Prep Zone

Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Football coaching changes: Gainesville’s Miller retires


Bruce Miller, who led Gainesville to its first football state championship in 2012 and won 225 games in 30 seasons as a head coach, retired this week.

Miller took over the Gainesville job in 2002 after leading North Forsyth to its first and only semifinal appearance in 2001. Miller then led Gainesville to a semifinal season in his first season  and never failed to make the playoffs in his 16 years with the Red Elephants.

Gainesville would reach the Class AAA final in 2010 but fell short for the seventh time in school history, maintaining  position as the most successful football program in Georgia without a state title.

But in 2012, Gainesville broke through with quarterback Deshaun Watson, Miller’s most famous former player. Others coached by Miller at Gainesville included Blake Sims, Tai-ler Jones, A.J. Johnson and Kendrick Lewis.

Miller's record is 225-126. He won nine region titles and coached 30 first-team all-state players.

Veterans hires former ECI coach Turner

Veterans has hired former Emanuel County Institute head coach Milan Turner to replace David Bruce, who started the program in 2010. Turner most recently had been a defensive assistant at Coffee, the Class AAAAAA runner-up last season. Turner led ECI to a state title in 2007 with star player Washaun Ealey. His record at ECI was 89-22. Turner was an assistant at Veterans rival Warner Robins when the Demons won the Class AAAA title in 2004.

Thomas Central hires Valwood coach

Thomas County Central has hired Ashley Henderson, who has led Valwood in Valdosta to three state titles in the Georgia Independent School Association, to replace Bill Shaver. Henderson’s record at Valwood is 66-12 with championships in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Henderson, a Valdosta graduate, is a former offensive lineman at Georgia Tech, where he was a teammate of former Thomas Central star Joe Burns. Henderson finished up at Valdosta State, where he began his coaching career. Shaver was Thomas Central’s coach the past 10 seasons. His record was 74-40 overall, 3-8 in 2017.

Grady picks Mays assistant

Grady has hired Mays defensive assistant Kevin Clark to replace Earthwind Moreland. Clark has coached for 18 seasons but never been a head coach. Moreland led Grady to a 10-2 finish in 2016, but the Knights dropped to 207 last season.

Tankersley gets Stephens County job

Wesley Tankersley is the new head coach at Stephens County. Tankersley’s record in 10 seasons as a head coach is 65-44. He inherited a Ridgeland team that had gone 4-6 in 2014 and left with a 11-1 record in 2017. Tankersley also coached at Gilmer, where he inherited a team that had gone 2-8 in 2007 and left it with an 8-3 finish in 2014. Stephens County was 29-15 in four seasons under Frank Barden.

Berrien brings back Alligood

Berrien on Tuesday hired Coffee assistant Tim Alligood as its new head coach. Alligood was Berrien's defensive coordinator before going to Coffee two years ago. He had been an assistant at Fitzgerald, Tift County and Lowndes.

Here are 46 reported openings this off-season


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