Thursday, May 11, 2006
Rutherford hired to guide Indians
By BARRY BURLESON
New Byhalia head football coach Devin Rutherford wants the football program to grow and succeed with the community.
“This community is busting at the seams to support this program,” Rutherford said.
“This is a fantastic, small community, and the support from the parents and the community is here. That’s what coaches dream about.”
Rutherford, 29, comes to Byhalia from Trezevant High in Memphis, Tenn., where he served as defensive coordinator. He replaces Gaylon Jones, who had led the program since it was reinstated in 2002. There had been no football at the Marshall County school in 20 years.
“I’m looking forward to rebuilding and resurrecting this program,” Rutherford said. “The challenge is actually what made it attractive.”
Another thing that made it attractive, he said, was the success of the basketball program.
“That made it interesting,” he said. “The athletes are here.
“I did my research and toured the community a couple of times, and now I’m happy to be in Byhalia working with these young people.”
The Indians are concentrating on weight training, plus learning Rutherford’s play system via the chalkboard. About 35 Indians are in spring training.
“The response and the enthusiasm have been great,” he said. “They’re lifting, pumping and they’re excited. I’ve seen no resistance.
“As the word spreads and the excitement spreads, people tend to gravitate toward success.”
The new head coach is not shying away from setting aggressive goals.
“Our goal is the playoffs,” Rutherford said. “The game of football is like life. The bar is set. You either go up to the bar or stay behind. The game will not drop to your level. We have to rise up.
“I’m very ambitious. Our goal next season is the playoffs.”
His system, both offensively and defensively, will be aggressive, he said.
“We will operate from the shotgun, no huddle, on offense - something this area has not seen,” Rutherford said, “and we will be very aggressive in a 3-3-5 defense. It was a (defensive) package that was number one for me in Memphis.”
Prior to his tenure at Trezevant, Rutherford worked at Sherwood Middle School in Memphis.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Jackson State University, where he also served as a graduate assistant football coach. He completed graduate school with a master’s in education at Christian Brothers University in Memphis.
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