Turberville, Robinson round out Neal football staff
Published 2:10 pm Wednesday, August 10, 2005
New assistant coaches to instruct running backs, defensive ends
By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
The first staff for W.S. Neal Blue Eagles football coach Blaine Hathcock has been completed with the additions of running backs coach Mitchell Turberville and defensive ends coach Scott Robinson.
"We're very fortunate to have six quality assistant coaches on our staff this season. There are a lot of schools our size and even some bigger schools that don't have this luxury. That doesn't even include the three additional coaches we have with our middle school progrm," Hathcock said.
The 31-year-old Turberville, a 1992 graduate of Monroe Academy, had previously been at Central-Coosa High School where he had been an assistant football coach and head baseball coach. Turberville has also coached in the Smiths Station school system.
"Coach Hathcock and I had some people we knew in common and when I learned of him being at W.S. Neal, I wanted to be a part of what he is doing," Turberville said.
As the Blue Eagles running backs coach, the biggest item Turberville emphasizes to his players is ball control.
"You have to have backs who take care of the ball and don't turn it over. Turnovers are often what kill a team," Turberville said.
Versatility is another key item Turberville looks for from his running backs.
"In order to be a running back, you have to be tough because you know you're going take some hits. You have to be able to block in addition to just carrying the ball. If a running back can catch the ball, that makes him even more valuable. Catching the ball usually comes down to concentration," Turberville said.
Turberville indicated the transition to Hathcock's program has been a smooth one so far.
"There really hasn't been any one thing that has been the most difficult so far. Coach Hathcock has a good plan in place. The players have responded well so far. In fact, their response is among the best I've seen from players since I've been coaching," Turberville said.
The 23-year-old Robinson has been at W.S. Neal since January and served as an assistant track coach under Buck Quarles this past spring. Robinson was an assistant football coach at Escambia Academy last fall where he served as offensive and defensive line coach. Robinson graduated from Escambia Academy in 2000.
"I played defensive tackle while I was in high school. Coaching defensive ends is a pretty easy transition because they're similar positions," Robinson said.
Robinson said players need several skills to play the tackle position.
"I look for players who have some size, good speed and strength. An equally important item I look for is a player who can read the play," Robinson said.
Having played and coached at an Alabama Independent School Association member in the past, this is Robinson's first experience with dealing with Alabama High School Athletic Association football teams.
"As a whole, the AHSAA teams have players who are bigger and faster simply because they usually have a lot more kids to work with than the AISA schools. I've got a lot of work to do when it comes to learning about our opponents because I've never seen any of them them play. I'll try to study our opponents through what our coaches have to say and what I can recognize on film. At the same time, film can only tell so much. One of the toughest things to gauge on film is a player's speed. It's nothing like live action," Robinson said.