Spring football: Class AA coaching changes


Welcome to the first 2018 spring football update for Class AA. Since the 2017 season ended with Hapeville Charter claiming its first state title in program history, there have been a number of coaching changes.

Let’s look at some of them.

Oglethorpe County

New coach: Ronnie Harris

Notes: Yes, UGA fans, that Ronnie Harris. The Patriots are replacing Richard Andrews after just two seasons and one win with Harris, a former Bulldogs defensive back who twice intercepted Pittsburgh's Dan Marino in the 1982 Sugar Bowl. Harris will be the program's fourth coach since 2005, which was the last year the Patriots enjoyed a winning season. Since 2013, they're 4-45 including 0-10 in 2016. They haven't been to the playoffs since 1998.

Perhaps with Harris’ name recognition and background, he can turn the program around.

Banks County

New coach: Open

Notes: What is going on at Banks County? The Leopards appeared headed in a positive direction with Josh Shoemaker, who took over in 2016 and led them to the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, with Banks County advancing to the second round in '16 thanks to a forfeit by K.I.P.P.

But, for reasons unclear, Shoemaker resigned after last season and his replacement, Chad Cheatham, was named in December. However, last week Cheatham also resigned and left for Fannin County to be its coach. No word on how the Leopards are handling spring practice in the interim, but obviously none of this is a good sign for a team that's had just one winning season since 2012.


New coach: Jeremy Green

Notes: The Indians are leaning on one of their own in hopes of turning the program around. Green is an Armuchee alumni, and will take over a team that hasn't posted more than two wins in a season since 2011, when it went 5-5. The Indians' last winning season was in 2009 (7-4), which was their last playoff season. Green replaces Muhammad Abdellatif, who was 6-34 in four seasons.


New coach: Tim Alligood

Notes: Alligood replaces Bill Cribb, who went 8-13 in two seasons for the Rebels. He'll work toward delivering Berrien its first winning season since 1995. The Rebels haven't reached the playoffs since 1993.


New coach: Rich Fendley

Notes: Fendley is the son of Richard Fendley, Sr., who led Warner Robins from 1997-2002, Baldwin from 1971-72 and Cherokee from 1969-70. He takes over for Robert Andrews, who finished 2-8 last season after going 6-5 and 6-6 in his first two seasons at Bowdon. Prior to Andrews, Dwight Hochstetler coached the Red Devils from from 1988-2014 and guided them to a 15-0 championship season in 1992.

Bryan County

New coach: Abram Scott

Notes: Scott, 31, will be the Redskins' second coach in as many seasons and the fifth since 2009. The Skins last reached the playoffs in 2015 and last enjoyed a winning season in 2013 (8-3). Mario Mincey led Bryan County to an 0-9 record in 2017, his only season with the team.

East Laurens

New coach: Bin Turner

Notes: Turner, who coached Rockmart from 2014-15 and posted a 5-16 record there, takes over for a Falcons squad that went 0-10 last season. He replaces Chris Robinson, who in two seasons was 1-19. The Falcons' last winning season and playoffs appearance came in 2012 under Gary Morton, when they finished 6-5.


New coach: Open

Notes: The Red Jackets are looking to replace Justin Newman, who resigned after going 2-18 in two seasons at Jordan. The Red Jackets finished 2-8 last year and 0-10 in 2016, the third winless season for the program since 2011. They reached the playoffs last in 1996, but finished 5-5-1, and haven't had a winning season since 1993.


New coach: Rodney Garvin

Notes: Garvin has more than two decades of coaching experience, though this is his first GHSA head coaching job.  He takes over for Chris Johnson, who in his first season went 6-5 in 2015 before consecutive seven-loss seasons.


New coach: Ricky Ross

Notes: Ross takes over for Gordon Powers, who guided the Blue Devils to five consecutive winning seasons and playoff appearances before stepping down after going 1-9 last year.

Putnam County

New coach: Shaun Pope

Notes: Pope takes over for Kyle Gourley, who had one winning season in five years with the War Eagles, when they finished 7-4. They finished 5-5 last season. 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.

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