THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -
Information from Thomasville High School
Coach Leroy Ryals, Jr. has been selected and accepted the position of Head Coach/Athletic Director of Thomasville High School. As the School begins it's 100th year of high school football, Ryals will become it's 21st Head Coach.
Ryals was chosen from among 65 applicants and 9 finalists. Ryals impressive resume and charismatic personality propelled him to the number one position to lead the Thomasville Bulldogs. Ryals football program is based on what he refers to as "The 4th Quarter".
This program consists of five components: 1) Commitment, 2) Discipline, 3) Toughness, 4) Effort, and 5) Pride. He will transition to Thomasville from his current position as Head Football Coach at Clarke Central High School in Athens, GA. At Clarke Central, Ryals had led the Gladiators to 3 Region Championships, 7 State Playoff appearances, and a 2009 AAAAA State Runner up. His teams compiled a 60-22-1 (.730) in 7 seasons.
Prior to serving as the Head Coach at Clarke Central, Ryals previously served as Tight Ends Coach/Special Team Coordinator at National and SEC power, LSU, under Nick Saban and as Running Backs Coach at the University of South Florida from 2000-2003 under Coach Jim Leavitt. Ryals also served as Head Coach at his alma mater, Sarasota (FL) Booker from 1997-2000.
Ryals has enjoyed success at every level of coaching and comes highly recommended. Saban states that Ryals is "a person of outstanding character and a very good football coach". University of Georgia Offensive Coordinator and Thomasville High School alumnus, Mike Bobo, has known Ryals for over 10 years and states "Leroy Ryals is an outstanding man who exemplifies everything you want in a coach.
He understands the Game of football and understands the importance of teaching the proper values to the young men he coaches. He is a true Teacher in every sense of the word." Also, Arthur Johnson, Former Thomasville High School alumnus and current Assistant Athletic Director of the University of Texas also endorsed Ryals.
Ryals received his Bachelors Degree in Business Education from the University of South Florida and his Masters Degree in Counseling from the University of Florida. Ryals is married to the former Keisha Carithers of Athens, GA. and has three daughters-TaQuesha, Elease, and Aliyah.
A very methodical process was engaged and developed by Superintendent Sabrina Boykins-Everett to conduct the search process. From 65 original applicants for the position, 9 finalists were selected for interviews by a committee which included the Superintendent, Jocelyn Thompson, Personnel Director, Principal Todd Mobley, former Bulldog player and booster, Bill Giles, and former Bulldog and professional football player, Larry McPherson.
All nine of the finalists that interviewed were highly respected and successful coaches. Ryals was selected from 3 finalists, which in addition to Ryals included Coach Franklin Stephens of Lamar Co H.S. and Coach Kevin Pettis of Crestview H.S. in Crestview, FL.
After many hours of deliberation, Superintendent Everett concluded Ryals was the best fit to lead the Bulldogs. "Ryals is a proven leader who is passionate about his craft and unwavering about the academic, spiritual, and physical development of young men" she said. Additionally, she believes that Ryals excitement about this opportunity will create contagious momentum throughout the community. Ryals presented a detailed plan of action to jump start the preparation of the Bulldogs for their upcoming 2013 season.
**There will be a press conference with Coach Ryals on Friday, Feb 15th at 10 a.m. in the Thomasville High School cafeteria. A "Meet the Coach" event for the entire community is being planned for Coach Ryals and his family and will be announced soon.