Prep Zone

Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Football coaching changes hit 97: Kell, West Forsyth, North Springs make hires


The Georgia high school football coaching carousel has swung around 97 times this off-season – four short of a state record.

Recent hires and openings at Kell, West Forsyth, North Springs, Holy Innocents' and Sonoraville have added to the totals.

The 97 openings this off-season trails only the 101 from 2008, according to Loren Maxwell of the Georgia High School Football Historians Association. There were only 79 coaching changes last year.

But, the turnover rate of 23.1 percent (likely still growing) is only a little above the 22.6 percent historical average among GHSA schools since 1948, according to Maxwell. The 1970s – with a 25.1 percent turnover rate – was the most turbulent decade for coaching changes.

Here are some of the more recent coaching changes.

Kell hires Walton’s Sloan to replace Cook

Kell, a semifinalist in Class AAAAA last season, has filled perhaps the last big-name job opening in this football off-season.The Longhorns of Marietta have hired Walton assistant Brett Sloan to replace Derek Cook, who resigned to pursue administrative opportunities. Kell has averaged 10.7 wins since 2010 and made the state semifinals in 2013 and 2016. Sloan was the assistant offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Walton for the past two seasons. Sloan has been an assistant at Byrnes and Chapman high schools in his native South Carolina.

West Forsyth hires Lanier coordinator Cahill

West Forsyth has hired Lanier offensive coordinator Shawn Cahill to replace Adam Clack, who was hired as Milton’s head coach. Cahill has been on Lanier’s staff since 2011. Lanier won region titles in 2014 and 2015. Cahill has been an assistant coach at Duluth and Newton and Santa Margarita in California and Harvey in North Dakota. West Forsyth has finished 7-4 the past two seasons and made the playoffs six of the past seven.

North Springs’ Parker succeeds Devine

North Springs promoted offensive coordinator Scott Parker to replace Dan Devine, who resigned to become athletics director at Alpharetta. In one season under Devine, North Springs finished 6-5 and had its first winning season and playoff appearance since 1998.

Holy Innocents’ seeks replacement for Livezey

Ryan Livezey, who established the Holy Innocents’ football program in 2003, has stepped down. Livezey’s record at HI was 67-56. Livezey will join Mount Pisgah Christian’s staff as an assistant next season.

Kremer steps down at Sonoraville

Sonoraville coach Jim Kremer has resigned after leading the Phoenix to its only three playoff appearances. Sonoraville has finished 6-5, 8-4 and 8-4 under Kremer, whose overall record in Georgia is 49-29. That includes a 10-2 finish at Adairsville in 2011. Kremer has been a coach for 31 years.

Open (12)

Columbia: David Edwards

Forest Park: Dale Myers

Holy Innocents’: Ryan Livezey

Jenkins: Tim Adams

Lithonia: Marcus Jelks

Osborne: Troy Jones

Randolph-Clay: Daniel McFather

Riverside Military: Kelly Davis

Sonoraville: Jim Kremer

Strong Rock Christian: Tommy Webb

Taylor County: Mark Wilson

Turner County: Ben Simmons

Hired (85)

