The Blue Ridge School has found its replacement for departing football coach Orlando Patterson.
Blue Ridge announced Wednesday morning that Tim Thomas had been named new head coach of the Barons. Thomas was an assistant on the Baron's 2012 VISAA Division II state title team.
"It's a great, great setting, I love the location. And you can't beat the educational experience for the kids. It's a really good fit," Thomas explained Wednesday.
Thomas spent last season as an assistant under Mike Alley at Albemarle and three seasons on the Blue Ridge sideline prior to that, his second stint with the Barons. He's also seen time on the William Monroe coaching staff.
"I'm big on character, doing the right thing, making good choices, hard work," Thomas said of his coaching philosophy. "I just want to be around for the players, let them know I'm here for them. Mutual respect. The priorities are always faith, family, their future and football comes last. The x's and o's come last."
Thomas takes over for Patterson, who stepped down after three seasons to return to his native Massachusetts. Patterson led Blue Ridge to a pair of playoff appearances in his tenure, including that state championship in 2012.
Thomas will face many of the same challenges Patterson faced, with a short amount of practice time to work with his new players prior to the season.
"Our theme here is going to be work hard, play hard. We're going to work hard every day and be in shape," Thomas explained. "Something we can be successful at with the limited amount of time we have to practice. Most of our guys will be playing both ways because of our numbers. So it's about getting them in shape and getting them to buy in to the program and hopefully rebuild upon some of the success we've had in the past."