Gordo's new coach Lolley excited for opportunity
Sun. February 24, 2013 at 9:38 p.m. | By Andrew Carroll
Ryan Lolley, shown with his daughter, Lydia, is the new head coach at Gordo after spending 11 years as an assistant with the Greenwave. (Photo by Andrew Carroll | Tuscaloosa News)
NORTHPORT | Ryan Lolley, who has coached for 11 years at Gordo High School, recently received a promotion.
The 33-year-old Lolley, formerly an assistant, has been chosen as the head football coach. He replaces David McKinney, who left to become the head coach at North Jackson High in Stevenson.
McKinney coached the Greenwave to a 52-22 record in six seasons, and Gordo made the playoffs each year. Lolley coached the wide receivers and outside linebackers in 2012, when the Greenwave went 8-3 and qualified for the AHSAA Class 3A playoffs.
"I’m excited to have the opportunity to coach at a place like Gordo High School," said Lolley, who has a 21⁄2-year old daughter, Lydia. "I’d just like to thank the good Lord for giving me and Lydia this opportunity. I’d like to thank the administration, Principal (Ken) Holder and the board for having the faith in me to take on such a big responsibility. I want to thank my parents, my brother and his family and the coaches I had in high school."
Lolley said he will wait until after baseball season to start spring training because his quarterback candidates are baseball players.
"I would say that we would be multiple, just do what fits our players the best," Lolley said. "Obviously, that’s our job as the coaching staff, to prepare our guys every single day to win. For the kids, I want them to just focus on winning every day, whether it be in the classroom, in the community or on the field. I believe if we do that it’ll take care of the big things, which is very important in Gordo is winning football games.
"The pressure there is high, but that’s a good thing because that means people care about it."
Lolley played football at Marion County High before graduating in 1997. He attended Bevill State and Athens State and earned a degree in physical education. Lolley said David Todd, now the defensive coordinator at Tuscaloosa County High, gave him the chance to coach at Gordo.
"I was thankful he took a chance on me," Lolley said. "I learned a lot of valuable lessons about dealing with people and dealing with kids and doing things the right way."
Lolley said he appreciated the guiding influences of Eddie Hankins, Gordo’s defensive coordinator, and Jamie Chapman, former Gordo principal and now the superintendent for the Pickens County school system.
"I’m very fortunate to have Coach Hankins to lean on in this new position," Lolley said. "Jamie Chapman has had a big influence on me and who I’ve become as a coach and as a person. He’s a great leader and great with kids.
"Our junior high coaches do a phenomenal job of preparing the kids to come to us at the varsity level. They’re always prepared, and I can’t say enough about the job they do. All the assistant coaches we have at Gordo are great. It’s just a great opportunity to step in and have the coaches in place that we need and that already know our players and our players already know what we expect."
Reach Andrew Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0223.