The Wing-T has been made famous by University of Delaware Coach Harold "Tubby" Raymond, and is a popular misdirection offense that can be hard to stop. Characterized by a wingback in the slot just behind the tight end, and a split end on the weak side, the offense places all three running backs in prime locations for counters, fakes, and other misdirection plays. The system also features the Quarterback Waggle, which gives a good quarterback the chance to run or throw, and can tear apart a defense. With the split end in position where he is, the opportunity is created for one of the most effective plays in youth football: the crack sweep (Shown here as the 27/28 pitch.)
The Wing-T is also a great passing formation. With the tight end and flanker located where they are, there is vast potential for quick crossing patterns and out passes, and the strong side can be easily overloaded against zone defenses by sending the fullback into the flat underneath the flanker's route.
In my opinion, the Wing-T is one of the most effective youth offenses around. If it has any flaws, it is that it takes some coaching experience to run properly, and understanding how the different series set up certain plays is a difficult task. Rookie coaches should do a great deal of research before attempting to install this offense.
Generally the offense requires an understanding of angle blocking. This means you must have a grasp of football that includes such information as: "If we fake a handoff here the defensive tackle will react by doing this therefore, to block him my right tackle must be here." This is not easy, and it's one of the reasons I don't recommend this system to a rookie coach or offensive coordinator.
The playbooks shown here are greatly simplified for use at the lowest level. For convenience, the standard backs and hole numbering system has been used. Most Wing-T coaches prefer the nomenclature used in the books mentioned below.
Briefly, the nomenclature is as follows: the formation described as "Wing Right" below is called the "100" formation. "Wing Left" is the "900" formation. Holes are numbered from left to right, and do not change when the formation is flipped. Each back movement is given a number as well, called the "series". The 24/25 counters below are taken from the "30" series. Plays are called with a three digit number: 135. This simple numeral tells the players "100" formation, "30" series, and "5" hole. (Below, this play is called the Wing R 24 Counter).
If you choose to install the Wing-T, remember that it is a misdirection offense. This means confusion of the defense on every play should be your main goal. Work your players hard on carrying out their fakes, and try to make every single play look like every other for the first two or more seconds after the snap. The more time the defense spends looking for the football, the better each play will do.
The Wing-T is a great "equalizer" offense. If you have smaller, quicker players, they will benefit from the blocking angles and misdirection attack. Slower players will have some trouble executing a few of the blocks, but if they have size and strength you should be able to make the powers an effective attack. Generally you can fit players of all shapes and sizes into the system.
Before you make any solid decisions whether or not to run the Wing-T, take a look at Malcolm Robinson's Wing-T playbook, available in the downloads section.
For more information on the Wing-T the following books can help:
The Wing-T from A-Z: The Base Plan By Dennis Creehan
The Wing-T from A-Z: Installing the System By Dennis Creehan
Both of Coach Creehan's books are available at www.coacheschoice.com.
Rookie or inexperienced coaches should beware of the Art and Science of Coaching Series of books on the Wing-T offense. They have names like 101 Wing-T plays and The Misdirection Wing-T With Multiple Points of Attack. The author of these books is the great Delaware coach and father of the Wing-T, Harold "Tubby" Raymond. While there is much useful information in these books for intermediate coaches, the data is buried under jargon that will only be understood by more knowledgeable veterans. Plus, these books are written for the high school and junior college coach. Inexperienced youth coaches and players may be swarmed under and confused.