Southwest DeKalb’s Godfrey to retire

By Score Atlanta

After 30 seasons and 273 wins, Southwest DeKalb’s Buck Godrey will step down as head coach of the Panthers program. According to Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Gil Tyree, Godfrey made the announcement at the Panthers’ award banquet, ending a tenure that began with a 10-3-1 season in 1983. Godfrey took seven teams to at least the semifinals and went 1-1 in state championship games. His 1995 squad defeated Parkview 14-7 to give the Panthers their first state crown since 1972.

Last year, the Panthers went 7-4, falling to Kell in the first round of the postseason. Godfrey never had a losing record in his 30 seasons at Southwest DeKalb and missed the postseason just three times. He sits in 16th place all-time in wins according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association. A replacement has not been named and attempts to reach Godfrey Sunday night were unsuccessful.

58 comments Add your comment

G-dub

February 11th, 2013
2:05 pm

FIRST!!!!!!!!

G-dub

February 11th, 2013
2:05 pm

Congrats on a great career Coach.

WarEagle

February 11th, 2013
2:24 pm

Congrats to Coach Godfrey on a great career, winning games and shaping lives.

some sense

February 11th, 2013
2:31 pm

On the same day the Pope announces his retirement. Good timing, Buck, and a lot of young people owe you big time.

Benn

February 11th, 2013
2:42 pm

Congrats coach you will be missed

Ballfan

February 11th, 2013
2:48 pm

The example of what an American football coach should be. Elder statesman, learned scholar, author, principled, Christian man who created tax payers instead of tax burdens. And he just might’ve won a few ball games along the way. God speed in your new endeavors Coach.

Max Sizemore

February 11th, 2013
3:10 pm

A better man than coach.

Left Coast Dawg

February 11th, 2013
3:16 pm

Buck was a pretty good coach. HOWEVER, with all the talent that passed through SWD, he should be considered a great coach. He did good work with the team he inherited in 1983 but they probably should have won state that year. Clemente Gordon at QB, who went on to break some of Doug Williams records at Grambling, Kerry Champion on defense….a ferocious hitter. Year in and year out nothing but talent, the best crop of talent at one school in DeKalb County or metro Atlanta area for that matter. A consistent pipeline from Gresham Park and anybody who knows anything about the GA Parks & Recreation leagues knows GP was like the SEC of those leagues. So, while we celebrate the man and his many great years, it should also be noted that he should have been able to accomplish more with all that talent.
AND, to the poster who stated he created tax payers instead of tax burdens, I would say he failed on at least one…the QB of his only state title team, initials QC.

Left Coast Dawg

February 11th, 2013
3:20 pm

See, even Max Sizemore agrees….thanks for the validation Max.

Joe L

February 11th, 2013
3:35 pm

I argree. Buck was a great to win league games and get southwest in post seson games. I saw that 2010 team and had a whip. He should at lease went to championship that year. Buck teams were to run orient. He never did beat MLK high school.

Max Sizemore

February 11th, 2013
5:57 pm

I see now I should have emphasized that Buck is a great coach — I thought his record was proof of that.

JAB

February 11th, 2013
6:24 pm

A legend, no doubt! Just hope SWD can keep up their winning tradition…

G-dub

February 11th, 2013
6:43 pm

Never had a losing season in 30 years, c’mon man!!! You have to recognize greatness.

Keenan

February 11th, 2013
6:51 pm

I do not know him but have heard a lot about the man and all were positive. Congrats Coach and enjoy your retirement!

Bright Idea

February 11th, 2013
6:54 pm

Ya”ll know that any coach that does not win a state championship every year is a failure. Forget that everybody else is trying to do the same thing.

Keenan

February 11th, 2013
6:58 pm

I also just learned something. Clemente Gordon is from SWD. I attended Grambling and he was our QB my freshman and sophomore seasons.

LakeDawg

February 11th, 2013
6:59 pm

There will always be those that sit behind a computer and judge others harshly without turning their jaundiced eye on their own pitiful accomplishments. Coach Godfrey was a great coach and is a great man. He’s been solid as a rock for that community. Is he a saint? No. He is just a man who made a difference.

