After three seasons turning around the Irwin County Indians, Jon Lindsey is ready to take over the Cook High Hornets.
Lindsey accepted the Hornets head coaching position Monday, and was approved by the Cook County school board Monday night.
He says he's looking forward to taking over a program with a football tradition like Cook.
"It's a strong tradition of football. That attracted me," he says. "I want to be in a place where football is important, and it seems to be very important there."
The Hornets have made 14 straight state playoff appearances. Lindsey says he's looking forward to the challenge of continuing that kind of success.
He says his goal with the team is quite simple.
"Obviously, we're going to start every year planning on winning a state championship and that's the ultimate goal," he says.
But he says his job is to bring out the potential of every team.
"The main thing I want to be able to do is just make Cook the best it can be," he says. "Some years you can win a state championship. Some years you can't. I just want to make it each year the best and get the most out of those kids and the program that we can."
Lindsey went 20-13-1 in three seasons in Ocilla.
He took a program that went 3-7 in his first season to the state semifinals in 2013.
"The last three years have been fun," Lindsey says. "We started with the program from the ground up, and just grew it. You could see progress almost daily."
Before he took the head job in Ocilla, he spent six years at Camden County.
He won three state titles as an assistant and defensive coordinator in Kingsland.
He says he brought the Wildcat program to Ocilla, and now he's taking it to Adel.
He plans to continue to run the Wing-T offense, but says he'll always adjust based on personnel.
"We're going to continue to utilize the strengths of the program," he says.
The Cook program is one that has had recent success, but also has had much turnover.
During the 14 year playoff streak, the program has seen seven different head coaches.
Lindsey says, even though some of the changes were circumstantial, it did concern him. However, those concerns eased after speaking with the school board.
"They want somebody there. They want somebody and they're going to stick with them," he says. "I got that, and that was kind of reassuring to me. I think as long as they see progress and see us moving in the right direction, I think it's going to be just fine."
Ultimately, Lindsey says what he brings to the Hornet program is a love of coaching and helping kids better their lives.
"I want to build these young men and make their lives better," he says. "When it's all said and done, the young men that come out of the program will be better people and they'll have some great memories of Hornet football."
Lindsey will lead the Cook program up in classification in 2014, as the Hornets move from AA to AAA.
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