Mackey: “We’re ready to make a difference”


Joe Craig//Omaha Central High School Foundation

Omaha Central’s football team has a new face at the helm.  

Terrence Mackey was hired as the head football coach of the Eagles last month. “I’m happy to be here,” Mackey said. “We’re ready to make a difference.”  

Mackey, a product of North Omaha, has been a football coach for most of his life. “I went to school at Benson High School. I played football and basketball, and I graduated in 1979. I’ve been coaching football since I was about 19 years old,” he said, “and I’ll be 62 in July.”

Mackey played a semester of college football at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and graduated from Bellevue University. His coaching career started with the North Omaha Bears at the Boys & Girls Club, where he would often send kids to play football at Omaha North and Omaha Central. Mackey was the head coach at Benson High School before being hired this year at Central.  

“I’ve met a lot of [Central] players, I know a lot of the kids from the Boys and Girls Club,” Mackey said.  

As a coach, Mackey said that he is excited to build the program in the first year. He said that he wants to make the players believe that they are winners. “We’re coming here to win some games. You got to get the kids that have confidence. You know, you got to be able to relate to the kids,” Mackey said. “[At Benson], I had to get kids that believed they had competence, because once you start losing, you know, they believe that they’re losers. We don’t want that. We want them to believe that they’re winning.” 

Mackey said he started to look at the program last year after his win against Central. “I told my assistant head coach they’re young, just like we were at Benson. They’re gonna be tough next year,” he said. “So we got something to work with, something to build on.” 

Mackey emphasized how excited he was to coach a young football team. “Central has a young team now. But these kids are winners. They believe in themselves,” he said.  

“When I first started at Benson, I couldn’t get those kids at first to believe in themselves. Right now, [there’s] a lot of excitement going on.”