Appling County hired Jon Lindsey to replace J.T. Pollock

Atkinson County hired Carl McGowan to replace David Parker

Baconton Charter hired Randy Grace to replace Johnny Hayes

Baldwin hired Jesse Hicks to replace Lee Hannah

Bleckley County hired Von Lassiter to replace Tracy White

Bradwell Institute hired Ross Couch to replace Greg Hill

Brunswick hired Sean Pender to replace Larry Harold

Bryan County hired Mark Wilson to replace Allen Cartwright

Buford hired John Ford to replace Jess Simpson

Calvary Day hired Mark Stroud to replace Rick Tomberlin

Camden County hired Bob Sphire to replace Welton Coffey

Campbell hired Kyle Adkins to replace Ryan Brady

Carver (Columbus) hired Calvin Arnold to replace Dremail King

Cedartown hired Doyle Kelley to replace Scott Hendrix

Centennial hired Michael Perry to replace Lenny Gregory

Central (Carrollton) hired Darius Smiley to replace Larry Kesler

Central (Macon) hired Larry Harold to replace Jesse Hicks

Claxton hired Tony Welch to replace Rodrick Williams

Coahulla Creek hired Caleb Bagley to replace Chad Barger

Collins Hill hired Lenny Gregory to replace Kevin Reach

Creekside hired Artutro Meza to replace Will Rogers

Dutchtown hired Clifford Fedd to replace Mark Myers

Early County hired Joel Harvin to replace Trey Woolf

East Coweta hired John Small to replace Steve Pardue

East Jackson hired Scott Wilkins to replace Christian Hunnicutt

East Paulding hired Billy Shackelford to replace Jon Lindsey

Fitzgerald hired Tucker Pruitt to replace Jason Strickland

Flowery Branch hired Ben Hall to replace Chris Griffin

Gilmer hired Casey Wingard to replace Casey Wingard

Gordon Central hired Cory Nix to replace David Humphreys

Grayson hired Christian Hunnicutt to replace Jeff Herron

Haralson County hired Scott Peavey to replace Frank Vohun

Hart County hired Rance Gillespie to replace William Devane

Hebron Christian hired Jeff Saturday to replace Kevin Shaffer

Houston County hired Ryan Crawford to replace Von Lassiter

Jeff Davis hired Lance Helton to replace Ed Lovvorn

Jefferson hired Gene Cathcart to replace Ben Hall

Johns Creek hired Matt Helmerich to replace Matt Kemper

Kell hired Brett Sloan to replace Derek Cook

Lamar County hired John Flath to replace Bryan Love

Lithia Springs hired Kevin Hill to replace Jason Dukes

Long County hired J.T. Pollock to replace Eric McNair

Luella hired Jason Jackson to replace Nick Vasilchek

M.L. King hired Deante Lamar to replace Nicolas Kashama

McIntosh County Academy hired Terel Toomer to replace Robby Robinson

Milton hired Adam Clack to replace Howie DeCristofaro

Mitchell County hired Deshon Brock to replace Larry Cornelius

Monroe Area hired Kevin Reach to replace Joey Sulkowski

Mount Zion (Carroll) hired Brad Gordon to replace Keith Holloway

Newnan hired Chip Walker to replace Mike McDonald

North Gwinnett hired Bill Stewart to replace Bob Sphire

North Oconee hired Tyler Aurandt to replace Terry Tuley

North Springs hired Scott Harper to replace Dan Devine

Northeast hired Ashley Harden to replace Bruce Mullen

Northgate hired Kelsey Dalrymple to replace Tommy Walburn

Northview hired James Thomson to replace Chad Davenport

Pacelli hired Mark LeGree to replace Buster Connally

Peachtree Ridge hired Reggie Stancil to replace Mark Fleetwood

Perry hired Kevin Smith to replace Carl Dixon

Pierce County hired Jason Strickland to replace Sean Pender

Pope hired Tab Griffin to replace Kyle Adkins

Providence Christian hired Parker Conley to replace Ken Robinson

Roswell hired Matt Kemper to replace John Ford

Sandy Creek hired Brett Garvin to replace Chip Walker

Savannah hired David Roberson to replace Tony Welch

Shaw hired Al Pellegrino to replace Chuck Stamey

South Cobb hired Terry Jones to replace Sherrod Rainge

South Gwinnett hired Steve Davenport to replace John Small

Southwest DeKalb hired Damien Wimes to replace Fletcher Salter

Sprayberry hired Brett Vavra to replace Billy Shackelford

Statesboro hired Jeff Kaiser to replace Steve Pennington

Stone Mountain hired James Collier to replace Utavius Ingram

Swainsboro hired Scott Roberts to replace Mark Stroud

Tattnall County hired Nick Tatum to replace Jeff Kaiser

Therrell hired Greg Sullivan to replace Dominic Callaway

Twiggs County hired Zackery Harris to replace Ashley Harden

Union Grove hired Chad Frazier to replace Craig Melton

Villa Rica hired Rico Zackery to replace Chad Frazier

Washington-Wilkes hired Chad Alligood to replace Jacob Kelley

Wayne County hired Ken Cribb to replace Derek Chastain

West Forsyth hired Shawn Cahill to replace Adam Clack

West Laurens hired Kagan McClain to replace Stacy Nobles

White County hired Tim Cokely to replace Bill Ballard

Woodland (Stockbridge) hired Bryan Love to replace Steve Davenport

Worth County hired Ben Simmons to replace Jason Tone


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