Head football coach Waggoner resigns

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Audrey Baxter

Head football coach Brad Waggoner resigned after a 13-month stint for family reasons. He is pictured here at National Signing Day, Feb. 6.

Varsity head football coach Brad Waggoner resigned Thursday, March 21 and accepted the same position at Lumpkin County High School,  where he will also be the new athletic director.

“It’s a decision that really doesn’t have to do with Decatur,” Waggoner said. “It doesn’t even really have anything to do with football. It’s a decision that has to do with my family.”

“I’ve kind of mulled over it for the last week, and when it came down to it, it came down to my wife. And I’ve got a two-year-old little boy that, with all that driving, it didn’t make sense. I don’t want to miss time with my little boy growing up.”

Of his new team, he added, “It’s going to be very similar to here when I came last year. It’s going to take a lot of work to get [the program] back up, but they have been successful in the past and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Lumpkin was 2-8 last year after compiling a 16-14 record from 2008-11 under its previous coach, Tommy Jones.

“Obviously, he will be missed around here,” Decatur athletic director Carter Wilson said. “The one thing that he did was he set the groundwork for lots of success that’s going to happen here at Decatur High School in the very near future.”

During his single season at Decatur, Waggoner led the Bulldogs to a 5-5 record, facing region competition that produced a state finalist in St. Pius X and a four-star Vanderbilt commit in All-American Cedar Grove quarterback Johnathon McCrary.

In a press release Thursday morning, Lumpkin County School Superintendent Dewey Moye said that the school is “very pleased” with Waggoner’s hiring, adding that “[h]e is a man of vision, high character, integrity and will be a tremendous asset for all of our athletic programs.”

Though a warm welcome awaits him at his next job, Waggoner acknowledged that the choice to leave Decatur was a difficult one.

“That’s the sad part about leaving, you know, is that I’m going to miss these kids,” he said. “I know how hard these kids have worked, and they’re going to be very successful next year.”

Waggoner, however, will not be entirely dissociating himself with the football program just yet.

“I’m going to still continue to help them next year recruiting-wise. The seniors, I’m going to help all of them recruiting-wise. I’m not just going to all of a sudden go up there and forget these guys. I’ve sent out film on all these guys, and I’ll continue to do that. These guys are going to make a name of their own.”

See additional coverage at Decatur Patch.