Football coaching hires: South Atlanta’s Stephens takes Chapel Hill job

Brad Stephens, who led South Atlanta to its first region title and state-playoff victory last season, is the new football coach at Chapel Hill in Douglas County.

’'Chapel Hill just was a career move and an opportunity for me to grow as a coach,’' Stephens told the AJC on Monday morning. “It’s a great place to be, and I am excited about the opportunity.’'

Stephens led South Atlanta to playoff appearances in four of his five seasons at a city school that hadn’t enjoyed a winning season since 1995. The Hornets were 28-26 during Stephens’ tenure.

“We had a great five-year run at South Atlanta,’' Stephens said. “My goal there was to make it better. We did that. South Atlanta is a great place to be, great teachers and students, and A.D. Jasper Jewell (district athletic director) was great to me. We did things there that haven’t been done.’'

At Chapel Hill, Stephens inherits a program that’s been solid the past five seasons with a 28-24 record under Justin DeShon, who left to become head coach at Hillgrove in Cobb County. But Chapel Hill has only one playoff game in its history (2008).

There have been 87 reported openings for a head coach at the 426 football-playing schools in the Georgia High School Association. Eleven remain open. Those are Beach, Chamblee, Central-Talbotton, Claxton, Commerce, Griffin, LaFayette, Lithonia, Ola, Southeast Bulloch and South Atlanta.

The average turnover for the past decade is about 90 jobs, though it was only 77 last season.

Here are this offseason’s openings.

Alexander - Former coach: Matt Combs. New coach: Olten Downs

Appling County - Former coach: Rick Tomberlin. New coach: Jordan Mullis

Arabia Mountain - Former coach: Stanley Pritchett. New coach: Julian Washington

Banneker - Former coach: Lou George. New coach: Braxton Kelly

Beach - Former coach: Corey Phillips. New coach: Open.

Blessed Trinity - Former coach: Tim McFarlin. New coach: Tom Hall

Bradwell Institute - Former coach: Kyle Adkins. New coach: Deshon Brock

Camden County - Former coach: Bob Sphire. New coach: Jeff Heron

Carrollton - Former coach: Sean Calhoun. New coach: Joey King

Cedar Grove - Former coach: Miguel Patrick. New coach: John Adams

Central-Talbotton - Former coach: Cedric Stegall. New coach: Open

Chamblee - Former coach: Scott Schwarzer. New coach: Open

Chapel Hill - Former coach: Justin DeShon. New coach: Brad Stephens

Claxton - Former coach: Tony Welch. New coach: Open

Commerce - Former coach: Michael Brown. New coach: Open.

