TUNNEL HILL, Ga. - The search already has begun for the replacement of one of northwest Georgia's longest tenured head football coaches.
Northwest Whitfield's Mike Falleur is leaving after nine seasons at the Bruins' helm for the head coaching position at Georgia's Villa Rica High School.
Falleur, 49, had a 58-37 record at Northwest and is 142-70 overall, which includes stints at Tucker, Burke County and Elbert County. He began his coaching career as an assistant under Don Murray in 1987 at Northwest and also has served as the school's athletic director.
"We really hope to have something done by the time spring practice starts in May," Northwest principal Britt Adams said, promising the search will be wide open and may not necessarily include the athletic director's position. "We will start interviewing folks in a couple of weeks and go from there. Coach Falleur has done a great job and we're going to miss him."
The Bruins overcame an 0-4 start this past season to finish 5-5.
"My job is to pick the right person for our school and community," Adams said. "A successful athletic program is very important to the overall community and school, and we will do everything we can to keep our football team, and other programs, successful."
Attempts to contact Falleur on Tuesday were unsuccessful.
n Falleur is the second longtime Northwest coach to leave the athletic program in the past few weeks. Successful girls' basketball coach Margaret Stockburger announced her retirement at the end of the Lady Bruins' season.
Adams has promoted her assistant, Greg Brown, to take over what is annually one of the top programs in the area.
"We have every confidence Coach Brown will continue on with the kind of program we've had under great coaches like Coach [Linda] Gilpatrick, Coach [Ron] Wheeler and now Coach Stockburger," Adams said. "Working under Coach Stockburger has been invaluable for him."