Albert Floyd becomes the new head football coach at Rutherford

Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 6:08 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The football faithful at Rutherford High School have their new head coach in place!

Sunday night we told you the Rams had settled on Albert Floyd to move their program forward. Monday they made it official. A.D. Jabbar Manning, making the announcement just after ten Monday morning in the school’s media center. Coach Floyd raised in Apalachicola, played college ball in Ohio and North Carolina. Came back to the Panhandle and has spent the last 12 years coaching weightlifting and football in Bay County, at Arnold, Bay and last year with coach Whiddon at Mosley. This is Floyd’s first head coach opportunity! He says growing up in Apalachicola, well Rutherford was on his radar from an early age!

“We don’t have a Walmart, we don’t have a mall.” coach Floyd told us shortly after his introduction. “So traveling over here several years growing up, we’d come down Highway 98 and you see those yellow signs that say Ram football, this year or that year. And you always know that tradition. And through weightlifting and football I’ve always kind of had a relationship with the Athletic Director and different coaches. And you know you still see some facilities and the rich tradition and the support from the Athletic Director and the administration. And that something I wanted to be a part of.”

”We ended up getting around 10 to 12 applications,” says Rutherford A.D. Jabbar Manning “some of them came late in the application process. But we had a lot of guys from out of state that were interested. What we were trying to look for is somebody that was familiar with Rutherford High School and was familiar with the community and familiar with some of the students. So that the kids would kind of...(the coach) have more of a personal reach with some of our athletes. To kind of help us turn this thing around and go in the direction that we’re excited to be going in.”

“You know I feel like I have the attributes and the ways to actually instill some discipline and change the culture, and help some of these kids and lead them in the right direction.” coach Floyd explained. “And I feel like the administration and the athletic Director, and some of the people that are a part of Rutherford high school want the same things, that I do. So I feel like I needed to be here at Rutherford High School. And when that opportunity came open I had a big smile on my face and I went full throttle at it, and I’m here today I’m a Rutherford Ram!”

Floyd takes over a program that’s won just 17 games the last six seasons under Loren Tillman, who resigned in December to take the Vernon head coaching gig. A big part of the problem for Tillman, dwindling roster numbers aggravated by Hurricane Michael in 2018. Coach Floyd knows he has to address that and is already working on it.

”Just this morning we had the kind of numbers that the Athletic Director and officials in the school say they haven’t had in the last couple of years. And I wasn’t overwhelmed but I was surprised by the numbers that I’ve seen just on day one. And as far as the excitement I’ve seen on the student athletes faces, just being in the hallway. I’ve got two classes, first period, second period, as far as football and weightlifting. But I am going to be in the hallways, I’m going to be on lunch duty, I’m going to be peeking into the classrooms, doing what I need to do and just pouring into these kids, also showing that I care . And that’s going to make these kids come out and want to be around our program.”