An independent K-12 school on a beautiful wooded campus, 3 miles from Washington, DC

Blake Henry

Since I began coaching in 2003, I have had the opportunity to coach football, basketball, and lacrosse at various levels for four different schools, including Potomac. Each school and each sport presents its own set of challenges and opportunities. While at Potomac, I have had the opportunity to coach Intermediate School football, basketball, and lacrosse, in addition to being the head coach of the varsity football team. I also oversee Potomac's clubs and activities program and greatly enjoy working with many students and faculty members in this capacity.

Blake Henry
Faculty & Head Football Coach

As Potomac's varsity football coach, my job doesn't end with the last game of the season. Throughout the entire year, the rest of the football coaching staff and I are continually in the process of developing our current players and looking for future talent.

In order to find student athletes from the DC metro area who are interested in coming to Potomac to play football, we hold youth football camps and clinics on campus during the spring and summer. We also attend youth practices, games, and camps over the course of the year. Once a student shows interest in Potomac, we connect him to our admissions office and invite him to games and admissions events, helping to guide him through the admissions process.

I especially enjoy introducing someone to Potomac who had never heard of or considered the school and watching him go on to have a great experience, whether that involves excelling in the program here or also developing into a college player. Additionally, the older students on the team really take it upon themselves to teach the younger players how to act, compete, and be a student athlete at Potomac. The upperclassmen do a great job setting an example for new players, and this is a wonderful part of the culture here.

Since all of the football players at Potomac play at least one additional sport, they are unable to dedicate the winter season to weightlifting, but many lift weights as part of their winter sport or in Potomac's weights and conditioning class. During the winter and spring, I meet with each returning varsity and JV player to review the season, get to know them a little better off the field, and talk about their summer plans. I also meet with the varsity quarterbacks to review game film from last season and discuss any changes to the offensive playbook for the upcoming season. The coaches meet numerous times to tweak our offensive and defensive schemes in order to optimize players' strengths.

The spring is filled with a preseason parent and player meeting and mini camp practices with Potomac football players in grades 8 through 11. During the summer, we offer weight lifting workouts every day of the week, participate in several 7 on 7 games at Landon or Georgetown Prep, and hold Wednesday evening practices in June and July. Football officially begins on August 17, but it unofficially never ends. It is a difficult and demanding sport, but as we tell our players, the challenge is what makes it great. Go Panthers!

For me, a new year meant a new role on campus! This January, I began a new job at Potomac. I am now the Operations Manager and still the head varsity football coach and a 9th grade advisor. This means I work closely with the Buildings and Grounds (B&G) team, as well as helping to manage and coordinate events on campus. It's been wonderful to expand my responsibilities while still having the opportunity to work closely with students.

I have only been in this new position for a few months, but so far I have really liked all that it entails. Each day is a new opportunity to help someone at Potomac. I have gotten to know more people and also have seen a different side of the campus that one wouldn't necessarily see as a faculty member. Potomac has numerous events each week. We have everything from parent/teacher meetings to guest speakers to advancement meetings. Each event requires a team of people from B & G, Catering, and Technology to weigh in on logistics and setup.

Though I am working with new people, I am starting to notice a common theme, in that everyone at Potomac, from faculty to the B & G crew, is dedicated to making our school one of the best in the country.

Since I played football, basketball, and lacrosse in high school, coaching those three sports always came naturally to me. I love coaching football at Potomac, and coaching basketball and lacrosse has been refreshing since I have the opportunity to be an assistant coach again.

This winter, Director of Boys Athletics Rob Lee asked me to coach the Intermediate School and Upper School wrestling teams. I was excited about the new opportunity, but also a little nervous. I know nothing about wrestling, and even after almost a month of coaching, I still feel like I know nothing about wrestling. I have been a football coach for 12 years. During that time, I have coached a variety of different offensive and defensive schemes. Football can be a very complicated sport. I think the saying, "Keep it simple, stupid," can be aimed at all football coaches who try to overcomplicate the sport for their players. Before I coached wrestling, I thought football was the most difficult sport to coach. Coaching wrestling at Potomac is a humbling experience for me. Our coaches are all experts. Coach Wilson is the head coach and wrestled at The Ohio State University, one of the top programs in the country. He does a great job of keeping things simple for his wrestlers so they can absorb exactly what they need to know. His methods clearly work. We have several pre-season wrestlers that are ranked in the state. This is particularly impressive when you consider that we only have about 10 wrestlers in the Upper School program, and we have 15 in the Intermediate School program. Coach Wilson has several assistants, all of whom have college wrestling experience and could easily be head high school coaches. Every day since I have started coaching wrestling, I have learned a different technique for a given situation. Our wrestlers pick up these new techniques with ease and apply them immediately to the mat. It has been a pleasure to coach so far this season.