On Tuesday afternoon at the fieldhouse, North Oconee High School introduced Tyler Aurandt as its new head football coach.
Aurandt takes over for Terry Tuley, who resigned following the 2016 season after 11 seasons at the helm of the Titans’ football program.
“I am very blessed to be here. I have had the opportunity to work with a lot of great people and they helped me move to this point in my career,” Aurandt said.
He graduated from Greater Atlanta Christian and was a four-year letterman at Valdosta State. He started three years and won a national championship as a player for Valdosta State. He got his start in coaching at Valdosta State and helped the program win a national championship.
He took a job at Grayson and was there for three years, winning a state championship with the Rams. He then went to Parkview and helped the Panthers during their rebuild.
“(Parkview’s) offense ranked among the best in the state in the last couple of years under his tutelage as the offensive coordinator. He has been calling the plays and doing those things there,” said North Oconee athletic director Michael Dowis. “Tyler caught our eye for a lot of different reasons. He checked a lot of the boxes were looking for – discipline, someone who is going to run a very disciplined program, someone who is going to be high character and hold the young men that play for him in high character and hold them to a high standard of character. Plus he has a high expectation to win and be successful. He has an understanding that just doesn’t happen on Friday nights. That is a process that you take these young men through. We are thrilled with what we’ve got. We interviewed a lot of different people and we feel like we ended up with the best available coach. We are thrilled to be here today.”
Aurandt said it was the community that drew him to North Oconee’s opening.
“When I moved up here from Valdosta, I have always had my eye on this place, just from driving through it to go to Georgia games every Saturday with my family,” Aurandt said. “My dad has always spoken very highly of this community. When I saw this job came open, that was the first thing that really sparked my interest. After talking to these guys, their vision and their plan for how they see this developing over the next three to five years became even more exciting to us. The community and the people that are involved is really what sparked the interest.”
Aurandt said the style of offense and defense the Titans will run is based on what the players do best. Grayson ran the wing-T while he was there, and both Valdosta State and Parkview ran the spread while he was there.
“Our brand of football will be very exciting to watch,” Aurandt said. “We are going to have a lot of fun and play with a lot of tempo. We are going to play with a lot of passion and a lot of energy. I can tell you that is going to happen. To sit here and say this is the offense and this is the defense we are going to run, I am unsure of at this time.
“When I met with Coach Dowis and (principal) Dr. (Philip) Brown a few weeks ago and they shared their vision of the program, it was very much in line with what I had in mind. We hit it off from day one in terms of what we saw we could get out of this community and out of this program. I had a chance to meet with the boys this morning. I’m very excited. They seem to be very engaged and very excited about what is going on. I reminded them that this is going to be very tough. It will be a lot of adversity. We will be getting to know each other and hopefully they are willing to accept that challenge as we move forward through this together. I reminded them several times we are going to be doing this together so if they ever have an issue or anything is ever going on, I want them to feel like they can come and talk to me because, again, this is brand new to me and this is brand new to them. I want to make sure they understand that we are all on the same team here and we will get through this whole process together. Our mission statement is going to be, ‘To be good citizens and to overcome adversity and toughness with great maturity.’ This will be their first opportunity to overcome some adversity. We are going to challenge them to handle this with great maturity. That is the goal. I am looking forward to getting over here in a few weeks and really dig in and get this thing going in the right direction.”