Four Questions with Camden County coach Bob Sphire
Bob Sphire, Camden County
1. What is the real difference-maker in winning and losing in Georgia high school football? “Administrative and community support. These two go together. You have to have the administrative support to get the right staffing in place. They have to support you in assembling a quality staff. The most important thing that can be done is to put the best position coaches and coordinators in front of the players every day, and that only happens with the right administrative support. Then, they have to support your vision of structuring your program (practices and workouts, etc.). Supporting how you administer the program so that coaches don’t constantly have conflicts with scheduled practice times, etc., is critical. Talent is certainly important, but if the administration supports your efforts to get the right coaches and creates a framework for the staff to do their jobs, then players who may not develop in other programs can be developed in your program. Community support is critical in addition to what the school administration is doing to support. This includes parents, who must be committed to seeing that their child is there for every practice and workout. If the parents and community do not understand or support the structure of the year-round program, then progress is undermined. Some communities, for example, have a mindset of ‘What’s the big deal if I take my son on vacation late July for a few days, no matter that the heat acclimation practices have started?’ Those communities will hold back a program from competing against the real programs if that mindset is in place. Administrative and community support also means you will have the appropriate facility to work your players properly to prepare them to compete.”
2. Which player that you’ve coached is memorable mostly for his character or inspiration? “There are too many players with great character and leadership skills to single just one player out. I have been blessed to have coached some outstanding young men over the course of my career.”
3. What is the best atmosphere for a high school game that you’ve experienced away from home? “Possibly Louisville Male High School when I was coaching in Kentucky years ago.”
4. As a player or coach at any level, which game do you wish you could play again? “Over the past 12 years, I have had a chance to coach in four championship games. We won the first two [in Kentucky], so I think I thought that coaching a championship game was easy. Man, was I ever wrong. So, it would be nice to have our championship games against Lowndes  and Norcross  back to replay since we ended up on the wrong side of those scores. The 2013 one versus Norcross was even more personally difficult because my son Hayden was our QB that year, and it would have sure been nice to have capped off his senior year with a win.”
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