Posted: 7:30 am Thursday, August 7th, 2014
By Todd Holcomb
GHSF Daily is chronicling the many coaching changes in the offseason. We continue today with Class AAA.
Number of hires: 11
Best hire: Lyman Guy
Hardest to replace: Ken Cofer
Best job: Cook
Toughest job: Savannah
Most interesting: Lyman Guy, the coach who turned Richmond Hill into a winner, chose to leave a Class AAAAA school for Toombs County of AA. It’s a homecoming of sorts. Guy led Robert Toombs Academy of the Georgia Independent School Association to state championships in 2003 and 2004.
*Cook hired Irwin County coach Jon Lindsey to replace Ken Cofer, who resigned and took the Bacon County job. Lindsey was 20-13-1 in three seasons in Irwin County, which won its first state playoff game in 11 years last season. Lindsey was Camden County’s defensive coordinator from 2005 to 2009. Cofer was 32-15 in his four seasons at Cook. Lindsey and Cofer coincidentally are graduates of Paulding County High and West Georgia.
*Savannah hired Memorial Day offensive coordinator Tony Welch to replace Tim Jordan, the state-winning boys basketball coach who took the football job for an interim season and was 1-9. Welch, a Claxton native, was part of three GISA state championship teams at Memorial Day, most recently in 2013. Memorial averaged 44 points per game last season.
*Toombs County hired Richmond Hill coach Lyman Guy to replace Steve Versprille, who was forced out because of off-field misconduct after one season, a 4-6 finish. Guy won state titles at nearby Robert Toombs Academy in the GISA (2003, 2004) before taking the Richmond Hill job in 2010. Guy was 28-15 at Richmond Hill, which was 10-2 last season, its best finish in school history dating to 1986.
*Westside of Augusta promoted offensive coordinator Scott Tate to replace Steve Hibbitts, who took the Lakeside (Evans) job. Tate was Cross Creek’s head coach from 2006 to 2009 and compiled a 17-24 record. Cross Creek hasn’t had a winning season since the 8-3 finish in ’07. Hibbitts was 13-29 in four seasons at Westside.
*Towers hired Brian Montgomery to replace Michael Holloway, who led Towers to a 5-5 finish in his only season a year after the Titans went 0-10. The change was announced late last month. Montgomery is a former head coach at North Atlanta and Shiloh.
*Rockmart hired McIntosh County Academy defensive coordinator Bin Turner to replace Dan Duff, who retired. Turner had been at MCA since 2005 and also coached at Metter, Fitzgerald and his alma mater, Swainsboro. Duff was 63-63 in 12 seasons.
*Coahulla Creek hired Clay County (Tenn.) coach Chad Barger to replace Jared Hamlin, who started the program in 2012 and was 2-8 each season. Barger was 3-7 in 2013 at Clay County and 29-26 the previous five seasons at Sequatchie County (Tenn.), which had been 1-19 the two years before.
*Sonoraville promoted defensive coordinator Jim Kremer to replace Roger Gentry, who resigned to become offensive coordinator at Stephens County. Kremer had been head coach at Adairsville from 2009 to 2013 and was 24-15 in those four seasons, reaching the playoffs each of the past three seasons. Kremer also has been an assistant at Calhoun and at schools in Florida and Alabama. Gentry was 9-22 in three seasons.
*Fannin County hired Gainesville defensive coordinator Jim Pavao to replace Greg Chambers. Pavao was an assistant at Burke County (2001-06) before coming to Gainesville but has spent most of his time on college sidelines at Norwich University, Davidson and Princeton.
*Lumpkin County promoted offensive coordinator Ty Maxwell to replace Brad Waggoner, who was hired as assistant director of player personnel at Georgia Tech. Maxwell was the offensive line coach the past four seasons at Chestatee and was hired on Waggoner’s staff in the offseason. Maxwell was an assistant at Lumpkin County for the 2007 and 2008 seasons while finishing school at North Georgia.
*Oconee County hired Stephens County coach Travis Noland to replace Mitch Olson, who was 20-41 in six seasons. Noland was 73-30 in nine seasons at Stephens County. Olson is teaching at a middle school in the school system and not coaching.
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