(CAMERON, Mo.)— The Cameron Dragons hired former Central and Plattsburg coach Jeff Wallace to be next head coach of the Dragons on Monday.
"It's a tremendous opportunity," Wallace said. "Being at Central and being close to Cameron, I've always felt like their (Cameron) facilities were tremendous.
When Wallace stepped away as the head coach of Central in 2015, he was burnt out and wanted to spend more time with his family, but in back of his mind, the passion for coaching continued to burn.
"I felt like I was called to make a difference with young men," Wallace said Tuesday. "I feel like it's my calling and I wasn't doing it and that's a pretty lonely feeling for a couple of years when you're not doing it anymore."
Wallace spent his two years away from football traveling and watching his daughter play collegiate volleyball. However, once the volleyball career ended, Wallace's daughter told him to get back into coaching.
That's where an opening at Plattsburg in 2018 came into play.
Wallace was named the Tigers head coach in June—replacing Jeff Tolbert who was the head coach for one year at Plattsburg.
"I got lucky enough to get an opportunity at Plattsburg," Wallace.
If you look at the win-loss column, the Tigers didn't have a tremendous year in 2018—finishing 2-8 on the season, but if you ask Wallace, he saw the want and desire in his squad.
Wallace had planned on being at Plattsburg for a while, but in life, things just come up and plans have to change.
"It was real difficult," Wallace said.
Wallace told the Plattsburg team and administrators Monday that he had accepted the head coaching job at Cameron.
"I told the kids here (Cameron) today that it was one of the toughest decisions I've had in a long, long time," Wallace said. "I was looking at a bunch of young me who I consider to be my own childrent that I can't be their coach anymore. I've made a decision to go do this."
Wallace talked over the decision with his family and felt like leading the Dragons is what he's supposed to do.
"It didn't make that meeting any easier," Wallace said.
Wallace will spend the next couple of months continuing to work with the Plattsburg team, but come this summer, he moves forward with the Dragons.
"They've got really good kids and I know a couple of people in town that are always talking about the type of kids they have here.
I got a chance to talk to a bunch of hungry young men today (Tuesday) that are ready to get this thing rolling and get this thing turned around and changed."
It's been a tough couple of years for the Dragons—finishing 3-7 in 2018, but Wallace believes his new team is ready to buy in to this program.
"Everything we do will be back to this, does it make us a better football player? Does it make us a better young man," Wallace said. "If it doesn't do that, we won't do it. Everything we do, and I mean everything, will revolve around making sure those two goals are accomplished."
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