TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Leon High School celebrated 100 years of football in 2015. The history surrounding the Lions program is something you could talk about endlessly, from legendary coaches, state championships, NFL players - Leon has it all. New head coach Tyrone McGriff is looking to add a few chapters of his own.
You don't have to look far to see the Hall of Fame coaches that have come through Leon High School.
"In a good way that's pressure."
Gene Cox. Jimmy Sauls. Now, McGriff looks to leave his stamp on Leon Lion football.
"I don't want to let anybody down," said McGriff. "I think a lot of times, we try to act like there's no pressure, but I like pressure because when you have that chip, that anxiety, you tend to focus a little bit more."
It's that intensity the first year head coach is bringing to Leon.
"Any good football team has an aggressive mindset and confident," he said. "You have to play with a little bit of swagger. That swagger comes from knowing your assignments and being confident and knowing where you're supposed to be."
It's a confidence he's trying to install back into the program.
"They just want to latch on to something. It's actually been received pretty positively."
As a former stand-out at Florida A&M, coach McGriff knows what it takes, and as a former athletic director, the transition for him has been pretty smooth.
"I've gotten some great advice from some former football coaches around here. You don't have to reinvent the wheel, you just have to get educated. That's been the biggest change for me ."
Advice that he's soaking in we inch closer to kick-off.
"I'm just anxious to learn everyday. Like I said, it's Leon. It's Leon football. Anytime you can hopefully contribute to something bigger than yourself. You want to get in there and get it done."
And represent the deep tradition that came before him. Coach McGriff said one of the biggest transitions he's had to go through is learning to control his emotions and knowing when to bring energy and hold it back. He said it's different from the weight room to the football field, and he said that's something he didn't really have to consider as an athletic director.