Boys Junior Varsity Football, Boys Varsity Football · Ray Tiller named Bartow football head coach, remains AD


Bartow Principal Emilean Clemons named Athletic Director Rayshawn Tiller as the head coach Thursday. He will also remain as the athletic director, a position he has held for a year.

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By Bill Kemp The Ledger
BARTOW – After rifling through 107 applications and interviewing several candidates, the Bartow football head coaching job will remain in house.

Bartow Principal Emilean Clemons named Athletic Director Rayshawn Tiller as the head coach Thursday. He will also remain as the athletic director, a position he has held for a year.
“After an exhaustive search, I, with help from our search committee made up of school administrators, faculty members and community stakeholders, decided that Coach Tiller’s background as an educator, previous experience as a head football coach, familiarity with the students, and keen understanding of the needs of our community were key factors in the final decision,” Clemons stated.
County employees cannot receive an athletic director stipend ($4,100) and football head coach stipend ($3,974) at the same time. So, Tiller said the details on his compensation will be worked out with county Athletic Director Dan Talbot in the near future.
“There were six great candidates, and for whatever reason we didn’t feel they were a great fit,” Tiller said. “One, who interviewed the best, just didn’t have any head coaching experience.”

“And then the committee just asked me if I would consider doing it. They know I am familiar with the kids and I have been in the program for two years. They’ve seen my work with the track program and as the AD.”
Tiller, 40, was serving as the offensive coordinator the past two seasons under former head coach Jake McCrae, who vacated the position in mid-March. He came to Bartow after a four-year stint as the Jacksonville Stanton football head coach.
He was originally Stanton’s running backs coach, special teams coordinator and offensive and defensive coordinator before becoming the head coach and posting a 3-37 record at the Class 5A school.
“We don’t want to be just a good football team at Bartow. We want to start building a good program,” Tiller said. “For me, it’s about building the program up to the likes of basketball teams, our softball teams and cheer programs. Those are all good programs and not just good teams, and I think good programs last for years. But we want to compete and we want to be tough.”
— Bill Kemp can be reached at Bill.Kemp@newschief.com; follow him on Twitter @BillKempSports.