Prep Zone

Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

15 Class AA schools to open season with new head coaches

Number of hires: 15 

Best hire: Ricky Ross, Model 

Hardest to replace: Gordon Powers, Model 

Best job: Putnam County 

Toughest job: Oglethorpe County 

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Most interesting: Model's new coach, Ricky Ross, has coached in state-championship games in seven of the past 10 seasons, five with Calhoun as a defensive coordinator and two as head coach at Murphy County in Tennessee. He won one, with Calhoun in 2011. 

Region 1 

*Berrien hired Coffee assistant Tim Alligood to replace Bill Cribb, whose teams were 8-14 in two seasons. Alligood had been Berrien's defensive coordinator under Ed Pilcher. Cribb is now on the staff at Cook. 

Region 2 

*Bryan County hired former Richmond Hill assistant Abram Scott to replace Mario Mincey, who was 0-9 in one season as the interim coach. Mincey, who took the head job last summer after two previously hired candidates backed out, will continue as Bryan's girls basketball coach. Scott is a former Western Carolina player who started coaching as a graduate assistant at Georgia Southern in 2010. He was at Richmond Hill in 2016 and was an assistant principal at Bryan Middle School last year. 

*Metter hired Vidalia defensive coordinator Rodney Garvin to replace Chris Johnson, whose teams were 11-19 in three seasons, 3-7 in 2017. Garvin, at Vidalia the past 11 seasons, also has coached at Thomson (including the 2002 state-championship team), Evans and Jenkins County. Johnson is now defensive coordinator at Effingham County. 

Region 3 

*East Laurens hired Griffin defensive coordinator Bin Turner to replace Chris Robinson, whose teams were 1-19 in two seasons. Turner was head coach at Rockmart for two seasons (2014-15) with a record of 5-16. He also has coached at McIntosh County Academy, Twiggs County, Swainsboro, Metter and Fitzgerald. Robinson is still at East Laurens coaching middle school football, middle school girls soccer and high school girls soccer. 

*Northeast hired Warner Robins receivers coach Jeremy Wiggins, a Northeast alumnus, to replace Ashley Harden, who took the Stewart County job. Wiggins, whose Warner Robins offense set passing records in the Demons' run to the state finals last season, had been Northeast's offensive coordinator the season before. He was an All-America defensive back at Appalachian State, where he was part of two national championship teams, and was named the best player in Northeast football history last year by GHSF Daily. Northeast was 5-4 last year in Harden's only season. 

Region 4 

*Glenn Hills hired its former JV and feeder team coach, Brandon Tull, to replace Nick Collins, whose teams were 9-12 in two seasons and reached the playoffs for the first time in eight years in 2016. Tull spent 2017 as North Clayton's baseball coach but came home to Glenn Hills, where he was the head middle school coach the two previous seasons. Tull played on Josey's 1995 state championship team. Collins is now an assistant at Dublin. 

*Josey named athletics director and offensive coordinator Marcus Jackson as interim coach to replace Raleigh Roundtree, who resigned in mid-July amid allegations of an improper relationship with a former student. Josey was 13-38 in five seasons under Roundtree. 

Region 5 

*Jordan hired Stewart County assistant and former Carver (Columbus) head coach Joe Kegler to replace Justin Newman, who took the Spencer job. Kegler was let go at Carver, his alma mater, despite a 28-7 record in three seasons. Kegler also was offensive coordinator on three region-championship teams at Carver under Dell McGee before getting the head coaching job. 

*Spencer hired Jordan head coach Justin Newman to replace Pierre Coffey, who resigned to become assistant principal at Baker Middle School. Newman's Jordan teams were 0-10 and 2-8 at a school that has not made the playoffs since 2006. Newman previously had coached at Wheeler County, Pacelli, Carver and his alma mater, Shaw. 

Region 6 

*KIPP Atlanta Collegiate promoted its middle school coach, Bruce Adrine, to replace Lester Caldwell, who started the program in 2013 and led it to a playoff berth in 2016. Adrine, a former Lakeside (Atlanta) and University of Georgia player, led the middle school team to a 9-0 record last season. He has been at KIPP for five seasons and previously was on Tucker's staff, including the 2011 state-championship team. Caldwell remains at the school as a teacher. 

Region 7 

*Armuchee hired Cass offensive coordinator Jeremy Green to replace Muhammad Abdellatif, whose teams were 6-34 in four seasons. Green also has been a defensive coordinator for Franklin County (2008-12) and Sonoraville (2013-16). Abdellatif is now on the staff of newly hired Kennesaw Mountain coach Caleb Carmean. 

*Model hired Sonoraville defensive coordinator Ricky Ross to replace Gordon Powers, who retired. Ross was Calhoun's defensive coordinator from 2008 to 2012. He was head coach at Marion County in Tennessee for two seasons and compiled a 25-4 record and reached two Class 2A championship games before taking the job as McCallie's defensive coordinator in 2016. Model slumped to 1-9 last season after reaching the playoffs for five consecutive seasons under Powers. 

Region 8 

*Banks County hired Hart County assistant Jay Reid to replace Josh Shoemaker, who led the Leopards to their first back-to-back playoff appearances in 20 years in his two seasons. Reid, a former Georgia Tech player from Franklin County, also has coached at West Hall, Franklin County, Jackson County and, out of college, Banks County for two seasons. Banks originally promoted assistant Chad Cheatham in December, but Cheatham chose in March to take the same job at Fannin County, his alma mater. Shoemaker remains at Banks County as a teacher and is coaching his son's 9-and-under recreational team. 

*Oglethorpe County promoted Ronnie Harris to replace Richard Andrews, who became head coach at Pataula Charter. Harris has coached and taught in the Oglethorpe County system since 2001. He was a starting cornerback on Georgia's 1981 and 1982 SEC championship teams. 

*Putnam County promoted defensive coordinator Shaun Pope to replace Kyle Gourley. Pope has two previous GHSA head coaching stints, each lasting just one season. He went 4-6 for Chattahoochee County in 2010 and 0-10 for Montgomery County in 2006. Gourley is now an assistant at Flowery Branch. 

Coming Thursday: Class A 

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