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33 YEARS AND COUNTING!
There were a record 105 coaching changes in Georgia High School football this year. 105. That’s roughly a 25 percent turnover. And while that figure is amazing, how about this one? At Marist High School, Alan Chadwick has been the head coach for 33 seasons. One coach. 33 teams. That’s what I would call a pretty good run. And it gets better.
Not only has coach Chadwick been patrolling the Marist sidelines for over three decades, but he has also won 350 games while losing just 67. That’s an 84 percent winning percentage. And then there are the two championship seasons, first in 1989, and again in 2003. Those 350 wins are third best all time in the state of Georgia and he needs just 5 wins this season to pass Robert Davis for second all time. (Larry Campbell of Lincoln County is the all-time leader in Georgia with 477 career wins.)
So, this season could be an historic one for the War Eagles and their leader who gives credit to many for the team’s success.
“I have been very fortunate,” says Coach Chadwick. “Over the years we have had great kids that were very committed to this program. And I have been very fortunate to have top-notch assistant coaches. They have helped create a family atmosphere and a sense of unity here at Marist High School.”
Before becoming the head coach of the War Eagles, Coach Chadwick was an assistant under head coach Dean Hargis. Coach Hargis coached Marist for 17 seasons. I am terrible at math, but if you add 17 to 33 even my meager brain can sum it up that Marist has had just two coaches over the last 50 seasons. That in itself, is pretty amazing.
“That is what I am talking about. Consistency. Dean set it up years ago and we are still running some of the things he set in motion way back then.” Says Coach Chadwick.
I had to ask about his two championship teams:
“The ‘89 team was a special team. We had six or seven players going both ways and we were a very tough physical football team and our defense was just outstanding.”
“The 2003 team was well balanced. We were good defensively, but that team was very talented offensively. We could run it and throw it very effectively that year.”
I mentioned that one of the standouts on that 2003 team has gone on to a pretty impressive career. The 2003 Marist quarterback has grown up to become Sean McVay, who is currently the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams.
“My chest puffs up a little bit on that one. We are very, very, proud of Sean.”
So, the War Eagles kick the 2017 season off this Friday against the Lovett Lions as Coach Alan Chadwick goes for win number 351. I have covered Marist football since 1992 when I first came to Atlanta and, I am sure Coach Chadwick is very proud of every single one of his 350 wins and his two state titles. But he has also done one whale of a great job in turning out fine young men who are much better prepared for whatever life is going to throw their way. Triumphs, Trophies, and Titles. That goes on the resume of the Wizard of the War Eagles, Coach Alan Chadwick. Well Done Coach and best of luck, this season.