Kyle’s belief is “The game of football teaches young men more about life than they will ever be able to learn anywhere else”. Where else will you find whites and blacks, rich and poor, conservatives and liberals, believers and non-believers having to come together as one and be totally reliant upon each other in order to be personally successful? Where else do young men learn that only through setting specific goals and working hard each and every day, step by step, do you achieve the established goals? And, where else in their lives can they learn that life does not give you anything, you have to work, sweat and push through the tough times just so you have a chance to earn it?
Kyle Collins was an all-star running back at Southside High School in Gadsden, AL. After leading the entire state in rushing his senior year with over 2,200 yards, Kyle was positive that colleges would come to his doorstep so that he could realize his childhood dream of playing college football in the SEC. However, as we all know, life does not always follow our script. Only one college offered Kyle the opportunity, Jacksonville State University. After one season with the Gamecocks, Kyle realized that his lifelong desire to play in the SEC would not subside. So Kyle made a watershed decision and relinquished his scholarship and a promising career at JSU to “walk-on” at Auburn University. As he tells it; “Although not the safe decision, it was an easy decision. I had to follow my dream. I knew I could live with failing, but I would not be able to live with never having tried”.
In January of 1982, Kyle enrolled at Auburn and with several goals. First, earn a scholarship in order to obtain his college degree. Second, make the travel team and third, make the starting line-up. His entire career Kyle had always been one of the better players on any team he was a member of. Now, entering Auburn, for the first time, he was not the star. In fact, it was quite the opposite; he was an un-recruited, walk-on that no one had ever heard of. His talent was not enough; he had to dedicate himself to pushing to limits he never had in order to just have the opportunity to play. Kyle remembers, “I was a slow, white, unknown running back attempting to compete for playing time with Bo Jackson, Lionel James, Brent Fullwood and Tommy Agee”. If ever a young man had a reason to be discouraged, Kyle surely did. Nevertheless, what Kyle did was dig deep, find something bigger than himself and do what was necessary to succeed. It wasn’t easy; in fact, he seriously considered quitting numerous times, however, quitting, he knew, was not an option. He had to work harder, train longer, trust in God, stay positive and continue to do the “next right thing”.
After being “red-shirted” the 1982 season due to NCAA regulations, Kyle began to impress the coaching staff with his tenacity. What he lacked in comparative talent, he made up for with his fundamentals, toughness and competitive spirit. After spring training in 1983, Coach Pat Dye offered Kyle a full scholarship (Goal #1 achieved). Kyle made the travel team in 1983 (Goal #2 achieved) becoming an integral part of the SEC Championship team which ended the season 11-1 and ranked No. 3. In 1984, Kyle was named to the starting line-up in the same backfield with the future Heisman Trophy winner, Bo Jackson (Goal #3 achieved).
From a walk-on, Kyle achieved the goals he had set for himself. He was a leader within the program becoming the Fellowship of Christian Athletes President as well as the President of the A-Club. Kyle was named the USA Today Player of the Week vs. Tennessee, 1984, and to the Academic All-SEC Team in 1984 & 1985. He earned his bachelor’s degree and was named a member of Omicron Delta Kappa honorary scholastic society.
Kyle is now the Senior Vice President of Collier International and a member of the Alabama State Bar. "In life, you will hit a wall. You have a choice, quit or continue to push through it. Keep your feet moving. If you stay committed and keep churning your feet, you just might break free and ultimately push through it. If you quit, you have determined the outcome. Remember, quitters never win and WINNERS NEVER QUIT.”
I can do ALL things through Christ that strengthens me. ~~Philippians 4:13
Athletic Director & Special Teams Coach
Kevin believes that football can be the vehicle to teach young men the toughest lessons of life. “Life can beat you down and hold you down. We teach our kids to keep getting up. If you can get up one more time, find a way to get on your feet one more time, you’re going to win. Your ‘Get ups’ just have to outnumber your ‘Knock downs’ by one! It’s that simple.”
In high school, Kevin was a standout 2-way player for the Liberal Redskins in southwestern Kansas. He was one of only two sophomores that played on the 1980 5A State Championship Team and went on to become a three year Letterman as fullback and linebacker, two of those years as the starter in both positions. He was selected as the All Area Defensive Player of the Year his junior and senior seasons. As a linebacker he still holds the unofficial state record for tackles in a single game with 33.
After high school, Kevin turned down a scholarship to Pratt Community College in order to walk-on at the University of Kansas. His dream of wearing the Crimson and Blue of the Jayhawks was within reach. Kevin lived the grueling life of a Division 1 walk-on, playing the role of that week’s opponent during practice. The ‘Scout Team’ is an education all its own and one that helped prepare him for the real world. Dream, Struggle, Victory. It was worth the entire 'Struggle’ for the ‘Victory’ of suiting up for home games and running out of the tunnel at Memorial Stadium with the rest of the team. Running onto the field and being greeted by a stadium full of Jayhawk Fans is something he will never forget! Kevin was the only walk-on to score a touchdown in the Crimson & Blue inter-squad game when he grabbed a loose ball and scored on a blocked punt. He went on to play in Junior Varsity games but during his second year he made a decision that shaped his life forever.
