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.”