|Caleb Shock, left was hired as the new Carlisle Bison football coach Tuesday night. He is pictured with his wife Danielle and daughter Katie Mae. (Photo courtesy of the Shock family)|
By Mark Buffalo
CARLISLE — The Carlisle Bison football team has a new coach.
Caleb Shock, a 2004 graduate of Vilonia High School, was hired to replace Mark Uhiren by the Carlisle School Board on Tuesday night.
Shock, 32, was out of coaching the last year, working for his mother’s insurance company, Sue Shock Insurance in Vilonia. His last coaching job was in Heber Springs, where he was the junior high coach then defensive coordinator for the Class 4A Panthers.
“The man is more that just a great football coach; he is a leader of men that always displays impeccable character and work ethic,” said B.J. Green, Carlisle Director of Athletics. “Coach Shock comes from a coaching family as his father was a longtime Arkansas football coach. Coach Shock was exposed to the game, the grind of building a top-notch program and how to treat others at a very early age.”
Shock is excited for the opportunity to a first-time head high school coach at tradition-rich Carlisle.
“I’m very excited and honored that Carlisle would have me,” Shock said Tuesday night. “I know this is late in the game for B.J. and the administration. I’m sure that played a little bit into my favor. It’s been dream of mine to be a high school head coach. And to finally have the opportunity to do that … I’m thrilled to do it.”
Shock said he had full intentions of taking over the family business and staying in it until he got a phone call about the Carlisle job.
“I answered it and listed to it and it materialized into this,” Shock said of an offer to come to Carlisle.
Shock got his first taste of coaching while attending Harding University. He volunteered with the Harding Academy football program under coach Tommy Shoemaker. He also coached with Shoemaker at Central Arkansas Christian. He’s been a coach at a school in Tennessee before coming to Heber Springs.
Shock’s name may sound familiar to some Bison fans. His father, Steve Shock, was the Carlisle Bison football coach for the 1988 season. He hired James Clayton as his defensive coordinator. The next year, Clayton was promoted to head coach when Steve Shock left and the Bison went to the Class A state title game.
Caleb Shock said coaching where his father did at one time means a lot to him.
“Because I grew up in Vilonia, my first dream was to follow him at Vilonia,” Schock said. “Sometimes God has different plans. I still got to follow him as a coach; it was just at a different school.”
Shock said his dad speaks fondly of his one year at Carlisle.
“He’s always said it was a special place to him,” Shock said. “I think he probably looks back and thinks what if he had stayed and been around for those good years that followed with Coach Clayton.
“To be where he was and be able to get Carlisle back up to where it was after he left and restore some of those traditions, I’m excited to get in there and learn about it and do it.”
Shock said he’s not ready to talk about goals for the upcoming season but he does have some things he wants to accomplish with his new team.
“I want to build a big-time rapport with the kids,” he said. “I think relationships with the players are important. We demand a lot out of those teenage guys. Before you can really start demanding that out of them, they’ve got to know that you think about them more than as just a player. You learn about them as a person.”
Greene is excited about the future of Bison football with Shock at the helm.
“Coach Shock is a diligent worker that embodies what it means to be a Bison — respectful, hardworking and tenacious. I am extremely excited for Coach Shock to arrive and begin working with our young men.”
Shock and his wife Danielle, have one daughter, Katie Mae.