Prep Zone

Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Coaching changes: LaGrange, Dacula, Paulding schools fill vacancies

LaGrange has found a new football coach in Arizona. Three Paulding County schools have filled vacancies this month. Dacala has found a replacement for Tommy Jones.

They are among the 51 schools that have had openings this off-season, and about half remain unfilled (see chart below).

Here are some of the recent highlights:

LaGrange goes with Arizona coach

LaGrange has hired Chuck Gibbs of Scottsdale Christian in Arizona to resurrect a proud program that went 0-10 last season. Gibbs’ teams at Scottdale were 31-14 record over the past four seasons. Scottsdale Christian went 10-3 last season.

Gibbs is the son of retired former college and NFL coach Alex Gibbs, who was Georgia’s offensive line coach in 1982, when Herschel Walker won the Heisman Trophy, and an Atlanta Falcons assistant or consultant from 2004 to 2006. Chuck Gibbs has family in the South and indicated that was an impetus for his move back east.

Three Paulding County schools make hires

North Paulding, South Paulding and Hiram of Paulding County have made head-coaching hires this month.

North Paulding has selected Jim Bob Bryant to replace the retiring Scott Jones. Bryant led Havelock to state championships in 2011, 2012 and 2013 in North Carolina and won 118 games in nine seasons there. He was 7-5 last season at Freedom High in Morganton, N.C.

Hiram has hired Gulf Coast (Fla.) coach Pete Fominaya to replace Chris Bown. Fominaya’s record at Gulf Coast was 29-32, but 24-17 with three playoff appearances over the past four seasons.

South Paulding has hired Johns Creek defensive coordinator Jason Thompson. Thomson had been North Gwinnett’s defensive coordinator the two previous seasons.

Dacula tabs coordinator Jenkins

Dacula has promoted defensive coordinator Clint Jenkins to replace Tommy Jones, who was hired to start the new program at Cherokee Bluff in Hall County. Jenkins also has coached at Morgan County and North Forsyth. Jenkins has run Dacula’s defenses for the past seven seasons.

Former Kennesaw Mountain QB now head coach

Kennesaw Mountain has promoted quarterbacks coach and former Mustangs player Caleb Carmean to replace Andy Scott. Carmean played quarterback at Shorter and was the offensive coordinator at Johnson of Gainesville before returning to his alma mater last season. Kennesaw Mountain, opened in 2000, has never made the playoffs.

Franklin County hires Sutherland

Paul Sutherland, who won five region titles at Pendleton, S.C., is the new head coach at Franklin County. Sutherland’s record at Pendelton was 122-67. His teams made the playoffs each of the past 16 seasons. Franklin County, 2-8 in 2017, has not won a playoff game since 2000.


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