Dick having success at Fayetteville High

Casey Dick’s college career had a storybook ending.






On the final pass of his final game as a Razorback, Dick threw deep on fourth-and-1 and connected with London Crawford for a 24-yard touchdown with 21 seconds remaining against LSU in 2008. The ensuing extra point gave Arkansas a 31-30 victory at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, a play that has since become known as the second Miracle on Markham. Last December, Dick returned to War Memorial with another team, the Fayetteville High School Bulldogs. Dick is the team’s head coach and led FHS to a state runner-up finish in his third season. Dick recently spoke to the Hawgs Illustrated Sports Club about his life as a coach and his time playing for the Razorbacks. Here is a selection of his answers, edited for length and clarity. Matt Jones: You played for Houston Nutt and Bobby Petrino at Arkansas, and for a legendary coach down in Texas at Allen High School. You’ve worked for multiple coaches. Who are your coaching influences, the coaches you think have helped prepare you the most for what you do now? Casey Dick: There’s a lot of them. I feel like if you could divide my body into about 10 pieces, I’d probably have about 10 of those. Early on in my school career I played for a guy named Joe Martin who is now the head of the Texas high school coaches association. There’s about 65,000 or 70,000 coaches in the state of Texas, so he runs the entire organization that represents those guys. My position coach is the assistant director of the UIL (the governing body for Texas high school athletics), who throughout high school was a very young guy. He was in his fourth or fifth year out of college, so he had an immediate impact on the relationship that was built. He actually ended up being in my wedding and was just a great guy that I was able to connect with, and I still talk to him weekly. My junior and senior year (of high school), I had Tom Westerberg, who was the guy who coached Kyler Murray and had three or four state championships in a row without losing a football game. So you just have some exceptional people there, exceptional coaches that I still talk to monthly, weekly, so and and so forth. And then when you take Coach Petrino and Coach Nutt and the four different offensive coordinators I had for four years, and the four different position coaches I had for four years — there’s a lot of different people that you have throughout your story that definitely make an impact on your as you move forward. MJ: You coached Isaiah Sategna and Mani Powell, who are freshmen now at Arkansas. What will we see when they get on the field? CD: We’ll start with Isaiah. You’re going to see probably one of the most explosive people to come through the university, when he does get the chance to play, in a variety of different areas, just because of who he is. He’s an explosive football player and obviously a track athlete as well. I think between now and probably Week 6 or 7, you’re probably going to see him. I don’t know how much, but there will probably be a package just because of the characteristics that he does have out on the football field, that he’s able to offer. It’s probably unlike anybody else that they have just because he has some straight-line speed stuff that nobody can really handle. I don’t know if it’ll be a red zone, out in the middle of the field, but you’ll probably see him between now and Game 6 or 7. Mani Powell is probably one of the most well-put-together athletes I’ve ever seen as far as from a physical standpoint….He had just come off an ACL surgery in January squats, and at the end of June, early July they had to cut him off at 520 pounds on squat. Now he’s (squatting) 642 pounds. He was over at my house the other day, and they actually tell him he had to eat more junk because his body fat is so low. He was up to 642 pounds (on squat) and I think 7% body fat, so they weren’t very happy with his body fat. He can work on that. That’s all-you-can-eat Sour Patch. He literally carries around a 5-pound bag of Sour Patch and that’s all he eats. He’s just just a really explosive football player. I don’t know if he’ll move as well as Drew Sanders will, but he’s got some of the same characteristics as Bumper Pool and Grant Morgan. In fact, he’s going to hold down the middle of the defense and he can probably run a little bit better than both of those guys. Really bright future for him. MJ: Let’s talk about your playing career. What was it like being recruited by Nutt? CD: When he steps into your house, you know. He has a way of connecting with individuals, whether that’s you or your parents, but also just making you feel like the whole world stops and he’s the only person in the room. But that’s part of who he is. He can sell ice to anybody, but he’s one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met, and being able to still have a relationship with me speaks to who he is, who his wife is, who his kids are. I’ll just forever be grateful for the opportunity he gave me coming off the scout team. In Week 8 (of the 2005 season) he walks over to me says, ‘Hey, you’re going to start the last four games of the year,’ and I just got pulled off the scout team. I’ll do whatever he asked me to do, but I don’t know if I’m ready or not. But he’s just an outstanding human being that I wish everybody had the opportunity to meet because you would all be able to take something away from him and make you a better person. MJ: He recorded a pre-game motivational speech for your team prior to last year’s state championship game, correct? CD: He did, and you know, that’s that’s a small piece of him. Everybody’s seen the clip on Twitter about there’s one Razorback and a lot of Lions and Tigers and Bears. That was daily and weekly playing for Coach. It didn’t matter if it was Monday or Saturday, he could get you ready to go for practice whenever he wanted to. MJ: The two plays you are probably known best for at Arkansas were your block on Chad Jones during Darren McFadden’s 73-yard touchdown run at No. 1 LSU in 2007, and your touchdown pass to beat LSU the next year in Little Rock. Are they the ones you remember most? CD: I would probably say those two. When we played Ole Miss (in 2005) when they were coached by Ed Orgeron, I think we came back and won in the second half. I had to throw for a bunch of yards to win. But those three are for sure up there, obviously, just because of the things that they included. MJ: I probably see your block on the McFadden run posted to Twitter once a week during the summer. Do you see that? CD: Every time it gets on there, one of my kids brings it to me like, ‘Is this you?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, a long time ago.’ MJ: Do you remember what you were thinking in that moment? CD: Well, if you go back and watch the video — the kids will point it out to me — I actually missed the cornerback I was supposed to block. I whiffed. Then I went downfield and Darren being Darren…I was able to have the opportunity to block the safety there.