Coaching changes: Pardue retires at East Coweta

Article and photos courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution –> Original Article Here

Special/Daniel Varnado

East Coweta head coach Steve Pardue announced his retirement Monday. His record was 185-54 with three state championships.

East Coweta head coach Steve Pardue, who won three football state titles at LaGrange, announced his retirement Monday. He will remain a teacher at East Coweta through the academic year.

Pardue’s teams were 8-3 in each of his three seasons with the Indians, extending their playoff streak to 20 years. His overall record in 20 seasons is 185-54.

Pardue is best known for restoring LaGrange to greatness a decade ago. His Grangers won eight region titles and state championships in 2001, 2003 and 2004 with all-state players such as Tray Blackmon, Wesley Woodyard, Blake Mitchell and Sam Olajubutu.

Pardue was an assistant coach at Kentucky in 2011 and 2012 under Joker Phillips, a long-time friend. Pardue began coaching as an assistant at Fayette County in 1985. He also assisted on high school staffs in Alabama and Kentucky before joining LaGrange’s staff under Gary Guthrie in 1991, when LaGrange also won a state title.

Here are other recent coaching changes:

-Villa Rica hired Georgia Southern recruiting coordinator Rico Zackery. Zackery was the head coach at Carroll County rival Central the previous three seasons and compiled a 30-6 record.

-Central hired Darius Smiley, the offensive coordinator under Zackery in 2014 and 2015, as head coach. Smiley had spent the past season on Newnan’s staff and was Central’s boys head basketball coach the past five seasons.

-Carver of Columbus has promoted defensive coordinator Calvin Arnold to replace DreMail King. Arnold had been Spencer’s head coach from 2012 to 2014 and was a Carver assistant in 2006.

-Coahulla Creek has hired North Murray offensive coordinator Caleb Bagley to replace Chard Barger.

-Bill Ballard has stepped down at White County after six seasons. Ballard’s 15-year record is 118-57 overall, 29-35 at White County.

-Recent openings also are reported at Bleckley County, Perry, Haralson County, Strong Rock Christian and Baconton Charter.

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