TIFT CO., GA (WALB) - The Tift County Blue Devils may have a new coach, but Ashley Anders says his familiar voice should make the transition easier.
"I told the guys, the first day, the philosophies are not going to change," said Anders. "It's proven. It works. The kids have bought into that. And, we're just going to continue doing what we've done."
The Blue Devils are coming off a 7-4 season, and earning their first playoff berth in years. Something Anders credits coach John Reid for and wants to keep building on.
"Just coming in and building team unity," said Anders. "You know, core values. Discipline and hard work. You know, those are gonnna carry you through good times and bad."
Anders is a football lifer.
His dad coached and worked with the great Tommy Tuberville.
Then, Andres worked as a grad assistant under Tuberville himself at Auburn.
"Worked for a lot of great coaches, you know," said Anders. "Coach Tuberville who's been at the top level of, NCAA for long years."
Once he graduated, Anders went on to coach at Holmes Community College, Valdosta State, Georgia Southern and then became Defensive Coordinator at Murray State. Eleven of those years he spent with South Georgia great, Chris Hatcher, before joining John Reid's Blue Devil staff in 2013.
"All those guys, at some point, in some way, you know, have mentored me in various part of, not just in maybe being a head coach, but in being a football coach in general."
After learning under so many successful coaches for years, Anders hopes to take bits of what he's learned from each with him into the new job he's long dreamed of.
"You know, you, you look at yourself and go, 'man, that's something that I would like to do,'" said Anders. "And you know, fortunately, right now, I've got the opportunity to do that at a great school, with a bunch of great people. so, I couldn't be more excited."