Roswell promotes offensive coordinator Ford as head football coach

Roswell promoted offensive coordinator John Ford on Thursday to replace Justin Sanderson as head coach.

Ford joined Roswell’s staff in 2008 and started as running backs coach and special teams coordinator. Ford had spent the five seasons prior at Harrison under Bruce Cobleigh.

Ford played on Brookwood’s 1996 state championship team and is one of at least five Brookwood alumni with head coaching jobs in Georgia. The others are Andy Dyer of Archer, Phillip Jones of Bankes County, Grant Chesnut of Central-Carroll and Tommy Jones of Lumpkin County.

Roswell was 3-7 last season under Sanderson, who was let go after Roswell suffered its first back-to-back losing seasons since 1978-79.

Ford is the eighth Roswell head coach since 1954. All have been promoted from Roswell staff.

14 comments Add your comment

some sense

January 10th, 2013
1:34 pm

This gentleman’s success, like all footballcoaches’ level of achievement, will depend on his ability to recruit top level players to his school and program. A lot of people don’t likje to hear this, but recruiting is as important to athletics as blocking and tackling are to football. Recruiting involves way more than what the picture public school coaches like to paint about private schools. Unless you build an organization that young people feel they can succeed in, you’re not gonna win. That’s recruiting…making players want to play for you, your program, and your school. Marist’s program, for example, recruits itself…same w/ St. Pius, Lovett, and other successful programs, public and private. Recruiting is making players want to come. Make ‘em want to come and they’ll come.

confused and concerned

January 10th, 2013
1:53 pm

Wow! seems like a very easy, quick and no effort put in a searching fix. The word when Sanderson was let go that now they would look for the best possible coach this time even if it meant going outside the inner circle. I didn’t realize that in all of coaching positions in Georgia highschool football Roswell has a lock on all the top assistants. How many did the interview?

If I were an opposing coach I wouldn’t need to spend to much time on defending Roswell. Didn’t he call the plays the last two horrible seasons. Just check out the films and you will see: two running plays up the middle no matter what the distance needed, then a short pass to the flat to the closest receiver and punt.

Nothing against him as a person but as a coaching staff they should have made a move to clean out both co assistants on both sides of the ball. Bring in a fresh face and move forward. Change up the philosphy and scheme. What they have been doing the past two years doesn’t fit the personnel. A coach must be able to modify and adjust his scheme a little to work with what talent he has. They have been tryng to mold personnel into a scheme doesn’t match their strengths. You are not recruiting or drafting talent each year. Need to adjust a little each year. Look around, twik it a bit to get the best of what you have. Talent is there but coaches couldn’t seem to recognize who needed to be in and where to play them.

What will those in charge of hiring be doing again in two years. Can’t see any changes in the record. Wow! just wow!

This should really stir up support from the fans!!!!! Roswell should be able to do better. Would like to see full disclosure from hiring panel as to other candidates interviewed and why this decision was made!!!!

Wow is right

January 10th, 2013
3:12 pm

Totally unbelievable. Again a coach with no prior head coaching experience. Sad to see such a proud rich in winning tradition school fall to this level.

Let the Big Bee Sting

January 10th, 2013
6:42 pm

Leo Barker, Tim McFarlin, Ray Manus, Charlie Horne, Ray Shepherd and Bill Yoast all hired at Roswell with no Head Coaching experience. That “proud rich winning tradition school” was built on the backs of coaches with no prior head coaching experience.

Great Job Roswell

January 10th, 2013
6:58 pm

I truly love how some of u out there say how predictable the play calls were and everything else and that Ford is responsible for the past 2 seasons…spend a few min with the likes of this man and you will see what the hiring panell saw…a great man who cares for the kids like they were his own and one who truly loves Roswell with all his heart and soul…he won’t let the parents bully him and will work endlesly to improve this proud program…Good job mr huff in making this decision and giving the staff another chance to right this ship…the kids have had enough change for the past 3 years


January 10th, 2013
7:10 pm

Roswell dominance is forever OVER. Sting – Stang – Stunk.

Thanks to the Fulton County School Board’s insistence to build 2000 student high schools (oughta be 2500-2700) Roswell, Hooch,Johns Creek, and every other North Fulton school is screwed unless the GHSA moves them back into a 5A classification.

roswell fan

January 10th, 2013
7:50 pm

No one questions his love for the city, school or players but he was a major cog in the previous problem. This by no means is a personal attack on Coach Ford as a man. Sanderson had passion for the school and community too but that does not transfer to what the team needs. It isn’t a personal attack it is a fotball decision. The panel (whoever they are or was it Mr Huff alone) I am sure could see similar qualities from other coaches if they would have made the effort. We were, as was mentioned above, told the search would be to come up with the best possible coach out there. Seems as if OUT THERE is only within Roswell. This isn’t an attempt to bully anyone it is simply stating an opinion of which we all are allowed to express.


January 10th, 2013
9:52 pm

A lot of uneducated posters that no nothing about how athletics works at most public schools. You can not “clean house”. This is not a college or Pro team.These coaches are teachers FIRST and are under contract to teach. They get a small stipend to coach any HS sport. With all the hours these coaches put in, they get the equivalent of about a .25 an hour. The ability to hire a coach is based on the needed areas of teaching responsibility.


January 10th, 2013
10:42 pm

As long as John the ad is still there you will get these bad choices he does not want anyone in there he can’t control


January 10th, 2013
10:48 pm

Roswell is hopeless thanks for letting one guy have so much power a guy who I would not let my kids be coached by. His mouth is trash.

the best thing that happen

January 11th, 2013
9:50 am

I am glad we are now attending Milton because if my son had to go through what Roswell kids are going through right now it would be sad. John Coen has destroyed Roswell football and it is sad that the administration and others have let him. His language infront of kids have been tolerated by staff and letting him control the football program is crazy. I am glad Justin is gone now he will have a better chance to succed. As long as the evil is still allowed to be in control Roswell will never move forward.

Baffled hornet

January 11th, 2013
1:28 pm

Agree with AD issue. Is hiring Sanderson’s right hand man a “new direction”? Thanks for making up our mind, we are now going to go to Milton and hopefully be coached by JS.

milton fan

January 11th, 2013
8:02 pm

You guys aren’t alone with bad decision makers. We lost a beloved coach this past year and inherit one that was fired from our main rival. Questioning what is up at both schools. We were supposed to be at out best this past fall and fell way short ourselves. Now we gain a new coach that had too many of his own problems. Is the Roswell hiring panel involved in all of North Fulton hiring decisions.

former roswell teacher

January 11th, 2013
8:25 pm

This hiring process has been in place for many years at Roswell. It isn’t the school, the studnets or the parent involvement. It simply is the politics within and little factions staff has to navigate through.It has simply spilled over to the sports. Until the process and those involved are replaced this trend will continue. Good luck.