Dunwoody High fires its first-year football coach

Dunwoody High’s Michael Youngblood was fired as head football coach on Thursday.

“Mr. Youngblood is no longer the coach, that is correct,” DeKalb County Schools spokesman Dale Davis said.

When asked for the official reason, Davis said, “We decided to go in a different direction.”

Youngblood was still in a state of disbelief on Thursday evening. Dunwoody was his first head coaching job, and he led the Wildcats to a 7-5 record and appearance in the state playoffs this past season. He was informed of the news by Dunwoody principal Kevin Harris.

“When I asked (Harris) ‘What were the grounds for my removal?’ He said the things that they are going to say when the principal and football coach don’t see eye to eye … that they ‘are going to move in a different direction’ and not really give you an answer,” Youngblood said.

Youngblood speculated that his firing was related to an incident between the two men at at halftime of Dunwoody’s homecoming game against Cedar Grove on Sept. 25. Harris entered the team’s locker room and directed several players to leave the team meeting to participate in the halftime activities.

“It was a close game, and I had no idea (in advance) that some of our key players were going to be pulled out of the meeting,” Youngblood said. “I told (Harris), ‘No, please don’t do that.’ Then we went outside and talked about it. The football players ended up being in the halftime activities.”

“(But) I think he interpreted the entire situation as me trying to show him up in front the kids and other coaches.”

The following Monday, Youngblood says he was written up for “insubordination” by the principal, and Youngblood responded with a letter of rebuttal, explaining that “everything said in the report was not true.” Youngblood later apologized to Harris, hoping to ease the tension.

“However, from that moment on, I knew that things weren’t how they were supposed to be,” Youngblood said. “Every day, I had to look over my back, while also doing a good job on the football field.”

“The bottom line is that (Harris) never forgave me for that (halftime) incident.”

Youngblood, 30, was assistant head coach for Tucker High’s 2009 state championship team, and was Chattahoochee High’s defensive coordinator the previous two years.

Follow AJC Prep Zone on FACEBOOK … and Twitter

201 comments Add your comment


February 4th, 2010
9:47 pm

Sounds like Mr. Principal had too big of an ego. I’m sure Mr. Youngblood will find another job soon. There are plenty of high schools looking for a good coach.


February 4th, 2010
9:51 pm

Hang in Coach. What goes around comes around and Harris will get his dues. Bet on it!
As good a Coach as you are and great example you will get another Head Job.

Dunwoody is the loser…not you.


February 4th, 2010
10:03 pm

Sounds like the coach is Conan O’Brien and the principal is Jeffrey Zucker. The principal loses this one in the end – only because it was reported in this paper. Now the news spreads and the principal falls.


February 4th, 2010
10:08 pm

How unfair! Reminds me of, ummm, “mess with the bull and you’ll get the horns”.

Class of 1985

February 4th, 2010
10:17 pm

Sorry Coach..but bring back David Kelly!!!


February 4th, 2010
10:27 pm

I bet the coach is white and the principal is black

H.S. Coach

February 4th, 2010
10:27 pm

Sorry to hear that Coach. Sounds like it wasn’t a good situation for you to begin with. Better to get out now and find a place that will appreciate your talent.

dumb as a BOE member

February 4th, 2010
10:30 pm

This principal has got to go! Little man with a big Napolean complex. Reminds me of that little twerp who played sheriff in Clayton County. Send him packing, bring back the coach.

I Know

February 4th, 2010
10:33 pm

Oh my, not another arrogant, big ego principal! I could write a book. As a matter of fact, I am writing a book about a past egotistical, Mr. know it all, “can’t touch me” principal. I am in the initial stages but by the end of the story, it should hit the “Best Sellers” List!!!

Crazy Hoops

February 4th, 2010
10:35 pm

Sounds like the situation at McNair at the beginning of the season. Another DeKalb principal with an ego. DeKalb is losing all its good football coaches and getting all these ego principals. In a couple years, DeKalb will be just like it Atlanta Public School buddies as far as football goes – sorry.

Communist Nerd

February 4th, 2010
10:35 pm

No doubt the idiot Harris was confuse and thought he was the Owner and GM of the Atlanta Falcons…….

