Walker tweaks coaching staff

  • Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ashley Ridge offensive coordinator Tee Newman works with the Swamp Fox quarterbacks. ROGER LEE/JOURNAL SCENE

The top Fox for the Ashley Ridge football program has made a few staff changes he hopes will pay off this fall.
Kenny Walker is back for his fourth season as the head coach for the program and his sixth overall season with the team. For the past three seasons Walker has also worn the hat of the Swamp Fox defensive coordinator, but has decided to hand that title over to Brad Thomas.
After coaching at West Ashley, Thomas joined the Ashley Ridge staff last season as the defensive line coach. Walker says Thomas took on many of the defensive coordinator responsibilities toward the end of the 2012 season and did a good job so he feels comfortable giving Thomas the reigns of the defense this year.
“Brad has a lot of experience and knowledge that has already helped us out,” Walker said.” I think having him as the defensive coordinator will bring more stability to that side of the ball.”
With Thomas handling more of the defensive tasks, Walker will be able to concentrate more on the big picture.
“My goal is to let my assistants coach and I will act more as a manager,” Walker said.
“I’m hoping I will be able to focus more on the overall team and at the same time take care of some of the little things that need attention. I’ll still coach, but this should free me up so I can help out more with all the different positions.”
Walker has also added three new faces to his varsity staff.
John O’Hara has been brought on as the quarterbacks coach. He played the position in high school and brings coaching experience from schools in Mississippi, Bamberg and West Ashley.
“John has a lot of enthusiasm and energy,” Walker said. “He is experienced and he really relates to the kids. He is a great addition.”
Jeff Plane and Ben Brewer have been pulled up from Ashley Ridge JV program to help the varsity this season. Brewer will coach the Swamp Fox secondary. Plane will pull double duty, coaching the varsity defensive ends heading up the JV staff on Thursday nights.
The rest of the staff is comprised of familiar faces.
Re-joining Walker for this year’s campaign are four coaches who have also been a part of Swamp Fox football since the beginning – Brian Givens (running backs), B.J. Bellush (receivers), Ray Wilson (offensive line) and Bobby Behr (kickers). Behr also serves as the school’s athletic director.
Tee Newman and Jimmy Mitchum return for their fourth season with the Swamp Foxes. Newman is the Swamp Fox offensive coordinator and Mitchum coaches the linebackers. Both are former Summerville High School assistants who transferred after Walker was named head coach at Ashley Ridge.
Ben Gibson returns for his second season with the Swamp Foxes. He started out as the cornerbacks coach but will focus on outside linebackers this year.
Jerry Kociuruba returns as the head coach for the Swamp Fox B-team.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or rlee@journalscene.com.

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