Rich McWhorter, whose 288 victories rank second among active Georgia head football coaches, is the new head coach at Jackson County.
McWhorter won four state titles at Charlton County (1999, 2004-006), where he became head coach in 1990 at age 26 when few wanted the job. The Indians hadn’t had a winning season since 1979. McWhorter had come from Illinois as an assistant. It was his first coaching job. But McWhorter’s first team with him as head coach went 11-3 and lost to Lincoln County in the Class A championship game.
McWhorter’s teams would go on to win 15 region titles and produce 86 all-state players including AJC Super 11 picks Champ Bailey and Boss Bailey, Marquis Elmore, Justin Mincey and Justin Williams.
At Jackson County, McWhorter will inherit a program that has had only one winning season (6-5 record in 2012) in the last 25 years. Jackson County and East Jackson, the county schools, have struggled to keep up in football with city schools Jefferson and Commerce, especially in recent years. Jackson County is about 60 miles northeast of Atlanta.
“I would like to thank the Board of Education for giving me the opportunity to lead the Jackson County football program,” McWhorter said in a statement released by Jackson County Schools. “I plan to bring a winning culture to Jackson County football, and I am glad to hear that the school and community are excited to embark on this journey with me. My family is excited to become a Panther family and part of the Jackson County High School family and community. I would also like to thank the principal, Dr. Pete Jones, and athletic director, Brad Hayes for their professionalism in leading this transition.”