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STS Coach of the Month October 2022

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November 2nd, 2022 | Josh Adelman

Soldiers To Sidelines is proud to honor former USAF Staff Sergeant Bridger West as the October 2022 Coach of The Month. Coach West deserves this award because of his commitment to his players, his thirst for professional development, and his courage to pursue a vocation filled with passion against all odds. He is currently a defensive assistant at the University of Texas El Paso.

Coaching college football is extremely difficult and is not for the faint of heart. To be successful at the collegiate level, a coach must be doggedly persistent, extremely adaptable, laser-focused, and willing to sacrifice. Success also requires strong and resilient support at home because, often, the family must sacrifice more than the coach.

Bridger West demonstrates these characteristics and is having great success in a career that typically rewards only those who have played football at a high level. Coach West served in the Air Force for six years rather than playing college football. He doesn’t come from a family lineage of football coaches. However, he does have a passion for helping people, a love for the process of football, and a military career suited for leadership on the gridiron.

Coach West started as a youth football coach when his wife, Cheyenne, convinced him to give it a try after seeing a Facebook post about the local youth organization’s fundraiser. Bridger volunteered to coach the offensive line for one of the 10 to 12-year-old teams after one of his deployments to Afghanistan. He enjoyed it so much and put so much effort into the kids, that the league asked him to be the head coach for that same team the following season. After two championship seasons as the head coach and another deployment, his six-year enlistment was coming to an end. He had a decision to make. At that moment, he never thought of coaching as a legitimate career option since he had not played football beyond High School, and he wasn’t even an all-star high school football player. However, after multiple conversations with people he trusted, Bridger decided to leave the USAF and chase the dream of coaching football.

Soldier Coach Bridger West

Coach West’s journey from youth football to major Division I college football was extremely challenging. Many coaches don’t pursue coaching college football because of the constant adversity. For Coach West, like many other coaches, the most difficult experience was not on the actual field, but the difficulties of packing up and moving his family three times in three years. With career moves up from high school to Division II to FBS football, have come relocations to different cities, changing childcare centers, and job searches for his wife. Finding housing, childcare, and making new friends in every new city strained the pursuit of his dream. However, anytime he began to doubt himself or his path, Bridger’s wife was most adamant about sticking to the path and not giving up. “Delight in the Detour” is a quote he repeats in his mind, and he sticks to it.

Coach West certified as a Soldiers To Sidelines Football Coach, participated in the STS membership development program, and relentlessly pursues excellence in coaching, all the while tending to his family at home. He exemplifies the character, community impact, and courage to be a successful college football coach. Soldiers To Sidelines is driven to help develop more Veterans like Coach Bridger West to pursue their dreams in coaching. It is an honor to recognize Coach West as the October 2022 Coach of the Month.

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STS Coach of the Month October 2022

November 2nd, 2022 | Josh Adelman Soldiers To Sidelines is proud to honor former USAF Staff Sergeant Bridger West as the October 2022 Coach of