Former Washington coach Cofield takes Douglass job

Rodney Cofield, the football coach who built Washngton into an Atlanta city power after years of losing, is the new head coach at Douglass, a former winning program that has lost 29 of 30 games.

Cofield was 97-46-1 in 14 seasons (1995-2007) at Washington and led the only three Washington teams to win 10 games (2004, 2001, 1997) since the 1950s. His players included five AJC Super 11 players, most recently Georgia cornerback Branden Smith. Washington had suffered 15 straight losing seasons until Cofield arrived.

Douglass had a winning history until the past five years, when declining enrollment took its toll. Its alumni include recent NFL players Jamal Lewis, James Davis, Stanley Pritchett and Ahmad “Batman” Carroll.

“That was one of the things that attracted me – the tradition,” Cofield said. “These people are hungry, and they’re ready to come back. Somebody said that if anybody can do it, I can be the man, so that’s why I got the call. I’m looking forward to it.”

Cofield was forced to give up coaching, per Atlanta Schools rules, after taking a job in administration in 2008. He originally was tapped to take the Therrell head coaching job this fall. He led Therrell through spring practice, but Douglass offered him a spot as athletics director in addition to head coach, so he made the jump this week. The Therrell job reverted to Tony Rambo, the Panthers’ head coach since 2008.

Cofield said he had five assistants joining him from his old Washington staff. They are Reginald Williams, Jeff Williams, James Reece, Jurenski Andrews and Moncrief Hart.

“I’m glad to be back,” Cofield said. “I believe in restoration, building that winning program back. Douglass has that ich history and strong alunni base. We have the potential to be great at Douglass. we just have to make the program attractive again.”

59 comments Add your comment

#1 Fan

July 12th, 2012
10:04 pm

Finally!!! A real coach back in the city. Congratulations to Coach Cofield and his staff. The athletic program at Douglass will certainly flourish under his very capable leadership. Douglass community watch out. You are about to take off. Trust me I know first hand.

Say It Aint So

July 13th, 2012
7:09 am

Let’s just hope this move isn’t too late to save the Astros’ program. The move should have been made when Cantrell became an administrator following the 08 season.

Bernie Matt

July 13th, 2012
10:20 am

Love the hire!

Oh Douglass High, thy name we all love, symbolic of the North Star above, which leads us on. To our goals, high as the sky, always true to Douglass High!…

That’s right!

Todd Holcomb

July 13th, 2012
10:48 am

Just edited the article to note that Tony Rambo will be coaching Therrell again this season. Also want to clarify that schools make these hires (Douglass and Therrell, in this case) and not school systems.

And finallly, please refrain from ripping another head coach on these blogs. No reason to do that.

Watching Closely

July 13th, 2012
11:17 am

Congratulations to Douglass on the hiring of Coach Coefild he is a very good coach who builds winners and men. But this year Douglass football team already had a different feel to it because of all the senior leadership they already had. They have 18 seniors who have been starting since they were sophmores including their 3 defensive linemen(#12 #55 #56) who only gave up a 100 yard rushing 3 times last year.(Marist SWD Tucker). and they also have their free safety and strong safety(#6 #17) coming back who should produce this year. And most importantly he has a 3 year starting quaterback (#7) who finally will have a great and not young recieving core. They beat therrel about 3 weeks ago when Coach Coefield was there at therrel in 7 on 7 passing league and that game wasnt close.So I know that played so in his decision as well. Douglass hasn’t lost yet this summer in 7 on 7 and that usually don’t mean nothing but the last 3 or 4 summer passing league they couldn’t beat Ben Hill if they tried. Coach Coefield is adopting a great team full of seniors who are ready and built to win now. This team will be a big surprise this year and a team who you dont wanna see come post season play because they are so hungry.

Keenan

July 13th, 2012
11:34 am

Enter your comments here

Chris

July 13th, 2012
12:19 pm

Congrats Cofield but when Douglass and Washington Scrimmage you know its all about BTW

BTW Class of 85

July 13th, 2012
1:10 pm

Great hire and good luck Coefiled. We miss you at BTW. Go Bulldogs!

Iceman

July 13th, 2012
2:10 pm

Just a few months ago he was the perfect coach to turn a struggling Therrell program around. I believed he asked the Panther players to make a commitment to him but his commitment to them sure didn’t last long. Bale out on a team one month before the season starts. No way to treat a school and players who were counting on you.

Say It Aint So

July 13th, 2012
3:19 pm

And how can you ask the guy you fired to come back after his replacement leaves before the season starts.

