Posted on June 24, 2013 at 11:18 PM
SPOKANE -- This year the Spokane Shock defensive backs are learning from a guy who walked in their shoes.
"You got a coach that’s played and you tend to lean on him a little more because you know he understands the game," Shock defensive back Ruschard Dodd-Masters said.
Dodd-Masters and company have a coach that has been in their shoes. Will Mulder played seven years of indoor ball.
“He can relate to us." Terrance Sanders said. "He’s been in those tough spots and situations like us. I think him relating to us is what really calms us down."
Mulder started his pro career with the Lexington Horseman, but it was hardly a carefree canter through the football ranks.
"You’re going up against bigger guys they tend to pick on you more," Mulder said. "But that just carried over and allowed me to be more physical, meaner when I’m out there."
Mulder’s physical play with the Horsemen caught the eye of Shock DB Terrance Sanders.
"When he was in Lexington I watched him play a common opponent," Sanders said. "He was balling, man.”
After the Horseman, Sanders gained even more respect after Mulder won an AFL title with the Shock in 2010.
Now, as coach he carries a player perspective that's gotten his guys believing in him.
"The joy just coaching and watching them go out and perform and actually doing what I’m asking them to do, it lets me know they understand, they trust me. They understand the system that everything will work.”
Mulder’s work has helped thrust the team to their best start in three years. And after this season he tells us to listen up for a possible return to playing.
"I think about it everyday honestly," Mulder said. "It’s very tempting because I work about four to five days a week. I always want to keep myself in shape because you never know what could happen."