Longtime coach ready for another season
As New Albany enters the new football season, Assistant Coach Bob Monroe begins his 40th year in education, spending more than 25 of those on the sidelines coaching.
So what keeps this longtime coach in the game?
“I grew up in a family with a dad that was a former coach and administrator in Senatobia, and I also had some coaches that were extremely influential in Bob Tyler and John Wallace Blalack, who, at one time, was a coach at New Albany,” Monroe said. “Both of those men really had a positive influence on me, and I think at that time, I always knew I would coach and teach. My dad taught 44 years and my mom 31 years, so that’s 75 years between the two, so I never really knew anything else to do besides teaching and coaching.”
In his second season with the Bulldogs, Monroe talked about how much the program has grown since he moved to New Albany in 2002. Wanting to be apart of a special team and staff, he joined the Bulldogs at the right time, last year, helping guide them in their 13-1 season. And this wasn’t the first time he saw success as a coach.
“I was fortunate at Tupelo, we had some wonderful teams,” he said.
“We won state in 1992 and played for state three different times, and I could not tell you how many times we played for the north half championship. That was a great place to coach, great kids, facilities and support, and I told someone, you should be successful at Tupelo because you have all of the ingredients. Then I came over here, and I think we were as successful as any group I had at Tupelo. When we won state, our record was 13-1, which is what we did last year.”
As far as being the oldest coach on staff, Monroe is not the least bit bothered, and appreciates his co-workers’ character and willingness to learn new things.
“They’ve been mighty kind and mighty patient with me, and I told them, I’m not trying to say this is the only way to do things, but I would like to share ideas and experiences with you, and if they’re of any value to you, great, if not, just don’t pay any attention to me,” he laughed. “They’ve been extremely kind to me and they welcomed me, and it’s been a good situation to work in.”
Looking at this season, Monroe will again coach against a former school, his alma mater Senatobia, and feels this team has the potential to again do something special.
“Like when we played Tupelo last year, I want to win those games, but I don’t enjoy it,” he said.
“We have some kids that have the potential to develop into really good players, and I think we’ll continue to work at it each day and get better. I told them you don’t have to get too focused on goals down the road, just play it one play at a time. I really do feel like we have a chance to be successful this year, but we are at this point, in the progress of getting where we need to be.”
About Chris Elkins
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