After five years as a Carver football assistant coach and defensive coordinator,
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Olten Downs has landed his first head coaching position at Riverdale.
The former Shaw and Tennessee State player was hired on Saturday and said he plans to remain at Carver as a teacher through May but will be making frequent trips to Riverdale, Ga., through the spring to meet with players, assemble his staff and implement his weight and conditioning program.
“I’m definitely excited for my first opportunity,” Downs, a 2002 Shaw graduate, said. “As an assistant, I can only make certain recommendations, and the head coaches get to make all the key decisions. I’m excited to be able to try some things my way and put my brand on something.”
Riverdale went 2-8 overall and in Region 4-AAAA last season, and Downs compared the situation there to the one he saw at Carver when he joined its staff.
“I’ve been at Carver for five years and over that time really got to go through a rebuilding phase,” Downs said. “I got to see how things are supposed to be done, and each year my role as an assistant increased. I really feel like I had a hand in how we built things at Carver, and I think I’m going into a similar situation at Riverdale. There are quality players, they just need to be cultivated a little bit.”