Drew Svoboda - Fundamentals to Covering Kicks. The when, why and the howby Lauren's First and Goal
Coach Svobod teaches the fundamentals of covering kickoffs and punts. He also shares all of the drills he uses to prepare his guys.
After a successful run as a high school coach in the Houston area, Drew Svoboda is in his third year at Rice and his second as the Owls' special teams coordinator. Faced with the challenge of replacing the C-USA Special Teams Player of the Year (Jack Fox) as well as kicker Haden Tabola in 2019, Svoboda’s replacements surpassed their efforts. Former walk-on Chris Barnes earned second team all-conference honors while averaging 44.8 yard per punt and he combined to grad transfer Adam Nunez to rank fourth nationally in Special Teams grades from Pro Football Focus. Rice was second in the conference and 18th nationally in ESPN’s Specialty Teams Efficiency rankings and their 63.1 rating was the third highest in program history. They were 2nd in C-USA in both Net Punting and Punt Return Defense, finishing 17th and 14th nationally in both categories. The duo led C-USA with 27 punts inside the 20. Austin Trammell ranked fourth in C-USA in punt and kick returns and the Owls ranked fourth in punt returns the conference overall with a 9.2 yard average while long snapper Cameron Riddle earned honorable mention All-Conference USA honors. He coached the Rice running backs in Mike Bloomgren's initial season on South Main and saw his runners top 100 yards four times, capped by Juma Otoviano’s freshman record 224-yard effort vs. ODU in the season finale. Senior Emmanuel Esukpa topped 100 yards in two of the first three games, including 173 yards in the season opener vs. Prairie View A&M. the most by an Owl in an opener since Trevor Cobb had 191 in 1991. Fellow senior Austin Walter concluded his career joining Cobb as the only players in school history to have 1,500 yards rushing, 500 yards receiving and 1,000 kick return yards in their career before signing as a free agent with the San Francisco 49ers. Svoboda made the jump to collegiate coaching after guiding Klein Collins High School to five district championships, eight playoff appearances and a 93-24 record in 10 seasons as head coach of the Tigers. His 79.5 win percentage ranked sixth among active Texas 6A head coaches at the end of the 2017 season. He took over a program that was 1-9 in 2007 and two years later led them to a 12-1 mark and a district championship. For his efforts, he earned the first of five Touchdown Club of Houston Coach of the Year finalist awards as well as five District 15 6A Coach of the Year honors and the Houston Texans NFL High School Coach of the Year honors. Svoboda was named Dave Campbell's Texas Football Preseason 6A Coach of the year in 2017 after leading Klein Collins to the state semifinals in 2016. He was also tabbed by VYPE Magazine as its Houston Football Coach of the Year in 2016. Prior to that season, he coached the East Team in the Bayou Bowl High School All-Star game.