Then finally, in the fifth year of the contract I made with myself, I became the receivers coach at Navy. God had lined up all the pieces for myself and Jen, who by this point was my wife and pregnant with our first child, to become a stable family.
By the end of that season I would be fired.
I hoped that another team would come calling, eager to sign me up for a position, but the phone wasn't ringing. And I kept waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
Jen was not only preparing for our first child, Jadyn, she also was the only one earning any income. She had done most of the heavy financial lifting during the beginning of our career, but now she was the only one bringing in any money. I had no job, no insurance, and no phone calls coming in.
But in those hard times, Christ was in the middle of all that and He knew what we were going through. We didn't just rely on our faith, we drew strength from it, and knew that God had everything under our control. He wasn't going to give us something that we couldn't handle, and we had a complete trust and faith that the Lord was going to walk us through this.
Finally after more than three months, I got the phone call that gave us stability once again. We were headed to the University of Tulsa so I could become the Tight Ends coach and recruiting coordinator.
I was there from 2002-2006 and eventually worked my way up to become the receivers coach at New Mexico and the quarterbacks coach at Louisville. It was then back to New Mexico for one more season as the receivers coach before truly coming home to Logan.
Throughout this entire process, I had a pretty complicated answer to the basic question of where I was from. If somebody asked, I would say I was from Oklahoma, but I work in this city or at that school. It was finally in returning to my alma mater that I eventually found a place to call home.
But doing so was a bold decision. I made the move from the Mountain West to the Western Athletic Conference, to a program that was coming off a 4-8 record and had recorded exactly zero winning seasons since 1998.
But God was calling our family to Logan.
I joined forces with Utah State head coach Gary Andersen, and as a program we changed the perception of what we could achieve. We went 7-6 in 2011 before putting the school on the national scene in 2012.
We won our first two games before heading to Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. The Badgers have been a solid program for three decades now, and in 2012 were in the midst of a three-year stretch when they went to the Rose Bowl every year.
But on this day we nearly stunned them.
We led for the majority of the game and trailed only 16-14 when we attempted a field goal with 11 seconds left. That field goal sailed wide-right, our team knew we let a golden chance slip by. It was a tough loss, but we rebounded to win our next two games against Colorado State and UNLV to move to 4-1. We lost another heartbreaker, this time 6-3 against BYU, but instead of imploding we rallied to win seven straight games to end the season.
Our players and staff accomplished exactly what we set out to do – turn the program around.
After that season Gary left to go coach the team he nearly beat, Wisconsin, and I was given the reigns to the program. Finally, after 16 seasons of being an assistant, my time had arrived to be a head coach.