Football coaching changes: Kell’s Cook resigns; Johns Creek, Milton make hires

kell

Kell won four region titles and reached the state semifinals twice, including in 2016, under Derek Cook.

Another of metro Atlanta’s prime head football coaching jobs is open.

Kell, a Cobb County school averaging 10.7 wins since 2010, must repalce Derek Cook, who resigned this week to seek non-coaching opportunities in administration. Kell reached the Class AAAAA semifinals last season with an 11-3 record.

“I have had the opportunity to coach some outstanding young men,” Cook told John Bednaroski of the Marietta Daily Journal, which reported the story Thursday morning. “I’ve worked with some outstanding coaches and administrators, and I’m grateful to have done that. We’ve been part of some great teams and great games. Those are memories I will treasure forever.”

Cook is 98-35 overall as a head coach, including two seasons at South Cobb, and was 89-23 at Kell, which reached the playoffs in all nine of Cook’s seasons, won four region titles and made two semifinal appearances. Some of Cook’s former players include Brendon Langley (UGA/Lamar), Quincy Mauger (UGA) and Brian Randolph (Tennessee).

Cook’s departure adds to an off-season that has seen more high-profile jobs open in metro Atlanta than any in years, especially on the northern crescent.

Those include coaches who had won state titles at Buford, Grayson, Roswell and Sandy Creek. Buford has hired John Ford to replace Jess Simpson, who took a job with the Atlanta Falcons. Matt Kemper of Johns Creek replaced Ford at Roswell. Grayson and Sandy Creek remain open.

Other recent hires:

-Johns Creek has hired Fort Pierce Central (Fla.) coach Matt Helmerich to replace Kemper. Helmerich was the defensive coordinator at St. Thomas Aquinas from 2010 to 2016, during which Aquinas won four state titles and one mythical national championship and produced 101 college signees.

-Milton has hired West Forsyth’s Adam Clack to replace Howie DiCristofaro, who was let go despite a 39-28 mark over six seasons. Clack’s teams were 20-12 in three seasons and 7-4 each of the past two. West Forsyth and Milton are in the same Region 5-AAAAAAA. West Forsyth won their meeting 31-6 last season.

-Houston County has promoted defensive coordinator Ryan Crawford to replace Von Lassiter, who took the head-coaching job at Bleckley County. Crawford, a former Griffin and Valdosta State player, was on Northside-Warner Robins staff from 2005 to 2012.


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