Bryan Lamar Aims to Maintain the Tigers’ Status
as One of the State’s Powerhouse Programs
BY RYNE DENNIS
THANKS TO TWO STATE CHAMPION- ships in a four-year span, Tucker High School head coach Franklin Stephens easily held one of the most esteemed
positions in all of high school football at the
end of a 15-0 season in 2011. That’s when
Stephens surprised a lot of people by bolting
for Lamar County, leaving the Tucker job vacant
as the Tigers neared spring practice for 2012.
Many figured the head job would go to a
big-name coach on the high school level, but
instead the Tigers stayed in-house, promoting
defensive coordinator Bryan Lamar, an eight-year assistant without a day of head coaching
experience to his name.
“I actually didn’t feel any pressure when I got
the job, but once I got into it, it’s always tough to
follow such a great coach,” Lamar said. “Coach
Stephens is one of the top coaches in the state of
Georgia and probably one of the top in the country
when you talk about what he was able to do here.”
Lamar didn’t have the experience at the helm
of a top high school program, but it might just
work out for him and Tucker just fine.
That’s because Lamar’s a Tucker guy.
He played at Tucker from 1995-99, went off to
the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, and
then came back as an assistant eight years ago.
While those around him say he’s a good guy
that the kids respect and would run through a
wall for, perhaps the reason he was given the
keys to one of the state’s powerhouse teams
was because he believes so much in himself.
So don’t question how a person with no experience could possibly be named the head coach
of a defending state champion.
“It was one of those things where I had been
an integral part of a lot of things,” Lamar said.
“I played a major part of us winning a basketball
In one season at Tucker, Bryan Lamar has a
record of 10-3 (.769). Last season, the team
made the state quarterfinals.
state championship. I played a major part in us
winning a football state championship. That’s
one of those things where that experience,
along with all of the other things I had, really
prepared me for the job.”
Lamar does feel the weight of expectations,
but so did Stephens when he began coaching
Tucker in 2007 as a first time head coach.
Stephens won 13 or more games in four of
his five seasons at Tucker and Lamar was on the
coaching staff for four of Stephens’ five seasons.
That’s why last year didn’t seem much different around the Dekalb County school.
“The main thing is that Tucker has always
been successful and a lot of the things that
coach Stephens brought in and implemented,
we still are doing a lot of those same things,”
Lamar said. “I was defensive coordinator for
four of those five years he was here. We carry
on a lot of the same things.”
Lamar began as the secondary coach eight
years ago after spending one season as a
graduate assistant at his college alma mater.
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FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL GEORGIA 2012