Most interesting: Jaybo Shaw has left Rabun County in the northeast corner of the state for Wayne County near the coast, some 275 miles away, where he’ll find a program that has struggled to maintain momentum. The Yellow Jackets won 11 games in 2013 and 2018 under separate coaches, but they declined sharply each time and finished 0-9 in 2021. Shaw, a former Flowery Branch and Georgia Southern quarterback, was 35-5 in three seasons at Rabun County with current Georgia freshman Gunner Stockton behind center.
*Cairo promoted defensive coordinator David Coleman to replace Steve DeVoursney, who retired from Georgia coaching in June, then took a job at Orange Beach High in Alabama with former Lowndes coach Jamey DuBose. Coleman, a former Cairo player, has coached at his alma mater the past 10 seasons, the past two running the defense. Cairo was 53-27 with two region titles during DeVoursney’s seven seasons and 7-4 in 2021.
*Shaw promoted offensive coordinator and former Brookstone head coach Blair Harrison to replace Al Pellegrino, who died unexpectedly May 30 at age 56. Harrison’s record over 14 seasons and two stints at Brookstone was 104-55 with three region titles. He also has been head coach at Towns County and two Tennessee schools. Shaw went 16-34 in five seasons under Pellegrino, who became ill while vacationing in Orlando, Fla.
*West Laurens hired Mary Persons defensive coordinator Kip Burdette to replace Kagan McClain, who has joined Bleckley County’s staff. Burdette had coached at Mary Persons, his alma mater, since 2017 and is a grandson of Dan Pitts and son of former Jasper County coach Pat Burdette. Kip Burdette also has coached at Lowndes and Pierce County. West Laurens was 32-24 in five seasons under McClain.
*Wayne County hired Rabun County head coach Jaybo Shaw to replace Ken Cribb, who returned to his hometown to be offensive coordinator at Georgetown in South Carolina. Shaw is a former Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern quarterback who worked under his father, Lee Shaw, at Rabun County before taking over as head coach in 2019. His three-year record is 35-5.
*Mount Zion of Jonesboro hired Woodland of Stockbridge defensive coordinator Willie Binyard to replace Buster Davis, who became Strong Rock Christian’s defensive coordinator. Binyard has coached at Southwest DeKalb (2009-11), Dutchtown (2012-13), Mount Zion (2014-15) and Riverdale (2016-20). Mount Zion hasn’t exceeded three victories in a season since 2009.
*Pace Academy hired Gilman (Md.) head coach Nick Bach to replace Chris Slade, who is now defensive ends coach at the University of Virginia, his alma mater. Bach is best known in Georgia for his time at Mountain View in Gwinnett County, where he was head coach from 2015 to 2017 and led the Bears to their only playoff victory to date. For the past three seasons, Bach was coach at Gilman School in Baltimore. Pace was 6-5 in 2021 and 59-42 with a 2015 state title in nine seasons under Slade.
*Stone Mountain hired Chapel Hill offensive coordinator David “Deuce” Roberson to replace James Lal, who joined Peachtree Ridge’s staff. Roberson was Savannah’s head coach in 2017 and has been on staffs at Fayette County (2012-14), Ola (2015), Lithia Springs (2016) and Mundy’s Mill (2018-20). Stone Mountain was 4-6 last season, its best finish since 2013.
*North Hall hired Brunswick coach Sean Pender to replace David Bishop, who had guided the Trojans since 2014 and coached at the Hall County school since 2001. Pender led Brunswick to its first 10-win season this century in 2021. His Brunswick teams were 35-21 in five seasons and 11-1 with a Region 2-6A championship this past season. Pender also has been head coach at Pierce County, Crisp County and Brantley County. North Hall was 6-5 last season under Bishop while reaching the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season. Bishop is now the transition specialist at East Hall and will work with WDUN-AM broadcasting some North Georgia games this fall.
*Seckinger, Gwinnett County’s newest high school, hired Loganville offensive coordinator Aaron Hill to start the program. Hill was on Grayson’s staff during the 2020 Class 7A championship season. Hill, a Florida native who played at LaGrange College, also assisted at Chattahoochee and worked five seasons with college teams, including Georgia as a quality-control coach in 2015. Seckinger is in Gwinnett County’s northeast corner bordering Buford and cut into the Mill Creek and Mountain View districts. The mascot is the Jaguars.
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