Four Questions with Villa Rica head coach Christian Hunnicutt

Former Grayson head coach Christian Hunnicutt is now the new head coach at Villa Rica. (Casey Sykes/Special to the AJC)
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Former Grayson head coach Christian Hunnicutt is now the new head coach at Villa Rica. (Casey Sykes/Special to the AJC)

Today's interviewee is new Villa Rica coach Christian Hunnicutt, whose team defeated Campbell 44-7 last week to avenge a 34-20 loss from 2018. Hunnicutt was Grayson's head coach the previous two seasons and was let go despite a 20-5 record. Hunnicutt has been a head coach at East Jackson and an assistant coach at Buford and Lowndes.

Christian Hunnicutt, Villa Rica head coach 

1. What was the story behind your first win, and what did it mean for your program? "First, I'm very proud of our kids and coaches with their preparation and effort, especially Monday through Thursday. This win means a lot to our seniors and community because we were able to start the season on a positive note. As for the game, our special teams were lights out. Our defense was very good. And our offense committed zero turnovers. Before you can win, you have to not beat yourself. That's Dexter Wood 101." [Wood is the Buford athletic director and former football coach who hired Hunnicutt onto his Buford staff in 1997.]

2. You and Grayson had a mutual parting after two seasons. Are you coaching with a chip on your shoulder from that experience? "I wouldn't say I'm coaching with a chip on my shoulder. I'm the same coach I was at Grayson, Buford, East Jackson, Lowndes. I haven't changed. I've got a coach now who played with me at Buford, and he says I've gone softer. I'm trying to love on kids and push them at the same time. If I've changed anywhere, maybe I've worked harder at trying to be more positive with them instead of being critical. But I don't think I've changed that much."

3. Was Villa Rica a random place where you landed, or did you have people in the school or community that persuaded you to apply there? What did you see in the place? "When I did my research on Villa Rica, Rodney Walker [retired Georgia coach with 300 wins] told me the superintendent [Scott Cowart] and principal [Glen Harding] would be the best in the state to work for. They were former coaches. As a result, they understand what it's like to be in the trenches. As any coach will tell you, it matters when your boss has a true understanding and first-hand knowledge of the ups and downs associated with coaching young men. Scott Cowart was a ball coach. He won a state championship in basketball at Central Carrollton [in 1985]. He's the model for what teachers and coaches should emulate. How many superintendents answer the phone at 9 o'clock at night and then make it a point to tell you how they loved to teach every strand of world history? Our principal, he was a ball coach too. So he understands all the nuances and ups and downs and headaches. It's easier when they understand and aren't getting the second-hand deal. I was also told by many coaches that the Villa Rica community would support the team win, lose or draw. Those factors made Villa Rica an easy choice."

4. What's Villa Rica like as a community? "Villa Rica is '90s Buford. That's the analogy, I'm telling you. It will be hard to duplicate that football success, but the town itself is '90s Buford. They love this school. It's the love that you have at Buford or Lowndes. That's the same feeling here. They have an undying affection and affinity for their school. The booster club president here doesn't have kids in the program. Where does that happen? But he does love the school. There's no agenda with him. Everybody here is so amazingly inviting to family members. I've been in some places where that's not the case. I haven't had a single day where I've driven up in the parking lot and dreaded it. I absolutely love Villa Rica."

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