Lee Shaw (right) poses with his son Connor Shaw (16) in 2008. (Kimberly Smith/AJC)

Rabun County’s Shaw retires

Rabun County Wildcats football coach Lee Shaw is retiring, the school announced on Friday. He will be replaced by his son, Jaybo Shaw, who served as the team’s offensive coordinator.

Lee coached the Wildcats for seven seasons, turning the program around. Before he arrived from Flowery Branch in 2012, the Wildcats hadn’t had a winning season since 2000. He went 6-5 his first season with the Wildcats, and they improved each season, reaching the title game for the first time in school history in 2017. The Wildcats have won Region 8-AA five straight seasons dating back to 2014. Before Shaw arrived, they’d won a region title just once in 1998.

For Lee, taking the Rabun County job was a homecoming, as the quarterbacked the Wildcats from 1981-84. 

He released the following statement to the AJC:

I’ve had a great career coaching football. It’s been one heck of a ride. A retired coach once told me, “ you’ll know when it’s time to retire” and that statement became true after this past season. I always said that I would never stay in this profession if I felt like I was spent mentally and physically. 

I’m grateful to so many for fueling my passion for this game. Especially thankful for the young boys that I watched grow into young men because of what this sport reveals about you. I appreciate the coaches on all my staffs that battled with me and believed in the process that I was selling. And I will miss the coaches I battled against. That competition brought out greatness in everyone. 

I now look forward to my son Jaybo taking over at Rabun and taking the program to another level. 

For me now , I’m going to take a deep breath and see what the next journey will be in my life.

Lee, 53, would not rule out coaching again.

“Gonna take some off and recharge before I answer that,” Lee said.

When asked if coaching at the college level was a possibility, he said, “Not sure.”

As it stands, Lee retires with a record of 163-94 for a winning percentage of 63.42. He went 70-17 at Rabun County after he was the Flowery Branch Falcons’ first coach, where he was 79-41 from 2002-11. He won a region championship for the Falcons in ‘11 and guided them to their only championship game in ‘08. His coaching career began at White County, where he was 14-36 in five seasons from 1995-99.

Lee’s oldest son, Jaybo — who was quarterback under his father at Flowery Branch from ‘04-’07 and signed with Georgia Tech before transferring to Georgia Southern — will take over for his first head coaching job. He will presumably run the same, fast-paced, spread shotgun offense that Lee has perfected over the years.

Jaybo will inherit quarterback Gunner Stockton, who, as a freshman, was 190-of-291 passing for 2,917 yards and 34 touchdowns to just six interceptions while also rushing 105 times for 709 yards and 17 touchdowns.

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