Mike Chastain, to be hired this week as Jones County's football coach, led Warner Robins to state-championship appearances in 2017 and 2018.

Warner Robins’ Chastain to take Jones County job

Mike Chastain, who led Warner Robins to Class AAAAA championship games the past two seasons with record-setting quarterback Dylan Fromm, will be named the new head football coach at Jones County on Friday. 

Jones County athletic director Barry Veal told Jones County’s players of the hiring on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Jones County News, the first to report the story

Chastain had been the offensive coordinator at Houston County when Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm was setting state records. 

Chastain took the Warner Robins job in 2016, and his first team finished 3-8. But with Jake’s brother Dylan Fromm as quarterback beginning in the 2017 season, Warner Robins took off, first with a 14-1 finish, the only loss to Rome in the title game. In 2018, Warner Robins was 12-3 and lost to Bainbridge 47-41 in three overtimes in the championship game. 

That contest was perhaps the most exciting game in Georgia state finals history, but also controversial for a decision to decline a roughing-the-kicker penalty that would’ve given Warner Robins and first-and-goal in overtime. Instead, Warner Robins took the three points, which extended the game to another overtime. Chastain said he was given incorrect information by officials. The GHSA disputed that claim. 

Until Chastain’s tenure, Warner Robins had not reached a state final since 2004 and had won only one region title in that time until the back-to-back Region 1 championships in 2017-18. Dylan Fromm, who transferred to Warner Robins to work again with Chastain, passed for 7,862 yards and 81 touchdowns in the two seasons.

“If you think of the top football coaches in Middle Georgia, he is at the top of the list with just a couple of others,’’ Veal told the Jones County News. ‘’He has coached in winning programs and will have the same offense we have been running here. We’ve hit a home run getting him.” 

Chastain is a Northside-Warner Robins graduate who also has been on coaching staffs at Bleckley County, Lee County, Northside, Peach County and Veterans.

Chastain will replace Justin Rogers, who on Monday was hired as Colquitt County’s head coach. Jones County has gone 45-15 over the past five seasons under Rogers but not advanced past the quarterfinals since 1961.

Jones County and Warner Robins are AAAAA schools about 35 miles apart in middle Georgia but compete in different regions. Though Warner Robins has far more tradition than Jones County, Jones had beaten the Demons in 2014 and 2015 under Rogers but did not face Warner Robins under Chastain.

Chastain is the fifth of 16 coaches in the 2018 state finals who have left their previous schools. Cartersville’s Joey King and Cedar Grove’s Jimmy Smith were hired by college programs. Clinch County’s Jim Dickerson retired, and Colquitt County’s Rush Propst was fired.

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