Feb 01, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Almost from the moment Tim Green received the news that he was the new varsity football coach at Skaneateles High School, the work to transform the struggling Laker program into a winner had begun.
Green said that much of the first week since his hiring has been spent on the phone, talking to all kinds of interested parties about the challenges ahead.
“It’s all been about football,” he said. “But it’s been positive, and I’m enthusiastic about the kids and the school.”
Simply by hiring Green, who starred at both Syracuse University and in the National Football League before a successful post-football career as an author, television host and attorney, Skaneateles football has increased notoriety. Whether the wins will follow will remain unknown until the fall.
But Green is not a stranger to Skaneateles, nor to high school coaching. For six years, he worked alongside Dick Campbell in resurrecting the high school’s wrestling program, and participation remains high.
From that, said Green, he gained the desire to be a head coach, which is why he sought the Skaneateles job following John King’s departure at the end of the 2009 season.
“(I thought that) doing this would be highly rewarding – a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun,” he said.
From his time in football, where he helped both SU and the Atlanta Falcons turn around from years of struggle, Green said he learned that the key to success is to surround himself with both good coaches and good players.
For now, Green is still putting his coaching staff together. Soon enough, the task will turn to finding players. Green said getting these two groups together are among the biggest hurdles he faces as he starts his new job.
It’s not, Green said, that the area lacks talent, as evidenced by the success enjoyed by Laker teams in sports like lacrosse, ice hockey, soccer and track.
“Skaneateles has exceptional athletes,” he said. “It’s just a matter of putting them all together, and it will be a huge challenge.”
What does help, Green said, is the recent installation of an all-weather artificial turf field at the high school, so players can, if they want to, practice year-round. And Green said he wants to implement a spread offense, a better fit on a turf field than on grass.
Green said he has received tremendous support from the Skaneateles community, but added that he knows it won’t last if the Lakers’ struggles continue under his watch.
“I know that (long-term) support will come with winning,” he said. “And that’s what should happen. In sports, it’s not hard to figure out if you’re good or not. (With a won/loss record), no one will be able to guess.”