By David Thackham, FNF Coaches Correspondent
Coaching Profile: Welton Coffey
Team: Camden County
Welton Coffey is all about team unity in his Camden County football program. That’s why the play he drew up on the whiteboard for his team following a 5-5 season in 2014 was so important. Gathering his Wildcats together, Coffey cleared the air to talk about how his players could stomp out selfish play, build together as teammates and repair relationships from a down season.
“It was a big circle with a slash in the middle,” said Coffey. “It was about eliminating things, getting rid of the elephant in the room. You can’t think about yourself, that stuff infiltrates the locker room. It takes time, but they identified it. Nobody likes 5-5, that grabbed their attention enough…If you get the right kids to buy in, then everyone else starts falling in that direction.”
With Coffey’s metaphorical reminder on the wall, Camden County rebounded to earn a 10-2 record, reaching the second round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs for the second time in Coffey’s three seasons as Wildcats head coach.
Continuing to buck the trend of spread offenses, Camden County’s Wing-T accounted for 250 yards of offense per game and 49 touchdowns. Coffey’s team lost only to eventual state champions Colquitt County in the regular season, and state runners-up Roswell in the playoffs.
Keeping egos in check, Coffey said, was crucial to maintaining a team-first mindset. Or, as he puts it: ”Don’t complain, get the freaking job done,” said Coffey. “That’s a wonderful thing.”
Bolstered by an emotional win over region rival Valdosta, in a game that featured heavy rain, Coffey said his team reached a turning point and developed a “yeoman’s attitude” to getting the job done as a unit. And with his team back on the same page for 2016, Coffey said the conversation can revert back to bringing state championships back to Kingsland.
The Wildcats won three state titles from under longtime coach Jeff Herron, giving the community high expectations.
“It was more or less, ‘Here we go, let’s get back on track,’” said Coffey. “That’s been the talk going into the offseason, that’s the goal. Why are you doing this if that’s not what you want? That’s not arrogance. Why do you have these camps at 110 degrees and get up at 6 a.m. each morning. You have to make a decision to play hard.”