Ed Redmond traveled eight hours to meet his new team of high school football players on Friday.
Redmond, who has spent the last 30 years coaching high school and college football, was introduced Friday morning as the new head coach at Western Albemarle.
"Our goal is to have other schools and programs look at Western and say, "I want to be like them. I want to be like them,"" Redmond said Friday. "So first of all, we're going to really carry ourselves with class."
Redmond's coaching career includes 20 years as a head coach at Candor, Lansing, and Ithaca high schools in New York. He also spent time as an offensive assistant at SUNY Cortland.
Redmond said Friday that his family became familiar with central Virginia when his son worked on the strength and conditioning staff for the UVa football team two years ago. That's why the job at Western Albemarle caught his attention.
He's already started reviewing film of his new team.
"From what I see, the cupboard's not bare. There are athletes here, and they play hard," he said. "They play hard right to the end. And that's impressive. When kids will commit four quarters and play hard to the end, that's impressive. And that's what I'm looking forward to working with, because that's what I'm about."
Redmond takes over for Ed Pierce, who stepped down in early January after winning 33 games in five seasons as the Warriors's head coach. Pierce also led the program to three consecutive Region II playoff appearances, and Redmond said Friday that one of his goals was to take the next step as a program into state title contention.
"I've been talking to some of my teammates, and we're really excited," rising junior Nicholas Drapanas said Friday. "I mean, Coach Pierce was awesome, but it's kind of cool to have a little change in the gameplan. He feels pretty confident that we'll get into the playoffs, and he even said maybe a state title. So that would be awesome."
"That's what we've been trying to do for the past, well I've been here for the past four years," said rising senior Tommy Mullin. "We're ready to settle down. We're ready to get all of our guys getting ready for the football season, because it's been a long offseason."