GHSF Daily asked Georgia head coaches to answer these four questions. We’ll report from a different head coach each day.
Rob Ridings, Thomson
1. Who is/was the most influential person in your coaching career? “Boots Donnelly, my head football coach at Middle Tennessee from 1979 to 1982. Coach Donnelly taught us to be mentally and physically tough, to play as a team and never, ever give up.”
2. Who is the best Georgia player you ever faced? “Rodney Hudson, our quarterback at LaGrange High School from 1989 to 1991. Faced him every day in practice. He was the most talented quarterback I have seen in my 30 years of coaching. He always had a smile on his face, great attitude, and he challenged our defense every day to improve. We won the AAAA state championship at LaGrange with Rodney Hudson as our leader and also were named USA Today national champions in 1991.”
3. What is the best team you ever faced as a coach? “The Valdosta Wildcats in 1991 at Callaway Stadium in LaGrange in the quarterfinals. Both teams were evenly matched. It was a cold night in LaGrange and an overflowing crowd, which produced a great atmosphere. We won the game 6-0 and had to make a final goal-line stand.”
4. If you were Gary Phillips, the new head of the GHSA, what would be the first rule that you would try to change? “I would like for the GHSA to bring back the spring scrimmage game after the 10 days of spring practice and also allow more flexibility in the summer to work with other schools in helmets and shoulder pads.”
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