Wildcats offensive line coach Josh Eads will be the next head football coach at Richmond Hill High School.
RHHS athletic director Mickey Bayens announced the hiring Tuesday afternoon in a press release.
“Richmond Hill High School is very pleased to announce that Josh Eads, current football staff member, has been offered and accepted the head coach position,” he said in the release.
“Coach Eads is very aware of the high expectations set for Richmond Hill High School football and is well respected among his peers and the players. He is up for the challenge as he begins the next chapter in RH football.”.
Eads, a special education teacher who could not be reached Tuesday by press deadline, will replace former head coach Lyman Guy, who left in January after four years at RHHS to take the head coaching job at Toombs County High school.
Guy led the Wildcats to back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time in the program’s history in 2012 and 2013. In addition, the school set records for regular season wins and posted its first double-digit win season under Guy’s tutelage.
His program also produced the school’s first Southeastern Conference football signee in quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, now a freshman at Mississippi State, and also sent quarterback Dominique Allen to the Air Force Academy and kicker Canon Rooker to Conference USA member Middle Tennessee State.
Guy left in January, but prior to that concerns both he and Bryan County High School coach Mark Wilson, who has built a winner in Pembroke, were being sought by other school districts willing to pay more, sparked a debate over coaching supplements – additional money paid to coaches to offset the extra hours they work.
The debate led the Bryan County Board of Education to agree to pay higher supplements, though the amounts haven’t been officially set.
Eads will receive an annual supplement of roughly $17,000 beginning in July, according to BoE Chairman Eddie Warren.
“I’m glad the process is narrowing down so we can get moving in the direction the program needs to prepare for next year,” he said.
Eads was one of nearly 40 coaches who sought the job, according to Bayens. Applicants came from Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and Alabama and included current head coaches and a number of coordinators.
But Eads wasn’t the school system’s first choice. Last week, the BoE was set to approve the hiring of a coach from another system who had to back out of the job at the last minute due to a family illness.
Eads will have his work cut out for him in 2014. Richmond Hill, in reality a Class AAAAAA school with an enrollment of more than 1,800, was permitted by the Georgia High School Association to remain in Class AAAAA and in Region 3-AAAAA due to its distance from other schools of its size.
But that’s become mixed blessing due to the GHSA’s latest region realignment. That turned 3-AAAAA, arguably the state’s weakest football region, into what some are saying will be the state’s toughest with the departure of Savannah schools and the addition of Coffee County, Statesboro and Brunswick.
South Effingham is also rejoining the region. Ware County, Effingham County and Glynn Academy return with RHHS.