New Trinity coach Granger Shook has completed his shuffling of the Wildcats’ coaching staff, adding five new coaches in the biggest coaching overhaul in a generation at the school.
While some of the assistants are the same familiar names that Shook played for as a linebacker with the team in the early 2000s, a new position was created by school administrators and three community coaches were added to the staff as well.
Most of Shook’s coaching experience is on the defensive side of the ball, particularly at linebacker, so he obviously will have some input at that position. Shook, a former linebacker at Huntingdon College under Mike Turk, took a position on Turk’s staff in 2010, coaching running backs for two years before shifting to linebackers in 2012 and 2013. He then went to Colquitt County (Ga.) High as a linebackers coach for two years under Rush Probst before moving to Prattville High in 2016, where he served as a strength and conditioning coach and a defensive coordinator.
Returning to Trinity reunites him with Wildcat defensive coordinator Jon Shamburger, who coached Shook during his playing career in 2000-03.
“He’s still going to call the defense,” Shook said. “He and I are working together. What he does, there is a lot of similarities to what we did last year in Prattville. We’re going to marry a lot of that together, but he is so smart, so much attention to detail, communicates extremely well, these players relate really well to him. He’s a huge resource I want to utilize.”
Other veteran members of the staff include Ken Whittle, who will return to coach the defensive backs; Stan Milton, who will handle the running backs; and Jarrod Cook. A fourth assistant, Tim Bethea, announced earlier he would continue as the Wildcats’ golf coach but wanted to step down from his work as a football assistant and will now serve as the team’s chaplain on Friday nights.
Among the newcomers are a pair of teachers at the school, Greg Parker and Norman Dean. Both will share offensive coordinator duties, with Parker in charge of the passing game.
“Those two guys communicate on a daily basis,” Shook said of the shared duties. “They’re both very good at what they do and they’re both smart and creative men.”
Parker comes to Trinity after serving as offensive coordinator and boys’ basketball coach at Autauga Academy. He also handled girls’ basketball and softball duties in the past.
“When I interned as a senior in college under Travis Pearson at Jeff Davis, Greg was at JD with Travis, so Greg and I have known each other since 2009,” Shook said. “He’s very smart, very creative, thinks outside the box, so it was a no-brainer to try to hire him. He’s a great quarterbacks guy and has a similar philosophy to what I would want to do.”
Dean served as head coach at Elmore County High for 13 years (2005-13) and served last year as an offensive line coach at T.R. Miller.
“Norman Dean was a no-brainer as well,” Shook said. “He’s a great O-line guy. I knew him from Elmore County, I played against him, and he and Travis had that same connection because Travis was at Elmore County (as the head coach with Dean as an assistant), so I’ve known Norman Dean for a long time. He was at a very successful program at T.R. Miller last year coaching their O-line and helping to coordinate.”
Taking over Bethea’s duties as receivers coach will be community coach Brad Parker, who comes to Trinity after spending the last several years at Catholic.
“Brad was a coordinator (on offense) at Catholic for a long time,” Shook said. “He has coordinator experience and he’s going to coach our wide receivers. Our wideouts have gotten better every day, working on little things like stance and starts and route-running and catching the ball.”
Helping Brad Parker and also working with return specialists is another community coach, Mark Colson.
“Mark played with me at Huntingdon College,” Shook said. “He is a phenomenal man, a great, great motivator, very passionate, similar to me. He’s going to be our sparkplug over there (on offense) to make sure our energy is high.”
Rounding out the new coaches is a defensive assistant who will be helping Whittle in the secondary, Andrew Crenshaw.
“Andrew and I coached together at Colquitt County under Rush (Probst),” Shook said. “Andrew left to be a GA (graduate assistant) at Florida State, then GA at UAB. Now, he’s coming to us to help coordinate our special teams and coach safeties. He brings a lot of knowledge.”