Mighty Mighty Wildcats

February 11th, 2013
7:08 pm

LOL @ Balfan……..this idiot of a coach screamed racial epithets before the 1990 state championship game regarding the white refs down in Valdosta….we promptly went out and whipped his sorry arse 31-0 and put his star reciever in the hospital…..Godfrey did less with more talent than ANY coach in ga high school history…..good riddance. Elder statesman…..hahahaha roflmao.

THEHILLISREAL

February 11th, 2013
7:12 pm

THE POLECAT! If they run the Pistol….. I know they should be able to run the Pole Cat.

FootballTopFan(c)

February 11th, 2013
8:22 pm

FootballTopFan and high school football fans across the area would like to offer our THANKS to a great football coach !!!

CONGRATULATIONS to Coach Buck Godfrey of the Southwest Dekalb Panthers for a wonderful career.

High School football is losing an iconic legend and educator.

Good luck to you and your family Coach Godfrey.

Milledgeville Dawg

February 11th, 2013
8:27 pm

Congratulations coach, you are a legend in coaching and the same for shaping young students lives. Good luck in your retirement.

hit a single

February 11th, 2013
8:50 pm

Great career Coach Godfrey. I hope you enjoy your retirement. It really scares me when I see all these old school coaches retiring. Your best administrators are former coaches. Great organizers and demand discipline. I pray for these young guys that think they know it all.

dekalbBB1

February 11th, 2013
10:35 pm

Congratulations to Coach Godfrey! You are DeKalb county (Eddie Robinson). Your record does not tell your true value. Alot of people talks about your talent you NEVER had a losing season! Please have these same people look at Bobby Cox record (3 Cy Young Winners) 14 consective division champs and ONLY 1 WC!!!!!!!!!!

OHS Cardinal

February 12th, 2013
6:57 am

Congrats. to Coach Godfrey. Have a well-deserved great retirement. I was also hoping to find a story on Kell baseball coach Donnie English’s retirement celebration Sat. nite at the 755 Club at Turner Field. After 40 years of unparralled success, around 350 former players, coaches and friends were there to express their thanks to arguably the greatest HS baseball coach ever in Georgia. Well done Coach Godfrey and Coach English.

Hubert Green

February 12th, 2013
7:03 am

Congratulations to both Buck and Donnie simply for surviving the parental complaints, administrative mumbo jumbo, the stress of the season, and the internet. God bless both of you.

Newnan222

February 12th, 2013
8:31 am

Thanks for putting so many young men in college. You will be missed. Younger coaches will carry on with your getting our young men into college. Loved by many. Thanks so much. Love Ya.

DFRAZ

February 12th, 2013
9:01 am

It was great to have a chance to coach against a Legend like CoachGodfrey

1973 Panther

February 12th, 2013
9:18 am

Coach Godfrey won a lot of games, never had a losing season and won a state championship. All admirable results but no one in the state of Georgia ever worked harder to get scholarships for his players. Guys who never started for SWD were able to attend smaller colleges on football scholarships thanks to Coach Godfrey’s efforts over the past 30 years. It was frustrating at time to see him so committed to the run option game even on the team with Quincy Carter at QB and two future Olympic champion hurdlers at wide receiver. I know they beat Parkview in a close game for the state title, but if I was coaching that team I would have thrown the deep ball on every play. Parkview’s best DB was also their QB and never came out of the game. He had to be tired and couldn’t cover both Trammel and Taylor. Other than the 1972 state championship game that foggy night in Gainesville, the best high school game I ever saw was the semifinal game against Valdosta in the Dome the year before. Even though SWD lost in a close one, it was as exciting as any Super Bowl from the opening kickoff return for a TD by SWD to the last second score to win the game by Valdosta. Congratulations Coach. Enjoy your well-earned retirement!

Decatur 4 Life

February 12th, 2013
9:20 am

Left Coast Dawg

I agree Buck should’ve won a few more titles but to say he was just an ok coach is a stretch, you don’t coach 30 years in one place without having a losing record and not be a good coach. You have to consider the other great teams in the state having something to do with them not winning more state titles as well, not just about coaching alone. Also consider the opening of MLK and other schools in the area pulling those kids that would’ve normally been at SWD, yeah those same Gresham kids you talked about earlier. Just give Buck his due respect bottom line, also Buck didn’t fail on QC he failed on himself by making some bad decisions!

