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Looking for a coach to fill the vacant football head coaching position, Cerro Gordo-Bement found its answer in house.

Nick Walker, an assistant coach since 2011 and a former Cerro Gordo quarterback, will take over the Broncos program next season.

"It's exciting," Walker said. "Very excited about the opportunity to do this, but kind of nervous about everything that comes with it."

The first item on Walker's agenda is bringing the fun back to Friday nights. Coming off a 3-6 season where numbers were thin, he's looking to inject some excitement into the program.

"I just want to get back to our roots and having a good time," he said, "getting more kids out and the making sure the vibe is being positive.

"Friday nights lights is supposed to be fun -- there's supposed to be an aura around Friday night lights."

While this is his first turn as a head coach, Walker had a feel of the responsibility the last few games of the season as Andy Kerley let him call plays on offense.

Walker quarterbacked Cerro Gordo to a 9-2 record and he threw for 2,011 yards and 24 touchdowns in the 1999-00 season, but he said calling plays was a different kind of animal.

"Oh man, I learned a lot," Walker said, "and I got to give credit to Andy Kerley, not knowing what the offseason was going to bring and saying, 'Go ahead and call it.'

"I called our game against Arthur, we kept getting closer and closer. I called something, and they weren't sure about it. I could see it on their faces. I told them at half, you have to trust me. And they went out and scored 40 in the second half. It's a trust thing. You got to have kids to buy in."

That's what Cerro Gordo-Bement athletics director Blake Doehring saw in the coach.

"Our kids have a ton of respect for him," Doehring said. "He's really progressed as a coach."

Walker played under longtime Cerro Gordo coach Paul Workman, and said he sees his approach as a blend of Workman and Kerley.

"I've been of the belief you have to balance yourself out," Walker said. "Adapt to what you have. I'd like to play some spread, but we'll still be pretty run heavy. You have to play with the kids you have next year."

Walker replaces Kerley, who resigned after a 42-28 record in seven seasons.

Walker said that before his senior season, they didn't throw much at all. They had the personnel for his 2,000-yard year his final season.

Now, Walker is hoping for a chance to stamp a new legacy as a coach.

"I can't wait."

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adow@herald-review.com|(217) 421-6978

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