Spotlight: Rhett Summerford, 9/8/17

Spotlight: Rhett Summerford, 9/8/17

Harry Lees turned the program around at West Florida Tech. His defensive coordinator was a big part of making it happen.

With Lees moving on there's lots of confidence in Rhett Summerford running the show with some help from his family.

Before Summerford came along, his dad, Neil, was a young hotshot coach. He was part of Carl Madison's staff when Tate won the state championship in 1980.

But before he scaled back his career, young Summerford got a taste of what it was all about.

As an athlete, it was baseball that first attracted Summerford. He eventually played football, too, but when he began a career in coaching, the direction came clear.

Summerford started out as an assistant at Tate, his alma mater, after six years on the staff. A guy he didn't know reached out.

Summerford helped turn the Jaguars from perennial losers to one of the area's best programs. His defenses became known for toughness.

Lees left for Milton after last season and Summerford earned the logical promotion.

While keeping many things the same, his touch and priorities are clear.

He brought his brother, Wes, over from Tate to be the defensive coordinator, and there there is dad.

Of course, the son also being the boss creates an interesting dynamic.

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