Indian assistans Phillip Coggins and Tyler Johnson have been named the Tribe's Co-Defensive Coordinators
Indian assistans Phillip Coggins and Tyler Johnson have been named the Tribe's Co-Defensive Coordinators

Wetumpka names new coordinators

Published 10:00am Saturday, June 8, 2013

Indians coach Tim Perry didn’t want another summer spent in transition. When it came time to replace departed defensive coordinator Duane McWhorter, the second-year Indians skipper looked to his staff and named Tyler Johnson (defensive line) and Phillip Coggins (middle linebackers) the Tribe’s co-defensive coordinators.

“After interviewing several candidates and sitting back and thinking, this was the best decision,” said Perry. “These two guys are young, up and coming coaches. They are here. They love Wetumpka football and they know the players. I was thinking about what would be the thing for the players that would allow the program to continue to progress.”

Both Coggins and Johnson have experience running defenses. Johnson was the Faith Academy defensive coordinator and Coggins was the defensive coordinator at Verbena.

The two were promoted Thursday afternoon during a meeting with Perry.

“Coach said he liked the camaraderie we have and that we work well together,” said Johnson.

“Said he’d like for us to (run the defense) together. Phillip and I had talked about it beforehand. We were both thrilled with the decision.”

Both coaches said Indians fans will see a much more aggressive, smashmouth Tribe defense take the field this fall.

“We are working very hard to make the defense more aggressive and better tacklers,” said Coggins. “Last year, we’d have a guy stopped for a loss or a one- or two-yard gain and we’d miss the tackle and he’d go for 20. We won’t have that this year. We are going to be more aggressive this year, particularly in long-yardage situations. We believe in not giving the quarterback time to throw the ball.”

Promoting from within the staff will allow the Tribe to continue moving forward.

“We interviewed some outstanding candidates,” said Perry. “But I had to think about what’s best for now and for the upcoming years.

“I didn’t want us to have to start over again. And too, they may not have been looking to invest in this community and wanting to use this job as a stepping stone.”

Perry said Johnson and Coggins have shown their dedication on the gridiron as well as off by stepping in to coach other sports.

Johnson is an assistant varsity baseball coach and Coggins is the guys’ track coach.

“When he sat us down, he went through a list of things that he had been impressed with and then he asked if we’d be interested in working as co-defensive coordinators,” said Coggins.

“It’s pretty unique to make the jump I did (Verbena to Wetumpka). I’m very excited about it. there’s not a better place I could want to be.”

Johnson added that the defense is a group and works within that mindset.

“You have a defensive game plan and you work on it together,” said Johnson. “It comes down to the kids doing what they’ve been coached to do. We’ve got to get the kids’ minds where we want them.”

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