help a position coach and don’t have any direct say. Carter said besides coaching, he’ll be asked to help recruit defensive backs.
Roman said Carter quickly turned into a coach he could rely on.
“He became one of my right-hand people,” Roman said. “I was able to rely on him to develop varsity players for us at the JV level, and as time went on he became more and more involved with the varsity, his role evolved where he was coaching JV on Thursday and he was up in the booth for coach (Steve) Dilley on Fridays, and he did an excellent job in that capacity.
“It can be hard to be a JV coach because sometimes the best sophomores are sometimes on varsity from the beginning of the season, and then during the season we needed to call somebody up from time to time, and that can be a challenge. He never complained once, and as a matter of fact took the opposite approach that it was his job to get guys ready for varsity. One of our running jokes was when he saw me walking toward him during practice, he would start walking away because he knew it probably had to do with a kid we needed on varsity.”
Roman went on to pay Carter the ultimate compliment.
“My own son (Jake) played for him last year and wrestled for the last couple of years, and he had a great impact on my own son, and many other kids he’s coached here at Carson,” Roman said. “That’s the most important thing to me, and that’s one of the reasons I’m going to miss him, on top of his role as a coach.”