New Faces, Different Places: Tyrone McGriff hopes to “Restore the Roar” to Leon

Leon Lions Head Football Coach Tyrone McGriff instructing a player in fall camp.
Leon Lions Head Football Coach Tyrone McGriff instructing a player in fall camp.(Ryan Kelly | WCTV)
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 12:01 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - It’s day two of fall camp at Leon High School.  The sun beaming off the turf of Bobby Benson Field is about the only thing more intense than Tyrone McGriff.  His tone isn’t angry, but it is urgent trying to teach the Lions a new way of doing things.

“We had a great summer of conditioning but there’s nothing like football conditioning,” McGriff says on the sweat soaked Tuesday. “They’re getting adjusted to the quick reps and the tempo of practice.”

The temperament of someone who believes failure is not an option.

“The tradition, the culture,” commented the first year coach on what attracted him to Leon. “And to tell you the truth I personally believe I can do things that other people can’t do and in order to have that personal belief in myself I have to take on challenges and I’m not afraid of challenges. "

The son of FAMU great Tyrone McGriff Sr., who’s been under Tallahassee royalty such as Billy Joe, Rudy Hubbard, Mike Hickman and Jarrod Hickman just to name a few has taken the task so many before him have failed to do before… “Restore the Roar” of the Lions and once again make Big Red a program worthy of its century plus of history.  A task his senior leaders are taking to heart as well.

“The first day everybody was dead.  It killed us but we saw that as we kept going through it, it kept getting better and better,” said senior tailback and linebacker Josiah Raven. “I think because they know coach McGriff cares they’re more committed, they’re buying in to putting in the work.”

The results off the field are obvious, McGriff has engaged Leon’s administration and alumni base and have renovated team centers like Cox-Sauls Fieldhouse as well as inviting prominent grads to return and speak with his team.

The results off the field however will have to be hard earned.  McGriff is hoping to use the Lions speed against Big Red’s schedule which includes a gauntlet of talent including up-and-coming Munroe, Ft. Lauderdale, Mosley, Niceville, Chiles and arch-rival Lincoln.  McGriff doesn’t believe in putting a number on success but hopeful that iron will sharpen iron.

“I think when coaches start guaranteeing stuff that’s outside of our control then you’re setting yourself up for failure,” observed McGriff who still says he has personal goals for the season. “One thing we can be is tough, we can be disciplined, we can work hard, we can play hard.  Those are the things we can guarantee. "

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