More additions to story published Feb. 26 and updated Feb. 28:
Dacula has hired Lumpkin County coach Tommy Jones to replace Jared Zito. Jones is a Brookwood graduate who worked at Dacula during the 2000 and 2001 seasons under Kevin Maloof. Jones was 27-43 in seven seasons at Lumpkin County, a school without much football tradition that jumped to Class AAAA from AA during Jones’ tenure.
Duluth promoted offensive coordinator Jason Conner to replace Corey Jarvis. Conner also coached at Jefferson under Bill Navas, who is now Duluth’s athletics director.
Mike Rozier of Lakeside in DeKalb County has resigned. Banneker also has announced an opening to replace Marquis Slaton.
Eleven Georgia football coaches who have won a total of 34 Georgia state championships have taken new positions or retired since December. Below is a look at the 10 most newsworthy coaching changes among 64 reported job openings so far in the GHSA. Nearly half are still open.
1.Jeff Herron, Camden County: Herron, who won three state titles and attained national prominence at Class AAAAAA state power Camden, took a job at Prince Avenue Christian, the Class A private runner-up in 2012. It was a move that put him closer to a daughter, who is expecting her first child. With 31 years in public schools, Herron also is able to draw retirement. Prince Avenue is in Oconee County. Herron’s other state title came in 1999 at Oconee County High.
2. Dell McGee, Carver-Columbus: McGee, 39, is a Columbus native who played in the NFL. He came to Carver in 2005, when the school hadn’t won a playoff game in 18 years. His Carver teams won at least 11 games in each of the past seven seasons and won a state title in 2007. McGee was 88-19 in his eight seasons. A week ago, McGee was hired to be a part of Auburn’s support staff under new coach Gus Malzahn.
3. Buck Godfrey, Southwest DeKalb: Godfrey, whose 273 victories ranked No. 1 in DeKalb County history, retired after 30 seasons. Godfrey’s teams made the playoffs 27 times, won 13 region titles and one state title in 1995. Godfrey’s victory total (273-89-1) ranks 13th in state history, third in metro Atlanta and first among African-American coaches in Georgia.
4. T. McFerrin, Jefferson: McFerrin, the only Georgia coach ever to lead five different schools to the state semifinals, went out a winner as his Jefferson team stunned many with the Class A championship. It was Jefferson’s first title, McFerrin’s second. McFerrin also brought home Elbert County’s only state title in 1995. McFerrin’s final record is 340-102-4, making him the fourth most-winning Georgia coach among those who spent the bulk of their time in Georgia. McFerrin, 71, retired one other time, after coaching South Gwinnett in 2004, but this time, it’s permanent.
5. Ed Pilcher, Bainbridge: Pilcher’s departure from Bainbridge was thought to be a retirement. Instead, the five-time state championship coach surfaced days later at Berrien, which might qualify as the toughest coaching job in South Georgia. Berrien has not had a winning season since 1995 or a playoff victory since 1991. Pilcher made his name at Thomas County Central, where he won five state titles in the 1990s. Pilcher’s career record is 240-94-1.
6. Barney Hester, Tattnall Square: The only coach in Georgia history with more state titles than Hester is Wright Bazemore (14). Hester is tied with Larry Campbell with 11, all won at Tattnall Square, a Georgia Independent School Association school in Macon. In January, Hester pulled a shocker when he left Tattnall after 31 seasons for Howard, a Macon public school that opened in 2008 and is a mere 5-45 in football, riding a 24-game winning streak.
7. Rick Tomberlin, Effingham County: Tomberlin retired after 31 seasons as a head coach. He was 236-118-0, putting him the top 30 for victories in Georgia. His calling card was strength and agility, which he used to build a state power at Washington County, winning state titles in 1994, 1996 and 1997 with the likes of Takeo Spikes and Terrence Edwards. spent only three seasons at Effingham, finishing up 6-5, after a turbulent four seasons at Valdosta, where he was fired after going 22-21.
8. Terry Crowder, Chattahoochee: Crowder, coach of Chattahoochee’s 2010 state championship team, left for Creekview, a Cherokee County school that opened in 2006 and finished 9-2 in 2012 under program founder Al Morrell, who retired. The move entails a drop in classification to AAAAA. It also suggests a greater willingness of Cherokee County schools to pay to attract top coaches. Note that Crowder was the defensive coordinator on Camden County’s 2003 state championship team. It would’ve been interesting to see if Camden had pursued Crowder, or vice-versa, to replace Herron.
