Gilmer County Football finds its man | News, Sports, Jobs

Gilmer County assistant coach Tommy Hamric was confirmed as the Titans' new head coach on Monday night. (Photo provided)

GLENVILLE – The Gilmer County High School football program will compete in the “new look” Class A field with a first-year head coach.

On Monday evening, the Gilmer County Board of Education appointed 1999 Titan graduate Tommy Hamric to lead the program.

“Absolutely,” Hamric said he looks forward to taking the helm of his alma mater. “We did some flexible training, about 10 days. We were in the weight room and on the field doing conditioning, just me and a couple of other assistant coaches that were on the team last year. Even though we didn't have a head coach then, we had to get the ball rolling and get to work.”

A year ago, the Titans finished 6-4 under then-coach Ben Hall, but narrowly missed the postseason in the Single-A league. Hamric, Larry Gwinn, Austin Ratliff and James Huffman were assistant coaches in 2023.

“Larry has worked with the O-Line and the D-Line. I recommend him as my replacement.” Hamric said Gwinn will hopefully be one of his two paid assistant coaches. “I've been a paid assistant for the last six years. He will continue to be the O-line coach and offensive coordinator.”

“The other assistant coach (Ratliff), when he comes back, will be the defensive coordinator. If not, I already have someone else in mind who could step up. He wants to, but right now he's not sure if he's able to. I'm just trying it out.”

Hamric, who played baseball and football in Gilmer County before attending Glenville State University for two years, works as a compressor station operator for Eastern Gas Transmission and Storage.

“I won’t miss football for my job,” admitted Hamric, who served as co-offensive coordinator and coached the quarterbacks, running backs and defensive backs in 2023.

“I'm going to take some time off on game nights and away games. They're going to work with me. We're going to get it done. Me and Coach Gwinn are going to work well together on the offensive play-calling. Getting the ball and moving it down the field.”

The new GCHS head coach noted, “We're going to play a little more spread offense again. We're going to continue with the Stick-I. We're going to be very versatile offensively and defensively. Before week one, we'll figure out what works best for us and go with that and add a few tricks to keep the other teams guessing.”

“I plan on Larry being the offensive coordinator and me helping out on both offense and defense. I'll also have a defensive coordinator, either Austin Ratliff or someone else, but I'll give my assistants a little bit more of a role. They'll work the most with their area of ​​expertise when we do one-on-one drills and stuff like that.

“I will continue to be a DB coach and a running back, quarterback and probably a receiver coach.”

Hamric said he started playing spring ball in his first baseball season, but the head coach left Glenville State and he eventually had to find a new job.

Despite some loss of graduates, Hamric has high hopes for the program.

“We will be a young team this year. We have some older students returning,” admitted Hamric, who said the Titans fielded 22 players in their last game last fall. “We have three good running backs, returning receivers and a good senior O-lineman returning.”

“All four of them have played big roles on offense and defense and that's what we expect from them this year. We've got a good group of freshmen coming in. We've got some big guys coming up from eighth grade. I think with those guys and the ones we got back, we're going to be pretty solid and that's going to improve our passing and running game.”

Gilmer County has struggled with numbers issues over the years, and this season will likely be similar.

“I hope we can get to 25. That would be ideal,” Hamric said, “Of course, we've always had trouble getting numbers in Gilmer County. We're in the 16-20 range.

“Hopefully we'll get to 25. I've been in touch with some kids this morning and I'm hoping we'll have a good turnout on Monday when we start helmet fitting and so on next week.”

Gilmer County opens its season on Friday, August 30th at 7 p.m. against Calhoun County in Mt. Zion.

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