Northside High athletic director Morgan Ingram took over as head coach of the school's football team on Monday less than a month after Paul Cates stepped down from the position.
Cates, who resigned for personal reasons in mid-December citing personal reasons after five seasons at the helm, will continue to teach at Northside and will remain on the football staff in an unspecified capacity.
Ingram, who will retain his post as athletic director in addition to his coaching duties, said that there were ongoing discussions over the past few weeks about how to approach the coaching vacancy, but that it was ultimately decided that the best course of action was for him to take over the program.
"We had a lot of discussions," Ingram said. "It was just decided that, because of my experience in the county, I would go ahead and take over."
Ingram spent time as an assistant with Cates at Columbus High and two seasons as a head coach at Hardaway in 2006-07. In two seasons, he compiled a 10-10 record before joining Cates at Northside as athletic director.
The new coach said that he met with the team on Monday, when it also conducted its first offseason workout.
Most of the players are familiar with Ingram because of the work he's done with the football team over his five years at the school, so the transition won't be too dramatic. He added, however, that all coaches have different methods, indicating that certain things would change under him.
"Although, we have a lot of the same ideas and methods, we do have some things that are different," he said of himself and Cates.
He noted the team's physicality as a main area of focus going forward.
"We're going to work on becoming more physical and hard-nosed," he said. "The weight room is going to take a real precedence. It all starts there. The weight room breeds confidence and, through confidence, hopefully we can improve our overall morale.
"Hopefully a new voice can create some motivation and we can develop some football players."
Ingram said he's excited to be back in a larger role with a football team as well as the opportunity to help the team improve its standing in a difficult region.
"We're in a tough region," he said. "That's not an excuse. It's an opportunity. We have to do better. That's my goal."
Northside finished 2-7-1 in 2012. Overall, Cates was 19-31-1 in five seasons as the Patriots coach, including a lone trip to the state playoffs in 2009.