Bradwell Institute’s new athletic director, Ken Griffin, knows everyone these days is talking about the impending football season.
However, he added there is much more going on around campus when it comes to Tiger sports.
He said he is busy welcoming new coaches to BI this year while still working with several coaches who have been with the school for some time.
“You will see many new faces and some old faces in new roles,” he said, adding the shift started with him being named the school’s AD after former football coach and AD Jim Walsh’s contract was not renewed. Griffin said former assistant football coach Aaron Mock now will guide the golf team. Jeff Polk will take over the baseball team, Sean Redmond will coach the cross country team, and Cara Reese is the new Lady Tigers’ soccer coach.
Of course, there also is new football coach Adam Carter, who brought in new assistants Chris Reese, Brian Griggs and Samuel Richardson.
Griffin said Lisa Chaney-Jackson and Tamara Frasier will return to coach the cheerleading squad. Jeff Miller, Mike Stanford and Joey Smiley are back to help the football team. DeAndre Davis will continue to pull double duty as the boys’ track coach and girls’ volleyball coach. Tommy Oglesby still will head up the boys’ soccer team. Sharyl, Jeff and Misty Eastlake will coach girls’ softball. Faye Baker will continue to lead the girls’ varsity basketball team, while Rhett Hellgren will coach the boys’ team.
Griffin said there has been plenty of activity taking place at BI throughout the summer, and it’s not all been about football.
“We are trying to build a bigger and better athletic program here at Bradwell and conditioning develops stronger athletes,” he said. “We have had boys and girls basketball teams conditioning and playing in a summer league. Members of the cross-country team have been running at 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. As soon as the football team completes their inside drills, the volleyball team take to the gym court for running, stretching, and jumping. We now have the softball team on the field and soccer has started some weightlifting and running conditioning. The cheerleaders began work immediately after school was over. They completed their conditioning by attending a cheerleading camp at Georgia Southern University and came home with numerous trophies. So, you can tell that our facilities have had their usage during the summer months. Now, we are ready for our seasons to begin.”
But Griffin is excited about the upcoming football season and attended the defense camp with the team this past week at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton.
“The camp was a great experience for our football players, coaches, trainer, athletic director and parents that attended,” he said. “Each of us had the opportunity to see how larger, winning programs develop their teams.”
He said the players were put through a rigorous training schedule.
“They were grouped together only when it was team play,” he said. “At other times, they were divided amongst the 1,500-plus players, learning new skills. The practice sessions were timed and on a rotation basis. The guys learned to work from whistle to whistle. In addition to learning new skills, the team gathered at night for film and other team-related discussions.”
Griffin said the players are displaying a new sense of Tiger pride.
“You can visit our weight room four days a week at 6 a.m. and find 70-plus young men lifting weights and other types of conditioning,” he said. “The guys are in groups of six, and they are building personal relationships with their teammates … It is exciting to see a large group stop and chant for a team member who may be having a problem getting the weight bar up. This is developing the camaraderie of a disciplined team.”
He said the team is being led by the example displayed by the new coaching staff.
“The players realize that the coaches are committed to the BI football program,” he said. “However, the players know that the coaches are committed to them as individuals.”