TRION, Ga. -- Justin Brown may be working his first week as a head football coach, but he wants the folks in Trion to know that, as far as his football soul goes, he's very old school.
Brown, a Trion graduate (1992) and assistant coach, was named the Bulldogs' head coach late last week, replacing David Humphreys, who resigned after four seasons. Brown said his first order of business is getting out in the community and trying to mend some fences.
"It seems like the community has been pretty fractured in recent years, for whatever reason," said Brown, who also worked as an assistant coach at Mount Zion, Villa Rica and Alexander high schools. "My first priority is to get us all back in the same boat. Trion is a great small community, and it seems if the football team isn't doing well, the town isn't, either.
"I'm going to hold a town hall meeting later this month so that everything can get out in the open."
Brown, who also is assuming the athletic director role, hopes to have his staff completed by the end of the month because he will use spring practice to teach his team new schemes, among them a return to the wing-T offense.
"I'm a wing-T guy, and it's an offense that used to be run very well here," he said. "We're going to change a lot, so the kids are going to have a lot to learn between spring practice and late August."
The coach for whom Brown played at Trion, Tab Gable, believes the school chose the right man.
"It's a good match and I think he'll get the job done," said Gable, now the head coach at LaFayette. "Justin was always very enthusiastic on the football field, and that's the way he'll coach, too. I'm very proud of him. He's paid his dues and he will stick with that program until he gets it back to where it was."
Brown believes lack of stability -- he's is the fifth head coach in 14 years at Trion -- is a big reason the Bulldogs have fallen some, and he believes he can rectify that.
"When I interviewed for the job I pointed out that the three coaches that have had the longest tenures here have had the most success," he said. "I can bring stability here, and I want us to get back to the sustained success this community is accustomed to having."
Contact Lindsey Young at email@example.com or at 423-757-6296.
Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...