Paine hires Greg Ruffin as football coach

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 1:34 PM
Last updated 10:21 PM
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Greg Ruffin is a builder, the trait Paine College sought when hiring a football coach.

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Greg Ruffin (left) speaks during Wednesday's news conference, where he was introduced as Paine College's football coach. Athletic Director Tim Duncan said it took longer than expected to find the right person for the job.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Greg Ruffin (left) speaks during Wednesday's news conference, where he was introduced as Paine College's football coach. Athletic Director Tim Duncan said it took longer than expected to find the right person for the job.

With the Lions restarting its program after a 51-year absence, the school hired a 39-year-old coach known for resurrecting the Shaw University program in 2002.

“I’m ecstatic about it,” Ruffin said. “It’s great to be the only show in town. That’s what excites me.”

Paine will start playing NCAA Division II football in 2014 as a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. This fall, the team will practice and play a handful of games against club teams.

Ruffin said he wants to have 100 players by fall.

Ruffin’s hiring came six weeks after National Signing Day, when high school football players officially committed to colleges, but he said he can bring in players who don’t pass the NCAA Clearinghouse this season.

“At Shaw, that’s how I built that program that first year,” Ruffin said. “I got some kids that otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to get. I had six defensive ends, five were 6-foot-5.”

Ruffin played fullback at Lane College. He helped breathe new life into the programs at Lincoln University in 1999 then Shaw, where he went 7-3 in his first season.

After working on the Division II level at Ouachita Baptist and Tuskegee, Ruffin served six seasons as an assistant at Division I Jackson State. In 2012, he was the recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach at Texas Southern.

Ruffin and his wife, Mia, have one daughter and two sons.

Paine announced in late October plans to revive the football program. Athletic director Tim Duncan planned to hire a coach within 90 days, but he said he and the steering committee needed extra time to bring in the right person.

“This was the critical hire not only because it provides a measure of comfort, but because people believe we’re actually moving forward with this,” Duncan said. “And it allows a direct contact for the many, many phone calls I’ve received.”

Duncan said the school is putting together a coaches caravan that will travel in April to Atlanta; Greenville, S.C.; and other local stops. An open tryout will be held April 27.

Comments (11) Add comment
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Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 03/20/13 - 03:36 pm
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100 players?? Does Paine

100 players?? Does Paine even have 100 male students?? No, I'm not kidding....I know for a fact that there are other HBC (I think that's right) that have just alittle over a hundred students enrolled total. I will say this, Coach should be able to pick up some decent players from other schools who weren't able to qualify. Only problem is that there's a reason they weren't able to qualify. Oh, well...sounds like he knows what he's doing! Good luck and I hope they have great success getting started. If Georgia's got an off-weekend, I wouldn't mind seeing these guys play.
BRING ON THE PAINE!!!!!!

Hey...that's a freebie guys! If you want it, you have my permission to use it!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/20/13 - 04:38 pm
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I need to see if I have any

I need to see if I have any eligibility left.

Young Fred
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Young Fred 03/20/13 - 05:46 pm
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This is great! I don't

This is great! I don't expect much starting out, but hopefully they will build to a good team over time. Sign me up for season tickets! About time we had a local FBall team! (especially since it’s looking more and more like we’ll lose our hockey and baseball teams!!!)

Educate me; I'm assuming the NCAA divisions are based on student population? If so, what is Paine College’s student population in relation to the range? I’m hoping it’s towards the high end of the spectrum – but if not, that’s ok; it will make each win that much sweeter!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/20/13 - 06:25 pm
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Fred

Fred it is NOT based on population. You can play at any level you want as long as you can qualify with things such as stadium size, etc. Realistically, Paine is fit for D-2. Ga Southern is in D-1, but it is in the thing called the Sub Division, meaning the smaller schools. Ga Southern is about ready to move up to full D-1 status, incidentally.

The more I think about Paine, they could draw some great crowds with this new thing for Augusta. The CSRA is big enough to put lots of people in the seats. They could be the impetus to draw some good small college competition to play games here.

