Youngblood comes to South Cobb after three years as the defensive coordinator at Burke County High School in Waynesboro, his alma mater. The Bears reached the Class AAAA state quarterfinals in 2012 and claimed the 2011 Class AAA state championship.
He was also on the staff at Tucker when it won the Class AAAA title in 2008.
During his nine years as a coach, the teams Youngblood has coached went a combined 86-24.
“I’ve just been blessed to be in the right place at the right time,” he said.
Now, he wants to make South Cobb the right place.
Youngblood replaces former coach Ed Koester, who resigned in January to spend more time with family and move closer to his Cherokee County home.
“When I applied for the job, I looked at a lot of different things,” the 33-year-old Youngblood said. “South Cobb has always had athletes. And coach Koester has done a great job of getting the program where it needs to be. I just want to come in here and build on that success and hopefully get them over the hump (to winning region championships and playoff games).”
Youngblood also said he is excited to be a coach in Region 4AAAAAA.
“One of the things I am looking forward to is the intensity,” said Youngblood, who said he expects South Cobb to run a 3-3-5 defensive scheme and a power-spread offense similar to what Burke County has employed in recent years. “Every week, you know you are going to play a team that is capable of winning a lot of football games.”
Terry Crowder is well aware of what Youngblood can do. Crowder was an assistant coach at Burke County when Youngblood played there, and helped him get his first coaching job at his alma mater in 2004.
Crowder became the head coach at Chattahoochee and brought Youngblood in as his defensive coordinator in 2006.
“He is the smartest player I have ever coached,” said Crowder, who recently became the head coach at Creekview High School in Canton. “And he has the best feel for a game that I’ve been around.”
This will be Youngblood’s second head-coaching job. He spent one season at Dunwoody in 2009, leading the Wildcats to a 7-5 record and the second round of the Class AAA state playoffs.
Youngblood said if there was one thing he learned in his one season at Dunwoody, that it would be to communicate well with everyone — parents, players, the administration and his coaching staff.
“I’m just excited to be a head coach again,” Youngblood said. “I want to bring a good product to the field. I just love the competition.”
Communication is one of the factors, South Cobb athletic director Chuck Stines said, that set Youngblood apart from the other 62 coaches that applied for the position.
“Everybody we talked to had good things to say about him,” Stines said. “Sometimes you hear good things, but that doesn’t come across when you sit down for the interview. With (Youngblood), those things just came through when you talked to him.
“And just look at the programs he’s been in. Everywhere he’s been, they’ve been successful.”
Youngblood graduated from Georgia Southern with a degree in sports management and minor in business. On the field, he was a second-team all-Southern Conference selection in 2001, and was part of national championship teams in 1999 and 2000 under Paul Johnson.
He later went back to school and received a master’s degree in foundations of education from Troy University in 2006.
Youngblood comes to South Cobb certified to teach three subjects — math, special education and physical education. It will aid him in school, and with his ability to put together a coaching staff.
“I’ve tried to make myself more marketable,” said Youngblood, who has three daughters with his wife, Rasmiyyah — 11-year-old Kaylah, 8-year-old Myleah and 6-year-old Rikayah. “I am trying to make myself more flexible. You are only as good as your assistants, so, if I can bring in someone that teaches math, I can slide over and take something in physical education (if the teaching spots are available).”
Youngblood said details about his start date at South Cobb are still being worked out. He currently is a math teacher at Burke County, and he may have to complete the school year there before he can come to Austell full time.
However, that doesn’t mean he won’t have a presence with his new team.
“Right now, the coaches have the guys in the weight room, and I need them to continue to run things,” Youngblood said. “We’re going to have spring practice, and I’ll be going back and forth, and then I’ll transfer in at the end of the year.”