Maypray carving new path in football career
Tim Maypray had a decision to make last August.
He had just been released by the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League following his third CFL season since 2010. Facing an uncertain future in professional football for the second time in his short career, did Maypray want to try to catch on with another team, or call it quits and pursue other opportunities?
For Maypray, the answer was an easy one.
“Right after I got released by Ottawa about seven months ago I didn’t want to go back,” Maypray said in a phone interview Friday evening. “Right there I kind of just wanted to stop being away from my family. It was extremely tough. Sometimes you have to make a choice whether you want to flop around teams for a couple years, or do you just want to be at home.”
Maypray, a native of Madisonville, Kentucky who produced a stellar football career at Randolph-Macon Academy and later Virginia Military Institute, opted for the latter. Earlier this month, Maypray returned to VMI, the school that gave him the chance to turn his football talent into a professional career.
He joined the Keydets’ football coaching staff as the team’s running backs coach on Feb. 4.
“VMI was my only Division I offer [after high school] and it’s extremely different here. I think coming back on the coaching staff was something that I really wanted to do,” said Maypray, who starred on the football field for the Keydets from 2006 to 2009. “I was just trying to come back, one, just for the love of coaching and, two, just trying to give back to the program as much as they gave me.”
Maypray’s addition to VMI’s staff came as part of a complete coaching overhaul for the Keydets, who welcomed in new head coach Scott Wachenheim in December as the replacement for Sparky Woods, who served as VMI’s head coach from 2008-2014. Maypray said he reached out to Wachenheim shortly after the coach settled into his new post, and the two held consistent dialogue until Maypray earned an interview opportunity and was eventually hired in early February.
Maypray, who piled up over 2,300 total yards of offense and 29 touchdowns as a senior running back at R-MA, played wide receiver during his first two seasons with VMI, earning Big South Freshman of the Year honors in 2006. He switched to quarterback in 2008, and in 2009 he was named the Big South Offensive Preseason Player of the Year before going on to rack up 1,850 all-purpose yards his senior season.
Maypray finished his college career with 6,129 all-purpose yards and went on to enjoy a successful two-year stint as a kick-return specialist with the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL. During his rookie season in 2010, Maypray set a CFL record with a 125-yard touchdown return on a missed field goal. He won a Grey Cup championship later that season with Montreal.
Maypray became a free agent following the 2011 season before being picked up by Ottawa last year. He saw limited action with the Redblacks before deciding to step away.
“I think as much playing experience as you have, I think it can be definitely a huge coaching tool for you, being out there and actually having done it before,” Maypray said. “You know you’re not telling the players or asking the players to do anything that you haven’t seen done or something you haven’t done yourself. That helps. Everything that I learned up there over the last three years that I played is really going to help me be a better coach. You experience different coaches everywhere you go so it’s awesome just seeing the different coaching styles and what you think is going to fit best for you and for the kids.”
Maypray got his first feel for the coaching experience in 2010, when he spent his offseason serving as R-MA’s assistant boys basketball coach under former head coach Eric Dudley. The next year, Maypray served as the Yellow Jackets’ head coach and also assisted with the school’s football team.
He said it was that initial experience, and the joy that came with inspiring and building relationships with the young athletes at R-MA, that made him fall in love with coaching.
“It’s kind of something that’s always been on the career path. I’ve always said if I can’t play, I always want to be around it,” Maypray said.
“Sometimes the chips fall in your direction and I really lucked out being able to get this coaching career started up like this. It’s been a really awesome experience so far.”
Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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