Football coach Andy Dyer has been with the Tigers since Acher’s inaugural season in 2009.
Photo: Jason Getz/For the AJC
Photo: Jason Getz/For the AJC

‘There are different levels of pressure’

Each week, five high school coaches will discuss one issue that affects Georgia high school sports.Last week: Legislative oversight 

At Issue: High school football coaches face undeniable pressures to win, to be couriers for success and stability within a program and to become the face that fan bases love or hate. In addition, they have to manage the general day-to-day operations of a football program, no easy task. In this day and age — where a Hudl highlight reel clip can create college scholarships and football film is being reviewed before teams hit the showers on Friday nights — the pressures on coaches come from all angles. 

So what are the biggest pressures coaches face at the high school level? 

The Skinny: Archer head football coach Andy Dyer has been with the Tigers since the school’s inaugural season in 2009, compiling an 83-42 record with three region titles (2013, 2014, 2017). Entering his 12th season, Dyer's team is among the state’s best programs in Class AAAAAAA. Dyer knows pressure exists for coaches, but he said solid preparation helps keep the pressures from filtering down to his players. And keeping pressure off the players is his concern. 

“There’s a lot of pressure, but I think it’s a positive pressure,” Dyer said. “I think the great thing about football is that if the kid knows he has prepared all week and his team has prepared all week that he can rely on that preparation. When the game starts, he’s just working and doing what he has worked on all week.” 

Dyer: “The big thing is teaching these guys to concentrate on the next play, and if you do those things the results will take care of themselves. Football is a team sport, and each man does his job. When you have a really good team, those guys understand the concept of trusting each other to do their job. Then it gets easier.  

“You should be more excited when your teammate does something great than you are when you do it yourself. To me that’s football. It’s a selfless game. Everything you do is selfless. Once you take ownership of that, as a coach, you’re able to do a lot of different things. 

“I think college coaches are going to want to recruit from successful high school programs, No. 1, because they know that those kids are going through a similar protocol, similar work. We’re limited momentarily to do a lot off things they do, but they’re going come to those schools. Especially once you get out of the (big college conferences), they’re looking for those kids who are program guys who they know are going to come in and help them win their conference. They’re going be team-builders and be part of the process.  

“There are different levels of pressure. There’s so much money involved at the collegiate level. That adds a cut-throat aspect to every part of the game, for the players and the coaches. It’s not professional sports, but it’s pretty dang close. ... These kids, they’ve got the innate characteristic to want to compete. That’s what we want to drive. That’s an internal pressure. From an external standpoint, there’s a certain amount of pressure. ... Our guys don’t want to be the ones to drop the ball. We don’t harp on it. But they don’t want to be the group that doesn’t perform well. There’s definitely some pressure from that.”

At Issue: Coaching pressure

• Andy Dyer, Archer football coach
• Dave Hunter, former Brookwood football coach
• Bryant Appling, Buford football coach
• Justin Rogers, Colquitt County football coach
• Tim McFarlin, Blessed Trinity football coach
» MORE: Previous topics

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