E.A. Sports Today

Ginn ‘back home’

Alexandria reaches back into the family to find its new football coach, school board approves Todd Ginn

Calhoun County school board member Tobi Burt presents Todd Ginn (L) with the meeting agenda page that reads “Employ Larry Ginn” after the board approved Ginn as the Valley Cubs’ new football coach. (Photos by B.J. Franklin)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Alexandria reached back into the family to find its new head football coach.

The Calhoun County school board Thursday night approved Todd Ginn as the Valley Cubs head coach during the monthly board meeting at Saks Middle School. He becomes only the fourth head coach in the program since 1948.

Ginn, the son of legendary Valley Cubs coach Larry Ginn, was recommended by Alexandria principal Mack Holley Monday night, as first reported by East Alabama Sports Today.

TODD GINN

He succeeds Frank Tucker, who succeeded Ginn’s father and coached the Valley Cubs for 11 seasons before stepping down last month for what he called a slower pace of life.

“I’m thrilled, thrilled to be back home,” Todd Ginn said Thursday night. “I’ve been home – I live there and taught at Alexandria – but I’m just thrilled to be back. I’m a Valley Cub from birth and it’s a blessing to be back home and getting to do what I know God put me on this earth to do, which is coach.”

Ginn said he hasn’t talked with school administrators about his coaching staff, but called it “huge” his brothers Scott and Will will be back with him.

The elder Ginn was known as a coach who demanded his players give their very best and they often delivered for him. His football teams won 196 games, 11 region championships and two state titles (1995 and 1997).

Several school board members took the opportunity to praise the Ginn legacy. Newly sworn member Ken Tidwell chaired the committee that hired Larry Ginn to succeed Lou Scales and got a little emotional about the prospect of voting to hire his son some 32 years later. Tobi Burt, who played for the elder Ginn, said he was glad to be a part of bringing his son aboard.

“The one thing I can say about him as a coach and a dad is he expected the most out of you and that’s why he succeeded,” Ginn said. “It didn’t matter what your parents expected out of you. It didn’t matter what your friends expected out of you. He expected the most out of you and he didn’t take anything less.

“Just like Tobi Burt said in the meeting, those guys loved that man. Wins and losses, yeah, I hope I’m successful and I think over time I just feel like I will be. When I say I’m successful I want people like Tobi Burt one of these days talking about the difference I made in their life. If you get your priorities in order and expect a lot of out these kids that’s what Tobi was talking about.”

The apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. Todd played all three major sports at Alexandria, coached under his dad in football and basketball from 2001 to 2004 and even helped on football Friday nights when he was an assistant basketball at Gadsden State.

The new head coach will be on hand during the Valley Cubs’ prep for next Thursday’s Calhoun County Spring Jam games at Jacksonville State, but interim head coach Andy Shaw will direct the team during the exercise. Ginn will meet with the team for the first time the following day or the next Monday.

“This caught me off-guard that this job was available,” he said. “It surprised me that I had a chance to be this head coach at this particular time. I never talked about the job before it was open, but when it came open I prayed about it and I knew this is what I’m meant to do.”

Ginn also is the director of the Champions Sports Academy, a successful youth sports developmental facility in Alexandria that serves Calhoun and Etowah counties. He acknowledged his involvement with the facility will be “altered some,” but those details haven’t been finalized.

“When I came to Champions I kind of thought maybe one of these days when this group of coaches I respect decides they don’t want to do it anymore, I would be lying to say I didn’t think there may be a chance,” Ginn said. “To be able to come back home to Alexandria and make a difference in these kids lives, it’s a dream come true. It’s something I hoped would happen one of these days and here it is.”

A family portrait of the new Alexandria football coach.

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