ABILENE, Texas - The life of most twenty-one year old's consists of going to class, studying, doing homework, or working on starting a career in the work force.
Last year Michael Bacon was doing all of that, living the life of a typical senior at Abilene Christian university. He also was living his dream job at night.
Heading into the 2011-2012 season, Bacon was his hired at his alma mater Abilene Christian high school. He went on to the lead the Panthers to their first state title since 1981.
"Last year I would get out of class at two forty-five and go straight to practice at three," says Bacon, "and that was kind of tough and kind of a grind probably some days that i had homework that ended up getting taken out on the kids."
When bacon was hired as the new next head coach at ACHS he decided to ask his best friends and acu classmates Colby Carr and Nick Smith to join him. Their youthful and passionate chemistry as coaches started to take shape when they first met on the basketball court as students.
"I met Michael my first year at acu in 2009 we actually met on the basketball court played basketball against each other," says Carr. "The first time I played against him I think his team won. He was the guy making all the threes so I didn't really like at first," Carr added with a laugh.
By day, Bacon and Carr work together at the athletic supply store in Abilene.
By night, It's back to the hardwood with Nick Smith the third piece of their coaching tripod.
As for their students, they're working towards back to back state titles. Last year, their journey to the state tournament started with adjusting to the new young staff.
"Coach Bacon came in as a head coach and like at first it was kinda hard at the transition," says Junior Samai Massaquoi, "but it got easier as time went on because I could relate to him, and in practice he pushes us which is what we really needed."
"I think it's a lot different then normal coaching styles," says Senior Trevor Tyson. "I go from football where theres a lot older of a coach then down to basketball just second season and then right there it's a twenty one year old you dont really think anything of it your his coach you respect him you play how he wants you to play."
"I think it was tough starting out you know three young coaches, says Carr. "I know if i was a player it would be tough for me to fully respect what three young guys are coming in and preaching especially when you come in and you try and change the atmosphere and the culture of a program."
The Panthers are currently 9-0 in district play and 23-2 overall. They are ranked number three in the latest TABC polls in TAPPS 2A small schools.
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