The former defensive coordinator at B.B. Comer was surprised when he learned that he was hired at Talladega. He said he knows all about the struggles that Talladega has had in the past and he embraces the challenge of turning the football program into a winner.
“I know they haven’t had a winning season since 1994,” Herring said. “I think that was the last year that they went to the playoffs. When I was at the University of West Alabama this was my recruiting area. Talladega always had good looking players but somehow, I don’t know what the problem was, it was hard for them to win more than two or three games a year it seems like. We played them this year in the fall game at B.B. Comer. They had good-looking kids, they started pretty good then they fell by the wayside. When I saw them against Sylacauga, they looked great but they fell short. I know Rome wasn’t built in a day, it is going to take work and that is what I plan on doing, I don’t plan to come here and plan to parlay this job for anything else. I have a little brother in Oxford, my parents are right across the state line. I plan on staying there for a while.”
Herring does not have any head coaching experience, but he has made major contributions in helping turn struggling programs into playoff teams. As the defensive coordinator at B.B.Comer this season, he helped the Tigers go 5-6 and earn their first trip to the postseason since 2001.
“I was the quarterback coach for my daddy in Oxford from 1995-1999,” Herring said. “He went on to Georgia and I stayed on with Coach (Tim) Britt at Oxford for one more year. Then, I got in private business for three years. Then, I went over to Georgia to coach with my daddy as his quarterback and receivers coach for two or three years. My brother was the defensive coordinator, then he got the job at Shelby County and he asked me to come to him. I went to Shelby County as the offensive coordinator for one year. We went over there and went to the second round when I was offensive coordinator. Bobby Wallace was at West Alabama, he had a slot open and he called me, so I went to West Alabama to coach receiver one year, tight ends one year and linebacker for two years. When I came to West Alabama they haven’t made the playoffs since 1975 and we got on there and got it turned around. We went to the playoffs and they are still doing great. I left West Alabama and went to Sumter Central, which is a school where they combine York and Sumter County. They never really had done that much in the playoffs. We got there in the first year and went to the playoffs. We had a great year. This year, I thought I’d be at Lincoln with my brother, but something happened. Luckily something opened at B.B. Comer. This year, I got there as the defensive coordinator. The people there thought we did a good job for what we had. They have a lot coming back and they are going to be real good next year.”
Herring replaces former head coach Chris Mahand.
He comes into Talladega with high expectations. He believes that the Tigers maybe able to do something that hasn’t happened in 19 years.
“There is some tough games on the schedule and it is a tough region,” Herring said. “I think we are going to have a chance to win four of five games, if the ball bounces our way six or seven games.”
Herring hopes that he can have a program that the community will be proud of and support.
“We are going to put a face-lift on our stadium and the field house,” Herring said. “We are going to paint and pressure wash. We are going to get the crowd back there and get the city behind us. We are going to try to get the Tigers back to where they need to be.”