As Derek Jasper leads his alma mater to new heights, the Troy native can look up and down the sideline and know that all of his coaches are just as invested in the program as he is.
"It's just kind of a special bond that we have," Jasper said. "We get along well, and that's important with your assistant coaches."
But the bond between Jasper and Don Cash extends back more than 25 years when Jasper quarterbacked the Troy football teams coached by Cash. And the two even led the Trojans to the state quarterfinals in 1990.
"He was a basketball player," Cash said of Jasper during his playing career. "He wasn't really a football player. I knew we had those fast basketball players, so we went to a run and shoot offense. Coach Jasper just stepped right into it. He was a natural. As a matter of fact, sometimes he found people that were open, even when he could've run for 25 yards he'd throw it for five."
The relationship built between the two even led to Cash coming out of retirement to join Jasper on the sideline in 2013.
"I said 'I want you to come run the defense, and you can just focus on defense. You don't have to handle anything else with the program, just focus on coaching defense,'" Jasper said.
"He told me what he expected out of me. I was perfectly content to let him be the man and do that. I thank my lucky stars all the time that I get to be part of this ride," Cash said.
Now Cash has a front row seat to watch his protege mold the program into one of the best in the state.
"There are no superstars or heroes," Cash said. "They all play, and they all do the best they can and they care more about the winning than they do the stats. That was kind of the way he has developed this team. This is the way he's made these kids."
And after a win on their home field last week, the two most successful coaches in Troy history have the Trojans on the biggest stage in Kansas high school football, and they're looking forward to that moment when they set foot on Lewis Field Stadium in Hays Kansas for the state championship.
"It'll be special, but not nearly as special as walking off with a victory," Cash said. "I've wanted a victory for a long, long time. When I played, we didn't win championships. When I coached I got to win some championships, but I never got to win the one. It's time to win the one. It'll be great."
Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.