Astro Insider

July 13th, 2012
6:38 pm

@Iceman, get your facts straight. The broken commitment didn’t come from the coach. When the new “athletic administrator” opened all the coaching jobs, it was made clear that she wanted the former football coach back. The same one she named as the new athletic director. How do you name the guy that was fired as the football coach as the new athletic director? A guy that was so bitter that his first promise was “to get back at everybody” not to look at ways to improve and strengthen the athletic programs and work with the coaches that had been appointed.

@Say It Aint So, again, you must know the facts. The “fired guy” was promised the job back when the former athletic administrator left. He did not get it back because his “replacement” left before the season started. Lucky for his “replacement” that a new opportunity presented itself after his job at Therrell was snatched back. Trust me, the “fired guy” was not asked back, he was placed back.

dekalbcounty21

July 13th, 2012
8:54 pm

Congrats goes out to Coach Cofield, Rambo, and the HC @ BTW! This will help in the future, it doesn’t feel that way NOW! But we will in time, b/c it allows everyone to grow!!! Good Luck to

dekalbcounty21

July 13th, 2012
8:57 pm

Congrats to everyone who is mention this column. I pray that every program will grow and become STRONGER b/c of this! Right now everyone is UNDERFEATED!!!!

fan

July 13th, 2012
10:14 pm

saw it coming when he stop coaching at washington a very good coach good luck we bulldogs will be waiting go dogs

JAB

July 13th, 2012
11:39 pm

LET’S GET THIS SHOW STARTED RIGHT NOW.. “ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL”

THEHILLISREAL

July 13th, 2012
11:46 pm

He may be to late for this incoming freshman class from Young middle school… Sandy Creek got the big three for Young. As long he follow model of the previous winning coaches
and, talk the Young player from going to Mays… he should be fine. The class ‘04 & ‘05 were zone for Mays but went to Doug. Creekside hit Young & Bunche up for last year freshman class. I digress… Do your thang Cofield…… MAYS HIGH TIL I DIE!

justin

July 14th, 2012
11:34 am

Doug lose in that 7 on 7 ….so keep it real …and all of the starters didn’t even play and we still won and I had 2 int….so stop flexing

That Dude Says...

July 15th, 2012
12:47 pm

THEHILLISREAL…

Young middle school is in Atlanta I assume if the kids are going to Douglas or Mays for high school. Your saying Young’s 3 best players are going to Sandy Creek down in Fayette County???? Creekside just minute’s from Sandy Creek but in South Fulton got the cream of the crop of in coming freshman last year???? Very very interesting.

JJ

July 15th, 2012
2:14 pm

Atlanta Public School System in another brillant move spend $40 million renovating Douglass High knowing that the Atl Housing Authority was planning to shut down ALL the city’s housing project including Bowening homes. It represented 40% of student enrollment(move to AAAAA to AA). Enrollment at Douglass is less than a 1k students.
Since the early 80’s, the city’s best coaching talent have left because of low coaching stipend pay. Both the best football and basketball programs have all suffered and the city has lost its shine concerning winning programs. The surrounding counties have been encouraging players to leave for decades. As in College sports, winning programing attract better students, atheltes, greater community support, amd ultimatlely more donors!
There are only ten High Schools left in the city from its high of 31 in the early 70’s. Now, is the time to bring back winning by attracting better coaches and players with proper pay for coaches and support for players.
Hopefully, the city can do something right for a change!

THEHILLISREAL

July 15th, 2012
9:03 pm

@ That Dude …. Yeah, We have problem keep our talent on the HILL. That why possibly the best Defensive back ever in high school never don the columbia blue & maize: Damian Swann, Geno Smith, Ryan Dillard, Shaq Wiggins… Grady,St.Pius, Buford, Sandy Creek.

ptrepdaa

July 16th, 2012
8:56 am

I can’t understand how we can’t keep the cream of the crop on the hill. I played for the Mays in the early 89-91 team that start Mays on its winning ways. We had some of the top talent from all over the A.

amaysing

July 16th, 2012
12:38 pm

I have always enjoyed the talent our APS school put out , these young men have heart and play strong.The problem is that I haven’t seen the level of coaching at APS school in years that I have witnessed in other districts.My child attends MAYS High and I love the school and the talent , those boys have skills all on there own that is not being elevated at the level of their counterparts it’s doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Tucker, Miler Grove, MLK, even Cedar Grove coaches have and can out coach CALLOWAY on any given day. It takes a winning mind set to get to the next level. And I have not seen it at MAYS in over 5 years and we had some talent !!!!!…….The team that was 09′10′11′ at Mays WHAT!!! and he couldn’t get it done with his level of coaching. Let be Clear !! So hats off to Douglas they deserve a chance to be back at it BABY.