HS Insider

February 4th, 2010
10:44 pm

at racebaiter… they both are black

Dekalb Schools are in a state of disbelief period! This firing is uncalled for and isn’t a football decision. Beginning to understand why Dekalb will not have schools in the deep rounds of the playoffs.

relljam productions

February 4th, 2010
10:49 pm

yo coach youngblood ima miss ya, but yeh doctor harris is da biggest bitch

Steve Barton

February 4th, 2010
10:50 pm

I will leave it to others who have some real knowledge of the situation to sound off about what is going on. Let us note that only one side of the story is given here.

But there is a part that has the ring of truth: “When I asked (Harris) ‘What were the grounds for my removal?’ He said the things that they are going to say when the principal and football coach don’t see eye to eye … that they ‘are going to move in a different direction’ and not really give you an answer,” Youngblood said.

Yes, I would bet that “the principal and football coach don’t see eye to eye.”


February 4th, 2010
10:50 pm

I hope Dunwoody goes 0-12 next season. This ego freak of a principal is the one that should be fired. Football players should be in the locker room at halftime, not dancing around with the cheerleaders.

Fire Him

February 4th, 2010
10:53 pm

Hopefully, this jackass principal gets fired soon—he’s a real jerk.

Matt the Brave

February 4th, 2010
10:58 pm

Sounds like the principal doesn’t have a hold over his students or his faculty. Maybe DeKalb County schools needs to take a close look at this guy and find out what is going on.


February 4th, 2010
11:07 pm

Is any of this crap with Dekalb County going to end? What the heck is going on? We are not going to have to worry about overcrowding in our schools, because people are not going to stay in Dekalb with all this drama. So what a great role model for the students at Dunwoody. All the comments are sooo true about a principal with an ego, Napoleon complex, etc,etc. It is very sad, that in 2010 that there is still a black and white issue amongst everything else this county is dealing with.


February 4th, 2010
11:11 pm

Maybe the coach filled his gas tank three times in one day on the county gas card. No wait, that doesn’t get you in trouble in Dekalb County…..

Jeff in Calhoun

February 4th, 2010
11:18 pm

Hang in there coach! you will have another job soon. But, in the future I would not disobey the head man again.

William Mizell

February 4th, 2010
11:21 pm

Dunwoody is a big loser here. Mike, keep your head held high and stay true to your values. You will get another opportunity to coach and be a leader of young men. The next team you coach will benefit greatly from your leadership.

George P Burdell

February 4th, 2010
11:23 pm

Usually the way to move on is not throwing your former superior under the bus. Time has taught me that the truth always comes out. If Dr. Harris is the problem time will show it. You don’t need to get quoted in the paper to make it happen.

Good luck to Youngblood and hopefully through this experience both gentlemen will learn something.

DHS player

February 4th, 2010
11:26 pm

As a player i’m not surprised to see coach youngblood go. he never meshed well with the players, parents, and school staff. this isn’t just a principal-coach situation, the whole team had a problem with him. you could tell there was a lack of head coaching experience from the start with the expectations of doubling of dues, mandatory weight training class in lieu of an educational class, and discipling of kids for academics is to stay late after practice running. It seems their time would have been better used studying rather then being punished. By season’s end it was apparent we were only being coached by one guy. With one coach leaving this may have saved several coaches from quitting. There are also several other situations that led to this decision,don’t look at it as the principal trying to take control this is in response to multiple altercations. I hope next season goes more smoothly then the last.

By the way Kim
There is no way to go 0-12. its a 10 game season…


February 5th, 2010
12:04 am

To “Class of 1985″,
Coach Kelly has a bigger ego than either of these two guys, BELIEVE me. I think he is coaching at UCF nowadays, and that is where he needs to stay.

will irvin

February 5th, 2010
12:23 am

my children went to this school and i can tell you that principal harris is the worst principal/ person that i have ever had the encounter of meeting. i transfered my children out because of his arrogance and stupidity. dunwoody used to be a good school until he came there. the teachers will tell you that they hate this guy. somebody should do something about this guy before its too late for dunwoody. he thinks all the children are gang members and will go out of his way to destroy these kids lives. he even stole my son scarf. god will punish him. i hope the school board does it first.

will irvin

February 5th, 2010
12:26 am

this is not a black or white issue because i am black. principal harris is a ignorant fool.


