2020 36 Blitz: Henry Clay Blue Devils

The Blue Devils have a new head coach for the first time since 1992.

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LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ) – 1992, that was when then head coach Sam Simpson took over the Henry Clay Blue Devils. 28 years later, Demetrius Gay takes over for the program’s winningest coach. While he may have a new title, Coach Gay entering his 19th year on the staff.

“I played for Coach Simpson so he coached me,” says Coach Gay. “When I got out of college I came back, I learned a lot of things from all the coaches who have been through the program, but I do want to put my own spin on it.”

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As Coach Gay takes over, he’s finding out what a lot of new head coaches find out. There is a lot more to coaching than just on-the-field action.

“I think the biggest thing with me having a track background and coaching track, I know a lot about the money, but when you get into football it’s a different beast. Everything is costly.,” said Coach Gay. “It’s a lot of money to run a program and we’re figuring it out and hopefully we’ll be good.”

The Blue Devils haven’t even kicked off the first game of Coach Gay’s tenure and he’s already taking some heat. While the rest of the state will kick off their season September 11th, the Blue Devils will start two weeks later on September 25th. Why? He wants to make sure his team has ample time to prepare for the season.

“It was a hard decision, but you know I’m all about safety. Keeping these kids safe is the most important thing. So if I was going to take the heat for those two games, then I was going to take it.”

When the Blue Devils do begin their new season, They will be replacing some key players including quarterback DJ Van Horn.

“We’ve got some guys who have come and it’s an open competition. I’ve told the guys that every position is open. Quarterback is one of the position that the limelight is on so everybody is going to be looking at who’s that guy.”

Players won’t be the only new ones. Coach Gay has also brought in seven new assistant coaches who are gearing up for the season as well.

“I think we’re doing a great job. The new coaches are doing a great job helping the guys. We’re learning a lot, breaking things down for the guys so they can understand why we do this and why we do that so it’s going and I hope that it’s going to be great for us.”

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com