Former Harrison football coach Cobleigh dies

Harrison High School head coach Bruce Cobleigh gives some directions to his team on the first day of football practice in 2007. (Andy Sharp/AJC)

Bruce Cobleigh, who started the Harrison football program in 1991 and led it to 125 wins, four region titles and a state-championship appearance in 2000, died on Monday. He was 67.

Cobleigh was being treated for Stage 4 pancreatic cancer at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. He was diagnosed on July 11.

Cobleigh retired as a head coach after the 2007 season but kept his hand in the game at Harrison and later at Roswell, where he was offensive coordinator for the 2015 Class 6A runner-up team to Colquitt County. Cobleigh was the national director of speakers for the nationally known Glazier Football Coaches Clinics.

Cobleigh and his wife, Janet, moved to Athens in April, and the coach was serving as offensive coordinator at Prince Avenue Christian under Greg Vandagriff, whom Cobleigh befriended when the two were head coaches in Cobb County.

‘’He was always just a gentleman, a first-class guy,’’ Vandagriff said Monday night. ‘’He was a coach’s coach, a guy that provided leadership, taught you the right way. And he was a technician, always on the cutting edge of offensive game-planning. You ask college coaches, and they’ll tell you he was one of the Wing T gurus in the country, not the country, but the country.’’

Cobleigh’s record at Harrison from 1992 to 2007 was 125-58. Only McEachern’s Jimmy Dorsey, with 219, had more victories in Cobb.

Cobleigh, a Boston-area native who had made his mark in New Jersey and Florida before being hired at newly opened Harrison, was head coach of 14 first-team all-state players in Georgia. His 2000 team lost to Parkview in the Class 5A championship game. His 2002 team featuring Paul Oliver and Jon Abbate was ranked No. 2 and finished 12-1. From 1995 onward, Cobleigh’s teams made 11 straight playoff appearances and had 13 straight winning seasons.

Harrison’s stadium was named in Cobleigh’s honor in 2008.

Read and sign the online guestbook for Coach Bruce Cobleigh

 


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