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 03/20/13 - 06:47 pm
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When I think of Paine and

When I think of Paine and their future competition, I think of the CSRA Classic-type games. And just look at those games....always have good traveling fan bases, people who love the whole college football game atmosphere including tailgating and bands! Lots of fun for the entire family.
I miss the Arena football games that we used to have here in Augusta. This could be a definite step above that!
Has it been decided where they would play? That is a HUGE decision and requires careful thought and consideration. Don't just have a knee-jerk response and decide to play at the Laney stadium. I'm just trying to help here, NOT stir any pot! If you truly want a good cross-section of Augustans to come and be a part of this...not just Paine alumni and students, then think of a more geographically central location.
This should be fun to follow and see it grow.

Connor Threlkeld
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Connor Threlkeld 03/20/13 - 07:37 pm
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Young Fred, two of the

Young Fred, two of the primary criteria involved in NCAA Divisions are the number of sports fielded and the number of scholarships for student athletes. Division I schools must field seven sports for men and seven for women, Division II and DIII is five and five. To keep up with gender balance requirements, schools can have more sports for women than men (i.e., to balance out a large football team with several smaller women's teams). Also, I believe there are minimum and maximum scholarship requirements to compete at each level in each sport. Division I FBS football offers up to 85 scholarships, FCS football's limit is 63, but Division III athletic departments are not allowed to offer athletic scholarships to attract athletes. In some cases, schools compete in multiple divisions. Augusta State competes in Division I golf, but Division II for everything else. Johns Hopkins is Division III for most sports, but Division I for lacrosse. Football Bowl Subdivision schools must average at least 15,000 in attendance at games at least every other year.

Just My Opinion, I believe the initial plan is to compete at Laney High School's stadium, but that could change. It is common for beginning, and even established programs, (especially at the Division II and Division III levels), to share stadiums with high schools, primarily because building a facility may be prohibitively expensive to a new program. Even in Division I, many college teams share with pro teams.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/20/13 - 08:00 pm
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Sports' Fans

Connor, you went into a lot more detail than I did about the designations. Great. Yeah, we all know it is common to share stadiums with high schools for small programs. If there is any positive about Charles Larke, he built huge stadiums all over Augusta. There shouldn't be a problem finding one.

I agree with everything you said, however I wish you had noted the number of scholarships at a D-2 school which is what this is about since Paine is going D-2... for now.

I would not play the games at Laney, however. I would play at Richmond Academy to attract a more diverse crowd.

What are you going to try out for? I'm going to try out for long snapper. Snap the ball and fall on my face. If on the return the guy comes my way as I'm on the ground I'll try to trip him. I will donate a huge sum if they allow me to snap the ball just ONCE... Ummm, thinking about this, maybe I should just be the guy who puts his finger on the top of the ball on a windy day for the kickoff. I'm a football player.

Connor Threlkeld
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Connor Threlkeld 03/20/13 - 08:05 pm
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We do have stacks of football

We do have stacks of football stadiums around here, no question.

I mainly didn't include DII numbers because I was struggling to find them from a legitimate source. I knew the Division I numbers offhand, and I knew Division III doesn't do scholarships. I finally found this chart listing scholarships by Division (the max for DII is 36):

http://www.scholarshipstats.com/ncaalimits.html

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/20/13 - 08:19 pm
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Connor, thanks. Cool... I'll

Connor, thanks. Cool... I'll let you be the guy with his finger on the ball on a windy day if I ever get to make a snap on an extra point when the score is 66 to 0 and I (you) get a story.

LillyfromtheMills
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LillyfromtheMills 03/21/13 - 09:32 am
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I wanta play

Count me in!!!

Young Fred
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Young Fred 03/21/13 - 09:48 am
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Thanks for the info. Since

Thanks for the info.

Since Paine has such a small student population to pull from, I'm guessing that will put them at a distinct disadvantage. I suppose that's what scholarships are for. Like I said, it will make each win that much sweeter.

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