Former River Ridge coach Tyler Wynn will be back on the sidelines this season after accepting the head football coach and athletic director position at Greenville.
The change will be somewhat of a homecoming for Wynn, who grew up in LaGrange and attenended Troup High School, less than 20 miles from Greenville.
“Getting back and getting closer to home was not something I was necessarily looking for, but the opportunity to get closer to my family and that area is good for me and my family,” Wynn said.
Greenville, a Class A school, will give Wynn a much smaller student pool to work with, but it was also part of what drew him to the job.
During his four seasons with the Knights, he went 9-31, but he said watching the program grow in the state’s second-largest classification was one of the most rewarding aspects of his job.
“It was neat to see some things grow,” he said. “When I got to River Ridge, we just had freshmen and sophomores. It was a family-type atmosphere. That was what drew me to a smaller school. I want to get back to that. I like where It’s about relationships.”
In addition to the relationships he formed in the River Ridge community, Wynn said his career has been impacted by his rival coaches in Cherokee County.
Until last year, Wynn was the least experienced of the county’s six coaches, but he said learning from his more seasoned counterparts will continue to help him at his new school.
“The biggest takeaway for me is the relationships I formed with coaches, players and the community,” Wynn said. “Some of those other coaches are guys I can lean on. I formed some good friendships with (Woodstock) coach (Brent) Budde, (Cherokee) coach (Josh) Shaw and (Sequoyah) coach (James) Teter. Having a relationship with those guys was big for me. They’ve been in it a little bit longer than I have, so they can really help with some things.”
Wynn will have plenty of chances to build new relationships as he oversees every Greenville program as athletic director.
He said becoming an athletic director was always a career goal for him, and he hopes he can use the school’s more successful programs to help turn around a football team that has gone 21-51 since its last winning season in 2011.
“You want to piggyback on some of the programs who have success,” Wynn said. “They have a good basketball program, and the girls team made the semis. I’m going to take that as an opportunity for me to learn from those coaches and try to instill some of those same things with our football program.”
Though it has been a down stretch for the Patriots as of late, the program does have some history.
In 48 seasons they have compiled a 278-209-2 record with 11 region championships and state titles in 1980 and 1984.
“Football is very important in Greenville,” Wynn said. “They’ve had a lot of success in the past. That comes and goes with smaller schools. You get runs of talent, and you get a few years where maybe you’re not as talented. I want to get back to some of the tradition they had and still have. You want to build on that.”
Wynn’s first day at Greenville was Monday.
The change gave him a late start on spring football, but he said he still wants to take his time and make sure he is building his staff the program in the right way.
“We’re getting into this pretty late,” he said. “I’m just trying to soak it in and evaluate everything I can without rushing into it. I want to make sure we have the right staff in place and have the right people in the right spots. I’m not trying to make any decision immediately.”