After spending the past four years as an assistant football coach for the Liberty County Panthers, Jeff Daffron will soon take over as the new head football coach for the Telfair County High Trojans.
Daffron, who starts calling the plays at Telfair in March, said the job was always something he’s wanted.
"One of my goals has always been to be a head football coach, so I applied for jobs, sent out resumes and they called," he said. "I went up and interviewed and, obviously, it’s what they wanted to hear. It’s a good fit.
Daffron said the single A school in McRae has an established football program.
"Last year, they were 3-7 overall and they’ve been averaging anywhere from 6-4 to 3-7 over the last 10 years," he said. "The first thing I’m going to do is go in and evaluate the kids and see what offense and defense will work best with the type of kids we have."The coach said he is walking into a good situation. He said the facilities at Telfair include a brand new weight room and field house. The stadium, he said, is in good shape and there’s a nice practice facility.
"They have some good athletes," Daffron said. "As a matter of fact, they had two kids sign, one with Eastern Kentucky and the other with Northern Illinois, so they have some good athletes."
The coach said he is still finalizing his coaching staff, and is excited about this opportunity.
"Sometimes people question and wonder why," he said. "You know, they ask why you want to do that. But I always tell these kids you’ve got to have goals. You’ve got to have things you are working for and this has been one of my goals. I’ve got the opportunity so I’ve got to take it."
"You can’t replace someone like him," Panther head coach Kirk Warner said. "He had an outstanding relationship with the kids, which is the most important thing, but he also established some camaraderie with our staff. I know our staff and our kids are going to miss him. You can’t replace him. You simply have to hope and pray that you can find somebody who can pick up where he left off."
The head coach said he has to start the difficult task of searching for Daffron’s replacement.
"I have to get with my administrators and see what teaching slots we have available then we can go and try and find a defensive coordinator that is certified in that particular area," he said. "It’s a process."
And Warner offered his friend some advise.
"I would tell him to be himself," he said. "Handle things exactly the same way he handled things here and he will be successful."
"It’s always hard to leave because of the bonds we make with the kids and the coaching staff and faculty," Daffron said. "When you are somewhere for a few years, you develop those relationships so it’s always a hard thing. First, I want to say thanks to everyone in the community, the administration here and the school. Everybody has been real supportive. These groups of kids were freshmen during my first year here. We came in together and we are leaving together. It’s really exciting to see what they’ve accomplished and what we’ve accomplished as a group. It’s always good to feel that you’ve helped to make a difference."