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PREP FOOTBALL: Ross ready to bring career lessons to Model

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Model coach Ricky Ross

Model High School principal Scott Savage (left) and Ricky Ross share a laugh prior to a press conference introducing Ross as the new head coach of the Blue Devils on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, at Model High School. (Jeremy Stewart/RN-T.com)

The coaching path of Ricky Ross has skimmed along the outskirts of Floyd County and Northwest Georgia for several years, but he’s found a place here where he feels he’ll be able to do the most good.

Ross was officially introduced as the new head football coach at Model High School on Wednesday, a day after he was approved by the Floyd County Board of Education.

“I’m extremely thankful and honored to have the situation that I’m in here,” Ross said in a press conference. “I truly believe everything happens for a reason, and I feel right now, at this time, this is exactly what the Lord has planned for us. I’m anxious to get started, and I’m anxious to develop relationships with our young men, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Ross served as the defensive coordinator at Calhoun from 2008-2012, a stretch of five seasons that saw the Yellow Jackets reach the Class AA state championship game each year and win the title in 2011.

He was the head coach at Marion County in Tennessee for two years, taking the Warriors to the state championship game twice, and then was the defensive coordinator at The McCallie School in Chattanooga and Sonoraville in Gordon County for a year each.

Ross said he feels Model is the right program where he can put to use the experiences and skills he’s been able to gain throughout his career so far.

“It’s just a ripe opportunity to go and leave a legacy and do something great,” Ross said. “I’ll be honest, I think, like anybody else, my goal is to be great. Let’s not sugar-coat it, I don’t want to just compete. I want to be great, and that’s our goal.”

The Blue Devils are coming off a 1-9 season and missed the playoffs for the first time in six years. Gordon Powers announced his retirement from coaching in November after heading up Model for 12 seasons.

“We had a little bit of a setback last year, but that happens sometimes,” Model Athletic Director Todd Gilleland said. “We’ve got the kids, and I believe we’ve got the coach to turn it around and have a great season next year.”

Model principal Scott Savage said Ross’s success at other schools is a positive for the team and school.

“As I would describe him to other people, he’s the right coach at the right time to bring Model football forward,” Savage said.