By: Thomas Touchstone
Chip Walker is the new Head Football Coach of the Newnan Cougar Football Team. Walker Previously coached at Sandy Creek High School, where he had served as the Head Football Coach of the Fighting Patriots since 2005 and amassed a record of 127-26-1.
Looking beyond just the job itself, Coach Walker found many things appealing about NHS, but a few key points really stood out to him.
“The history of the program is obviously huge. The community is big, and that’s one of the things that I’ve found appealing,” he noted. “I feel like this place has a chance to be one of the best jobs in the state of Georgia.”
Walker met with the team as soon as he accepted the job, and he explained how hard work and true dedication were core tenets of his coaching philosophy.
“All the great players have something in common. That’s hard work,” Walker noted.
His coaching philosophy explains how none of the players will have a guaranteed a spot, position or role on the team. Talent comes after hard work and dedication in Coach Walker’s philosophy, and talent shows itself through the work and results of each individual player’s efforts.
Extending his message on the importance of individual accountability, Coach Walker emphasized the role of players in taking a team to the next level.
“Good teams are coach-driven. Great teams are player-driven,” Walker said.
Walker stressed the importance of defense and said that defense is his top priority. He wants to have a strong and physical defense with a solid kicking game.
“We’re going to have a strong defense, a solid kicking game and offense comes last,” Walker noted.
Being the new Head Football Coach in any program requires a lot of close attention to detail in planning, and the first few months are very crucial in setting up the direction of the team. His main goals are to get to know the new players as well as make them bigger and stronger.
“The main goals of high school football are the weight room and nutrition,” he noted.
Aside from getting to know his new players, Walker added that the search for the rest of his staff begins now.
Other than focusing on the football players and building the team, Coach Walker stressed the importance of getting the support of the school and the community as a whole.
“Our job is to make this program and this community what we want it to be, and that’s the best in the state,” he reiterated.
Coach Walker plans to run a 4-3 defensive scheme that embodies what it means to be fast and physical. Offensively, Walker wants to utilize a multiple running back scheme that can be manipulated through play-action passes.
Football runs in the blood of the Walker family, so Coach Chip Walker really is a chip off the ol’ block. His father, Rodney, was an extremely successful Head Football Coach in Georgia and amassed over 300 wins over his entire coaching career.
Sharing not only the relationship between a father and son, Coach Walker and his father share a deep love and respect for the game.
“I lean on my dad a lot. We talk constantly. It would be crazy to not bounce any ideas off of him,” Walker said.
Other than his father, Coach Walker said Tom Bryant, his college football coach, and Dan Pitts, who gave him his first coaching job, are two other people who strongly influenced his life.
Coach Walker has coached for a total of twenty-two years, but Sandy Creek’s 2010 season in particular resonates the strongest within him more so than others.
In 2010, Coach Walker led Sandy Creek to winning a State Championship. With that win, the Coach Walker duo became the first father and son to have each won a football state championship in Georgia.