Post #3 in a Series of Blogs on Gun Triple Option Concepts: Guest Blog John Hughes, Head Football Coach at Key West High School

To give you a little background on our program, Key West High, the southernmost high school in the continental United States, is located 156 miles and 42 bridges south of Miami.  When you literally live on a tropical island, that is actually closer to Cuba than any Wal-Mart, you have no choice but to coach up the players walking the halls. 


Before becoming the head coach, I spent 8 years as the OL coach and another year as DC.  It was obvious that we simply didn’t have the athletes to match up with some of the elite South Florida teams that we faced on our schedule - we had to find something to even the odds.  So, when I was named the head coach in 2012, I immediately installed the flexbone in an effort to gain a competitive edge.  Since that time, Key West has averaged 372 yards and 31 points per game and played in the postseason 4 years in a row after a 25 year hiatus, all while playing in arguably one of the most talented regions in the country.


            Over the years we have continued to evolve offensively and adapt our option based offense to the players available to us, but we will always find a way to run inside veer and base our offense around this play.  Our offense includes concepts from the following programs:


  1. Navy / Army:                                       Flexbone

  2. Ferris State:                                        Pistol Option / Quick Passing Game

  3. New Mexico / Georgia Southern:       Gun Split-Back Option  


    While we still maintain an under center package, we have transitioned to more of a pistol / gun option offense.  The decision for this transition was based purely on the personnel we have available.  We simply wanted to find ways to get a talented QB more opportunities in our offense. To keep things simple, we run the same core plays from the pistol and the flexbone which are as follows:


  1. Inside Veer

  2. Mid-Triple

  3. Midline

  4. Rocket Sweep

  5. Speed Option


    Here are some clips of us running our Pistol package:



    In 2017, we added a split-back package that we “borrowed” from New Mexico, which has been very successful for us the last couple of seasons.  In this article, we will introduce you to our Pirate formation and the core plays that make up this simple package.  Our Pirate formation is a gun split-back look with a “sniffer” back.


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The following are our core plays from this formation:

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            Here are some clips of our Pirate package in action:


I hope you found something can be useful for your program.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like more information. 


John Hughes

Key West (FL) High - Head Football Coach