Three days away from the season opener, Miller Grove has finally named its head football coach.
Damien Wimes, the former defensive coordinator at Southwest Dekalb, was officially hired on Tuesday. Miller Grove starts the season against Lakeside on Friday.
“It’s a really good opportunity,” Wimes told the AJC. “Being a graduate of Southwest DeKalb and coaching there for 11 years has been a tremendous experience for me. It gave me a good foundation on what it takes to build a football program with young men.
“I know I can take that knowledge to a really good program at Miller Grove.”
Wimes, 37, said he planned to meet with Miller Grove’s players on Tuesday and would begin teaching economics at the school next week.
“I’m going to tell the kids to expect greatness, and … I know we’re in a transition period, but we have a schedule to play and they have goals they want to reach. I’m excited about being on the journey with them, and let’s win some games.”
Miller Grove has been without a coach since Jasper Jewell resigned on July 1 to take a job as an athletic coordinator with Atlanta Public Schools. DeKalb County delayed the search committee for a new coach until Miller Grove hired a new principal, Matthew Priester, on Aug. 4.
Miller Grove defensive coordinator Darrell Caldwell, who was also a candidate for the job, was in charge of the team since Jewell’s departure. Wimes said he will retain all of Miller Grove’s assistants.
“I am going to leave the staff as it is,” Wimes said. “Most importantly, I am going to help a lot with special teams and be an extra pair of eyes on both side of the ball. I’ll try to put in a little bit of [my philosophy] each week.”
It was tough timing for Southwest DeKalb, which loses its defensive coordinator only a few days before the highly-anticipated showdown with Tucker on Friday.