Four Questions with Prince Avenue Christian coach Greg Vandagriff
Greg Vandagriff, Prince Avenue Christian
1. What is the most memorable game you’ve been a part of as a player or coach? “I have been coaching high school football and baseball for the past 25 years. As always, there are many memorable games, but among the top of the list is beating Eli Manning at Newman High School his sophomore year in the playoffs while coaching in Baton Rouge. He had only thrown four picks all year, and we picked him four times in the game.”
2. Which high school coach would you want your son to play for, and why? “I currently have a son that is in the eighth grade, a quarterback, and I am looking forward to having him on the team next year but have to admit having him being coached by 17-year NFL quarterback veteran Brad Johnson has been awesome. He is our middle school coach! However, if I could not coach him, I would be more than willing to place him in the hands of any of the following men that I have coached with and feel honored to refer to them as friends, and believe they are or were in the sport for the right reasons – Gary Varner, Allatoona; Philip Ironside, Hillgrove; Bruce Cobleigh, retired Harrison; and Ray Manus, retired, Roswell.”
3. What is your pet peeve as a coach or favorite saying/motto? “‘What is average? Worst of the best, best of the worst. Thus being average is not acceptable.’ Or ‘Excuses are reasons to fail.’”
4. Which GHSA policy or high school football rule would you most like to see changed? “I have been fortunate to coach in public and private education and see both sides of the argument, but here are some things that I would love to see addressed by the GHSA. No. 1, transfers. A rule needs to be made addressing in-county transfers or a mileage requirement. No. 2, city schools. They are public schools operating as private schools. The rules they operate with are more advantageous than any public or private school. No. 3, consistency in officiating and rule interpretations. I will give two examples. We played in the semifinals last year [when Vandagriff was defensive coordinator at Woodward Academy], and the sideline officials never once asked us to step back or get behind a certain white line on the sideline. I have been in games where the side official cannot even officiate the game for watching the sidelines. You would think they were a line judge in volleyball. The other example is holding. Some officials say inside the chest plate is legal, and others say only play-side holding matters.”
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