The Flexbone Triple Option by Steve Gunther

This article is an excerpt from How to Coach the Flexbone Offense, by Steve Gunther. In the article, Coach Gunther draws on his many years of experience as a HS and College Coach, including a stint on Coach Emory Bellard's staff (see below) to present a comprehensive look at the Flexbone Triple Option, blocking schemes, and individual coaching points and techniques.


Many coaches at the high school and collegiate level began to experiment with the Flexbone formation based on the success of Georgia Southern, the Military Service Academy's, Rice and now Georgia Tech. The Flexbone was an answer to the continued success of the Wishbone and Run and Shoot. The Flexbone became a combination of the two philosophies. As Head Football Coach Fisher DeBerry of Air Force Academy stated, "the Wishbone needs to be more Flexible", thus the term Flexbone was coined.

Following my 4 years with Coach Bellard, I had the opportunity to coach at C.E. King High School, Houston, Texas, where I helped the staff to incorporate Emory Bellards numbering system, triple option blocking concepts, and supplemental rule blocking into their Flexbone philosophy. The statistics below represent a 3 year accumulation of specific C.E. King Flexbone Statistics - by plays, total offense and average points per game scored.

Flexbone Offensive Statistics over a 3 year period at C.E. King High School  2004-2006

Play Attempts Total Yards Average Yards/Carry
Triple Option 564 3964 7.03
Midline 322 2160 6.71
Trap 51 379 7.43
Tackle Trap 72 620 8.61
Speed Option 116 751 6.47

Year Games Total Yards Average Yards/Game Average Points/Game
2004 11 4323 393 34
2005 9 3492 388 37
2006 10 3700 370 30


This article concludes in our Member section with detailed explanations and coaching points for the Flexbone Triple Option, along with blocking scheme illustrations against the major defensive schemes in the game today.

Steve Gunther is the author of a number of books, including  "How to Coach the Wishbone Football Offense, According to Emory Bellard" ,  "How to Coach the Flexbone Football Offense" and  "How to Practice Option Offensive Football" . He has also published a number of  "Wishbone Practice DVD's", which he distributes through the Gunther Publishing website at The books were completed in 2012-13, with the first - How to Coach the Wishbone Football Offense, According to Emory Bellard the result of being a football assistant for Emory Bellard at Spring-Westfield High School, Houston, Texas from 1990-1994 - Coach Bellard's last 4 years of coaching. Steve Gunther was a football coach from 1968-2011, a total of 43 years. He was a longtime head football coach in Iowa. He also had coaching stints at Colorado State University, and Independence Community College, Independence, Kansas.

Coach Gunther finished his last 25 years coaching high school football in and around the Houston, Texas area. Gunther holds an Associate of Arts in Education degree from Trinidad State Junior College, Trinidad, Colorado, a Bachelor of Education degree from Wayne State, Wayne, Nebraska and a Masters of Education degree from Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri.

To purchase Steve Gunther's new book, or his previous book, How to Coach the Wishbone Football Offense, according to Emory Bellard, visit the Gunther Publishing website at