By Jesse Lamar
LYNN - The Lynn Bears named their
newest head football coach this past week when they announced the hire
of Calvin Aldridge. He brings a lot of experience to the table as
he’s been coaching football for 25 years, including 21 years as a
head coach in Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.
Aldridge is taking over a program that has went
4-15 in the past two seasons. The Bears are just three years removed
from a nine-year stretch of success that included seven winning seasons
and a state quarterfinal appearance in 2011 under former head coach
Philip Smith, who left the program to coach at Curry High School. Smith
led the team to a 67-35 mark as the head coach.
In his most recent coaching job, Aldridge was the
defensive coordinator at Marion County High School. The Red Raiders,
who beat the Bears 55-8, went 5-5 in the regular season, but after
catching their groove late in the season finished the season in the
Class 1A state semifinals.
Starting his career in a school much like Lynn,
Aldridge had his first head coaching job at Vina High School in 1989.
In his four years in the program, he led the team to three playoff
appearances. He later moved to Mount Hope to take over that head
coaching position. Aldridge then moved to Georgia where he led
Washington-Wilkes High School to the AA state championship in 1995. He
also coached Greene County and Marion County (Georgia) High Schools,
leading both teams to postseason play. In Tennessee, Aldridge started a
football program at Perry County High School. He also served as the
head coach in Mississippi at Class 6A Southaven High School for seven
years. In his most recent stint as a head coach, Aldridge led the
Okolana Chieftains to a 29-23 record over a four-year stretch. He led
the team to the playoffs three out of his four seasons, making
quarterfinals once and the semifinals the second.
“He’s done a little bit of everything.
He came to us highly recommended by people on numerous coaching
staffs,” Lynn principal Todd Tittle said. “We felt like
this was a crucial hire. We’ve had a tough time and we felt like
we had to have somebody who knew what it took at a school our
Aldridge is eager to get into the program and
begin his offseason workouts with the team in preparation for the
coming spring training. “We’re just taking it from this day
forward. We’re going to start working hard in the weight room and
try to get stronger. Also we’re going to try and work on some
agilities and basics,” he said. When asked about his game plan
for the Bears he answered back with a well-minded statement. “Our
offense will be well installed, we’re going to take control of
the football and work on clock management. Our defensive plan is to use
the entire field and stop people from reading out. Win the turnover
ratio and give ourselves the opportunity for success,” the
veteran coach said.
The Bears will begin their spring training at the
end of the Bears baseball season. No schedule has been released.