JASPER, Fla. — Hamilton County High School has named Ric Whittington as its new head football coach.
Whittington, a Cross City native and University of Florida graduate, has been a defensive coordinator the past five years, most recently at Williston High School. Before coaching at WHS, he was the defensive coordinator at Bell High School from 2013 to 2015.
Whittington will get his first head coaching opportunity with the Trojans.
“What’s appealing about Hamilton County is that there is so much potential here,” Whittington said. “To be the head coach at Hamilton County is a great honor.”
Whittington is also looking forward to more than just coaching.
“When you’re the head coach at a small 1A high school, you become part of the fabric of the community,” Whittington said. “You have the potential to be a part of the community that has a strong connection to its high school.
“To be able to impact young men both academically and athletically and also be a community leader is an awesome opportunity.”
Whittington played high school football for Dixie County and went on to play collegiately for two years at Wabash College in Indiana. He got into coaching in 2012 as a JV assistant coach at Dixie County High while he was finishing his degree at UF.
HCHS athletic director Mike Cohen spoke highly of Whittington.
“He’s what we need,” Cohen said. “He’s young and he can relate to them. I feel like he is going to get the guys pumped up.”
Whittington, who will also teach PE at HCHS, started the job Monday. He spoke about the importance of multitasking as he begins preparation for spring football.
“Once my feet are on the ground here, I want to get the weight room established,” he said. “The place where I’m going to establish that work ethic culture — where we value the process and we love working hard — is in the weight room.
“Also making sure that we’re on track in the classroom. The No. 1 goal is getting kids prepared for the future after high school. We need to make sure the kids know where they’re at and what they need to do in the classroom — just like football.”