Class of 98

July 16th, 2012
1:33 pm

Douglas high class off 98 here. I was on the team that lost to parkveiw in 95, brook wood 96 and wheeler in 97. Problem is that the schools in the city never win and Division1 schools feel as if inner city youth aren’t able to make the nessary grades for enrollment.

rwdekalb

July 16th, 2012
3:41 pm

Lets hope that community rallies around coach Cofield and give him the kind of support he will surely need. If he can help start a winning tradition a lot of the talent wont be lost to better programs. With Tri-Cities starting to get it together it would be great to have Douglas in the playoffs as well as Mays representing the city.

rwdekalb

July 16th, 2012
3:42 pm

@JJ. I agree. Like your post.

Classic Douglass

July 17th, 2012
6:37 am

Congrats Coach Cofield. I have seen with my own eyes what you have done with a struggling football program. Being a former Astros Football player and fan i have missed the days when The Mighty Astros would have winning records and place competetive teams on the field. The rich traditional of a high schools football team should never be underestimated. Bring it back Coach…. Bring it back.

glw

July 17th, 2012
4:06 pm

That is kind of rough on the Therrell kids to have your coach leave a couple of weeks before practice is to start. I guess the Douglass job was more attractive. But then to give the job back to the coach who was replaced? Only in the Atlanta Public Schools!!!

Astro Insider

July 18th, 2012
12:35 am

@glw, I am sure it was very tough on the Therrell kids to lose a coach that they had grown to respect in so short a time. Too bad for them the school’s principal decided to take the job from Cofield to give it back to the fired coach. But we over here in Astro nation are more than happy that she did. That’s for sure! We will try and make it very comfortable over here by not snatching the job back before he has a chance to start.

Lanka

July 18th, 2012
12:35 am

AMAYSING How much support are you giving the school instead of getting on here bashing the coach. This isn’t your first time getting on here bashing coaches like the writer asked everyone not to. Especially a coach whose taken his team to the Playoffs pretty much every year in his tenure. Thats not easy to do in APS, so stop your hate and lend your support like the Buford’s, Grayson’s, Sandy Creek’s, and schools of that nature parents do.

chris

July 18th, 2012
4:50 am

All I know is if it wasn’t for a stupid rule Cofield would still be at Washington. Having said that he isn’t I have alot of respect for him cause he is a good guy will take him at BTW any day, but we got Coach Hackney I like him to After Cofield he is my second choice to be at BTW. Basically it’s almost football season so let’s get it on the city of Atl has produced some great teams we just got to get over the hump and go get it when we get deep in the playoffs and our time will come!!!!!

chris

July 18th, 2012
6:23 am

GO BTW BULLDOGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ptrepdaa

July 18th, 2012
7:34 am

Coach Hackney played on that 89-91 Mays team. Coach Mack has a lot of influence on aps football 20 years later. P.s. to anybody out there that wants to get in shape. Go walk the hill at Mays if you dire

Chris

July 18th, 2012
7:45 am

The Hill is real as my man name is above, but BTW got something special going on this year is all I know!!!!!!!! Cant wait to see Tri-Cities 1st game Sept…………………

Hardhat

July 18th, 2012
8:09 am

@thehillisreal you seem real informed except Geno Smiths mother went to St. Pius he was going there all along. Now the last 2 Buford and Sandy Creek I guess we know Buford has the money to move folks and the Sandy Creek has want it takes to get kids over there. Could it be better football related conditions… ie… the weight room, the booster club, and coaches etc etc. Now you cant beat Grady for higher learning so maybe thats why you lose some. You know it is high SCHOOL. How ironic that public schools are recruiting say it aint so. By the way why doesn’t someone hit up all the APS NFL players for some cash and help out? At least use a tie in with Under Armour, nike, or whoever at least defray cost of uniforms.

classof10

July 18th, 2012
9:49 am

@thehillisreal Shaq Wiggins stays in the westlake area brahhh

amaysing

July 18th, 2012
12:52 pm

LANKA !! This is a blog about coaching and guess what the truth hurts, and as I spoke earlier I love the school and if it wasn’t for the kids and their own athletic ability what else would they have? In this game you must be a finisher! And not just hang your hat at the playoff mark,especially when you have so much TALENT. Then it comes down to coaching, the difference is attitude a winning attitude. Give those kids something to compliment their skills. A Division Championship, Thanks

amaysing

July 18th, 2012
1:12 pm

I was in Lovejoy last evening and saw the 7 on 7 with six teams , Lovejoy,Collinsville(Ala),
Lamar County(Coach Stephens Tucker’s old coach),Mundy’s Mill,HenryCo,Stockbridge. And to say the least Coach Stephen has a nice offense with a set of twins one at quarterback and the other at running back those kids are awesome. Lovejoy has reloaded and looking as defensive as last year.These 7 on 7 where so exciting and the kids really enjoyed themselves with so much knowledge out there with seasoned coaching talent that was out there on the field.Hat’s off the the new coach at Henry Co.(Joe Dupree) he came from Westside Macon those guys look good as well.Great coaching makes the difference.

