New Faces in Big Name places: Warner Robins, North Gwinnett and Lowndes Get Their Men
The high school football coaching carousel continues to spin in Georgia. There have been almost 100 coaching changes so far and a handful of vacancies still waiting to be filled. Each year the coaching turnover is roughly 20-percent, but this year could be higher than average due to some big job openings.
One of the biggest shifts was Marquis Westbrook stepping down at Warner Robins after winning two GHSA state championships and leading the Demons to four straight final appearances. Westbrook is now settling into his new role as the head coach of Peach County.
Shane Sams takes over for the Demons. Sams is a great fit for the red and black. He is a Warner Robins alum and was the team’s offensive coordinator in 2017 and 2018. The team averaged 34.1 points and 37.2 points per game in those two seasons and made it to the 2017 title game, losing to Rome 38-0. That year spring boarded the Demons incredible run of 6 final appearances in a row.
GPB’s Hannah Goodin and Jon Nelson caught up with Sams and and unexpected guest stopped by.. former Demons standout Vic Burley who knows Sams well.
North Gwinnett was looking for a new head coach after Bill Stewart stepped down to be an analyst on the Georgia Tech football coaching staff. The Bulldogs made an impressive hire in former Parkview head coach Eric Godfree. The Panthers alum spent 9 seasons at the helm of the program winning two region titles and leading three of his teams to the state quarterfinals. Parkview is poised to be one of the best teams in the state this season, loaded with some of the top prospects in the country, but Godfree could not pass up the opportunity with the Bulldogs.
Goodin and Nelson talked with coach Godfree about all that went into his decision and what life is like at North:
Lowndes High School was also trying to find the perfect fit for its football program after going through four different coaches in five years. The Vikings decided Adam Carter was their guy, and I have to say I agree. Carter left a stellar career at Grayson, where he had been for four seasons, leading the Rams to an impressive 49-9 record highlighted by going 14-0 and winning the GHSA 7A State Championship in 2020. Carter and his family are no strangers to South Georgia having previously spent some time in Valdosta.
Goodin and Nelson caught up with coach Carter to see how he’s settling in and the pressure of the Vikings winning tradition:
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