GUYTON, GA (WTOC) - New South Effingham Head Coach Nathan Clark sees plenty of similarities from his last job to his new job.
He and the Mustangs hope there will be similar results.
“I really see it just like the opportunity I’ve had here at Lee County,” Clark told WTOC over the phone. “They were able to turn around a football program that was struggling into a stronger program.”
Clark was approved as the Mustangs' new coach at Thursday’s Effingham County Board of Education meeting. He takes over in Guyton after six seasons in Lee County, the last four as the Trojans' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
During Clark’s last two seasons in Leesburg, the Trojans went 29-2 and won two Class AAAAAA state titles.
Success hasn’t always been the standard though for Lee County. In 2008, the Trojans went 0-10. Clark has seen up close how that kind of rebuild can happen, and plans to bring it to a program with just two winning seasons since 2009.
“It takes time. It’s not going to happen this year. It’s not going to happen next year,” he says. “We may have a little bit of success here and there these first couple years. I’d love to do that every year.”
Clark admits it will likely be several seasons before the Mustangs reach the championship level he hopes to reach. He says the success will happen based on what goes on before the kids even reach the high school program.
“It starts with the middle school program and the younger levels. You have to build that foundation,” Clark says. “Eventually though, you don’t look at the wins and the losses. They just happen. The wins just start happening because you’ve been doing things the right way.”
During Clark’s four seasons as offensive coordinator at Lee County, the Trojans averaged just short of 35 points a game. He says he already has a vision for what the Mustangs will look like during his tenure.
“They’re going to be disciplined. They’re going to be hard working,” Clark says. “That’s the number one thing. I think you can beat people by outworking them, and that’s what I’m going to instill in them.”
Clark was not at Thursday’s board meeting, but did speak with a few of the team’s leaders. He hopes to meet with the team in person sometime next week.
The new head coach says his message to the Mustangs will be very simple.
“I’m excited to be here. I’m going to bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm,” he says. “I’m going to go out and hustle and do whatever I can to make this program successful.”