Crawford County - Former coach: Jhon Smith. New coach: Craig Puckett

Crisp County - Former coach: Brad Harber. New coach: Miguel Patrick

Dacula - Former coach: Clint Jenkins. New coach: Casey Vogt

Dalton - Former coach: Matt Land. New coach: Kit Carpenter

Douglass - Former coach: Rodney Cofield. New coach: Stanley Pritchett

Eagle’s Landing - Former coach: Shawn Jones. New coach: Markus Brown

East Forsyth - Former coach: New school. New coach: Brian Allison

East Hall - Former coach: Michael Perry. New coach: Matt Turner

Eastside - Former coach: Troy Hoff. New coach: Jay Cawthon

Effingham County - Former coach: Buddy Holder. New coach: John Ford

Evans - Former coach: Lemuel Lackey. New coach: Barrett Davis

Fellowship Christian - Former coach: Al Morrell. New coach: Tim McFarlin

Forsyth Central - Former coach: Frank Helper. New coach: David Rooney

Franklin County - Former coach: Paul Sutherland. New coach: Parker Martin

George Walton Academy - Former coach: Shane Davis. New coach: Logan Beer

Gilmer - Former coach: Kevin Saunders. New coach: Paul Standard

Griffin - Former coach: Kareem Reid. New coach: Open

Grovetown - Former coach: Damien Postell. New coach: Cory Evans

Hardaway - Former coach: Michael Woolridge. New coach: Corey Thompson

Harrison - Former coach: Matt Dickmann. New coach: Josh Cassidy

Heard County - Former coach: Tim Barron. New coach: Shane Lasseter

Hillgrove - Former coach: Byron Slack. New coach: Justin DeShon

Jasper County - Former coach: Roderick Jackson. New coach: Aaron Pitts

Jenkins - Former coach: Gene Clemmons. New coach: Tony Welch

Jordan - Former coach: Joseph Kegler. New coach: Dale Overton

Lafayette - Former coach: Paul Ellis. New coach: Open

Lake Oconee Academy - Former coach: New program. New coach: Drew Anthony

Lamar County - Former coach: Jeff Sloan. New coach: Travis Ellington

Landmark Christian - Former coach: Mike Sherrard. New coach: Tommy Lewis

Lithonia - Former coach: Marcus Jelks. New coach: Open

Locust Grove - Former coach: Clint Satterfield. New coach: Mark Miller

Long County - Former coach: John Pollock. New coach: Mike Pfiester

Manchester - Former coach: James Moore. New coach: Steven Holmes

McDonough - Former coach: Eric Solomon. New coach: Rodney Cofield

Miller Grove - Former coach: Lee Hannah. New coach: Melvin Brown

Mitchell County - Former coach: Deshon Brock. New coach: Dondrial Pinkins

Monroe - Former coach: Charles Truitt. New coach: Lacey Herring

Morgan County - Former coach: Bill Malone. New coach: Clint Jenkins

North Springs - Former coach: Scotty Parker. New coach: Jeff Phillips

Northview - Former coach: James Thomson. New coach: Scott Schwarzer

Oglethorpe County - Former coach: Ronnie Harris. New coach: Michael Holland

Ola - Former coach: Jared Zito. New coach: Open

Osborne - Former coach: Russell Isham. New coach: Luqman Salam

Portal - Former coach: Matt Smith. New coach: Jacon McEachin

Our Lady of Mercy - Former coach: Mark Miller. New coach: Shawn Cahill

Pelham - Former coach: Dondrial Pinkins. New coach: Shawn Sutton

Southeast Bulloch - Former coach: Barrett Davis. New coach: Open

Pickens - Former coach: Jeff Nelson. New coach: Grant Myers

Rockdale County - Former coach: Derek Coggin. New coach: Lee Hannah

Savannah Country Day - Former coach: Jim Collis. New coach: Tyler Ward

Seminole County - Former coach: Trey Woolf. New coach: Cedric Stegall

South Atlanta - Former coach: Brad Stephens. New coach: Open

South Cobb - Former coach: Terry Jones. New coach: Thomas Hanson

South Forsyth - Former coach: Jeff Arnette. New coach: Troy Morris

South Gwinnett - Former coach: Steve Davenport. New coach: Bryan Lamar

Southeast Bulloch - Former coach: Barrett Davis. New coach: Jared Zito

Spencer - Former coach: Robert Sanders. New coach: Joseph Kegler

St. Pius - Former coach: Paul Standard. New coach: Chad Garrison

Stephenson - Former coach: Ron Gartrell. New coach: Marcus Jelks

Stockbridge - Former coach: Steve Boyd. New coach: Thomas Clark

Therrell - Former coach: Greg Sullivan. New coach: Broderick Jamison

Tift County - Former coach: Ashley Anders. New coach: Noel Dean

Towers - Former coach: Vonnell Carter. New coach: Michael Johnson

Tucker - Former coach: Bryan Lamar. New coach: James Thomson

Union County - Former coach: Brian Allison. New coach: Michael Perry

Villa Rica - Former coach: Christian Hunnicutt. New coach: Tim Barron

Walker - Former coach: Aaron Dobbins. New coach: Gary Nelson

Washington - Former coach: Derrick Avery. New coach: Justin Rivers

Westover - Former coach: Olten Downs. New coach: Adam Miller

Westside - Former coach: Jon Wiley. New coach: Lee Hutto

Woodland-Stockbridge - Former coach: Bryan Bailey. New coach: Julian Hicks

Woodstock - Former coach: Brent Budde. New coach: Troy Hoff