Welcome Party – Coaches adjust to new jobs at local schools

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Tommy Garrett has had six first-years as a head coach during his 26 years in high school football.

As one of three new coaches to take over Shelby County teams this season, Garrett has spent countless hours since last spring installing his system and making sure it takes hold at Coosa Valley Academy.

&uot;I’ve always gone to schools that are rebuilding,&uot; Garrett said. &uot;I enjoy rebuilding a team and having a chance to make the playoffs.&uot;

CVA is off to a 2-3 start in Garrett’s coaching debut with the Rebels and still have a chance to make the AISA playoffs with five region games remaining.

&uot;We’re still in the learning process but we’re getting better each week,&uot; Garrett said. &uot;It’s been a good adjustment. I have a really good headmaster in Pam Lovelady.&uot;

First-year Shelby County High School coach Bruce Breland also brought years of head coaching experience when he took over the position for the Wildcats.

Breland’s 60-36 record yielded one of the highest winning percentages in central Alabama when he was hired by SCHS.

Breland said one of the biggest challenges is trying to build trust with his players.

&uot;They’ve got to see the passion that’s in you and the honesty and know that you actually care for them,&uot; Breland said. &uot;You have to have some success on the field, too. Success has a lot to do with trust on the football field.&uot;

Shelby County is off to a 3-2 start in the Wildcats’ first season in Class 5A.

New Oak Mountain coach Jerry Hood is making his head coaching debut with the Eagles.

While Oak Mountain is off to a tough 1-4 start this season, Hood feels like the program is moving in the right direction.

&uot;We are playing better each week,&uot; Hood said. &uot;We have more offense each week. Hopefully this is a sign things are starting to click.&uot;

Hood said the help of his coaching staff and community are invaluable as Oak Mountain looks to become a premier program in Class 6A.

&uot;The community has been tremendous for us,&uot; Hood said. &uot;They understand what we’re trying to do as far as character issues and building this program.