VYPE Magazine editor Brad Heath and Westmoore Athletic Facilitator Zach Bice discussed hard hitting topics like the future of the Westmoore program, COVID and his favorite sports movie of all time.
VYPE: Where did you get your start coaching and where did you originally graduate?
Bice: I graduated from Moore High School in ‘95 and my wife and I had our daughter very young. It is interesting because I kind of got going in coaching by coaching my daughter’s youth teams. I started there and then did coaching courses and was involved in some club soccer. After doing that for some time, God provided an opportunity for me to coach men’s and women’s soccer at Mid-American Christian University here in Oklahoma City. I coached those programs for 14 years. It was a great time and experience. We got to see great growth and success in that time.
VYPE: This is a strange time with unusual circumstances, how do you feel the COVID response by your coaches and staff has been and how ready is everyone to get back into a more normal routine?
Bice:I know our people are definitely ready to get back to a normal routine. I’m really proud of our coaches and athletes. They have handled the COVID situation really well. It was definitely a different time, but I think there are some positives that you can take away from it. The great thing that you see is how invested our coaches are in our student-athletes and building great programs. Even though there were challenges, our coaches were grateful to have an opportunity to still do the things they love and knew that there was such great value for the students.
VYPE: What is the message to the athletes at Westmoore under your guidance and leadership?
Bice: I believe that this stage in life is the most meaningful athletic stage of their career. I don’t think it really matters what level you end up playing beyond high school. This time is something that you hold on to for the rest of your life. The memories, friendships and life lessons are huge. So, I want our athletic programs to provide an exceptional four years for our athletes in all these areas. I have used our mascot, the Jaguar, to capture what I would like to see us be. I won’t go too far into these, but it will give you an idea.
J – Joyful – I want us to enjoy what we do.
A – Accountable – If we want to be great/excellent/of character we must hold each other accountable to those expectations.
G – Grateful – The opportunity to do what we do is a gift. We need to help each other see how fortunate we are to do what we do.
U – United – No team or group succeeds if they are not united.
A – A+ – We want to strive for excellence. We want to be faithful to do the best with the gifts, talents and resources we have been given.
R – Relentless – I want us to have a passion and a drive to pursue all of these things with great energy.
We could flesh all of these things out quite a bit more but this is a summary.
VYPE: Do you have a coaching/teaching mentor? Someone you have looked up to or call on for advice?
Bice: It’s interesting because my start was unique. I was kind of thrust into a head coaching roll and didn’t get to be an assistant. There are a few people that have been very impactful and that still help me today. I really strive to honor God in all that I do and would like to always trust and seek his wisdom and guidance first. I read John Wooden early on and so much of his stuff was and still is very influential in my leadership journey. Evan Dresel was my assistant coach and then became a co-head coach with me at MACU and he has been a real partner and resource for me along the way as well. He will always be a very dear friend and someone I will reach out to. I really had to seek out many resources along the way. I think it is good if you can be an assistant first. There are just some things that you can learn that I had to learn a little differently.
VYPE: Let’s have a few fun questions so people can get to know you a little better. What is your favorite place for lunch or dinner if you’re eating out?
Bice: I love coffee. I’m always down for a cheeseburger or some Mexican food as well.
VYPE: Do you have any hobbies?
Bice: I’m kind of a jack of all and master of none kind of guy. I will phase through a lot of activities. My son and I do collect some sports cards though.
VYPE: Favorite sports team? College or pro.
Bice: I am a Longhorn fan. Once I started coaching in college I cared more about my team winning than the Longhorns though.
VYPE: Your favorite sports movie?
Bice: Tough question. Hard to not go with Miracle though. Especially during the Olympics.
VYPE: First concert you attended?
Bice: Not sure. Not a huge music guy but if I’m going to a concert its Shane and Shane or Zac Brown Band.
VYPE: Have you ever visited another country? If so, where?
Bice: I went to England during the Olympics. Not for the Olympics but to do some mission type stuff. Loved it.
VYPE: Finally coach, tell me what you have come to love most about Westmoore, your athletes and where is the future of the program headed?
Bice: I love our people here. We have a great coaching staff and great athletes. There is something really special about this place. That’s what drew me here. I loved the job I had but felt God leading me here and each year I love our people more. I think we have a great coaching staff that are making huge strides in their programs. Our parent and booster groups are great as well. It takes everyone to make things special and we certainly have that here. I’m excited to see where we are headed. We have big facility improvements on the horizon which is very exciting as well. Our leadership from the top down is exceptional as well. I get great support.