Football hires: East Coweta, Pope, Brunswick, Hebron fill openigs

John Small, who led South Gwinnett to an 8-4 finish last season, is the new head coach at East Coweta. (Photo: South Gwinnett Football.)

Approved Friday in a school board meeting, Small will replace the retiring Steve Pardue.

East Coweta has been 8-3 each of the past three seasons and has reached the playoffs in the highest classification each year since 1997.

Small leaves behind a talented South Gwinnett program, which will return defensive end Justin Mascoll, rated the consensus No. 3 junior prospect in Georgia and No. 19 player overall nationally, and defensive tackle Robert Cooper, who is committed to Florida State.

Small was 68-62 in his 12 seasons at South. His 2016 team was a big turnaround from a 2-8 campaign and ended the Comets’ drought of winning seasons at three.

See The Newnan Times-Herald’s article for more on Small’s hiring.

Pope hires Mount Paran coordinator Griffin
Pope has hired Mount Paran Christian offensive coordinator Tab Griffin, a Pope alumnus, to replace Kyle Adkins.

Griffin was on Pope’s staff from 2001 until moving to Mount Paran to help start that program in 2008. He was part of Mount Paran’s 2014 state-championship team.

Griffin will continue to coach Mount Paran’s girls basketball team before coming to Pope full time. He will inherit one of the state’s elite quarterbacks. Evan Conley threw for more than 2,000 yards ad rushed for over 900 in just 10 games.

Pope was 3-7 last season under Adkins, who took the head-coaching job at Campbell.

See The Marietta Daily Journal’s article for more on Griffin’s hiring.

Brunswick hires Pierce County coach
Brunswick has hired Pierce County coach Sean Pender to replace Larry Harold, who stepped down after two seasons. Pender led Pierce to three 10-win seasons and two quarterfinal finishes. His 2016 team was 9-4 behind all-state quarterback Stetson Bennett. Pender also has been a head coach at Brantley County (2002-09) and Crisp County (2010). Brunswick was 3-7 and 5-5 under Harold.

Former NFL player Saturday takes Hebron job
Hebron Christian has promoted offensive coordinator Jeff Saturday, a 14-year former NFL player, as head coach. Saturday had worked for two seasons at Hebron under Kevin Shaffer, another former NFL player, who resigned. Hebron reached the state playoffs for the first time last season with a 5-6 record. Saturday played in six Pro Bowls and was the center for 13 seasons for Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. Will Hammock of the Gwinnett Daily Post was the first to report. See the Gwinnett Daily Post’s article  for more on Saturday’s hiring.

Off-season hirings:

Appling County hired Jon Lindsey to replace J.T. Pollock
Brunswick hired Sean Pender to replace Larry Harold
Buford hired John Ford to replace Jess Simpson
Camden County hired Bob Sphire to replace Welton Coffey
Campbell hired Kyle Adkins to replace Ryan Brady
Carver (Columbus) hired Calvin Arnold to replace Dremail King
Cedartown hired Doyle Kelley to replace Scott Hendrix)
Central (Carrollton) hired Darius Smiley to replace Larry Kesler
Claxton hired Tony Welch to replace Rodrick Williams
Coahulla Creek hired Caleb Bagley to replace Chad Barger
East Coweta hired John Small to replace Steve Pardue
East Paulding hired Billy Shackelford to replace Jon Lindsey
Flowery Branch hired Ben Hall to replace Chris Griffin
Gilmer promoted Casey Wingard, who had been interim coach for the final seven games
Haralson County hired Scott Peavey to replace Frank Vohun
Hart County hired Rance Gillespie to replace William Devane
Hebron Christian hired Jeff Saturday to replace Kevin Shaffer
Jeff Davis hired Lance Helton to replace Ed Lovvorn
Jefferson hired Gene Cathcart to replace Ben Hall
Monroe Area hired Kevin Reach to replace Joey Sulkowski
North Oconee hired Tyler Aurandt to replace Terry Tuley
Pacelli hired Mark LeGreeto replace Buster Connally
Perry hired Kevin Smith to replace Carl Dixon
Pope hired Tab Griffin to replace Kyle Adkins
Roswell hired Matt Kemper to replace John Ford
Shaw hired Al Pellegrino to replace Chuck Stamey
Statesboro hired Jeff Kaiser to replace Steve Pennington
Terrell hired Greg Sullivan to replace Dominic Callaway
Union Grove hired Chad Frazier to replace Craig Melton
Villa Rica hired Rico Zackery to replace Chad Frazier

Jobs still open:
Atkinson County – David Parker (former coach)
Baconton Charter – Johnny Hayes
Baldwin – Lee Hannah
Bleckley County – Tracy White
Bradwell Institute – Greg Hill
Collins Hill – Kevin Reach
Creekside – Will Rogers
Dutchtown – Mark Myers
Early County – Trey Woolf
Forest Park – Dale Myers
Gordon Central – David Humphreys
Johns Creek – Matt Kemper
Luella – Nick Vasilcheck
Long County – Eric McNair
M.L. King – Nicolas Kashama
Mitchell County – Larry Cornelius
Mount Zion (Carroll) – Keith Holloway
Newnan – Mike McDonald
North Gwinnett – Bob Sphire
Northeast – Bruce Mullen
Northview – Chad Davenport
Peachtree Ridge – Mark Fleetwood
Savannah – Tony Welch
South Cobb – Sherrod Rainge
South Gwinnett – John Small
Southwest DeKalb – Fletcher Salter
Sprayberry – Billy Shackelford
Stone Mountain – Utavius Ingram
Strong Rock Christian – Tommy Webb
Tattnall County – Jeff Kaiser
Therrell – Dominic Callaway
Washington-Wilkes – Jacob Kelley
White County – Bill Ballard

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