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Huffman brings wisdom, energy to Loyd Star football

Randall Huffman has a wealth of football coaching experience andlots of energy. He plans to use both assets in his new position ofLoyd Star’s head football coach.

“I’m glad to be at Loyd Star,” said Huffman, 58, a Hazlehurstnative. “I look forward to working with the people and getting thejob done.”

Huffman inherits a 2009 state playoff team that finished 10-2 underformer head coach Ryan Ross. In April, Ross accepted the positionof offensive coordinator at Brookhaven. Ross coached at Loyd Starthree years, compiling a 17-15 worksheet.

Loyd Star athletic director Billy Vaughn said he was happy to havea coach of Huffman’s experience on staff. “We are glad to havecoach Huffman with us. He has been successful, wherever he’s been.We are fortunate to get a coach of his caliber.”

Huffman comes to Loyd Star from South Pike where he coached 10years. His Eagles made the state playoffs every season, either atthe Class 4A or 3A level. His 2005 squad was South State 3Arunner-up to state champion Hazlehurst.

Asked about his coaching philosophy, Huffman said, “It’ssimple…win as many games as you can and make sure all your kidsgraduate.”

Huffman continued. “It all starts with defense and your kickinggame. The offense will take care of itself.”

He was able to work with his new team a few days during springpractice. When Ross departed, assistant coaches Josh Thibodeaux,Bruce Brady and Jared Britt directed the spring drills.

“My assistant coaches have done a good job with the changeover,”said Huffman. “We will have to coach everything. I want all of mycoaches involved.”

A defensive minded coach, Huffman served five years as defensivecoordinator at Brookhaven on Greg Wall’s staff. He also coachedboys and girls track at BHS. He was head coach at Hazlehurst for 10years.

“I enjoy coaching,” said Huffman. “I don’t know about this region(6-2A) but I do know you have to play hard every Friday night. Ittakes 11 people to play.”

Huffman said he has been encouraged by the community support andinterest in the football program. “We are having a pretty goodturnout,” for 6 a.m. offseason workouts on Monday, Tuesday andThursday. “They are coming off a good year and that helps,too.”

Huffman’s Hornets face a tough 2010 opener, playing the FranklinCounty Bulldogs Aug. 20, at Meadville. They begin preseasonpractice July 26.

A 1969 Hazlehurst graduate, Huffman played football and competed inthe pole vault at Delta State University. He played quarterbackuntil a recurring shoulder injury changed his focus to track.

He was an All-Gulf South Conference pole vaulter and Delta State’sMVP in 1974. He graduated with a degree in physicaleducation.

Huffman and his wife Tammie live near Hazlehurst. They are theparents of two grown children, LaRanda and Jason. They have twogranddaughters.