Troup’s Andrew Calhoun named Region 4-4A athletic director of the year

Published 5:09 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Troup athletic director Andrew Calhoun is in the midst of just his fourth school year in charge of athletics at the school, but he has quickly rejuvenated the athletic department. All this hard work culminated in him being named Region 4-4A athletic director of the year.

“I told everybody when I got here there was a lot of good things going, To use an analogy, I saw there was a fire here and wanted to throw some gas and we have been able to do that,” Calhoun said.

For Calhoun, it is a great honor that he believes he shares and owes to everyone who makes up the Troup athletic staff.

“I was honored because it is voted on by your peers, all the athletic directors in the region,” Calhoun said. “This is really a testament to how hard everybody works here at Troup High School. I’m receiving the award, but really it’s an award for all the coaches here. I just oversee everybody.”

Originally from Griffin, where he played football before returning as a coach, Calhoun has made Troup County his home.

Troup County is a place that has molded Calhoun as a leader and a man these last few years.

“I have really become a better listener,” Calhoun said. “With my personality type, I like to come in and take control and be anal about some things. I’ve become a better listener and open to what the other side of things is.”

Troup already had established programs like the football team under coach Tanner Glisson and the girls basketball team under coach Carla Thornton, but there are also programs that he has helped build from the ground up. In the last couple of years, Calhoun has helped found the girls flag football program and the e-sports team. While the girls flag football team is still finding its footing, the e-sports team is already one of the top 15 teams in the state.

Calhoun has also had to replace coaches and bring in some new faces to help guide the boys and girls at Troup High. None of his hires have had quite the impact that athletic trainer Marty McCann and volleyball coach Hutch Blair have had.

“There is a lot to improve, but there is a lot we are doing well right now, just look at the girls volleyball team making the first elite eight in school history and softball has now been to the state playoffs for four years in a row,” Calhoun said. 

“[Marty] has been one of the, if not the best, hires we’ve made in my tenure. He is worth every penny he earns.”

Sure, Calhoun wants to bring more region and state championships back to Troup High, but his biggest goal currently is to expand the amount of students at the school that are participating in athletics.

“I want to keep growing our programs because even though numbers are up in a lot of sports, we only have around 350-375 out of 1300 that are playing a sport,” Calhoun said. “I’d like to see that participation number grow into the 400-450 range.”

Even though programs like football and one-act have been super successful before Calhoun took over, he has been able to see the programs reach new heights with the football team capturing its first region title in 35 years in 2022 and the one-act team winning back-to-back region titles.

It has been a learning process for Calhoun since he got to Troup, his first athletic director job. Letting go of coaching was difficult, but moving into administration has opened up some new activities in his life.

“I do miss the camaraderie of being with all the coaches during a season and I miss being in the weight room with all the guys, but now I get to go spend time with my two little boys and my wife,” Calhoun said. “That time has been replaced by something even better.”

Running an athletic department is the ultimate team effort, requiring coordination, precision and often, a ton of patience. It was a trial by fire at first for Calhoun as he navigated these new and uncharted waters in his life. He came out of the first year, a wiser and more experienced man, and the Troup athletic department is all the better for it.