David Humphreys is back coaching football in the Seven Hills.
Twenty years ago, Humphreys saw on the sidelines of Barron Stadium, coaching the Rome High Wolves to double-digit winning seasons.
Now, Humphreys is taking on a new challenge with the defending GAPPS Division-Class AA state champions.
“To me, all you do is focus on today,” Humphreys said. “The whole idea of coaching is if you drive looking in the rear-view mirror, you’re always going to wreck. This is going to be a totally different football team from what they had last year from a personnel standpoint. Anytime you have a changeover like that, there’s going to be growing pains.”
Humphreys was officially hired by Unity Christian School on Friday, July 30. In that time, Humphreys said he has had limited time with the team, but optimism abounds for another successful state run.
“A lot is new to these guys, but I have been impressed in the way they have caught on,” Humphreys said. “Hopefully as we mature and grow, we can expand our schemes.”
Humphreys’ title of head coach is shared with associate head coach Nick Jones. Jones was the lone head coach last season, guiding the Lions to an undefeated season and first state championship in school history.
“He’s a huge resource in everything for us and he’s still a large part of everything we do,” Humphreys said.
Humphreys said in addition to his head coaching duties, he will also oversee offensive coordinator, quarterbacks and linebackers.
“For me, I think it’s a great motivator in that the kids have had success for sure ... that were here last year, but yet I think the one thing you have to always talk about is that it don’t matter about what you did last year, it’s about what you’re doing today,” Humphreys said. “That’s just what we’re focusing on right now is trying to learn the system and get ready for our first game.”
Humphreys has been around many coaching circles, from varsity to the professional level. He has had stops at Rome, Trion, Gordon Central and even the now-defunct Arena Football League’s Georgia Force in 2007.
Humphreys said the biggest lesson he’s taken away from his time coaching so far is evaluating talent and seeing what they can do.
“You have an idea in your mind what you want to do, you’ve got to make sure your team has the ability to do it,” Humphreys said. “For me, it’s been an evaluation process here (at Unity). I believe in very hard-nosed football. That’s one of the calling cards the teams I’ve always coached. We don’t shy from contact. Hopefully these guys will buy into that which they have so far and we’ll become a very physical team and hopefully that will equate to some wins.”
Humphreys said he retired four years ago to enter into the ministry. He is an ordained minister from Calvary Baptist Church and has worked for Rome’s Fellowship for Christian Athletes chapter as the coach’s minister.
“The ministry has been extremely important to me,” Humphreys said. “Even whenever I was a head coach at every school I was at, I have been very open about my faith. What a great mix for me to come here and be able to keep doing ministry work, but then also get to coach the game I love to coach. I just feel like this is exactly where I’m supposed to be, so we’re excited about it.”
Unity Christian opens its title defense season on Friday against the Victory Baptist Warriors at Barron Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.