January 23, 2006
Valdosta -- The search is over for Valdosta High.
The nation's winningest high school football team has a new head coach who is no stranger to local fans.
The Valdosta School Board today unanimously voting to approve the hiring Rick Tomberlin as the Wildcats head coach.
Tomberlin comes to Valdosta from Washington County, where he was the winningest coach in the state over the last four seasons.
Tomberlin has 200 career wins, including three state championships with the Golden Hawks.
Before Washington County, Tomberlin coached three seasons at Valdosta's big rival Lowndes High, before being fired after the 1991 season.
Back then, Valdosta was the top football program in the state, winning back to back state titles in 1989 and 1990.
Tomberlin returns to Valdosta at a time where the rival Vikings are coming off consecutive state titles.
The Wildcat faithful know if anyone can return the Valdosta program to championship form it is Rick Tomberlin.
Athletic Director Warren Weekes says the new coach is looking forward to the challenge.
"He's aware of what we're looking for here. He's the type of man that will fit in easily, he and his family. He's aware of the Valdosta tradition, and what we're expecting here. We're not saying he has to win 8 or 9 or 10 games, but I'm confident he's going to come in here and do a good job.
Valdosta Principal Brett Stanton says, "It's something we take very seriously for our community, because the head football coach and director of football operations is a leadership position in our community in Valdosta. Obviously football is very important and sets the tone for the rest of our school year."
There is no time table for when Tomberlin will be able to officially start at Valdosta, but they're hoping for March 1st.
He succeeds Rick Darlington who resigned in November after three seasons.