Lanka

July 18th, 2012
8:33 pm

AMAYSING obviously you didn’t see the big gray part in this blog where Tood Holcomb asked everyone to refrain from ripping head coaches. To be quite frank thats totally classless. Also FYI you don’t go to the playoffs in the region MAYS was in with talent alone. Everyone has talent, and although I have no affiliation with the coach or school its not like Mays has years and years of great football teams. Looking at ghsfha.org in the last 30 years the only other sustained success was from 89-91. So please don’t get on here and rip these coaches when they’re over worked and under paid. So if you love the school so much be a part of the solution. Join the touchdown club (if they have one) and help raise some money to better their facilities, resources, and get coaches better pay. If you do that maybe an APS program can compete in the playoffs against the Grayson’s, Brookwoods, Peachtree Ridge’s, and Buford’s of the world. Do me a favor and take a trip to one of those schools one day and see how much better their facilities are and how many more coaches they have. You are right about one thing that coaching makes a difference. Thats why its so hard for city schools to compete in the playoffs when they face programs whose staff double theirs in size.

@HARD HAT

July 19th, 2012
12:00 am

GENO SMITH WENT TO YOUNG MIDDLE SCHOOL and… his mother work there as well.
@ class of 10 … I guess live in Tyrone now tooo…. Shaq stay in Mays district when I coach him and Shamire Devine at Ben Hill.

class of 10

July 19th, 2012
1:14 am

@HARD HAT you right

amaysing

July 19th, 2012
7:40 am

You are right about one thing that coaching makes a difference, MY POINT CLEARLY MADE!!! Have a nice day….. :) RAIDERS Lakewood stadium is open and looking reallly nice can’t wait to open it up with our first game against Carver(Atl) Aug31st.It going to awesome Carver gave us a exciting game last year .Hat’s off to Coach Miles all the way from Southside High(Maynard Jackson) and Crim then on to Panther Nation Carver. Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!!!!!!
Oh wow I almost forgot the new field at MAYS is sweet nice job APS……….

Hardhat

July 19th, 2012
11:46 am

As I said you try to find the best education. There are good teachers and bad teachers everywhere but private schools dont have to have police on campus or metal detectors. So @ whoever you are where would you send your child. Thats why people move to places like Buford and so they can go to Grady. Surely you don’t think high schools is all about sports. You should see the kids that go to Tucker in Dekalb or MLK for that matter they all don’t go to the proper feeder.

Hardhat

July 19th, 2012
11:47 am

Colifield is a very good coach and where ever he ends up they will be successful.

basketballcounty1

July 19th, 2012
8:23 pm

I love the article about APS. Every OTHER HS system. APS has always to make lemons to lemonade, when there were 20+ schools!

ptrepdaa

July 19th, 2012
10:33 pm

Thats right 89-91 Mays teams were the it. We had a d1 qb in Simeon Willis. A hb that rushed for 2000 yards we were preseason #4 in state. We lost to the eventual state runner up in swd lead hison graham. We had them down 24- 7 then lost. Still hurts till this day. Mays high till I die

THEHILLISREAL

July 20th, 2012
11:52 am

@hardhat…. If Geno was going to SPX anyway… why wait until his freshman year high school. Even Buford bring in at least by 8th grade. Its seem your knowledge of Mays and Grady is skewed. I will put Mays up against any school in the State of Georgia. Here a lilltle tidbit Mays average about 20 million a year in academic scholarships. Also, proud of the Rhode Scholars, FullBright Scholars that have attend Mays. Well… I don’t know any school in APS that has metal detector and , I think since Columbine all school have police on campus. Woodward Academy have there own police force…. so I don’t know what you’re talking about there. @class of 10 do you even know Shaq….. I Guess Josh Poole your best player at Westlake wasn’t going Mays as well.

Chris

July 21st, 2012
6:18 pm

It’s almost football season yall talking about apple and oranges. THEHILLISREAL I know u from the ga vent so don’t waist ya time. Good luck to Mays and you know them Bulldogs will be ready ceelo………..

Chris

July 21st, 2012
6:19 pm

When is APS media day this year?

BTW1985

July 21st, 2012
9:49 pm

We will see how much progress Coefield can make at Douglas in a short time. See ya at the City Kick game (scrimmage).

BTW Bulldogs vs. Douglas Astros
Sat. August 18, 2012 (Lakewood Stadium)

Go Bulldogs!

Lanka

July 22nd, 2012
11:28 pm

AMAYSING you have the perfect name because you are truly amazing. Just a guy in the stands who don’t have a clue on what seperates top tier programs from the mediocre. How about you go outside of 285 and do some research.