New RLS coach: One day at a time

Published 1:37 am Saturday, November 24, 2012

David Godwin is carrying on a family tradition — coaching the Red Level Tigers.

Godwin is taking over an ailing RLS Tigers football program that’s only won eight games in the last four years. The Tigers finished 0-10 this season in its first year in Class 1A. His father, Paul Godwin, served as Red Level’s coach from 1978-83, when the Tigers were also in 1A.

Godwin was the defensive coordinator at RLS this season, but had coaching stints at Hillcrest-Evergreen, Eufaula, Northview and Greenville.

Godwin has spent the past 13 years as a coach and his lifelong dream came true when he was asked by RLS principal Johnny Odom to become the new head football coach for the Tigers.

“I’d like to thank coach Odom for giving me the opportunity to take over this program and see if I can make it move a little bit,” he said.

During his tenure as a coach, Godwin spent 11 of his 13 years as a defensive coordinator. The other two years were as an offensive coordinator.

“I kind of feel like that’s what I wanted to do professionally as a goal,” Godwin said about coaching. “I’m excited about (this job), and I’m just ready to get started.”

When asked what his vision for the program is, Godwin said right now, the team will take it “day by day.”

“We’re pretty much looking up, trying to catch up to everybody else in our region,” he said. “One thing we want to do is that we’re going to take it day by day.

“One of our mottos is going to be win the day,” he said. “That’s the only way you can climb out of the hole that we’re in, is to take it one day at a time and focus on the small things that make you better individually, and as a team.”

While at Hillcrest-Evergreen, Godwin was in pretty much the same situation, he said.

“I was the defensive coordinator there for five years and at the time, they (the Jaguars) had made the playoffs one time in the history of the school, which was only 11 years old at the time,” he said. “We went into a rebuilding process and we had five winning seasons in a row, and went to the playoffs all five years.”

Godwin’s Jaguar team advanced to the second round of the playoffs twice.

For the program at RLS, Godwin said you can’t focus on the long-term goal.

“It has to be a day to day focus,” he said. “There are different ways to get to that.”

One way to get back on track is for players to buy into a new coach’s system.

Godwin said he’s going to have a high-tempo offense with some spread option. Defensively, the Tigers are probably going to be a 4-3 and multiple.

When he was asked by Odom to become the new Tigers coach at RLS, Godwin said he didn’t have to think long on the decision.

“I want these kids and school to get excited about football again,” he said. “I’m excited. I’m an excited person. I want to give these kids an opportunity to come out and be a part of something special.”

Players are working out in the off season right now, Godwin said.

“We’re going to get in the weight room and we’re going to bust them,” he said. “We’re going to get after it.”

Godwin lives in Rose Hill with his wife, Wendy. They have three children, Andrew, Evan and Anna Claire.