QUINCY, Fla. (WTXL) — Russell Ellington has been an instrumental part of the growth the Munroe football program has seen over the past two seasons, serving as offensive coordinator in their undefeated regular 2020 season, and in last year's Regional final appearance in the playoffs.
Now, the Bobcats belong to Ellington, as he was named the program's new head coach in January.
"Three years ago, people didn't really know who we were," he laughed. "They knew who we were, but they were doubting us. Last year, we still got some doubt, but we quieted some of that."
For Ellington, he's been a part of that change.
"It's night and day from when I got here," he said. "I think three years ago at summer practice, we had eight or nine guys out here."
Now, he's excited for this next chapter running the program as the Bobcats new head coach.
"Having this opportunity to start with a great program, in a school that actually is backing the athletic program, it's awesome. The goal was last year to make a run at a state title, and that's the goal."
New coach, same mindset. While coach Ellington hasn't changed much schematically, expect a bigger team. They've been hitting the weights.
"The last two years, playing University and Trinity, I think that was the difference in the game," he said. "The weight room and discipline, so those are the two things we're trying to harp on."
With consistency in the coaching staff, the trajectory for this program is only trending upwards.
"It's been an easy transition. I look at a lot of these guys like my other sons," he said. "(Former head coach) Alex Lehky laid the foundation down. I just have to follow that blueprint."
A blueprint of success. Coach said he has nine great assistant coaches, which has allowed him to step back and coach where and when he's needed. He said the biggest transition for him has been taking ownership over all aspects of a program as head coach, but he's excited about what's to come.