(WTVM) - Several new coaches take over high school programs in hopes of taking them to the next level this fall.
Chris Kirksey's got a tough task ahead of him. He's replacing Mike Swaney at Marion County. Swaney retired this year after a 65-10 record and a state title.
It's not an easy act to follow, but Kirksey knows what to expect this year. So what's the hardest thing about replacing a guy like Swaney?
"The pressure of following coach Swaney as successful as he has been and all those seniors as I've said so many times. Replacing a lot of great football players, but I think we're finding some leaders in some of these juniors and upcoming sophomores," Kirksey said. "It is a great deal of pressure, but somebody's got to do it and I'm chomping at the bit to do it."
Back in Columbus, Jordan High School looks for its first winning season since 1993. New coach Justin Newman thinks it can happen, and has set the bar high for his boys.
"I expect them to try to contend for a region championship and they need to get on board with that," Newman said. "Settling for less... there's no reason to settle because you guys can do anything and that's in any part of their lives."
Hardaway's going with an alum to lead them. Michael Woolridge was a Hawk in the late 90's, and he's drawing inspiration from his former coach, Dwight Jones.
"…we had the discipline and I think that's something we've been lacking around here is discipline," Woolridge said.
All three coaches are trying to make their mark, and 20-16 is just the first step.
Plenty other new faces we'll see on Fridays in the fall are Buster Connelly at Pacelli, Darren Alford at Schley County, Clinton Lawrence at Stewart County, and Kirk Hoffman at Flint River.