CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Darrin McKenzie has worked at Nelson County High School for the past six years in the IT department. This upcoming fall will be his first season as the Governors head football coach.
“I like where we are offensively a lot,” McKenzie said. “We’ve got some pretty good weapons coming back and defensively we have a lot of those guys coming back too. We just need to clean up some fundamental things.”
McKenzie first started as a volunteer helping out with the football team. He later became co-offensive coordinator with former head coach Matt Hicks.
“I think the principles that we instilled from the four years when he was here are going to help me carry on for us,” McKenzie said.
The 31-year-old says he has experience with the offensive side of the ball and is excited to see what his players will do come this fall.
“I’ve had my hands on mostly everything, so offensively we’re probably going to keep it the same," McKenzie said. “Defensively, we’re looking to see what we can do might make some changes.”
Being hired as a new head coach during the pandemic makes things challenging for McKenzie, but he says he’s doing everything he can to develop a relationship with his players through the phone.
“I’m still trying to reach out to some of the guys,” McKenzie said. “Some of the guys are not added to huddle yet. I’m trying to get their phone numbers and call and text guys, but for the most part I think I’ve talk to everybody that was on the team last year.”
McKenzie is hopeful he can reunite with his team as their head coach soon.
“Even if it’s small numbers maybe 10-12 or so at a time,” McKenzie said. “We could just schedule weight room stuff. It’s difficult to just figure out when to schedule, when I can do things or how I can do things, because there’s no timetable for anything. We just go back and plan and figure out some more body weight stuff. Try to get a little bit more conditioned.”
McKenzie and his staff are optimistic, but are also prepared if Coronavirus restrictions are not lifted by July when some central Virginia teams are able to have in-person practice.