Posted: 7:31 pm Monday, March 10th, 2014

Cross Keys hires state-championship coach from Virginia 

By Todd Holcomb

A football program known for losing has hired a winning coach.

Kevin Saunders, who won a state championship for one of Virginia’s most successful football teams in 2011, resigned from Gretna High on Monday and announced he was taking over at Cross Keys in DeKalb County, according to the Danville Register & Bee.

Cross Keys’ record over the past nine seasons is 7-80-2. The team no longer plays a region schedule and hasn’t won more than three games in a season since 1995.

Saunders’ record at Gretna was 49-15 in five seasons. Gretna won Virginia’s Class 2A title in 2011. The school also won state titles in 2007 and 2008. Saunders’ overall record as a head coach is 144-77.

Saunders told the newspaper that his father lives in the Atlanta area. In January, Saunders had been recommended for the head coaching job at Coahulla Creek in Dalton but didn’t get final approval by the school board, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

6 comments
glw72
glw72

lol @BigIrishMike


Thats a bit cold man, but you are right.  Though Cross Keys is in Brookhaven, most of the schools age kids (mostly white and well to do)  are routed elsewhere (Chamblee or Dunwoody) or they choose to send their kids to private schools (Marist, St. Pius). If Brookhaven was able to have their own school system, they would  take Cross Keys, close it and build a huge mega school on Peachtree Rd somewhere. 

BigIrishMike
BigIrishMike

  Cross Keys is not playing a region slate for the next two seasons.(which they would have to face Marist St Pius) What they need to do is go back to the old district lines from the 60's and 70's. and not just draw from Buford Hwy.

  But those well to do folks in Brookhaven will not go! They go to Chamblee now, it would be beneath them to go to Cross Keys...

glw72
glw72

@Sportsnutx2


That is true about teams out west, but not happening in Georgia.  Those towns out there are more established and have put down roots.  Cross Keys is very transient.  It is mainly kids who live along the Buford Hwy corridor in Dekalb Co.  If you know anything about that area, it is mostly one apartment after another.  So people tend to move in and out on a year to year basis.  so its hard to simply take some 9th and 10th graders and develop them. Chances are half will be gone before they finish their careers. 

Sportsnutx2
Sportsnutx2

@glw72 == I think it can be done. If you look at some of the top ranked or highly thought of programs in the west, many are composed of mainly Hispanics. Many teams considered by ESPN, Prep Nation, USA Today and others are more than 90 % Hispanic. That is fact. So, if he can bring in the right  frame of mind and instill it in the school, not just potential players, he could be on to something.  He will have his work cut out for himself though.


Good luck to him and Cross Keys

BigIrishMike
BigIrishMike

Is this going to be some sort of reality TV series?

glw72
glw72

Is he sure he knows what he is getting into?  Guess he wants to get to Georgia bad.  Cross Keys without a doubt is the most challenging job in the state.  A school that is 90% Hispanic with a very transient population that has players move out every year, so hard to build continuity.  Best of luck, he will need it for sure.