9. Greg Oglesby, Manchester: Oglesby has turned over the program to Tanner Glisson and will remain Manchester’s athletics director. With a 129-59-2 record in 17 seasons, Oglesby is his alma mater’s all-time most winning coach. He won Manchester’s only state title in 1997.
10. Mark Farriba, Prince Avenue Christian: Farriba had just taken Prince Avenue to the Class A private final when he announced he was returning to his alma mater, Stratford Academy in Macon. Farriba led Stratford to a GISA state title in 2004. He also won GISA state in 1985 at First Presbyterian. Farriba’s return to Stratford fueled speculation that Stratford would be joining the GHSA, following the lead of another GISA school in Macon, Mount de Sales. That decision is imminent.
Reported GHSA job opening:
Special thanks to Steve Slay and GHSFHA.com for maintaining this list.
Adairsville – Open (Jim Kremer)
Americus-Sumter – Open (Michael Pollock/Chris Wade)
Atkinson County – Kip Hall (Jody Stone)
Bacon County – Hildrick Garrison (Bobby Johns)
Bainbridge – Open (Ed Pilcher)
Banneker – Open (Marquis Slaton)
Berrien – Ed Pilcher (Rob Armstrong)
Bradwell Institute – Open (Jim Walsh Jr.)
Bremen – Scott Hodges (Ricky Tolleson)
Camden County – Open (Jeff Herron)
Carver (Columbus) – Open (Dell McGee)
Cedar Grove – Open (Ray Bonner)
Chattahoochee – Michael Owens (Terry Crowder)
Clarke Central - Ahren Self (Leroy Ryals)
Coosa – Todd Wheeler (Chad Perry)
Creekside – Open (Aaron Whittington)
Creekview – Terry Crowder (Al Morrell)
Cross Creek – Robert McCarty (Travis Nixon)
Dacula -Tommy Jones (Jared Zito)
Druid Hills – Open (Kip Hall)
Duluth – Jason Conner (Corey Jarvis)
Dutchtown – Open (Jason Galt)
East Jackson - Robert Andrews (Brian Smith)
Effingham County – Buddy Holder (Rick Tomberlin)
Forest Park – John Diehl (Don J. Williams)
Forsyth Central – Shane Williamson (Chris Bennett)
Franklin County – Jerry Underwood (Tommy Welch)
Georgia Military College – Steve Simpson (Brad Owens)
Glenn Hills – Tim McClain (Andrew Young)
Gordon Central – Open (Chad Fisher)
Habersham Central – Open (Stuart Cunningham)
Harrison – Matt Dickmann (Marty Galbraith/Bruce Cobleigh)
Heritage (Conyers) - Mike Parris (Chad Frazier)
Houston County – Von Lassiter (Greg Robinson)
Howard – Barney Hester (David Cape)
Jackson – Dary Myricks (Mike Parris)
Jefferson – Ben Hall (T. McFerrin)
LaFayette – Chad Fisher (Tab Gable)
Lakeside (Atlanta) – (Mike Rozier)
Lanier County – Phillip Johnson (David Ward)
M.L. King – Open (Rober Freeman)
Manchester – Tanner Glisson (Greg Oglesby)
Mays – Open (Dominic Callaway)
Mount Pisgah Christian – Mike Forester (Doug Dixon)
Mount Vernon Presbyterian – Open (Reggie Burnette)
Murray County – Open (John Hammond)
North Cobb Christian – Open (Harry Miles)
North Forsyth - Jason Galt (Blair Armstrong)
North Springs – Steve Horton (Todd Powers)
Northside (Columbus) – Morgan Ingram (Paul Cates)
Pace Academy – Chris Slade (Matt Hall)
Prince Avenue Christian - Jeff Herron (Mark Farriba)
Putnam County – Open (Ben Reaves)
Roswell – John Ford (Justin Sanderson)
South Atlanta – Open (Julius Moses)
South Cobb – Open (Ed Koester)
Southwest DeKalb – Open (Buck Godfrey)
Swainsboro – Ken Eldridge (David Johnson)
Therrell – Open (Tony Rambo)
Thomasville - Leroy Ryals (Richie Marsh)
Toombs County – Steve Versprille (Shane Williamson)
Villa Rica – Chad Frazier (Mike Falleur)
Walnut Grove – Ben Reaves (O.J. Soto)
Warren County – Cherard Freeman
Westlake – Open (Stanley Pritchett)
Windsor Forest – Open (Jason Roundtree)
Worth County - Jason Tone (Scotty Ward)