Football: Update on off-season coaching changes; 15 jobs filled, 31 open

The past week has been a busy one for football coaching hires.

Here are a few that have taken place in the past 10 days and a list of reported job changes since the season ended. There have been 15 reported hires, and there are 31 job openings. If know of others, let us know, as they not always reported immediately by schools.

- North Forsyth coach Blair Armstrong, best known locally for winning a state title at Peachtree Ridge, has resigned but will remain a faculty member. North Forsyth was 4-16 in Armstrong’s two seasons. Armstrong, who has coached for more than 30 seasons, had not had a losing season until leaving Peachtree Ridge for Banks County in 2007.

- Habersham Central head coach Stuart Cunningham is out after four seasons, during which his teams were 14-27 overall, 1-9 this season after move up to Class AAAAAA.  He’ll remain a teacher and head wrestling coach.

- Walnut Grove coach O.J. Soto resigned after 2-8 and 1-9 seasons. Walnut Grove opened in 2009 has has never won more than two games in a season. Soto was the offensive coordinator at Grayson before coming to Walnut Grove.

- South Cobb coach Ed Koester resigned to devote more time with family. South Cobb was 7-4, 8-4 and 7-3 in his last three seasons after a pair of 2-8 finishes. South Cobb won its first state playoff game under Koester.

- Heritage-Conyers coach Chad Frazier has resigned to take the head job at Villa Rica. Frazier was 37-27 in six seasons at Heritage and won a region title in 2011. Frazier will replace Mike Falleur, who left for his alma mater Northside of Arkansas.

- Barney Hester, who won 11 state titles in the Georgia Independent School Association, is the new head coach at Howard, a Macon public school that has lost 24 straight games. Hester’s 322 victories, mostly achieved at Tattnall Square, in Georgia rank fifth in state history.

- Jefferson offensive coordinator Ben Hall was promoted to replace the retiring T. McFerrin,

- Thomasville coach Richie Marsh has resigned.

- Effingham County promoted 14-year assistant Buddy Holder to replace Rick Tomberlin, who retired.

Off-season hires:

Bremen – Scott Hodges

Cross Creek – Robert McCarty

Effingham County – Buddy Holder

Forest Park – John Diehl

Forsyth Central – Shane Williamson

Georgia Military College – Steven Simpson

Harrison – Matt Dickmann

Houston County – Von Lassiter

Howard – Barney Hester

Jefferson – Ben Hall

LaFayette – Chad Fisher

Lanier County – Phillip Johnson

Pace Academy – Chris Slade

Roswell – John Ford

Villa Rica – Chad Frazier

Jobs open (2012 coach):

Americus-Sumter (Michael Pollock)

Bacon County (Bobby Johns)

Berrien (Rob Armstrong)

Coosa (Chad Perry)

Creekside (Aaron Whittington)

Creekview (Al Morrell)

Dacula (Jared Zito)

East Jackson (Brian Smith)

Gordon Central (Chad Fisher)

Habersham Central (Stuart Cunningham)

Heritage-Conyers (Chad Frazier)

LaFayette (Tab Gable)

M.L. King (Rober Freeman)

Murray County (John Hammond)

North Forsyth (Blair Armstrong)

North Springs (Todd Powers)

South Atlanta (Julius Moses)

South Cobb (Ed Koester)

Swainsboro (David Johnson)

Thomasville  (Richie Marsh)

Toombs County (Shane Williamson)

Walnut Grove (O.J. Soto)

Warren County

Westlake (Stanley Pritchett)

Windsor Forest (Jason Roundtree)

Worth County (Scotty Ward)

18 comments Add your comment

some sense

January 23rd, 2013
1:15 pm

There are a lot of h/s principals out there who understand the value of good foortball to their schools, and there are some who don’t. Shame on those who don’t as good football can make a positive impact on a school and its student body unlike most other factors. Heck, teachers understand the value of good football as they recognize the lift in spirit and the decrease in crappy behavior that it contributes. Yes, good football can do both. But there are also a lot of h/s principlas out there, well, twenty-eight for now, who are just hoping, some even praying, that they get it right this time.


January 23rd, 2013
10:10 pm

Someone should be seeking out Chad Estes, defensive coordinator at Monroe Area High School. They were 0-20 before he joined the staff three years ago. Since then, they are 31-7. Prior to that he was head coach at Salem High School with a record of 35-25. Ask the Salem principal how her decision “to go in a different direction” has worked out since Estes was dismissed as Head Coach.
At last look, Salem was still looking for a winning season following Estes’ departure.


January 24th, 2013
1:30 am

How does Scott Schitt at Woodland-Henry keep his job? 4 wins the past 2 years and Woodland has D-1 talent that he runs away or holds them back. Spends more time talkin to GHSA INVESTIGATORS than he does talking to COLLEGE RECRUITERS. It’s about the kids man!! If you don’t want to help the kids please, PLEASE!!!, find another profession.


January 24th, 2013
1:31 am

Scott Scmitt

Todd Holcomb

January 24th, 2013
9:26 am

I added the M.L. King job since it’s listed as open, although I understand that 2012 interim coach Rober Freeman is a strong candidate to get the job.


January 24th, 2013
11:05 am

Thomasville is going to miss Richie Marsh, not just a good coach but a great man and role model for his players. Good luck Coach Marsh!

Silver Creek Dawg

January 24th, 2013
11:07 am

Add Gordon Central HS to your open list.

Chad Fisher was hired at Lafayette HS yesterday.

Big Dog

January 24th, 2013
2:10 pm

Todd, Warren County is open.

Todd Holcomb

January 24th, 2013
3:26 pm

Thanks, all. I’ve put Warren County as open and listed Coach Fisher’s move.

C.G. Alumni

January 24th, 2013
3:47 pm

When are they going to open up the Cedar Grove job .Coach Bonner is retiring .


January 24th, 2013
5:28 pm

Understand that David Humphreys, who is assistant head coach at Gordon Central, may get head job.

Silver Creek Dawg

January 25th, 2013
9:47 am

John, if Barry Hall wants the Gordon Central job, it’s his.

Bank on it. But I say he’s probably gone too. He has some opportunities at the college level.


January 25th, 2013
1:11 pm

@C.G. Alumni
Word is they already have the coach in waiting. The Infamous Inside Job it is not about what you know, but who do you know in Dekalb. They are doing it like the big boys over there. So don’t waste your T.I.M.E. sending resumes. lmao


January 25th, 2013
6:25 pm

Todd Wheeler was named as new head coach today at Coosa.


January 25th, 2013
8:51 pm

I think that it was time for a coaching change at Thomasville. I think Marsh did well to move on while his record there was still above .500. Don’t get me wrong though. I think Coach Marsh was a great man and mentor to the young men he worked with but he just wasn’t the best football coach.


January 25th, 2013
10:16 pm

On, they have a twitter feed congratulating Dialleo Burks of LaGrange on becoming the new head coach at LaFayette. Is that wrong?

@ K-Man

January 29th, 2013
2:05 pm

@ K-Man – Your F’d Up In The Head – Don’t even mention Estes name as a possible trade. He should stay put right where he is!

Dialleo Burks?

January 29th, 2013
2:08 pm

Hey Sgt Chris, is this the same Dialleo Burks that played for the GA Force?