New coach deserves our support

Published 11:29 am Friday, April 29, 2011

When the Greenville Tigers kick off their 2011 season there will be a new, but familiar face roaming the sidelines.

Thursday night the Butler County Board of Education approved the hiring of Earnest Hill as head football coach. Hill will replace Ben Blackmon who resigned as the school’s athletics director and head football coach in March to become head coach at Gulf Shores.

Hill, who has spent the last four seasons at Spanish Fort as an assistant coach, is no stranger to Greenville. He spent the 2006 season in the Camellia City as part of Bryant Vincent’s staff.

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He’ll have some big shoes to fill in his return to Greenville.

In four seasons, Blackmon was 31-14 and led the Tigers to their first regional title since 1997. His 2009 squad finished the regular season unbeaten and gave our community plenty to be proud of not only on the field, but off the field as well.

He set the bar high.

It remains to be seen if Hill will have the success on the gridiron that Blackmon had during his tenure at Greenville, but one thing is certain. He needs the support of the community in order to be a success as the Tigers’ head coach.

Another region title, or even a state championship, would certainly be nice, but we believe that Hill should be judged on more than simply wins and losses.

When Blackmon announced he was leaving, Greenville principal Brad Cook said we needed to find someone with “good character that can help our program out.”

Cook and the school board obviously feel like they have found that man in Hill.

As with any hire, we know there were other candidates that were qualified and could have stepped in and done an outstanding job. But as of Thursday, Hill is our coach and we believe the community should throw its support behind him because by doing so, we are throwing our support behind the young men that make up the team and are a vital part of our community.

We’d like to welcome Hill back to Greenville and wish him and his team all the best during the 2011 season, and we look forward to seeing all of you in the stands cheering on the Tigers on Friday nights this fall.