Bremen makes Russell one of five new coaches in AAA
GHSF Daily is chronicling the many coaching changes in the offseason. We continue today with Class AAA.
Number of hires: 5
Best hire: Preston Poag, North Murray
Hardest to replace: George Collins, Rutland
Best job: Bremen
Toughest job: Rutland
Most interesting: The Russell family coaching tree continues in Bremen, which hired Davis Russell as head coach. Russell is the son of Jay Russell, a 10-year Georgia high school football coach who is now the Georgia High School Association’s assistant executive director. Rusty Russell was a college football coach, notably at Georgia Southern. Davis’s grandfather (and Jay’s and Rusty’s father) is Erk Russell, who won a state title with Grady High in 1953 and became a famed defensive coordinator at Georgia and head coach at Georgia Southern.
*Rutland hired Schley County head coach Mark Daniel to replace George Collins, who retired as a full-time teacher and is now assisting at Perry. Daniel is 77-68 in 13 seasons as a head coach. He won a state title with Screven County in 2002. Rutland, which opened in 2003, has had only two winning seasons and never advanced in the playoffs. The team finished 1-9 in 2015.
*North Murray hired Christian Heritage coach Preston Poag to replace David Gann, whose teams were 18-22 in four seasons. Poag, a Dalton High graduate, was 24-20 in four seasons at Christian Heritage, which joined the GHSA in 2012 from the Glory for Christ Football League, was 6-6 in 2015 and won its first state playoff game. North Murray has not had a winning season since its opening in 2009. Gann is now offensive line coach at Sonoraville.
*Bremen hired Northgate defensive coordinator Davis Russell to replace Scott Hodges, whose record was 15-17 in three seasons. Russell also has been an assistant at Tift County, Berrien and LaGrange. He is the son of GHSA assistant executive director Jay Russell and grandson of Erk Russell.
*Lumpkin County hired Forsyth Central head coach Shane Williamson to replace Ty Maxwell, whose teams were 7-14 in two seasons. Williamson also has been head coach at Swainsboro (2002-07) and Toombs County (2008-12) and has a record of 78-71-2. His teams made the quarterfinals at Swainsboro and Toombs and recorded Forsyth Central’s only winning season since 2001. Maxwell is now on the staff at Pickens.
*East Jackson hired Grayson offensive line coach Christian Hunnicutt to replace Gary Hughes, whose teams were 3-27 in three seasons. Hunnicutt spent 2015 with Grayson, a state semifinalist, and coached earlier at Lowndes, but he is best known for his work at Buford, where he was part of seven state-championship teams, mostly as offensive coordinator. Hunnicutt was the first coach hired at Cambridge when it opened in 2012 but resigned before the season began. Hughes is now the defensive coordinator at Peachtree Ridge.
Coming Wednesday: Class AA
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