Wayne County football coach arrested, charged with felony theft

FootballWayne County head football coach and athletics director Jody Grooms and his wife, a teacher in the school system, were arrested Tuesday and charged with felony theft, multiple media outlets are reporting.

Grooms, the high school coach of Georgia quarterback Greyson Lambert, is accused of taking money from a school fundraiser. Sharon Grooms, who reportedly teaches at a middle school, faces three counts of theft from the school’s cheerleading team.

According to the Coastal Courier newspaper, citing a GBI report, the couple turned themselves in to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. They were released on bond. Both resigned their school jobs last week. WSAV-TV in Savannah was the first to report the story.

Grooms also was the subject of controversy as a football coach in 2007, when he attempted an illegal play in a game as head coach of Lakeside High in Evans.

While playing Effingham County, Grooms instructed a player to enter the game from the sidelines during a play 40 yards up field and attempt to catch a pass. The play resulted in an interception, and Lakeside lost 7-0. The play was caught on film and widely viewed and criticized.

Grooms admitted the misjudgment and apologized to Effingham and Lakeside school officials. He was suspended for two games, fined and fired as athletics director by the school board.

Grooms later would lead Lakeside to its first 10-win season and state-playoff victory since the school opened in 1988.

In 2012, the season after Lambert graduated, Grooms led Wayne County to its first state-playoff victory since 1993. Grooms’ 2013 team reached the Class AAAA semifinals and lost 25-20 to eventual champion Griffin. That Wayne County team featured current Wisconsin wide receiver Krenwick Sanders and Florida State cornerback Malique Jackson.

Wayne County was 3-8 in 2015.


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