Gregory takes Collins Hill job to face ‘best in the country’ again

(David Tulis / Special to AJC)

(David Tulis / Special to AJC)

collins-hill-footballCollins Hill  hired Centennial head football coach Lenny Gregory on Wednesday to replace Kevin Reach.

Gregory was 5-5 and 8-3 in two seasons at Centennial. The 8-3 finish was the Fulton County school’s best season since 2003 (8-2).

Gregory was on Grayson’s staff from 2008 through 2014, the last two seasons as defensive coordinator. Grayson won its first state title in 2011 with star defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche, for whom Gregory served as legal guardian for a time.

Gregory planned to meet Collins Hill players on Thursday morning,

‘’It’s just my competitive nature,’’ Gregory said of his decision. “I was thinking about being able to play and get back in Gwinnett County. My belief is that Gwinnett County football is the best in the country. I said that while I was at Grayson, and I’ll say that now. To be able to get back into a school like Collins Hill, a tremendous school and community, one where I think there’s a world of potential, to be able to go back into that arena is great.’’

Gregory, a California native who played football at Brigham Young, also has worked on the staffs at Northview (2002), South Forsyth (2003) and Chattahoochee (2004-07). After his time at BYU, Gregory worked 12 years in business before getting into coaching.

Gregory said he would be bringing Centennial offensive coordinator Patrick Carroll and defensive line coach Sebastian Rice, whom he coached while at Grayson. The offense will be a gap-scheme spread. Centennial set scoring records each of the past two seasons.

‘’It’s a lot of different formations and motion, high-tempo, designed to get the defense on its heels, snapping the football in less than 14 seconds,’’ Gregory said.

Gregory indicated than any Collins Hill coaches that wanted to remain would have a place on the staff. He will meet with them on Thursday. On Wednesday afternoon, he met with his Centennial players to say goodbye.

‘’I don’t think anybody can prepare themselves for that,’’ Gregory said. “It’s tough. I wasn’t looking, I really wasn’t. You sit back [after the season] like everybody and see what’s going on and  ask yourself, ‘Am I good where I’m at, or do you want to apply?’ I wasn’t going to apply anywhere. I had two different schools contact me. I just thought, ‘Well, I’ll listen.’ I’m blessed and humbled.’’

Collins Hill was 2-8 last season and 46-36 overall under Reach, who resigned to take the head-coaching job at Monroe Area.


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