Knapp: 'Can't have culture without foundation'

Juston Lewis | The Valdosta Daily TimesFirst-year Georgia Christian head football coach Chuck Knapp speaks with the media during the ITG Next Media Day on Saturday. 

VALDOSTA — Georgia Christian head coach Chuck Knapp took part of the ITG Next Media Day on Saturday afternoon for area high school football coaches. 

Knapp was hired as the new coach of the Generals in February after athletic director Willis Colson manned the role last season. 

He comes to the Generals after being with Faulkner University since the start of their program in 2007.

Knapp spoke about the GCS community and their willingness to assist each other in any way possible. 

He also discussed the summer workouts that the Generals have done and the expectations for the new offense. 

“We’re trying to start all over again,” Knapp said. “We’re building it up. Of course all of you know that Georgia Christian hasn’t had football for that long. We’ve kind of spit and sputtered through the years the past four years. This is our opportunity to start building the culture and building the foundation.”

He also talked about the transition from a program with more than 150 kids at Faulkner University to less than 30 at GCS. The transition gives him an opportunity to actually learn his players beyond the football field. 

“You get to know these athletes in a whole other level than you would. I’m used to having 160 players, I had 30 defensive linemen in my position group last year alone let alone 26 or 27 players. I’ve gotten to know these guys on a different personal lesson. It’s actually a blessing. The relationship you have with these guys is a whole lot deeper than if they were just one sport guys. I feel like I get more out of the players than I would if I didn’t have that many players.” 

As a head coach Knapp said he wants to see success for the program. 

The best way to do that? By putting his players in the best position to succeed on and off the field. 

“It’d be great to say we’re going to win this that or the other but they’re the ones that have to do it,” Knapp said. “I’m going to succeed when they succeed. So I’m going to do everything I can to put them in position to succeed. Both on the athletic field and in the classroom. 

The biggest thing that Knapp has to tackle in his first season is building a foundation and creating a culture. Valdosta is dubbed as TitleTown and Georgia Christian wants to add to that moniker. 

“I don’t think we have to prove anything to anybody,” Knapp said. “I think we’ve got to prove something to ourselves. We’ve got to prove to TitleTown, to Valdosta, to the Valdosta area and to Dasher that we belong in the football conversation.” 

All indications show that GCS football is moving in a different direction.

But first, the Generals have to build a foundation. 

One of Knapp’s final statements rang the loudest.

“You can’t have culture without foundation,” Knapp said.

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