Enterprise High School recently hired a number of new football assistants in former Elba star Harry Griffin, Brad Fortney, Keaton Wilson and Tyler Addison.
On the defensive side, Griffin will be coaching the defensive line for EHS, while Addison and Fortney will be coaching the linebackers. On the offensive side, Wilson will replace former offensive coordinator Shane Corley at that position.
Griffin was an all-state offensive lineman at Elba, where he was a part of the 2011 undefeated state champion Elba Tigers. He was also Elba’s field goal kicker as a junior and senior.
Griffin went on to play college football at The College of St. Scholastica in Minnesota. He was a three-year starter at Scholastica and even scored a touchdown on the goal line as a senior.
After graduating from Scholastica, Griffin went on to coach there as a graduate assistant and then as the defensive line coach.
“Someone recommended him to us and then (defensive coordinator) Jed (Kennedy) talked to him and he came down and we interviewed him,” Kennedy said. “I really thought he would be a good fit here.”
Fortney was a starting middle linebacker at Carthage College in Wisconsin. The Illinois native was an all-conference linebacker in high school before becoming an All-CCIW linebacker at Carthage. Following college, Fortney went on to serve as linebackers coach and girls track coach at Bradford High School in Wisconsin. Fortney will coach inside linebackers and will also coach the girls track team at EHS, as well.
Joining Fortney with the linebackers will be Tyler Addison, who will coach the outside linebackers.
Addison is a former head coach at Cottondale High School in Florida – where he led his team to two playoff berths – and spent last season on the defensive quality control staff for the University of North Alabama.
Wilson spent the last four years coaching the offensive line at Jefferson County High School in Georgia, which runs Enterprise’s “single wing” offense.
“I’ve known Keaton for close to 10 years and he was running our system over there in Georgia,” Enterprise coach Rick Darlington said. “I wanted to bring a guy (on the staff) that’s good with kids – he’s really good with kids – and someone that knew my system that we didn’t have to teach from the ground up.
“I also wanted to bring in an offensive line guy because I think the offensive line is where we will win.”
Darlington said that he also thought an offensive line coach with Wilson’s experience would benefit Enterprise’s young offensive line coach Jackson Hanson.
“When Shane left I thought we could move Justin Jones over to his position and do well but I really wanted to bring in another offensive line guy to work with Jackson,” Darlington said. “Jackson is going to be a really good coach but he’s still young – he’s just 23 years old – so, I think Keaton having a little bit more experience will help Jackson and they’ll work well together.”
Youth has been a recurring theme with Darlington’s coaching staff as a number of his assistants are young coaches.
“The whole staff just about are young enough to be my sons,” Darlington joked. “The thing that I told my son today is we have a lot of guys here with a lot of different backgrounds that can bring a lot of different ideas to bounce off of each other. I think it’s going to be really good for us.”
Addison, Fortney and Griffin will join defensive coordinator Jed Kennedy and defensive backs coach Marcus McCarty on that side of the ball, while Wilson joins fellow offensive line coach Hanson, wide receivers/tight ends coach Bradley Bowers, running backs coach Justin Jones and Darlington himself on the offense.
Darlington said that the entire staff will join in on coaching special teams, as well.