VARNELL, Ga. - It took just one season and the right opportunity for Vic Grider to decide he was ready to return to coaching. One of the area's most accomplished coaches has agreed to become the new head coach at fledgling Coahulla Creek.
Grider will be introduced as the Colts' new coach at the conclusion of tonight's football banquet at the school, taking over for Jared Hamlin was let go after the program had finished 2-8 in each of its first two varsity seasons.
"This past season was a good time for me to step away and recharge my batteries," Grider said. "Coaches love challenges and I was ready for a new one. There's no two ways around it, this is going to be a challenge. But we'll roll up our sleeves and get to work.
"South Pittsburg will always be my home and I'm proud of everything we accomplished there. I was not out actively looking for a job, but when this one came along things just fell into place and it felt like the right opportunity to get back into it. I'm not getting any younger and you only get so many great opportunities and this is one of those for me and my family."
Coahulla Creek administrators contacted Grider about a month ago to discuss the job. After initially turning down the offer last Monday, the school's officials made a second pitch and this time, after taking two days to evaluate the offer, Grider decided to accept the job.
The 47-year old Grider has spent his entire 23-year coaching career at his alma mater, South Pittsburg High School, including 16 as the head coach. While there, he won 81-percent of his games (162-43 overall) with three Class 1A state championships and two runner-up finishes, taking the Pirates to the title game in four of his last six seasons there. He was an assistant coach and defensive coordinator on another state title team in 1994.
When our committee first met to review the people who had applied and discuss those who we might be interested in that hadn't applied, Coach Grider was the first name mentioned as someone we should pursue," said school principal Dr. Stanley Stewart. "Everyone on the committee had heard a lot about him, so he was the number one guy we wanted. We've been in the process of pursuing him for a few weeks.
"This is the biggest hire I'll ever make here. I was sent to this school to evaluate all the areas and make as many improvements as we could academically and athletically and we certainly feel like we've done that today."