10 Class AA teams have new head coaches
GHSF Daily is chronicling the many coaching changes in the offseason. We continue today with Class AA.
Number of hires: 10
Best hire: Von Lassiter, Bleckley County
Hardest to replace: Jason Strickland, Fitzgerald
Best job: Fitzgerald
Toughest job: Therrell
Most interesting: Jason Strickland’s five-year record of 54-14-1 at Fitzgerald includes two region titles and Class AA runner-up finishes in 2015 and 2016. The Clinch County native gave up this prime job for what is becoming another, Pierce County in Class AAA. Strickland’s replacement is Tucker Pruitt, a Fitzgerald graduate and the son of former Fitzgerald coach and current Coffee head coach Robby Pruitt. Tucker Pruitt was the offensive coordinator on Valdosta’s state-championship team last season.
*Early County hired Northview (Ala.) offensive coordinator Joel Harvin, an alumnus, to replace Trey Woolf, who retired. Woolf’s teams were 105-75-3 in 16 seasons. Harvin was Woolf’s quarterback on the 2001 team that reached the state finals. While at Northview, Harvin developed three Division I quarterbacks.
*Fitzgerald hired Valdosta offensive coordinator Tucker Pruitt to replace Jason Strickland, who took the Pierce County job. Pruitt also has been offensive coordinator at Lowndes, Thomson and Coffee before joining Valdosta’s staff last season, during which Valdosta won the AAAAAA title. He is the son of 300-game winning coach Robby Pruitt of Coffee.
*Bryan County promoted assistant Mario Mincey as interim coach to replace Allen Cartwright, who took the defensive-coordinator position at Tattnall County. Mincey, also Bryan County’s girls basketball coach and middle school athletics director, was Bryan’s third hire in two months. Bryan originally tabbed Taylor County head coach Mark Wilson, Bryan’s coach from 2010 to 2014, to return, but Wilson changed his mind for family reasons in April. Bryan then hired Liberty County defensive coordinator Tony Glazer, but Glazer weeks later chose to stay at Liberty. Mincey, in his 11th season in the Bryan school system, was chosen among internal candidates in mid-May.
*Jeff Davis hired Dublin assistant head coach Lance Helton to replace Ed Lovvorn, who retired from coaching in Georgia and was 2-7 in one season. Helton, a former all-state player at Washington County, also has coached at Coffee and specializes in offensive line and strength training. Lovvorn is now defensive coordinator at Interlachen in Florida.
*Swainsboro hired Bainbridge offensive coordinator Scott Roberts, its head coach in 2008 and 2009, to replace Mark Stroud, who returned as head coach at Calvary Day after one season. Roberts also had assisted at Tift County since leaving Swainsboro, where he led the Tigers to 5-5 and 10-2 finishes. Swainsboro has not had a winning season since 2010.
*Bleckley County hired Houston County head coach Von Lassiter, an alumnus, to replace Tracy White. Lassiter was 35-14 in four seasons at Houston County. White is now on the staff at Dublin.
*Northeast hired Twiggs County head coach Ashley Harden to replace Bruce Mullen, who retired. Mullen’s teams made the playoffs six times and were 65-71 in his 13 seasons at Northeast. Harden, 8-4 last season at Twiggs, is noted for back-to-back winning seasons at Butler (2010-11) after ending a 41-game losing streak.
*Lamar County hired Southeastern University offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator John Flath to replace Bryan Love, who took the Woodland job in Henry County. Flath coached high school football for 20 years before joining Southeastern’s staff in 2013, most notably as an assistant at Lakeland (Fla.), where he coached future NFL players Maurkice and Mike Pouncey, and at Orlando University, where he was head coach.
*Therrell hired Pope defensive coordinator Greg Sullivan to replace Dominic Callaway, who is now defensive coordinator at Douglass. Sullivan was assistant head coach at Pope the past two seasons. He also has assisted at Shaw and Meadowcreek. Therrell’s 4-6 finish was its best since a 6-5 mark in 2002.
*Gordon Central hired Temple defensive coordinator Cory Nix to replace David Humphreys. Nix also has coached at Roswell, Woodstock, Sequoyah and Chamblee before coming to Temple last season. Humphreys, not coaching this fall, is a P.E. teacher at Red Bud Elementary.
Coming Wednesday: Class A
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