Sometimes the road to a head-coaching job isn't the most traditional way to ascend into a position.
Ask Roy Salas and he'll probably tell you his path to becoming the Corpus Christi Hammerheads head football coach wasn't exactly how most would have thought.
Still in his playing prime, the former Hammerheads standout defensive back took over the reigns of the professional indoor team this season on a full-time basis. The last two seasons Salas was a player-coach serving as an assistant while leading the league in interceptions.
However, a shoulder injury would plague Salas, but not stop his playing status, until this year.
"You never know, I still might suit up again," Salas recently quipped. "I still feel I can play…you never know."
This year Salas hung up the cleats to tackle the full responsibilities of being the man to lead the Hammerheads on the field. The way he got there, however, wasn't the way he thought it would happen.
"Our previous coach was having a kid and wanted to spend more time with the family, so things just feel into place," Salas said. "I'd been an assistant and Chad (Dittman, Hammerheads owner) has always said that I'd make a good coach and asked if I wanted to be part of it (coaching staff).
"I'd been a player-assistant the last couple of years, and when coach McKinnley left I was given the opportunity to lead the team. I've also had a shoulder injury, so it just kind of all panned out."
Salas said the transition from the playing field to the sidelines has gone smoothly and also said despite the normal jitters, he's adjusted fine to pacing the sidelines instead of running down running backs and intercepting passes.
"Making the move has gone good. I'm going to make mistakes, but you learn from them and you don't do them again," Salas said. "I've also been blessed to have a good coaching staff around me.
"I was able too bring in some assistant coaches that were former teammates of mine and are now coaches. Having them around had also helped the transition from player to head coach."
While Salas said he might not be done playing, whatever he decides to, the San Antonio native and graduate of St. Anthony's High School and Ottawa (Kansas) University, feels the he's in the right place to coach or play.
"The organization and the communities (Robstown, Corpus Christi) have been great to me and my family since we first came here," Salas said. "They've been supportive of me on the field and now that I'm head coach…we love it here and we look forward to being here for a long time."
Salas is a former NAIA All-American, having won the award in his sophomore and senior seasons. In his senior season, he was named National Player of the Year runner-up after leading the nation with 13 interceptions. He was also an all-conference selection in each of his four seasons at Ottawa University.
He has also been the Intense Football League's Player of the Year in 2006.
"I had a tryout with the Denver Broncos, but I didn't get the call, so I came straight to the Hammerheads and have been ever since," Salas said. "My family and I love it here and everything has really worked out well."