Updated: Former Mill Creek football coach Jarvis takes Elbert County job

Mill Creek athletic director Shannon Jarvis, who was his school’s football coach from 2004 to 2018, was hired Monday as the football coach at Elbert County, his alma mater.

Jarvis started Mill Creek’s program in 2004 and led it to region titles and state semifinal appearances in 2015 and 2016. His record was 102-68 before deciding to turn the program over to long-time assistant Josh Lovelady after the 2018 season.

‘’When I stepped down, it was at a time when I needed a break,’’ Jarvis told AJC.com. “I really enjoyed being athletic director, but late last season, when we got into the playoffs and I was watching, there were just points when knew I missed it. In my current position [as athletic director], it’s more working with adults and not nearly as much one-on-one contact with kids. I knew that was something I missed.’’

Elbert County, a Class AA school in northeast Georgia, was 6-5 in 2019 in the only season under Brad Waggoner, who stepped down last month. Elbert is the alma mater of former Georgia star Mecole Hardman. Elbert has reached the playoffs 10 of the past 11 seasons and won region titles I 2013 and 2010 under Sid Fritts.

Elbert’s best era came in the 1990s under coach T. McFerrin, who led the Blue Devils to a Class AA championship in 1995. Jarvis was  Elbert County’s quarterback during McFerrin’s first two seasons in 1990 and 1991 and later coached with McFerrin at South Gwinnett.

‘’My memories growing up are sacred to me as they were essential to forming me into husband, father, teacher and coach I am today,’’ Jarvis wrote in a letter to Elbert County supporters and players. ‘’Throughout my career I have carried my Blue Devil Pride internally as it has privately pushed me through many of the tough and uncertain times.’’

Jarvis reiterated that in an interview Monday evening. He has two daughters, one a rising 10th grader, the other going into the eighth grade.

‘’There’s a lot to be said for raising kids the way I was raised,’’ Jarvis said. “It’s a different way of life, and I’m excited for my wife and kids to experience that.’’

Jarvis is among four coaches in the past few years who have gone from a metro Atlanta school in the state’s highest classification to smaller schools in more rural Georgia.

Kevin Reach went from Collins Hill to Monroe Area in 2017. Kyle Hockman left McEachern for New Hampsead on the Georgia coast in 2019. Phillip Ironside stepped down at Hillgrove earlier this year to take the Worth County job in south Georgia.

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