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Columbia staying cautious with approach to season

Head coach Brian Allen to take smaller role
Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 11:43 AM EDT
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LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) -One of the top teams in North Central Florida football will be running things a little differently this fall.

Brian Allen, head coach of the 6A powerhouse Columbia Tigers, is scaling back head coaching duties out of COVID-19 concerns.  Allen has compelling reasons.  He has a child who is at risk to virus exposure and a member of his coaching staff also passed away due to COVID-19 earlier this summer.

Allen will continue to oversee the program, though from a distance on the practice field and during games.  He’ll remain involved in game-planning and strategy but on-field coaching duties now go to defensive coordinator John Woodley.

Allen has been one of the more vocal coaches in maintaining a conservative, slow approach to the return of sports during the pandemic.  Columbia only started the conditioning phase of workouts this week while several other schools have moved on to practicing in pads.

“Day one for us even finding out who is coming out this year, telling kids to separate right away, that was one of the things that happened, and us having no idea of who’s positive who’s negative,” said Allen. “I’m not surprised it (teams starting practice on Aug. 24) happened but I won’t be surprised by anything that happens once it starts.” 

Columbia finished 10-2 in 2018 and 8-4 last season, falling in the Class 6A regional semifinals in both years.  The Tigers list their first game this season as Sept. 25.

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