A conversation with Calhoun head coach Hal Lamb
Lamb took time Monday to answer a few questions in a wide-ranging Q&A:
Q. Tell me about your time at Commerce, playing under your father.
A. Well, you know, we had a good career there. We actually won a state title my junior year. My brother was the quarterback and I was the wide receiver and my dad was the coach. It really doesn’t get much better than that. My brother graduated and went to Furman to play and my dad moved me to quarterback my senior season and we went 8-3, so it was a good career.
Q. What did you learn from seeing your father coach.
A. The biggest thing I learned from him was how to treat people. He was a people person. He knew how to treat people. He would do anything in the world for his players, and the players loved him for it. That’s probably the biggest thing I learned from dad.
Q. What was the move that got you to Cartersville?
A. I stayed one year at West Georgia as a graduate assistant, and then my first job was at Cartersville for coach Earwood. You know, Earwood was the offensive line coach at West Georgia and when he got the job at Cartersville, he took me with him. My first few years I was coaching running backs and teaching P.E. We stayed there eight years and were fortunate enough to win a state championship in 1991. It was a lot of fun at Cartersville, and coach Earwood is a good man.
Q. What is the key to consistency in your program?
A. You have to have high-character kids who like to work and like to do what they’re coached to do. You got a coaching staff that cares about the kids and works the kids and coaches the kids. And then you have a community that cares about the football program. I think all of those play a big part in being consistent. We have a very low turnover rate. My offensive coordinator has been here since I have been here. My defensive coordinator has been here 10 or 12 years. A guy that played for me at Upson-Lee has been here with me for about the same time. It has just been a very low turnover. We have a bunch of coaches who have kids who are in the program, and that makes them stay, as well.
Q. What has changed in high school football in the last 20 years?
A. I guess the recruiting part is probably the No. 1 thing that has changed, in my opinion. And the transferring from school to school. Back 20 years ago, that was not heard of. Kids wanted to play for their local schools, and that was the bottom line. They always wanted to grow up being a Commerce Tiger or a Calhoun Yellow Jacket, but now-a-days you have so many kids that leave programs and go to other programs. It’s just very concerning. Then you have the recruiting. There wasn’t any ratings 20 years ago about four-star, five-star, three-star. Recruiting, to me, has just gotten really out of hand. I really don’t know what has caused it. I think the recruiting services. And then the college coaches feel like if they don’t offer a 9th- or 10th-grader, then they’re behind. It is a very difficult situation for the kids. With college coaches, sometimes it is “win at all costs,” and that kind of bothers you a little bit. All of them aren’t like that, but it is bothersome because we want kids to play for their high school team. The recruiting will take care of itself, if you play for your high school team. But we have so many kids now … yeah they’re playing for their team, but the No. 1 priority is getting a scholarship, not to help the team win.