February 5th, 2010
12:45 am

DHS player, I bet you are not a player! You are probably a disgruntled parent of a player! Disgruntled because your “baby” didnt get alot of “pt” because he can barely walk and chew gum! Let the coach be the coach and make the decisions and if you dont like it, well take your daughter, oops I meant son off the team! You say, “mandatory weight training class in lieu of an educational class.” Its football for cying outloud, they need to lift weights and Im sure that in lieu of an educational class is b.s.! If you just so happen to be a player, shut the hell up and keep your opinion to yourself, let the coach be the coach or go join the damn band!

Dekalb mess

February 5th, 2010
1:04 am

First Moore fired from and know one know what he was accused of, then Browning who later was found not guilty of anything accused of. Then Jarvis leftcause of the b.s that oes on in dekalb, Now youngblood. Who next buck godfrey, Gartrell, come on this is bull these young men need good role models and if dekalb doesnt get rite alot more coaches are going to leave.


February 5th, 2010
1:42 am

Seeing as we`re all taking sides, I think it`s time we bring someone in who can get to the bottom of this mess. It`s time to bring in Fred G. Sanford and Aunt Edna. Yes, the sparks will fly, but these two WILL figure it all out.


February 5th, 2010
2:10 am

Just another example of the government trying to keep the black man down in this city. I’ve had enough and may move back to Jersey next year.

Dixie Darling

February 5th, 2010
2:11 am

Hey Big Guys! Half time at Homecoming football games is damn important. Pretty girls gotta be escorted out on the field on the arms on their cutest football hero. So who cares whether the game is won or not. Homecoming is all about parties and who gets to be Queen. Don’t slam that poor ol’ principal. He was just all about making the Homecoming half time as exciting as any other beauty popularity contest.

Valdosta Dawg

February 5th, 2010
2:33 am

I do not have a dawg in this fight but the Coach was in the right, screw the halftime activities when you are in the middle of a game. See the principal needs to understand that adjustments are made at halftime and those boys needed to be a part of the haltime meeting to know what adjustments were being made. The principal has an ego problem, much like Michael Adams did not want to be shown up by Vince Dooley, this turd had to show who was boss. Coach good luck and I am sure you will land somwhere that appreciates what football means to a school! That would never happen at Valdosta High!

[...] Read more: Dunwoody High fires its first-year football coach | Prep Zone: AJC … [...]


February 5th, 2010
3:40 am

DHS player, I agree with the other gentleman about your comments. Thats how the great schools build programs. I agree, you and your parents are upset over playing time..

Don't be hatin'

February 5th, 2010
4:43 am

If we knew that the coach’s interpretation of events was correct, then there might be good cause to be angry at the principal. However, we are only getting one side of the story. Professionalism and propriety prevent the principal from publicly discussing HIS side of the story. George P is correct … the coach’s public airing of his opinion is not likely to help him in the long run, and it could easily hamper his efforts to move forward into another head coaching position. Better to forgive, forget, and move on.


February 5th, 2010
6:28 am

Dunwoody is the obvious loser here. They are stuck with a petty, ego maniacal bureaucrat for a principal.

Dekalb Citizen

February 5th, 2010
6:34 am

We need to be reminded that school is about getting an education. It’s not a football proving ground. Look at all the idiots in the NFL, and the NBA. With a quality education they want go around making stupid decisions like Vick


February 5th, 2010
6:43 am

What in sam hades is a principal barging into the middle of a team meeting at halftime? I don’t care if the “homecoming king” is supposed be on a float or not. It’s truly a shame because the kids are the losers here….


February 5th, 2010
6:45 am

Hey Kim! You can’t go 0-12 next year! 0-10 would be the max!

John Barnett

February 5th, 2010
6:59 am

If the Principal felt justified in “going in a different direction,” why didn’t he make that call as soon as the season was over and give Coach Youngblood a better chance to obtain another head job before many of them were filled? Corporate America has nothing on the teaching and coaching profession. Our business has become as cut-throat as any. Somehow, I can’t see a Principal coming in and taking players away from a meeting in which adjustments are being made from Luther Welsh, Larry Campbell, or any other of our legendary coaching giants in Georgia; nor should they have been taken out of Coach Youngblood’s meeting without all the details being worked out early.


