ASU Sports: Former Ram quarterback back in San Angelo coaching Lake View

Posted: June 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

One completion on three pass attempts probably went largely unnoticed that 1978 afternoon in Huntsville. The pass, thrown by a freshman from Fredericksburg who was in the game only because Angelo State head coach Jim Hess felt the outcome was determined, went for 10 yards in a 44-17 Rams’ win over Sam Houston State. The young quarterback would also see limited time against Oregon College and Western Colorado as the Rams advanced through the playoffs on their way to claiming the NAIA National Championship.

Ever since that first season, Doug Kuhlmann’s name has been recognized and connected with football in San Angelo and West Texas. Kuhlmann, who went on to throw for 4,443 yards and lead his team to a 25-8-1 record as a starter, has stayed involved with football as a coach after graduating from Angelo State in 1981 with a degree in Physical Education.

“I enjoyed everything about my time at Angelo State,” said Kuhlmann, who was named the athletic director and head football coach at San Angelo Lake View in late March. “My college coaches always had high expectations for us and we all felt so highly of them that we worked to achieve our goals. We were all treated so great as students and athletes at Angelo State that I changed my mind on what I wanted to do after college and decided I wanted to go into coaching.”

Kuhlmann said he originally thought about pursuing a career with the United States Secret Service because of a childhood friend’s father who was an agent assigned to help protect Lady Bird Johnson who lived near his hometown. He credits Hess and Jerry Vandergriff for guiding him to a fulfilling coaching career that has produced an 89-74-1 record as a head coach. His career includes coaching positions at Lake View, Grape Creek, Eldorado, Wall and Vanderbilt Industrial. He started his high school coaching career as an assistant at Lake View under current San Angelo school district athletic director Jim Slaughter.

“We wanted someone that we had confidence in and Doug fit all those bills,” Slaughter told the San Angelo Standard-Times. “He will bring a winning attitude – he is used to winning. He has been with some tough programs where he has had to fight. When you’ve done that it makes you an even better coach. It puts you in a better position to prepare the next team and on down the line.”

Kuhlmann is replacing Sterlin Gilbert, another former Angelo State quarterback, who took the offensive coordinator job at Temple. He quickly got started in his new position at Lake View in April by familiarizing himself with his new players and has continued working with them with conditioning programs that have been implemented since the end of the school year. The Chiefs went 1-9 last season in the challenging District 8-4A which includes Stephenville, Killeen, Waco High, Waco Midway and Waco University.

“I’m very excited to be back in San Angelo and for the opportunity we have here at Lake View,” Kuhlmann said. “West Texas and San Angelo has been like home since I graduated high school. We’re going to do our best to get this going in the right direction.”

Kuhlmann, who earned his Master’s degree in Physical Education and Administration from Stephen F. Austin State before coming back to San Angelo in 1983, is coming off a 9-4 season at Industrial that ended in the quarterfinals. In six seasons at the South Texas school just north of Victoria, Kuhlmann’s Cobras advanced to the playoffs five times and accumulated a 48-24 record. While at Industrial, he helped maintain and develop a winning culture throughout the athletic programs at the Class 2A school. He also stresses that building strong character of young men and women is what makes a great coach and teacher.

“There’s so much of a bigger picture to being a coach than most people see or imagine,” he said. “We want to make a positive impact that will be beneficial to them later in life. Hearing stories of people I’ve coached in the past who are doing great things is even better than winning games for me.”

The decision to coach has provided a positive influence for countless students who have played for or been in a classroom with Kuhlmann.

“Doug did a great job for us,” Industrial school district superintendent Tony Williams told in The Victoria Advocate newspaper after Kuhlmann accepted the Lake View position. “Even if he never won a game, he was a great human being and a great role model for our kids.”

Kuhlmann said he’s excited to be coaching at Lake View and to be back in San Angelo. He and his wife, D’Anna (also a graduate of Angelo State), have recently moved back into the home they own and have been renting out since their last tenure in West Texas. Their youngest daughter, Leah, is a junior at Angelo State where she is an Early Childhood education major. Leah’s sister, Kate, currently works in Washington, D.C. after graduating from Texas Tech.

Though he hasn’t been able to attend an Angelo State football game since 2004, Kuhlmann said he’s looking forward to watching games at San Angelo Stadium this fall when he’s not busy on Saturday’s watching film to get his Lake View Chiefs ready for their next game.

“I liked to keep up with all of the sports at ASU even when I was in South Texas,” he said. “I was able to keep up with what was going on here. It has always been a special place for me and my family.

“I’ve been very impressed by what I’ve seen from the new football coaches at ASU. They’ve come out and introduced themselves to me and I heard they came out to watch our spring game. To make the time to come over here to show an interest in our program goes a long way with me. It shows that the University has coaches that really care about the community.”

Kuhlmann will also be one of a large group of former ASU players returning to San Angelo for this week’s Angelo Football Clinic at the Junell Center. Kuhlmann and the Lake View Chiefs open their regular season on Sept. 2 at Ft. Stockton and play their home opener on Sept. 9 against Amarillo Caprock.

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