Decatur High head football coach Brad Waggoner has resigned after one season to take the head coaching job and athletic directorship at Lumpkin County High School.
In a phone interview Thursday morning, Waggoner said he took the job because the school in Dahlonega offered a counseling job to his wife, Mary Beth, who has been unable to find work in Decatur.
The Waggoners have been living in Cartersville, about halfway between her current job at Chattooga High in Summerville and his job in Decatur. Waggoner said the distance cut down on time with his wife and 2-year-old son, Brad Jr.
"They've offered my wife a counseling position as well so it puts us at the same school," Waggoner said. "It will give us more time as a family."
Waggoner said he talked to the football players Thursday morning to explain the decision.
Waggoner said his first day at Lumpkin High, about 70 miles from Decatur, will be April 8. He replaces Tommy Jones, who resigned to take the head coaching job at Dacula High, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Here's what the message from Athletic Director Carter Wilson in the Decatur Bulldog Boosters electronic newsletter.
Decatur High School has accepted the resignation of Head Football Coach Brad Waggoner. Coach Waggoner served as the head coach for one season and compiled a record of 5-5. The search for his successor will begin immediately. Offensive Coordinator, Scott Jackson and the other members of the coaching staff will continue to lead the program through the offseason strength and conditioning program.
Waggoner said the Decatur program is on the upswing. "We have a great senior class coming back next year," he said.
Waggoner noted that two juniors have already received scholarship offers: Kyle Kitchens from Arkansas State and South Alabama and Noah Fisher from South Alabama.
"Those two kids will get a lot more offers," he said. "Other kids in the senior class will get offers, too."
Waggoner, 38, was hired in February 2012 from Chattooga High in Summerville, in North Georgia, to replace Price Jones.
Waggoner said he wanted to return Decatur High to its glory days and worked to infuse new enthusiasm into the Bulldog football program.
A large part of the strategy was the revival of the Renfroe Middle School program, which he said was essential to feed new talent to Decatur High.
He also helped expand the North Druid Hills Youth Football program into Decatur, another part of the feeder system.