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Demopolis search will focus on character

With Rudy Griffin’s announcement that he is departing Demopolis to become a graduate assistant at Washington State University, Tom Causey and the Tigers are left to find a new defensive coordinator for the second time in three years.

When Causey arrived in Demopolis prior to the 2008 season, he brought with him Brian Seymore to serve as the team’s defensive coordinator. After one season with the Tigers, Seymore returned to Andalusia to become the head coach. Causey then hired Griffin to fill the void. As Demopolis’ head coach looks to fill the vacancy created by the Griffin departure, he said he will adhere to the same principles he used in the summer of 2008.

“You look for a good man who is a good teacher, who will fit in with the personalities of the players and coaches we already have in place,” Causey said. “We’ve got to find somebody that is going to come in and be a part of our family and understand this is a family, it is not just coaching football.”

Griffin’s announcement came just days after the Tigers played Meridian and Quitman (Miss.) to cap their 10-day spring practice session. Demopolis employed a number of new faces on the defensive side of the ball over that two-week span as it looks to rebuild a state championship defense shredded by graduation. Now the Tigers will also have to figure out exactly who will be making the defensive calls.

“I don’t think there is ever a good time for that to happen,” Causey said. “But at least you have the summer to adjust to everything if you can go ahead and get somebody hired in the next few weeks. It’s tough hiring people right now with proration.”

Causey said the search will not be filtered by defensive philosophy are terminology, but will focus entirely on ability and character.

“We are not necessarily going to go looking for a guy with the same defensive philosophy I’ve got or Rudy had. We are looking for the best man for the job. If that means us changing fronts and coverages, then that’s what we’ll do. If that means changing terminology, that’s what we’ll do.”

Griffin becomes the third coach in Causey’s three-year tenure to leave for either a head or collegiate coaching position. Jeremy Sullivan accepted the head coaching position at Citronelle in the spring of 2009 after one season with the Tigers.

“I think that’s a credit to our program. I think that’s a credit to our coaches who have been here and I think that’s a credit to our kids,” Causey said. “Anytime you’re losing guys to head coaching jobs and Division I spots, that’s a great thing. These guys are going on to better themselves and their families and climbing the ladder of their career and we’re proud for them. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”