It’s now one of his teaching points but it’s also a permanent personal area of regret. During his second year, Kevin left the team to focus on his Architecture degree. Kevin says, “In my mind, I decided that I couldn’t play at this level, that I needed to focus on school. Plus, I had a girl I wanted to spend time with.” All valid points, but the truth was, as he says, “I gave up on my dream.” Now 30+ years later, Kevin hopes to encourage young men to pursue their dreams no matter what. “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” And, he notes, “Regret is always with you”. Just one year later, the walk-on player that was below him on the depth chart, worked and worked, keeping his eyes on his dream and made the traveling squad, got a scholarship and became an integral part of the Kansas roster. This forever hammered home the concept. “Dream, Struggle, Victory”. Although the victory may not be a ‘win’, it is the knowledge that you did everything you could at that moment to pursue the goal.
Kevin serves as the Cowboys Athletic Director and also as an Assistant Coach. He and his wife Devon live in north Huntsville and have 4 children. His 3 boys all played for the Cowboys.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ~~Jeremiah 29:11
Coach Oliver is a native of Huntsville, Alabama and is an alumni of the Cowboy program. Coach Oliver graduated the program in 2017 and went on to pursue Aviation at Liberty University. Two years into his Aviation program, Liberty University shut down his flight training affiliate out of Atlanta, GA due to Covid-19. Coach Oliver was forced to move back into Huntsville, transfer schools and switch majors. He rejoined the Cowboys in 2020 as an assistant coach. Coach Oliver was promoted to Defensive Coordinator & Offensive Line Coach in 2021. Freedom Cowboys defense has become one of the top overall defenses under his reign as Defensive Coordinator.
Coach Oliver is finishing up his Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education at Athens State University (graduating in December ‘23), and will be pursuing his Masters in Educational Leadership at Grand Canyon University in January of 2024.
“I am truly honored to be apart of the Freedom Cowboys program. It has taught me so many life lessons on how to be a better follower of Christ, leader, man, and teacher. Without this program I would not be the man I am today. I have seen my life changed and my heart renewed during my time here. All glory and honor goes to my King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ!”
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God - 2 Corinthians 5:21
Head Cheer Coach
Brittany West Day is a native of Douglasville, GA and grew up in the gymnastics and cheer world. She started gymnastics when she was only two and eventually competed nationally, earning a variety of awards along the way. In middle school, Brittany successfully tried out for the cheer team. She cheered throughout high school and was Georgia's Cheerleader of the Year in 2001. Brittany went on to cheer at the University of West Georgia. She holds a Bachelor's degree in management and a minor in marketing.
Cheer and gymnastics took a back burner for a few years when she began having children as she devoted her time to her husband, Bramblett, and their two children. Her son Bram plays football for the Cowboys and is a senior this year. Rachael Grace, her daughter, is a sophomore and cheers for the Cowboys. Brittany loves to cook in her spare timeand serves kindness and sweet tea plentifully.
Brittany brings over 20 years of coaching experience. Her passion for encouraging teenagers shines through as she works with the Freedom Cowboys Cheer teams. She is a gifted cheer coach and, since joining the coaching staff in 2021, has challenged the cheer team to grow in character and skill. Brittany enjoys serving the homeschool community in this capacity and looks forward to continuing with the Freedom Cowboys!
They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. ~~Isiah 40:31
Aubrey grew up in Scottsboro, AL where she enjoyed participating in a variety of high school activities and athletics. Her chief focus was playing trumpet with her high school marching and symphonic bands. She enjoyed Friday nights at the football field, just from a different perspective!
While she was licensed as a massage therapist in 2000, Aubrey found her true love is in helping others discover new things. She began teaching in 2001 and hasn't stopped since. From pre-schoolers to high schoolers to adults, she has educated in many different environments over the last 20+ years on a variety of topics. Currently, she helps high schoolers examine how their interests and talents work together as they consider their future careers.
Aubrey and her husband, Josh, live 'in the country' and enjoy spending time with their children, Thomas, Sarah Grace, Elizabeth, Anna Joy, and Daniel. The girls all cheer for the Freedom Cowboys, which is how Aubrey found herself on a different part of the football field in adulthood. Her eye for detail and her community building skills make her an invaluable asset to the Cowboys Cheer organization. She enjoys growing in her knowledge of cheer and finding opportunities for the team to participate in local activities and service projects. Aubrey's primary goal is to bring Jesus and chocolate into every conversation. In her free time, she enjoys reading and pretending like she's actually going to get around to flower gardening.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. ~~Colossians 3:23-24
Freedom Cowboys Football * 5007 Brookwood Dr. NW, Huntsville, AL 35810 * 256-656-4796 * firstname.lastname@example.org