Rasmus explains decision to leave Russell County - WRBL

Rasmus explains decision to leave Russell County

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PHENIX CITY, Ala. -

Low numbers, lack of continuity, and scrambling for transfers caused Tony Rasmus to leave the Russell County Warriors for a job with Florence (Ala.) High School.

According to Rasmus, a number of kids in the Russell County school district prefer to attend either Smiths Station or Phenix City-Central, leaving him scrambling to fill a roster with transfers.

"We just don't have the numbers," Rasmus said. "We have 1A numbers at a 5A school, and it's just hard to compete, really. We've done a great job competing with those kids. [We] just don't have any depth, and it's tough. You fight those battles over the years and then you reach a point where you're like, ‘Man, I'd like a better situation where I don't have to fight those same battles.'"

Such a dependence on transfers prevented Rasmus from developing continuity in the program, usually a strength in an area like Russell County.

"You can't really take your seventh grade kids, your eighth grade kids, and get them ready in your system," he said. "We go through this little cyclic period where we'll have eighth graders, ninth graders come in. They'll grow up just like this year's class did. All good players, [they] developed really well, then they graduate and we don't have anything left. Now, we had 10 more fixing to transfer in, but again, it's the same cycle of stuff, and I just got tired of doing it, to be perfectly honest."

Rasmus had previously expressed interest in the Smiths Station head coaching job, which came open Monday with the resignation of long-time coach Clinton Britton. However, Rasmus said he "put out feelers" in recent weeks, and received no indication of interest from Smiths Station.

The move to Florence High is now official, after Rasmus and several assistants were approved by the school board on Friday.

He leaves Russell County after 13 years, 401 wins, a state and a national title.

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