Four-time state wrestling champion Kenny Hill said, "It's good to be back at home."
The former Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe three-time Georgia champion, who crossed the state line to East Ridge High to win his fourth, said he was already slated to lead the Coahulla Creek wrestling team after one year on the staff. However, he said fate had other plans when new LFO head football coach Bo Campbell and softball coach Tony Ellis planted a seed of hope.
Hill is now preparing for his return as the Warriors' wrestling coach on the mat where he began his coaching career in 2003.
"I'm excited to be back at my alma mater and where it all started," Hill said. "It all happened over the course of about three weeks after running into Coach Campbell. He told me they would like to have me there. I saw Tony Ellis after he was reinstated as the softball coach and he mentioned how great it would be to have me back at LFO. We weren't sure about teaching spots, but I decided to put in an application."
Hill said the move has been "bittersweet."
"It feels good to be coming back to a school where I won three state championships," he said. "The folks at Coahulla Creek and the administration are great people. They've been a lot of fun and I'll miss them."
Hill didn't deny it would be an interesting match facing Heritage where he started the school's wrestling program before resigning in 2012 (???) after winning the Class AAA state championship. He said his main focus was "rebuilding" at LFO and "getting back to a winning tradition."
"We know the first thing we’re going to have to do is start a recreation league," he said. "The kids also say they haven't had a home match in two years. I've already scheduled three matches at home."
Hill said he was fully aware he was starting from the ground up and was prepared for the challenge.
"I welcome the challenge," he said. "I started the new program at Heritage so I know about building a program. There’s already some good high school wrestlers coming back this year. We just have to start working on the middle school program."
Hill said he knew winning would take time again at LFO and there would be no "quick fixes."
"It’s going to take more than one year," he said. "It’s going to take work and I’m happy to get to do that."
Hill said he already had 15 matches on the schedule by December.
"I think we can get them going and get back on the board," he said. "We'll get them going in the right direction.