Mountains

Marine turns football coach

Trusler

By Bobby Abplanalp Journal staff writer

There is a new chief in town for Dolores football — again.

Having an authoritative title as football coach fits well with the new skipper.

Former marine Chris Trusler becomes Dolores High School’s fourth football coach in four years.

Coach after coach after coach after coach isn’t exactly a strong way to build a football program.

Trusler, 33, vehemently preaches time, and of course above all, being consistent.

“The one thing with me and the Dolores football program, is everyone will know exactly what to expect. Every day. Nothing’s going to change,” he said. “They will have that consistency to where they know they got to come with a good attitude, prepared to work on and off the field, and to have fun.”

Trusler replaces Ray Weir, who’s contract was not renewed by the Dolores School Board after one season.

The Bears return a slew of underclassmen from a team that finished 4-5 in 2012. Dolores ended last season with a 47-6 romp of league rival Ignacio.

However, the previous week, Dolores forfeited a game versus Centauri due to a lack of eligible players.

That’s something Trusler definitely does not want to see happen again.

“Playing football is a privilege,” he said. “You got to put the work in the classroom, and then you’re going to have to put the work on the field and in the weight room.”

The new coach has family ties locally, but Trusler grew up in Pensacola, Fla., and played high school football among the nation’s best. After graduation, Trusler enlisted in the marine corps. When he wasn’t vigorously training at marine boot camp or serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Trusler played football overseas for marine teams.

Following Trusler’s service in the marines, football took him to the semi-professional ranks.

Trusler played linebacker in the North American Football League for a team in Orange Beach, Ala. Trusler eventually took over the franchise as general manager and co-owner. During Trusler’s tenure in management, his team compiled a sparkling 49-5 record and the franchise later moved to the larger market of Pensacola.

Trusler has coached youth teams and has been an assistant at the high school level. He coached wrestling at Dolores Middle School last year. Through all of Trusler’s experience, expertise and success, he has never been a high school head football coach.

With the ever revolving door of football coaches at DHS, what exactly piqued Trusler’s interest in the job?

Community support was a significant factor.

“No. 1, is that the parents have an interest in what their kids are doing. I think that was a major draw,” Trusler said. “They have a love for the community that they grew up in or that they live in. Some places that I’ve coached for, it’s not the same thing.”

Having played high school ball in Florida, playing semi-pro ball and serving in the marines, to be the best, you have to train like the best.

“To win state championships, to be a champion, you got to practice like a champion,” Trusler said. “Just simply going to practice when you have to, is not going to make you a champion. You have to do five times more (practice) to set yourself apart.”

Trusler prefers to run a pistol offense and practice various defensive schemes to catch opposing offenses off guard.

Official practices don’t begin for another four months, so players will be evaluated in offseason workouts.

“Their effort and their ability will dictate what we’re able to run,” Trusler said.

Either way, the Bears will play a very disciplined style of football.

Anything else is unacceptable.

bobbya@cortezjournal.com.

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