Football coaches named at Grayson, Pope, Seckinger, Chattahoochee, Dacula, Walker, Central-Macon

Credit: Jenn Finch/Special to the AJC

Credit: Jenn Finch/Special to the AJC

Grayson hired Gainesville assistant Santavious Bryant as head football coach Thursday evening, filling one of the state’s most attractive jobs, while Grayson’s defensive coordinator, Danny Carlisle, was announced as Chattahoochee’s coach Friday morning.

Pope, Seckinger, Dacula, Walker and Central-Macon also made hires Thursday or Friday, completing the busiest week for coaching changes this offseason, if not in years.

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Also reported in recent days have been the retirements of Allatoona’s Gary Varner and Darlington’s Tommy Atha, Franklin Stephens’ move to Burke County from McEachern, former Collins Hill coach Lenny Gregory’s hire at Gordon Central and Sean O’Sullivan’s resignation at Centennial to take a job that Friday was announced to be Pope.

A famous former Georgia coach, Rush Propst, also made news this week when he was hired as associate head coach and athletic director at Coosa Christian in Gadsden, Ala. Propst, now 67, won state titles at Colquitt County in 2014-15, but had been out of coaching since a recruiting scandal led to his firing at Valdosta following the 2020 season.

At Grayson, Bryant, 28, was on the Rams’ staff from 2019-21 as defensive backs coach and held the same role, plus that of defensive pass game coordinator, for the Red Elephants, who reached the Class 6A championship game last season. Bryant is a Wheeler graduate who played at Shorter in Rome. He began coaching at Wheeler in 2017 and 2018.

Bryant will replace Adam Carter, who led Grayson to the 2020 Class 7A championship with Bryant on his staff. Carter left Grayson, a Class 7A program with three state titles in the past 12 seasons, to become head coach at Lowndes, a 7A powerhouse in South Georgia, earlier this month.

Also at Thursday’s Gwinnett County Schools board meeting, Reggie Stancil was approved as Dacula’s coach. Stancil was on McEachern’s staff last season and is best known in Gwinnett as Peachtree Ridge’s coach from 2017-21. Dacula was 12-13 in two seasons under Casey Vogt.

Another Gwinnett County school, Seckinger, hired Tony Lotti of Apalachee on Friday. Lotti was the Atlanta Falcons’ state coach of the year in 2022 for the impact he had in five years at Apalachee and the poignant story of his battle with cancer. Seckinger was 0-7 in its first varsity season last fall under Aaron Hill.

Carlisle, Chattahoochee’s new coach, had been on Grayson’s staff the past two seasons and was head coach at his alma mater, Cooper City in Florida, the three seasons before. He worked in Georgia before as defensive coordinator at Discovery and Mountain View in Gwinnett County. Chattahoochee is 8-41 over the past five seasons.

Pope of Marietta named O’Sullivan its coach Friday afternoon. O’Sullivan had been a coach at Centennial and North Atlanta, turning each program around in brief stints.

The Walker School in Marietta promoted offensive coordinator T.J. Anderson to head coach Friday, Central-Macon hired former Salem coach Jarrett Laws on Thursday, and Jackson, Eagle’s Landing and Clarkston have new openings.

Anderson has been with Walker the past two seasons as associate head coach and is the school’s assistant director of admissions. He’s worked on coaching staffs at Georgia Southern, Westminster, Mountain View and Etowah. He’s a former Georgia Southern and Arena League player.

Walker has won one game each of the past three seasons and played a non-region schedule in 2022.

At Central in Macon, Laws is replacing Joaquin Sample, whose teams were 16-36 over five seasons. Laws has been a head coach at Salem (2016-22), Griffin (2014-15), Drew (2009-13) and Mount Zion-Jonesboro (2007-08).

Dary Myricks has stepped down at Jackson, his alma mater, after 10 seasons and will be an assistant principal at the school. His coaching record was 61-50.

Terrance Hughley at Clarkston and Markus Brown at Eagle’s Landing stepped down Thursday.

Brown had led Clarkston the past nine seasons, all against a non-region schedule.

Eagle’s Landing was 5-15 in two seasons under Brown, who inherited a team that was winless the year before.

The latest changes bring to 62 the number of GHSA jobs that have opened this offseason and 26 that have been filled.

Allatoona - Gary Varner

Apalachee - Tony Lotti

Armuchee - Jeremy Green (New coach: Eric Belew)

Berkmar - Cole Meyer

Blessed Trinity - Tom Hall

Burke County - Eric Parker (New coach: Franklin Stephens)

Campbell - Howie Decristofaro

Centennial - Sean O’Sullivan

Central (Carrollton) - Darius Smiley (New coach: Umbrah Brown)

Central (Macon) - Joaquin Sample (New coach: Jarrett Laws)

Central (Talbotton) - Chris Cowart

Chattahoochee - Mike Malone (New coach: Danny Carlisle)

Chattahoochee County - Ryan McKenzie (New coach: Josh Jacobson)

Chattooga - Shawn Peek (New coach: Roone Gable)

Chestatee - Shaun Conley (New coach: Stuart Cunningham)

Clarkston - Terrance Hughey

Coahulla Creek - Danny Wilson (New coach: Drew Carter)

Collins Hill - Lenny Gregory

Dacula - Casey Vogt (New coach: Reggie Stancil)

Darlington - Tommy Atha

Eagle’s Landing - Markus Brown

Fellowship Christian - Tim McFarlin (New coach: John Thompson)

Forsyth Central - David Rooney

Franklin County - Parker Martin

GMC Prep - Lee Coleman

Gordon Central - T.J. Hamilton (New coach: Lenny Gregory)

Grayson - Adam Carter (New coach: Santavious Bryant)

Griffin - Rusty Easom (New coach: Clifford Fedd)

Hawkinsville - Shane Williamson

Jackson - Dary Myricks

Jackson County - Rich McWhorter (New coach: Korey Mobbs)

Jefferson County - J.B. Arnold (New coach: Mario East)

Liberty County - Tony Glazer

Lowndes - Zach Grage (New coach: Adam Carter)

M.L. King - Deante Lamar

McEachern - Franklin Stephens

Metter: Rodney Garvin (New coach: Lee Shaw)

Newton: Camiel Grant

North Gwinnett: Bill Stewart

Northside (Warner Robins) - Chad Alligood (New coach: Ben Bailey)

Paulding County - Umbrah Brown

Peach County: Chad Campbell (New coach: Marquis Westbrook)

Pebblebrook - Leroy Hood

Pope - Tab Griffin (New coach: Sean O’Sullivan)

Putnam County - Shaun Pope

Redan - Derek Vaughn

Ringgold - Robert Akins

Rockdale County - Lee Hannah

Salem - Jarrett Laws

Seckinger - Aaron Hill (New coach: Tony Lotti)

Shaw - Blair Harrison

Southwest DeKalb - Damien Wimes

Statesboro - Jeff Kaiser

Sumter County - Clifford Fedd

Toombs County - Richie Marsh (New coach: Buddy Martin)

Treutlen - Steve Versprille (New coach: Pat Collins)

Tri-Cities - Cuevas Dargan

Vidalia - Jason Cameron (New coach: Rodney Garvin)

Walker - Tom Evangelista (New coach: T.J. Anderson)

Warner Robins - Marquis Westbrook

Whitefield Academy - Coleman Joiner

Woodstock - Troy Hoff

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Credit: Daniel Varnado