Greater Atlanta Christian hires Florida football coach

Cokely, who has a 121-42 coaching record, comes to the Spartans from North Florida Christian, after capturing state titles in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2008 for the Tallahassee, Fla., school, and comes highly endorsed by University of Georgia football coach Mark Richt. Cokely and Richt become well acquainted during the latter's decade of coaching on the Florida State staff.

"[He will] be a fantastic, fantastic coach and represent [GAC] well," Richt said in a statement. "Coach Cokely handles people well, coaches well, and treats kids the way they should be treated."

Cokely, however, entered the Georgia high school ranks once before and didn't survive. In 2007, he was fired at Class AAAAA Colquitt County High in Moultrie after three seasons. In his second year, his team was 5-0 and ranked No. 1 in the state before losing four of its last five games. The next year, Cokely's team finished 2-8 and he wasn't rehired, losing 12 of his final 15 games. He was replaced by Rush Propst, whose Hoover, Ala., team was the subject of an MTV reality show, "Two-A-Days."

Cokely resurrected his career by returning to North Florida Christian and winning his sixth Class A state championship. At GAC, he replaces Ken Robinson, whose teams were 4-7 and 1-9 the past two seasons.

“His philosophy of being both excellent and Christ-centered fits perfectly into the mission of GAC,” Spartans athletics director Tim Vick said.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.