The kids seem to be the same, and so are the coaching duties, but there is one thing that has caught him off guard on his return to high school.
“Email,” he said. “It’s the Internet. Now, I get 100 emails a day. I have 10 emails just telling me what I need to do for class each morning.”
Other than that, the 62-year-old former college and NFL assistant, most recently as a special assistant with the Tennessee Titans, said the transition back to Cobb County for him has been relatively smooth. But for his 80 players — rising sophomores, juniors and seniors — that may be a slightly different story.
“We’re trying to get them used to practicing fast,” Galbraith said. “We’re trying to make them more accountable time-wise.”
Galbraith explained with the example that the players are going to run 20 perfect offensive plays. Those 20 plays may take 20 minutes — or it may take a few hours — to run them correctly, but the idea is to do as much good work as they can in a hurry.
Galbraith was brought in to help return Harrison to its peak as a perennial region title contender.
Over the last four years, the Hoyas’ win total trended in the wrong direction. A nine-win season in 2008 was followed by 13 wins over the next three years, and with only one playoff game to show for their effort.
Last year, Harrison seemingly hit bottom. For the first time since 1995, the Hoyas failed to win at least five games, which prompted the coaching change. David Hines stepped down in November after going 3-7, and a four-month national search ensued.
The school administrators finally hired Galbraith in March, but despite the late start, the new coach is getting glimpses of what he wants to see come the fall.
“The players are working hard and they are doing what we want them to do,” he said.
With everything being new, Galbraith said he didn’t want to comment on how his players were performing as of yet, but he is sure to be keeping his eye on a couple key areas of need.
First and foremost, the Hoyas have to replace strong-armed quarterback Clay Chastain, a pair of 6-foot-5 receivers in Subby Adetujoye and Matt Nelson, running back Justin Brooks and defensive leaders Judd Haley and Tonne’ Osaigbovo, who are all set to graduate next week.
On Friday, Galbraith will get to see his team in a competitive setting for the first time when the Hoyas have their spring game. It will be a scripted scrimmage without kickoffs, and Galbraith is going to be looking for only one thing.
“Execution,” he said. “Execution on both sides of the ball.”
Though the practices have been good, Galbraith said he is looking forward to the school year ending, when he can really grab the players’ attention.
“You can capture them for the day during the summer,” he said. “We can come in, watch tape, do our workout cycles and then go learn football.
“We’ll be able to work with them because we have the passing camps. There’s a lot of teaching to be done, because we have a lot of ground to make up.”