THE ATLER

February 12th, 2013
9:28 am

Just an all-a-round GREAT man. I played against his SWD teams, but always respected him.

Decatur 4 Life

February 12th, 2013
9:31 am

Mighty Mighty Wildcats

I bet you weren’t talking all that noise in the dome in 94 when you Wildcats fans were on pins and needles, Valdosta ended up winning but like Panther 73 says that was one of the best games in GHSA playoff history.

“this idiot of a coach screamed racial epithets before the 1990 state championship game regarding the white refs down in Valdosta”

So you’re saying it wasn’t impossible for any team to come down to Valdosta and get a fair game, man please. You and I both know that wasn’t happening, Buck might’ve been telling the truth about those white refs down in Valdosta.

G-dub

February 12th, 2013
9:36 am

Where does the word failed fit in when you have never had a losing season in 30 years. If not for the opening of MLK, Stephenson, and Miller Grove he may would have won more championships. At the end of the day if you made a difference in transforming these kids to young men your job is done.

Louisiana Falcon

February 12th, 2013
9:39 am

Man!!!…….There are some real CREEPS that post blogs on this site (Left Coast Dawg, Mighty Mighty Wildcats)……

Anyway….Congrats Coach, on a job well done!!!

Seeyalater

February 12th, 2013
9:47 am

Best wishes to him in retirement … BUT Coach Godfrey consistently steered his best players out of state. A relatively small percentage of their Division 1 talent stayed to represent their home state at the collegiate level and that is a shame. Think that’s no big deal? See how a kid does knocking on an employer’s door in Georgia after he chose to play at Mississipi State, Tennessee, Florida, Bama, etc. vs. a kid that played at Georgia or Georgia Tech. I’m not comparing the quality of degrees, that’s a different argument. I’m saying it makes a significant difference with some employers.

Mike from Lithonia

February 12th, 2013
11:05 am

Congrats Coach on a AWESOME career. You have truly serviced the community well, and for that we say THANK YOU. I know everyone talks about Gresham Park, but THANK YOU for all the young men you help send to college from Browns Mill Park (DYJ), which has also produced a ton of talent and are tax paying and law abiding citizens. Thanks Again, relax and enjoy your family

Marcus Sims

February 12th, 2013
11:24 am

Congrat to Coach Godfrey a “Man for All Seasons”. I went to Redan and we lost close ones on a regular. MLK, Miller Grove, and Stephenson watered down both programs but Buc still won. For the Rattler out there it wasn’t only Gresham Park! It was Browns Mill, Glenwood Hills, and Midway that made up SWD players. I would say as a Midway Wildcat the best came out of Glenwoods Hills. Shout out to Hasan Graham, Jimmy Bethea, Terry Beckham, and Eddie Batey. Players from the SouWest who killed us! Honor this man for what he did for a community and trying to raise young men on the field. RHS Class of 1990

F.R.O.G

February 12th, 2013
2:09 pm

I was lucky enough to play for the man 4 of the 30 years. Playing football for ‘Buck’ was more than just playing a game. He taught us valuable lessons that school couldn’t prepare us for. He gave each of us valuable life lessons that last a life time. He taught us to be Fathers and good citizens of our communities. He has made a forever imprint in my life to this day. Thanks for the Good Times Coach. C/O 98 – By way of Glenwood Hills

Devil Coach

February 12th, 2013
2:20 pm

I have been blessed to work and know two of the greatest men and coaches in the state of Georgia. Billy Henderson and Buck Godfrey. God bless you coach

Ruth Godfrey Inniss

February 12th, 2013
2:20 pm

Congratulations to Coach “Buck” Godfrey for all of his successful work at South West DeKalb High School. May he continue to enjoy a long and healthful life. Love, Ruth Godfrey Inniss

Dr Richard Handler

February 12th, 2013
2:44 pm

Sam Crenshaw reported that story Friday on 11 alive.

