Hal Lamb, who won three state championships and 18 region titles in his 20 seasons as Calhoun’s football coach, announced his retirement on Thursday.
‘’Me and my wife had prayed about it for two or three years now and had decided that this was probably the year I’d do it, and I felt it was time,’’ Lamb told AJC.com after meeting with his players. “I’ve coached a lot of football in my days. As a family, I felt it was time do something different.’’
Lamb steps down with the most victories of any Georgia high school football coach this century. His record is 231-29 since 2000 and 238-52 overall.
Lamb will remain part-time at the northwest Georgia school as director of athletic facilities and events coordinator. Clay Stephenson, a 12-year assistant coach at Calhoun, will be the Yellow Jackets’ new head coach.
When Lamb came to Calhoun in 1999, the football program had won only one playoff game and one region title since 1953. After 2-8 and 7-4 finishes in Lamb’s first two seasons, Calhoun reeled off 18 straight 10-win campaigns, each resulting in region championship, and 118 straight victories in games that counted in region standings. All three streaks are state records.
Calhoun won state championships in 2011, 2014 and 2017.
Among Calhoun’s star players were future NFL wide receivers Da’Rick Rogers and Kris Durham. Eight of his quarterbacks got all-state recognition include son Tre Lamb and nephew Taylor Lamb, who went on to become outstanding college quarterbacks. Tre Lamb is now the offensive coordinator at Tennessee Tech. Taylor is a graduate assistant coach at South Carolina.
‘’I think it takes a lot to be able to turn a program around,’’ Lamb said. “Our administration bought in and I was able to hire good assistants, and we were all on the same page. Then the kids worked extremely hard. We had some breaks early and won some big games, and they learned how to win. Then every new class that came in and every new team fed off the others and we just kept winning.’’
Lamb is part of one of Georgia’s most successful coaching families. His father, Ray, was a long-time head coach at Warrenton and Commerce. Hal was a wide receiver on Ray’s 1981 Commerce team that won a state title. Hal’s brother Bobby was the starting quarterback. Bobby Lamb is now head coach at Mercer.
Hal said retirement plans included watching watch his family coach on Saturdays, traveling with his wife and playing more golf. Asked if he might consider a college job himself, or any coaching position again, Lamb said he didn’t think so.
‘’That’s not the plan at this point,’’ Lamb said. “I don’t think I’ll coach again. I’m not saying I won’t. I might take a year or two off and see that I miss it, but at this time, I don’t think I’ll coach again.’’
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