Randolph new football coach at Lynn
by Johnathan Bentley
May 15, 2013 | 2462 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
New Lynn football coach Jon Randolph puts his team through spring practice last week. Randolph comes to Lynn from Early County High School (Ga.) where he served as the offensive coordinator for the last five years. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
New Lynn football coach Jon Randolph puts his team through spring practice last week. Randolph comes to Lynn from Early County High School (Ga.) where he served as the offensive coordinator for the last five years. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
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LYNN — Jon Randolph shouts out names and directs players.

Randolph is a football coach in his element.

There is only one giveaway that he is new on the job — the tape on each players’ helmet.

“I put tape on their helmets and wrote their names on there,” Randolph said. “I was tired of saying, ‘Hey you!’”

The new Lynn football coach is just a few days into his new job and has hit the ground running. With the Bears playing an all-Winston County jamboree this Friday at Addison, there isn’t time to lose.

Randolph, 52, comes to Lynn after serving as the offensive coordinator at Early County High School (Ga.) for the last five years. He takes over for former head coach Philip Smith, who stepped down in March after nine years at the helm.

Randolph has local ties. He is a Marion County High School graduate. His first head coaching job was as the baseball coach at Winfield High School. Randolph had been looking at getting back to the area. When the Lynn job came open, he jumped at the opportunity.

“Actually, there are a lot of reasons I wanted to come to Lynn. The majority of my family lives within 45 minutes of here — some are in Guin, some are in Birmingham. I just really wanted to get back close to my family,” Randolph said. “I also wanted to get back into the 1A or 2A classification because of the unity of the communities. I like the K through 12 setting. In larger schools, you have feeder schools and the kids don’t know where they are going. Here, there is never a doubt. From kindergarten on, you are a Bear. To me that’s really special. You can build some real strong bonds in smaller school systems.”

Though he’s been at the school for less than two weeks, Randolph has been impressed with the response he’s gotten from potential football players at Lynn.

“The kids’ response has been tremendous. The numbers were really low when I got here. Now, they’ve already doubled. I’m hoping to keep the kids out and keep them interested. I’m looking forward to taking them through summer workouts.

“I’m really excited. There is a great tradition and a great pride here. If I was 20 years younger, this would be a stepping-stone job. For me, it’s where I want to finish. I want to put in 10 years at Lynn and call it a career.”

At Early County, Randolph ran a no-huddle, up-tempo offense.

“We called it NASCAR,” Randolph said. “We ran a wide-open, speed offense. It was a super-fast pace. That’s going to be Greek to these kids. We won’t look super fast yet. I have no clue what we are going to look like in the jamboree. What I do offensively is not something we can do in nine practices.

“The kids are catching on. They are hungry to learn. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a great opportunity.”

Randolph also has a close relationship with Lynn head basketball coach Adam Gray, who was on Randolph’s staff at Winfield.

In five years as a head coach, Randolph has a career record of 27-26.

A 1994 UNA graduate, Randolph served as the head baseball coach at Winfield, Huffman and Central-Tuscaloosa before hanging up the baseball cleats for the gridiron.

His first stint as a football head coach came at Coffeeville High School. After two years — 1999-2000 — at the Clark County school, he spent two years at Highland Home High School (2001-2002) in Crenshaw County. In 2002, he led Highland Home to a 10-2 mark. The Flying Squadron edged Sumiton Christian 12-6 in a first-round playoff game that season. From there, Randolph moved to Destin, Fla., and worked in real estate. He returned to coaching in 2006 as the head coach at Headland High School in Henry County.

Randolph served as the offensive coordinator at Dothan High School in 2007 before heading to Early County High School.