VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Valdosta didn't have to go far to get their new head football coach.
After five seasons as the Wildcats' defensive coordinator, Alan Rodemaker has been named the program's new head football coach.
"It's the biggest challenge I think I could put in my life, taking over this program that has such a storied history," Rodemaker told WALB over the phone Monday evening.
Rodemaker was unanimously approved by the Valdosta Board of Education Monday evening. He served as a head coach at Peach County in 1999 and 2000, putting together a 15-8 record with two state playoff appearances.
"Our expectations here are to the moon," he says. "They're no different in our coaching office than they are on Patterson St."
He'll take over for Rance Gillespie, who resigned in January to take a co-offensive coordinator position at Georgia Southern.
He says priority number one is putting together a staff. Rodemaker says most of the current staff is staying on board, but he'd like to add a "few difference makers."
Rodemaker has called the defensive plays for the last five seasons, but says he's not sure if he'll continue with that responsibility.
"That's still up in the air, but I'd rather not," he admits. "I'd rather be the overseer of the entire program. With what you're asked to do in the community and everything, I think I'd be better suited finding a good offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator. They may be on our staff now."
He does say the Wildcats won't look exactly the same when they have the ball. Over the last few years, Valdosta has run a spread passing attack.
"We're going to look a little bit different. I just don't think there's a Rance Gillespie I can hire out there to be an offensive coordinator," he jokes. "We're going to dumb it down just a little bit on both sides of the ball, and really just try to play a physical brand of football."