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Football: Allison ready to face challenges as East's first football coach
Brian Allison
Brian Allison was named East Forsyth's inaugural football coach last week. Photo submitted

Brian Allison is accustomed to the annual minutiae of high school football's offseason.

There's ordering equipment, outfitting players for uniforms and preparing for spring practice, among many other tasks left squarely on the head coach's shoulders. 

But Allison, recently named East Forsyth's inaugural football coach, hasn't seen an offseason quite like this one, despite his 25-year head coaching career in Georgia. 

That's because Allison is tasked with laying the bricks for East's football program, building the Broncos culture from the ground up.

"There's going to be a lot of challenges involved," Allison said. "Right now, we don't have a coached hired and I've yet to meet a student-athlete. I just think the initial getting to know everyone and getting everyone on the same page — because we're going to be pulling from two different high schools."

Allison spent 19 seasons at Union County, combining a six-year stint from 1996-01 with a 13-year tenure than began in 2008. Allison also coached six seasons at Winder-Barrow. 

Allison is one of only 12 Union County head football coaches dating back to the school's opening in 1957. In fact, Allison surpassed his former head coach, Terry Rogers, as the school's all-time wins leader in 2012 and finished with a 121-77 record at Union County.

"I've grown up in Union County, went to Union County and I have family in Union County," Allison said. "It was a tough deal to make the initial decision, but when the decision was made, I've been excited about the opportunity at East Forsyth. The people in Forsyth County have been just marvelous and welcomed me with open arms. I'm just really excited about the opportunity."

Union County developed a penchant for its high-powered offenses under Allison.

Prior to this past season, the Panthers averaged 30 points per game every year since 2013, highlighted by the 2014 team's school-record 453 points in 11 games.

That season marked the first time Union County reached 400 points in a season. The Panthers surpassed that mark four more times from 2015-16 and 2018-19.

"We want to still be able to be a wide-open offense," Allison said. "We have been fortunate that we've had some good quarterbacks come through our program, and we've had some good receivers come through the program. We've had some really good players come through the program the last few years. We'll start working that offensive philosophy and that offensive scheme when they get here. The biggest thing is we're teaching fundamentals, we're teaching kids how to throw and catch, to block, to tackle. Football's football. We want to work hard to put our kids in the best position we can to be as successful as they can."

East will draw from Forsyth Central and North Forsyth.

Allison is hopeful the Broncos will host a spring practice, though East is in a unique position since all of its potential players are currently enrolled at another school.

According to the 2020-21 GHSA constitution, spring practice "may be held on 10 school days from Feb. 1 until the end of the school year, spaced over 13 consecutive school days."

Schools have until Feb. 1 to determine whether they will have spring practice.

"I really hope we're able to get a spring practice," Allison said. "We've had that conversation, and I think that we will. That's the plan moving forward, is to have a spring practice. I'll start at East on March 1st, so I want to start meeting kids and start making decisions on if they're coming to East, or what's happening with them. I want to start working with the kids as soon as I can."