The financial crisis in the Jackson County school system has cost East Jackson its head football coach and athletics director.
Robert Andrews, former defensive coordinator at Grayson, and Brent Tisdale, Grayson’s former athletics director, resigned last week. Three assistant coaches, including former Dacula defensive coordinator Gary Hughes, also have stepped down, according to various media reports.
The school system recently announced additional furlough days for 2013-14 and other budget-cutting moves, including the closing of an elementary school and the merging of two middle schools.
“It seems like it would be a great place, but with those furloughs and the instability of what the system looks like, I just can’t justify moving out there at this time in my life,” Tisdale told the Jackson Herald. “None of the guys [coaches] we wanted to bring out there we were going to be able to bring on. It’s already hard enough building a football staff and an athletic department when your points are thin anyway. It’s even harder to recruit coaches that you know are good when you are faced with things like furloughs.”
Tisdale told the newspaper that the system was unable to secure a position for his wife, which had been an expectation when he was hired.
East Jackson opened in 2007 with strong booster-club support and good facilities, including a turf field, in a growing area northeast of metro Atlanta. The team was 10-2 in its second season under Frank Caputo, finishing runner-up in Region 8-AA to Jefferson after a 9-0 start.
Caputo resigned after a 3-7 finish in 2010. East Jackson was 0-10 in 2012 under coach Brian Smith.
The hiring of Tisdale and Andrews signaled a new commitment to football. Andrews had been at Grayson for eight seasons and was part of Grayson’s 2011 state championship team that allowed fewer than 50 yards rushing per game. Andrews had guided East Jackson through spring practice.