Jarrett Troxler made his presence known at Greenbrier High School Wednesday afternoon.
After being introduced as the new head football coach by principal Chris Segraves, Troxler spent the next 20 minutes in front of a group of close to 80 students in the school cafeteria expounding on a number of topics. Key among them was culture change.
Coming from a Lakeside program that advanced to the state playoffs the past three seasons, Troxler will have the challenge of turning around a winless Wolfpack squad from 2013.
Wolfpack running back Jamal Richard thought Troxler was a good fit for what the team needs.
“Culture change is very big,” said Richard. “We’re a team that went 0-10 last year. A lot of us want change, a lot of our parents want change. They want to see us succeed, that’s what we live for everyday is to succeed in life and just be good and be great.”
While he was sad to see former coach Kevin Hunt leave, strong safety Alex Pugh was happy that Troxler was taking over the program.
“I feel like it’s a good move and we’re going in the right direction,” Pugh said.
Saying he believes the team has to talent to win right away, Troxler set out four goals for 2014.
“Win everyday - you ain’t going nowhere if you’re not a champion every single day,” said Troxler. “Next goal is to win the county championship; No. 3 get in the state playoffs and No. 4 win the state championship.”
While Troxler called Greenbrier when the job became vacant in late February, deciding to leave Lakeside was not easy.
“It was one of the hardest decisions of my life and the hardest decision of my career,” said Troxler. “I loved those people, I loved those kids, I loved those parents, I loved those administrators, I loved those teachers at Lakeside. It’s tough right now, but time will heal that. Everyone will move on, they’ll get a new football coach over there to do great things, inheriting an unbelievable junior class.”
It was a tough morning for the Lakeside players and Troxler when he met with them Wednesday and told them of his decision.
“We are hurt by it,” wrote rising senior and heavily recruited Panthers strong safety Rashad Roundtree in a Twitter message. “We wish him the best but we have to move on and still have a season to play. Have to finish what WE started here.”
Lakeside principal Dr. Steven Rhodes said he expects a selection panel comprised of administrators, teachers, and booster club parents will have a recommendation for a new coach ready for the next school board meeting on April 22. He enjoyed his time with Troxler.
“He and I have had a tremendously positive working relationship during his tenure as head coach and I understand and support his need to seek out a new challenge and to be closer to his family,” said Rhodes.
As well as accepting the challenge of changing the football culture at Greenbrier, it was family that played a key role in Troxler seeking out the coaching position at Greenbrier. Working at the high school near his house was a big plus.
“I don’t see my family a lot as it is during football season,” said Troxler. “If I can steal 10 minutes just to run over to the house and see my kids, it’s worth it.”