Former Blue Devil lands head coaching job

Published 10:58 am Monday, February 14, 2011

Atmore native Jeff Torrence was named the head coach of the Dale County Warriors on Tuesday. Torrence has been the linebackers coach at Enterprise High School.|Submitted Photo

After working as an assistant football coach for 17 years, a former Escambia County Blue Devil has achieved his goal of being named a head coach of a program.

Jeff Torrence, the son of Atmore City Councilman and Atmore Area Hall of Fame member coach Cornell Torrence, was named the head football coach for Dale County High School after serving three years as the linebackers coach at Enterprise High School.

Torrence is ready to take on the challenges of running a program.

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“It’s always been a goal of mine to become a head coach,” Torrence said. “I’ve been an assistant for 17 years, so I’m excited and looking forward to the challenges that I’ll be facing.”

Torrence’s resume boasts several intriguing qualifications, which include everything from playing on a college national championship team to coaching with two coaches known for winning high school state championships.

After graduating from Escambia County High School, Torrence played for the Alabama Crimson Tide under Gene Stallings from 1991-94 and was a part of the Crimson Tide’s 1992 National Championship team.

While at Alabama, Torrence also served as an undergraduate assistant in 1995, but took his first coaching job in 1996 with Tennessee State University as outside linebackers coach and strength and conditioning coach where he served for two years.

In 1998, Torrence made his way back to south Alabama where he took a job with Class 3A powerhouse T.R. Miller working on Hall of Fame coach Jamie Riggs’ staff.

While with the Tigers, Torrence was a part of two state championship teams (2000 and 2002) and also won a state championship in track and field as the head coach in 2003.

From 2004-06, Torrence was defensive coordinator, linebacker and strength and conditioning coach at Northview (Ala.) under Chip Harris. He then joined Rush Prospt staff at Hoover as defensive line and strength and conditioning coach.

After one season at Hoover, he became linebacker coach at Enterprise where he has served in that capacity for the last three seasons.

Torrence said the experiences he has had along with learning from Riggs and Prospt have taught him how to run a program.

“Working at T.R. Miller taught me a lot because when you coach at a smaller school you have to coach on both sides of the ball,” he said. “Jamie (Riggs) has always been one of my mentors and he really gave me experience. Things I learned from him and Rush (Prospt) are how to run a program especially the day-to-day operations and dealing with everyone from parents to the faculty and staff.”

Torrence takes over a Dale County program that has seen its share of tough seasons.

Since 2003, the Warriors are 20-61 with one playoff appearance and winning season in that span.

In an interview with the “Dothan Eagle,” Dale County Schools Superintendent Donny Bynum said Torrence’s resume and commitment made him an obvious choice to take over the Warrior program.

“There were many outstanding applicants and we believe coach Torrence is the right fit for the students, faculty, staff, parents and community at Dale County High School,” Bynum said. “He has mighty impressive credentials and his references speak very highly of him. We feel confident that coach Torrence will have a positive impact at Dale County High School.”

Torrence knows the pieces are there to turn his new program around, but the right steps have to be put into place.

He told the “Dothan Eagle” that the first thing is the weight training program.

“The first thing that we must do implement great workout program, which includes lifting to gain power, great speed drills to help us increase our speed and great agility drills to help with becoming more agile and better in going in different directions,” Torrence said.

The day after his hire, Torrence met with his new team to let them know how his program will be run.

Torrence said the meeting went well and he is looking forward to beginning workouts.

“I met with them on Wednesday and spoke to them about how things will go,” he said. “We will begin workouts next week and work from then until spring training.”

Torrence’s first day at Dale County is Monday.