3. How do you feel about the three-year progress the program has made? “I feel like the progress that we have made here in the past three years has been very significant. We started with three wins. Then last year we won five and could’ve won seven but had a couple hiccups but finished 5-5 for the first non-losing season in 10 years. Then this year these young men have battled their way to a 7-4 record and put themselves in some pretty good company in terms of Gilmer County football history. It’s just neat to see where these young guys have come from the leadership that they’ve been shown by our tremendous coaching staff and from all the work that they’ve put in over the past three years. The other key to our success and moving forward each year with our program has been the tremendous support from my administration. Our superintendent, Dr. Brian Ridley, our principal, Mr. Derek Bowen, and our athletic director, Matt Johnson, our booster club and just the entire community and our alumni association have been tremendous.”
4. What are some of the differences, or different challenges, between coaching at a private school and a public school? “There are a lot of similarities between my experiences here at Gilmer and my past job at a private school at St. Pius X, and then there are obvious differences. The similarities are that both schools have great tight-knit school communities. Gilmer is built around their hometown of Ellijay and the surrounding county community. St. Pius was built around the school itself as kids came from all over metro Atlanta. Both schools have great traditions. Both schools were formed around the same time. Gilmer County became a one-county school in the late ‘50s as St. Pius was formed in 1958. There’s tremendous community support for their athletic teams at both schools, so there’s a lot of similarities, Both communities have a strong desire for their student-athletes to be successful, and the support in both places is tremendous. I believe that there are challenges at any school, public or private. You’re dealing with teenagers. One school, they wear a uniform, the other school they don’t. But you know that there’s really not that many differences between the two. Both groups of student-athletes want to work hard, and they want to win, and that’s what we try to do on a daily basis and try to make them better young men as they move on from high school.”
Produced by Georgia High School Football Daily, a free e-mail newsletter. To join the mailing list, click here.