Tucker DAD

February 12th, 2013
3:08 pm

Congrats coach on a long and successful career! I’m always sadden to see people stand up and try to take away the glory of people who have given a lifetime of service to others. It is the most selfless job of all.
What you pessimist never understand about people like coach Godfrey is while you are out partying, and chasing, and indulging in selfish acts of vanity this man was in the trenches teaching, training, and molding young people to go on to be productive.
For those of you that really know football you quickly learn that it takes more, much more than just talent to win championships. There are teams at the high school level that win championships on chemistry and coaching over much more talented teams.
Only selfish and shallow people judge a man on purely his accomplisments as a champion and not the full body of his work and the impact that he has had on people. Our school system in Dekalb county is full of selfish kids and parents who only think of the championship and look at the state of our school sytem today. We need more character and less focus on things that won’t hold value 20 years from now being taught in our school systems.
I salute you coach Godfrey!!!

graphite

February 12th, 2013
4:35 pm

As a game official,I was chosen,along with my crew, to work Spring games as well as regular season games for Coach.Always a class act and well coached teams.For the Paul McDowell crew,I congratulate you on a job well done.

biscuit

February 12th, 2013
4:47 pm

Without a doubt one of the legends of Ga HS football. Congrats Coach on a great career and job well done!

Choo

February 12th, 2013
4:56 pm

Buck ! WOW ! What a great support system you have !!
Truly proud of you and all of your accomplishments, not just on the football field, in the classroom and being blessed with an awesome family.
Love You Bunches and Miss You !

Left Coast Dawg

February 12th, 2013
5:54 pm

For the record, I never said he was an okay coach. I said he was a pretty good coach….just not great, in the sense of what he should have done with all the talent. Additionally, I’m talking about his coaching era prior to the opening of MLK, Stephenson, and Miller Grove when he was getting the talent that Walker/Gordon/McNair, Cedar Grove, Columbia, didn’t get from the pool left over from the M-to-M kids. I commend Buck for getting these kids into college. He was a great mentor. He coached very close family friends and two coaches during his tenure were close family friends. I know many of his former players, as well. All I’m saying is that As good of a job as he performed, based on the TALENT that has passed through SWD during his tenure, MORE should have been accomplished. In no way am I attempting to say he shouldn’t be viewed in positive light for all that he did, IMO there are some other coaches who would’ve had better results with those players. The coach from Lakeside around 87,88,89 is one example. Another blogger referenced Bobby Cox, I agree there’s a comparison there. Like Bobby, Buck’s team was a threat every year but unlike a Bellichek or Torre or Jackson or Popovich, Buck didn’t get the most out the talent he had…..IMO. And if you want me to call him a great coach then fine but he should’ve been greater!

Dekalb Co Guy

February 12th, 2013
10:03 pm

Congrats to Coach Godfrey on a long and successful career. As a player, I went up against one of his squads and like many, we were promptly squashed.

@Left Coast Dawg

Man you are way off base, Coach Buck was a great coach and did a lot for his players. You mentioned Lakeside coach back in the late 80’s, I believe it was Coach LIndsey. He was a pretty good coach too, my teams took some butt whooping from them too, but thats not fair to say he would have done better with the same players. Whose to say they would have responded to him in the same way as the did to Coach Godfrey.

aps

February 13th, 2013
9:27 am

Congrats Coach, thanks for all you’ve done

ATR

February 13th, 2013
9:41 am

Congrats Coach. Enjoy your retirement.

73Panther95

February 13th, 2013
12:01 pm

To those who try to mitigate Coach Godfrey’s name based on the accomplishment you think he should have achieved, you are sad and weak. I am a product of Buck Godfrey. Place your resume and body of work against his and I’m willing to gamble that you cant compare. His accomplishments in foot ball justify his greatness to but to attack his productivity based on a few nameworthy individuals who didnt live up to your perceptions is petty. If you didnt not play for him your dont not know what he has instilled in his players. PRIDE. That is what carried the tradition. That is what kept us having a winning record. Keep you judgement for Coach Godfrey and the rest of the players to yourself. Because thing Buck taught us all is that if you have a discrepancy with a man say it to his face or keep your mouth shut. Specifically You Left Coast Dawg.

Picture This

February 13th, 2013
1:59 pm

A true Class Act !!! Be Wishes on your retirement…., get some much needed rest:)