THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) - In six seasons at the helm of the Valwood football program, Ashley Henderson made the Valiants a force to be reckoned with. After three Region titles and three GISA State Championships, Henderson is moving on. On Thursday, he was formally introduced as the next head coach at Thomas County Central.
Longtime Central head coach Bill Shaver was relived of his duties in November. The school district narrowed down their top four candidates for Shaver's replacement this week, with Henderson ultimately getting the gig.
The coach was 66-12 in six seasons at Valwood. He's always coached in South Georgia, even attending Valdosta High School, and being a home grown guy, he said he is ready to carry that success to Central.
"Being at all of those different places has kind of molded me into the guy I am, the coach I am," he said. "To me, it's a lot about what we're going to do off the field as what we're going to do on the field. The results will come but we'll start off the field and try to help these guys become better football players, but most importantly better people and better students as well."
After his career at Valdosta, he attended Georgia Tech with Joe Burns, who went to Thomas County Central. Henderson said through Burns, he learned a lot about the Jackets, and now he is honored to take over the program.
"Talking to Joe through the years, and when I did take him home one time, I met Ed Pilcher and he treated me like family," he said. "You just knew this place was special. I've been convinced the last 18 or 19 years of my life that this was a job that I'd be interested in taking over and being here for the next 20 or 25 years."
Henderson's first official day on the job is February 1st.