Glenwood introduced its new football coach on Thursday, and it was a familiar face for the Gators.
Tripp Henderson, who served as Glenwood’s head coach in 2006-07, will return to a position in which he compiled an 18-5 record and a semifinals appearance over the course of two seasons. He is taking the place of Jason Allen, who held the position for three years and compiled a 21-15 record with an appearance in the 2011 AISA state title game.
Allen announced last week that he had accepted a head coach and athletic director position at Chambers Academy in LaFayette, Ala. Henderson said it was just the right time for him to return to a school that he enjoyed so much in the past.
“I’ve wanted to come back here for awhile,” he said. “It’s a really special place to me, and I have a lot of good memories here. It’s just where I belong, there’s no doubt about that. You might think I’m crazy, but looking at the past year with doors that were opened and closed, I can just look back and see God’s fingerprints all over this.”
When the position opened, Henderson said he met with Glenwood athletic director Tim Fanning to discuss the position. Headmaster Frankie Mitchum said that the school had 17 applicants for the position of which eight were interviewed. After two weeks of interviews, Mitchum and Fanning agreed Henderson was the best option for the program.
Henderson left Glenwood after the 2007 season to coach at B.B. Comer High in Sylacauga, Ala., where he spent two seasons, and then coached at Russell County from 2010-11. In two seasons with the Warriors, he compiled a 5-15 record. Last year, he was a coach at Phenix City Intermediate School.
He takes over a program that played for an AISA state title just two seasons ago and made a brief playoff appearance in 2012.
Despite the success, the program is losing a host of senior talent, but Henderson said that was one of the things that made the job so attractive.
“The thing I’m most excited about is the program is going to be young this year,” he said. “There are a lot of young kids. They lost a large class of seniors last year, and that might dishearten some people, but I look at it as a chance to mold this guys into what I want them to be. I know there are going to be some bumps in the road, but I look forward to what we do down the road.”
Henderson stressed his appreciation to his previous employers.
“I want to say thanks to Phenix City Public Schools,” he said. “They’ve done a lot for me over the past year, and I really appreciate that.”
Henderson’s job began right away on Thursday as he met with current and potential players in the gym following his introduction.
David Mitchell, 706-571-8571; Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports.