You’ve got to give it to Ed Redmond. Western Albemarle’s new head football coach does his research.
At his introductory press conference Friday, Redmond knew exactly who he was talking to when he met three key players from the Warriors’ squad — sophomore quarterback Kent Henry, sophomore wideout/running back Nic Drapanas and linebacker/offensive lineman Tommy Mullin. He also knew that the trio that doubles as lacrosse players had picked up a win yesterday on the road against E.C. Glass in Lynchburg.
It’s safe to say Redmond has already thrown himself into his new role as the Warriors’ head coach.
“From what I’ve seen, the cupboard is not bare,” Redmond said. “There are athletes here and they play hard and to the end. That’s impressive…that’s what I’m about.”
Redmond accepted the position a few days ago and was introduced to the public Friday morning, making it official that the Ithaca High (N.Y.) coach who’s been in the profession since 1982 will take over at Western for Ed Pierce. Pierce stepped away during the offseason after three-straight playoff appearances in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Redmond brings a wealth of coaching experience to the role. He went 496-112 as the head baseball coach at Lansing High in New York for 24 years. During that span he took over as the head football coach and in 14 years at the helm, he went 101-31-2. In 2008, he headed back to Ithaca, his alma mater, as athletic director and football coach. Redmond took over a program that had won just twice in nine years, turning things around with a 6-3 record in his second season in charge. Ithaca managed six wins over the last two years as the program continued to try and turnaround nearly a decade of frustrating results.
“The move to Ithaca was more pride — I wanted to see if I could get that program that I played for back in the 70s to state championships,” Redmond said. “And I think we took some steps but football is a really hard game to turnaround.”
Since Redmond already held the top spot at his alma mater, Western had to be a pretty attractive job and situation to pull Redmond south. It was exactly that. He’d fallen in love with the area while visiting his son who was formerly a part of UVa coach Mike London’s strength and conditioning staff.
“It was the area first of all that drew us.” Redmond said. “Then when I got down here and met (Western principal) Dave (Francis) and (athletic director) Steve (Heon) I was like ‘this is something special’.”
He also liked a lot of what he saw from watching tape of Western Albemarle’s 2011 season. The Warriors have established a unique, quick-strike spread attack that’s given the squad an identity and made them an awfully tough matchup for a lot of teams. Don’t expect much to change on that side of the ball.
“I think it’d be crazy to come in here and get in a two-back set and run the ball,” Redmond said. “But I think sometimes when you’re a spread team it’s like you score we score—that trade-off game. At some point to be successful you’ve got to make a stop. Even though offensively they’re explosive I think at some point we’ve got to make those stops.”
That made Henry, the incumbent starter at quarterback who is coming off a season where he piled up nearly 3,000 all-purpose yards, and a number of other Western players happy.
“That’s great to hear,” Henry said. “It’s always good to hear that we’re going to be running some of the same style that we’ve been running for years.”
According to pressconnects.com, Ithaca’s superintendent Luvelle Brown knew of Redmond’s interest in Central Virginia for a while. Brown, a Western product and former administrator with the Albemarle County School system, became Ithaca’s superintendent in November of 2010.
Brown approved Redmond’s resignation a few meetings ago according to pressconnects.com.
Now Redmond takes over for the Warriors and he was quick to be let his expectations for the program be known
“We’re going to be good, I’ll promise you that,” Redmond said. “We’re going to play hard and play with passion. Those are just things that are in my blood.”