Upson-Lee, Oconee County, Rockmart football coaches step down

Head coaches at Upson-Lee and Oconee County have resigned this week, and Rockmart head coach Dan Duff has retired.

Upson-Lee caoch Tommy Watson and athletics director Eddie Payne resigned Tuesday morning, according to WTGA-FM in Thomaston.

Watson was 23-38 in six seasons. Upson-Lee had one winning season under Watson (6-5 in 2011) and was 4-6 this season.

Oconee County coach Mitch Olson resigned on Monday, the school announced. Principal Sheila Beckham made these comments through an e-mail:

“I am grateful to Coach Olson for his dedication to our football program. He has truly made an impact both on the field and in the classroom. He always strives to make each athlete/student a better person. Thanks to him, the Warrior Creed has become a part of the OC culture. Warriors always strive to do their best – ‘All of the time, not some of the time.’”

Oconee County was 2-8 this season. Olson was 20-41 in his six seasons. Olson was the high school coach during LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger’s senior season in 2008.

At Rockmart, Dan is leaving after 12 seasons. His record was 63-63, and he led the Yellow Jackets to five playoff apperances. Duff also was head coach at Hixson (Tenn.) for six seasons and was an assistant at Pickens, Rome, West Rome, Franklin County and Randolph-Clay.

11 comments Add your comment


November 12th, 2013
11:49 am

I got a perfect candidate for Oconee High School: My former teammate at Ga Southern and a Former OCHS Warrior QB Ken Burnette. He is currrently Offensive Coordinator at South Gwinnett. You better get him while you can.

Rockmart Needs a Coach

November 12th, 2013
1:10 pm


November 12th, 2013
4:47 pm

Football in Upson County was de-emphasized years ago, while it grew and thrived in surrounding counties like Lamar and Pike. People forget Upson-Lee began the 1994 season ranked No. 5 in the nation and No. 1 in Georgia’s highest classificiation. I believe this is what happens when the voice of the “Upson” faction is louder than the one of the “Lee” faction.


November 12th, 2013
9:58 pm

Coach Pruitt at Coffee needs to step down! 10-10 in 2 seasons at Coffee, what a joke.


November 13th, 2013
2:31 pm

@ CEM you are more than mistaken the demise of Upson-Lee actually started after the schools decided to consolidate. When the small town bankers decided they wanted their sons to start and the coaches lost power to the school and of course the good ole boy system with hiring these coaches all meant destruction for the UL Knights.


November 13th, 2013
11:22 pm

I’m not sure consolidation had that much of an impact, but I’m sure it made a difference to some extent. U-L did pretty well in the immediate years after consolidating, and had a pretty decent run when Mike Majors ran the team. It might have been part of the reason Lamb and Earwood split town – both of whom went on to take subsequent teams to either state titles or state semifinals – but Majors came in and went to the playoffs six times in seven seasons. That’s when the football culture seems to have dissipated. I don’t think it’s mere coincidence the programs at Pike and Lamar seemed to improve within a year or two after Majors’ departure. Now I’m not sure there’s enough overall talent in the area to win again. Thomaston will always have some homegrown talent with all the legacies there, but it’s questionable whether the actual level will return to what it once was.


November 13th, 2013
11:24 pm

Not to mention, I’m pretty sure I also mentioned the Upson and Lee factions battling, and the apparent results when one side wins.


November 14th, 2013
10:41 am

Lamar Co. starting winning when OUR coach,Franklin Stephens,took over.He doesn’t allow the tail to wag the dog.Tucker misses him.


November 14th, 2013
11:11 pm

You all may miss him in Tucker, but he walked into a pretty good situation at Lamar. They were 26-9 in the three seasons prior to his arrival, including 12-1 the season before he arrived. Plus they just completely renovated the stadium and got a new field. He had some idea what he was getting into when he made the switch, and it was a good choice. One-horse town, favorable, direct dealings with the school board, football-driven area and town … he’s like an island now.


November 15th, 2013
6:07 am

@ Coffee Trojan44- Coach Pruitt will turn Coffee football around, just be patient.


November 15th, 2013
8:12 am

Here comes Flowe watch out guys.