February 5th, 2010
7:02 am

A principal getting fired????? Seriously????? When was the last time that happened??????? No, this egomaniac got what he wanted and will never feel the effects of it. The coach is better off. It sure seems like he knows what he’s doing and will hopefully land a better job.


February 5th, 2010
7:08 am

Delalb Citizen, those idiots in the NFL and NBA make more money than I , who has owned a successful business for the past 35 years. I employ over 400 employees and have more stress than you can imagine. Any way, your CORRECT school is for an education, but so many children cannot, for one reason or another, grasp concepts, learn, read , write, etc. Sports, is their only hope at making anything out of their lives. A school is just like a business, The principal is in charge of approx 100 staff and faculty, 1500-2000 students, a big job, bigger responsibilities. They have to get along and strive to achieve their goals(learning). If they cannot work together then someone has to go. Society tells us, The principal is the boss and the coach is the employee. The employee cannot fire the boss….So no matter what the coach says, The principal still has the final say.


February 5th, 2010
7:14 am

I totally understand what coach Youngblood is gpoing through because I was in a similiar situation at a Cobb County School. It is a shame that a principal can control a situation like that involving the due process of another person’s job because of a personal issue he has with a coach. I took a very poor girls basketball team and turned them into instant winners in one year and because the principal and I didnt see eye to eye dealing with issues involving player discipline, I was told to resign, but that I could remain as a teacher. I resigned both positions. Principals can lie on recommendations, break rules, use intimidation tacticts and many other things to stroke their egos and get rid of teachers and coaches. It is not fair! Someone needs to be looking in on them and their performance which often gets over looked because area supervisors are so busy dealing with state issues. It’s a shame and coach will resurface!

Robert Payne

February 5th, 2010
7:17 am

My son played for Coach Youngblood at Chattahoochee and he is not only a good coach but an excellent person. I was disappointed to see him leave Chattahoochee (the defense obviously suffered after he left) but I know that he will recover from this and be an even better head coach in the future.


February 5th, 2010
7:20 am

HOw can you tpe the statement, just another way t keep black man down. Did you look at the high school players in Georgia who signed with different colleges Wednesday. Don’t tell me about keeping black man down. 95% were black, who will use this as spring board to football in pros. Most of them in go in junior year because they are lacking on academics. I get so tired of the race card being played time after tme and usually by the black race.

Dekalb Parent

February 5th, 2010
7:21 am

To the Dekalb Citizen mentioning that the students need their education so that they do not end up like VICK – apparently you missed your education – the word is “won’t” not “want” end up like Vick.


February 5th, 2010
7:21 am

Montrell, please DON’T wait until next year-GO NOW! This is not a Black vs White issue-why do people always have to make it that????

H.S. Coach

February 5th, 2010
7:22 am

To DHS player,

That’s what good programs do, they hold you accountable for your actions. You want to slack off in school then you’ll have to run until the grade is acceptable. The weight training class is substituted for another PE class that you are in and only rarely does someone miss out on an educational class. As far as dues, I have no idea how much you guys were and are paying so I can’t comment on that. Sounds like he was laying the foundation for a program like every other successful coach I’ve been around.

H.S. Coach

February 5th, 2010
7:25 am

To NoLion, if you want a kid to stay out of trouble then their are several things you can do. One of them is having the kid attached to some sort of program like athletics, band, ROTC… But they have to have something in their life that they love and are attached to. If that kid loves and enjoys being there then they are much more likely to act right and get an education if they have something they are trying to keep in their life.


February 5th, 2010
7:31 am

I was a Dekalb graduate back in the 80s when it was the place to be for a top notch education. Dunwoody was our biggest rival. Coaches, teachers and administration worked together for the good of the school and community. To those of you now in charge, thank you for ruining a once great school system. Wake up! You need coaches to act as role models and to help monitor the schools. There may have been some inappropriate actions by the coach but never would have happened if the Principal had stayed in the stands or with homecoming court where he belonged. I feel sorry for the Dunwoody community.