Littleton named new Blue Devils head football coach

Feb. 16—TIFTON — Tift County football has its new head coach. Jeff Littleton was hired during a special called meeting of the Tift County Board of Education Friday, Feb. 16.

"I'm excited and honored, grateful for the leadership in this community," Littleton said at a press conference after he met with his new team. He was impressed by the crowd at the board meeting, which included many Blue Devils. "I'm really excited about the number of players who came this morning," he said, especially since school was not in session Friday.

"I think that says a lot," said Littleton. "I think they're hungry. They've been frustrated. They're hungry and ready to win."

Littleton comes to TCHS from Bainbridge, where he won a state championship during an 11-season stint with the Bearcats. He won 81 games during his time in Bainbridge, won the 5A state title in 2018 and made two semifinals. During his span, Bainbridge won five region championships.

He replaces Noel Dean in the Tift County post. Dean went 9-21 over three seasons with the Blue Devils, which included a state playoff appearance in 2021.

Leadership led Littleton here, he said. "That's what got me interested in this job." He previously coached at Tift County, part of Tommy Seward's staff in 2001.

"I've been here, I know of the community," he said. "This has always been a great town." He spoke of Tift's tradition in football. "Some great coaches have come through here, and I want to get it back on that winning tradition."

To get back to that tradition, Littleton said there would be a change in culture.

"I think with the support of everybody in the community, and our administration, and our board, and our superintendent, I think we can all get it done together."

Littleton has long been familiar with Tift County. He's a Sylvester native, playing for the legendary Milt Miller and was a member of the Rams' state title team in 1987.

A Tift Schools press release said he began his career as an assistant at Dooly County. Before and after his year in Tifton, Littleton was on staff at Worth, serving as defensive coordinator from 2002-04. From there, he was defensive coordinator at Cairo from 2005-12 before being named leader of the Bearcats.

Board member Rusty Harrelson made the motion to name Littleton head coach at the meeting, which was seconded by Jamie Hill. The vote to hire Littleton was unanimous.