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Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Update: Laws steps into limelight as Griffin football coach

Jarrett Laws started work Wednesday as Griffin’s new football coach. He already knew what some Griffin football fans might be thinking.

Griffin is the reigning Class AAAA champion. Laws is 31-39 in seven seasons as a head coach in Georgia. His is not the resume one might’ve expected to rise to the top of the pile for a program coming off a 15-0 season.

’’It’s a very valid question,’’ Laws said. “For me, the answer has been that maybe I’ve chosen to take the road less-traveled and go where I felt I was most needed rather than a won-loss standpoint. My hiring at Griffin should really should speak volumes to all coaches, that if you concern yourself with doing things the right way and don’t get preoccupied with the end result and winning you’ll have your opportunities to step into the limelight.’'

Laws, 38, earned a reputation in Clayton County for building programs at Mount Zion and Drew amid limited support and facilities.

At Griffin, Laws will inherit a program with some of the best tradition and resources in the state. Laws also is bringing resources of his own. His offensive coordinator will be Jamie Aull, who succeeded him as head coach at Mount Zion. His defensive coordinators will be Antonio Andrews from the 2013 Griffin staff and Mike Rozier, the former Henry County coach who worked last season at Tift County.

‘’I would say 80 percent of their concepts that they run both offensively and defensively are things I’ve done in the past, so the car is ready to be driven,’’ Laws said. “We just have to marry the language to their concepts.’’

A Florida native, Laws began coaching at Wharton High in Tampa and was offensive coordinator for a team that reached Florida’s Class 5A championship game in 2002. Laws started a program at Tampa's Freedom High and coached there for two seasons before taking a year off to complete a master’s degree.

Laws came to Georgia in 2006 and became Mount Zion’s head coach in 2007. The 2008 Mount Zion team reached Class AAAA quarterfinals, the school’s best finish in eight seasons. Mount Zion came within a point of ending Marist’s 25-game winning streak in home playoff games.

Laws was hired to start the program at Drew a year later. Drew was 7-3 in its third season but 6-4 and 4-6 after moving to AAAAA from AAA in 2012. Laws also was Drew’s athletics director.

‘’I’m proud of the achievements we’ve had, but in a place like Griffin, the sky is the limit,’’ Laws said. “You have the opportunity to excel as high as you can. I think I have something unique to bring to the table. For every coach, there comes a moment where it’s time to measure themselves and their belief system both on and off the field. Any coach worth his salt would jump at the opportunity.’’

Laws will replace Steve DeVoursney, whose record in 13 seasons was 128-35. DeVoursney resigned last month after an investigation into alleged recruiting and improper academic assistance for student-athletes at the school. DeVoursney denied any wrongdoing.

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