A quick glance at his office provides some insight into what makes Bruce Lane tick.
Augusta Christian's new athletic director Bruce Lane works with team members during practice.
08/16/02 Jim Blaylock NEWS-TIMES
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The first-year head football coach and athletic director at Augusta Christian Schools has selected a decor rich in pigskin. Photos of famous coaches and players adorn the walls, along with plaques Lane accumulated during his previous high school coaching jobs.
Also, a display of commemorative football helmets are a definite eye-catcher.
But closer inspection shows there is more than meets the eye.
Clustered on Lane's desk are motivational sayings, many of a religious nature.
"Charles Barkley said it's not a player's or coach's responsibility to be a role model. I disagree," Lane says. "I think being a role model is a serious part of coaching, a part of developing athletes and teaching them life skills."
Being a role model leaves Lane no time for hobbies - the big three are all that matter: in order, they are God, family, and athletics.
Faith is enough of a focal point that Lane and his wife Chris named their son Christian.
Football doesn't take a back seat, though.
"Winning is very important," Lane said. "That's why they have scoreboards. Is that the focus? I want to win on Friday nights, but I want to see kids improve and learn to cope with adversity."
Lane graduated from John Milledge Academy, where he was a defensive end and kicker in football. He kicked for the Maryville College squad as a freshman, and later graduated from Georgia College in Milledgeville.
Career goals included being a head high school football coach before he was 30, and at age 26, he was hired as head coach at Monroe Academy.
Following a three-year stint at Georgia Military Prep School, Lane became head coach at his alma matter, where in five seasons he led John Milledge Academy to two region titles and an overall record of 42-18. The past two seasons, he helped rebuild a faltering football program at Southland Academy in Americus, Ga.
While he was at John Milledge, Lane coached against Augusta Christian several times, and he viewed AC as a team on the rise.
"It was program in its developmental stages, with a firm foundation based on work ethic in the weight room and a team concept," Lane said. "That foundation has brought Augusta Christian from being one of the weaker programs in the state to one of the better ones."
Athletic director Mike Gold and head football coach Steve Price were largely responsible for making Augusta Christian's program successful. But after a tumultuous school year, two of the men most closely identified with AC athletics have moved on.
The departures of Gold and Price were controversial, but Lane doesn't see that as a stain on Augusta Christian.
"I'm not privy to the reasons why those gentlemen left, but I don't think it's any accident I'm here," he said. "Everything happens for a reason. The main thing is there is a lot of tradition here, and I'd like to build on that and make tradition important."
A new tradition begins this Friday at 7:30 p.m., as the 40-year-old Lane makes his AC football debut when the Lions take on Briarwood Academy at Pride Valley.
And the quest for excellence will extend well beyond the gridiron.
"Football is very important to me, obviously - that's the way I've made my living over the years," Lane said. "But as athletic director, sometimes you have to step back and put football in perspective, that it's a piece of the puzzle for the overall athletic program.
"As a football coach, I want football to be very successful. As the athletic director, I want all of our sports to be successful. We want to be very fair to all of our athletes, and we want to give them the very best coaching, the very best facilities and equipment that they need, because that sport is as important to them as football is to our football players."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.