• 16 new head coaches in Class AAA


    Number of hires: 16

    Best hire: Ken Eldridge, Swainsboro

    Hardest to replace: Dell McGee, Carver (Columbus)

    Best job: Carver (Columbus)

    Toughest job: Towers

    Most interesting: Dell McGee, who led Carver of Columbus to seven region championships and one state title in his eight seasons, joined the staff at Auburn and was replaced by his offensive coordinator, Joe Kegler.

    Region 1

    *Johnson of Savannah promoted defensive coordinator Thomas Tedder to replace Jamie Baldwin, who resigned after leading the team to its first playoff victory in school history in 2012. Tedder was an assistant for state championship teams at Charlotte’s Independence High in 2003-05 that featured Joe Cox, Mohamed Massaquoi and Hakeem Nicks. He also was coach at West Port in Ocala, Fla., for two seasons. Baldwin, whose four-year record at Johnson was 15-27, said he planned to remain at the school as a teacher.

    Region 2

    *Carver of Columbus promoted offensive coordinator Joseph Kegler to replace Dell McGee, who was hired at Auburn. Kegler, a 2001 Carver graduate, has been on Carver’s staff through each of the past six seasons, each ending in region titles. He was offensive coordinator in 2011 and 2012.

    *Henry County hired Stockbridge defensive coordinator Morris Starr to replace Joe Dupree, who became head coach at his alma mater, Southwest (Macon). Stockbridge was second in AAAA in scoring defense in 2012 and emerged as a state power in Starr’s four seasons with the program. Starr was head coach at Tri-Cities in 2006 and 2007. Henry County was 1-9 last season, ending a streak of five playoff appearances.

    *Jackson promoted defensive line coach and alumnus Dary Myricks to replace Mike Parris, who took the head job at Heritage in Conyers. Myricks was an all-conference lineman at The Citadel, signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and played seven seasons of Arena League ball while helping out with the Jackson football team. He joined the school full-time in 2006. Jackson was 6-5 last season and 123-67 in 18 seasons under Parris.

    *Southwest hired alumnus Joe Dupree, formerly head coach at Henry County, to replace Carror Wright, who took a job with the Georgia High School Association. Dupree was a star quarterback at Southwest in the 1980s and played at Georgia and Georgia Southern. Dupree was the offensive coordinator at Westside (Macon) before taking the Henry County job and was 1-9 in one season there. Dupree also has been an assistant coach at Rutland, where he was boys basketball coach for a time, and Twiggs County.

    Region 3

    *Swainsboro hired former Coffee head coach Ken Eldridge to replace David Johnson, who remained on faculty at the school. Eldridge was 21-24 in four seasons at Coffee (2008-11), his alma mater, including a 9-4 finish in 2008. He was Valdosta’s tight ends and special teams coach last season. Swainsboro has gone 3-7 the past two seasons after a 10-1 finish in Johnson’s first season.

    Region 4

    *Central of Carroll County promoted defensive coordinator Rico Zachery to replace Grant Chestnut, who was hired as offensive coordinator at Kennesaw State. Zachery, a former standout player at Newnan, had worked at Central for two seasons. Before that, he was on Rush Propst’s staff at Colquitt County. Central was 9-12 in two seasons under Chestnut.

    Region 5

    *Adairsville promoted running backs coach Eric Bishop to replace Jim Kremer, who became defensive coordinator at Sonoraville. Kremer was 27-16 in four seasons. Bishop had been Adairsville’s head baseball coach the past eight seasons, reaching the playoffs six times. A Cairo native, Bishop had been an assistant football coach for 20 years at Adairsville, Woodland and South Central Middle.

    *Gordon Central promoted assistant head coach and special teams coordinator David Humphreys to replace Chad Fisher, who took the head job at LaFayette. Humphreys was 18-25 at Trion (2008-11) and 42-8 at Rome (2001-04) as a head coach. In between, he was head coach of the Rome Renegades of the Arena League and assisted with the Georgia Force. Gordon Central was 8-3 last season.

    Region 6

    *Cedar Grove promoted offensive coordinator Jermaine Smith to replace Ray Bonner, who retired and moved home to Tennessee. Smith, a former quarterback at Tennessee State who came to Cedar Grove in 2007, directed an offense that set records with DeKalb County’s all-time leading passer in yardage, Jonathan McCrary, now at Vanderbilt. Cedar Grove was 6-5 last season.

    *Decatur promoted offensive coordinator Scott Jackson to replace Brad Waggoner, who took the head job at Lumpkin County after one season. Jackson had been on Waggoner’s staff at Chattooga in 2010 and 2011. A former walk-on player at Georgia, Jackson has been an assistant at Northside of Warner Robins (1998), Sandy Creek (1999-2000), Cartersville (2001-02), East Paulding (2003-05) and Cedartown (2006-09). Decatur was 5-5 last season.

    *McNair promoted co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Shelton Carleton to replace Tywanois Lockett, who was hired as linebackers coach at Burke County. Carleton, a native of Mobile, coached at Cedar Grove (2006) and Towers (2007-09) before joining McNair’s staff in 2010. Lockett’s teams were 6-24 in three seasons, 4-6 in 2012.

    *Towers hired Bethune Middle School head coach James Holloway to replace Marvin Jones, who stepped down but will remain on faculty. Holloway’s Bethune teams were undefeated the last three of his seven seasons as head coach. Jones was 3-27 in his three seasons.

    Region 7

    *Banks County hired Mary Persons defensive coordinator Biff Parson to replace Philip Jones, who took a job as an assistant at alma mater Brookwood. Parson’s father, Ronald, was Banks County’s head coach from 1979 to 1988, and Biff attended Banks County schools through the eighth grade. He is a former all-state quarterback at Franklin County and later played for Liberty University, NFL Europe and the CFL. Parson has coached as an assistant at Mary Persons (2012), Lamar County, Dublin, Hart County and Villa Rica. Banks was 7-4 and 3-7 in two seasons under Jones. The 7-3 record under Blair Armstrong in 2010 and 7-4 record under Jones in 2011 represented the first consecutive winning seasons since 1996-97.

    Region 8

    *East Jackson hired Dacula defensive coordinator Gary Hughes to replace Brian Smith, who was 3-17 in two seasons. East Jackson’s original hire, former Grayson defensive coordinator David Andrews, backed out in May amid school system changes and became defensive coordinator at North Gwinnett. Hughes, offered the job in June, has been a defensive coordinator at Dacula (2011-12), North Forsyth (2007-10) and Etowah (2002-06). He has been a head coach in Florida at Wildwood, Lake Weir and Lecanto. He also has been a defensive coordinator at West Alabama and West Texas State. East Jackson, entering its seventh season, was 0-10 in 2012.

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    16 new head coaches in Class AAA